Transportation Operations and Sourcing

Discover the modal options that make the most sense for your company, analyze freight needs, and explore negotiation tactics with third-party providers to improve service levels and reduce costs in this Penn State Executive Program.


  • When May 14, 2019 to May 15, 2019 (America/New_York / UTC-400)
  • Where University Park, PA
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Session Date: May 14-15, 2019

A joint venture with the Penn State Smeal College of Business' Center for Supply Chain Research™ 

Complete multiple supply chain offerings from Penn State Executive Programs to earn a professional certificate.

Program Objectives

This program provides the foundational understanding to manage and optimize transportation operations. Participants learn common terminology as well as methods to effectively manage transportation operations, source carriers, and third party providers to reduce transportation cost and maintain or increase service levels.

Who Should Attend

Transportation Operations and Sourcing is designed for those new to the transportation field or new to supervising people in the transportation field. In addition, anyone looking to brush up on current transportation issues and strategies will benefit. This would include analysts as well as non-transportation personnel interested in learning more about the largest cost area in supply chain management. This program is among the options for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Operations.

Program Benefits

Upon completion of Transportation Operations and Sourcing, you will have gained the knowledge to:

  • Discuss the importance of transportation in the supply chain—the second largest expense in a supply chain after cost of goods sold
  • Explain the dynamic environment of the transportation industry including economic and regulatory issues
  • Decide what modal options make the most sense for your company and its products
  • Explain how carriers price their service
  • Negotiate and arrange for your freight needs to lower costs and increase service

This program awards 1.5 CEUs. Penn State Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available based on a standard of one unit per ten hours of classroom instruction.

Value Created for You and Your Company

Transportation Operations and Sourcing will provide attendees with practical information to better manage transportation operations. Content will help lower transportation costs or help maintain current rate levels in an increasing freight cost environment.

Program Content

Trends in Transportation

  • Domestic transportation
  • Economic trends and issues
  • Legislative/regulatory trends and issues
  • Global transportation

Transportation Modes and Background

  • Parcel and air
  • Truckload (TL)
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL)
  • Railroad
  • Ocean/International

Methods to Manage Transportation Operations

Technologies to Help Optimize Transportation

Transportation Pricing

  • Demystifying transportation pricing
  • Components of transportation cost
  • How carriers approach the bidding process

The RFI and RFP Processes

  • Identification of potential providers
  • What is a Request for Information (RFI) and what is included?
  • What is a Request for Proposal (RFP) and what is included?
  • How to evaluate responses
  • Comparing “apples to apples” in responses and rates


Our programs are taught by world-class faculty leaders from Penn State, as well as supply chain professionals. Each instructor has an extensive background in research and consulting, and in educating executives.  Each brings to the classroom best-practice tools and implementation processes for achieving world-class results.  

Faculty Director

Dr. Christopher D. Norek, Affiliated Faculty in Supply Chain Management, Penn State Executive Programs. Chris was chosen by DC Velocity as a "Rainmaker" for 2018.  Read about his impact in the supply chain industry

Faculty Leaders

Dr. Robert Novack, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, Penn State

Ms. Gail Rutkowski, Executive Director, National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council



Our enrollment coordinator will be happy to hold a seat for you in this program. A reservation does not commit you to the program until you submit the registration form online.

Questions? Please call 800-311-6364 or 814-865-3435

Related Programs

This program is among the options for those pursuing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Operations. Participants must take two others from the topics below to complete the certificate:

Programs may be taken in any order over any period of time. An Executive Programs representative will be happy to help you select the appropriate program for your current level of responsibility.



NEW TIERED PRICING! We have modified our rates to provide you with a choice in accommodations. The new program fee of $2,150 covers tuition, materials, lunch, breaks, and a group dinner. You may select our traditional meals and lodging package (for the Nittany Lion Inn or The Penn Stater as program dictates) for an additional $400. If booking your own hotel, you are responsible for your lodging, travel to and from the program, and "on your own" dinners. 

Active military personnel, PSU alumni, and teams of three or more attending this program from one company are eligible for a 20% program discount.