Class of 2022: Trucking company VP sees role for artificial intelligence in industry’s future | New
Kenedy Assman is the fourth generation to lead Landtran Systems Inc. on Canada’s long highways because it helps keep the country’s goods moving. The company, one of the largest trucking and logistics companies in Canada, was founded in the 1930s by his great-grandfather. However, the recent UCalgary graduate did not come to Landtran by a short route.
Assman added the position of vice president of corporate development for Landtran to his resume just a month after completing an MBA specializing in finance at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. (Assman also has a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Queen’s University, where he studied mechanical engineering in the mid-2010s.)
While at Haskayne, Assman also participated in the innovative course where students support Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies (CDL-Rockies) ventures. CDL-Rockies is one of 11 CDL locations around the world that brings together experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and subject matter experts to accelerate the growth of science and technology-driven start-ups. Assman worked closely with Curvenote to help the scientific writing platform create a go-to-market strategy.
Now he is ready to focus on further developing the family business.
Although Landtran is a family business, how did you get started in the transport industry?
In fact, I never thought I would work here! But it seems like I’ve been drawn to the transportation industry all my life. One summer, when I was at [Queen’s], I set up a bus company with one of my classmates. This company was to bring students to and from Toronto and Kingston to see their families over the weekend. The company that was already there was charging a crazy amount of money, so we were able to cut that cost in half. After [Queen’s], I found myself in maritime transport, where I was a management trainee, then I took the direction of oil tankers. But then I missed the Prairies, and that’s when I decided to do the MBA at the Haskayne School of Business.
Is there anything in the transport industry that you would like to change or improve?
A problem that I would really like to solve and that draws me to transport is the age of the systems, the age of the process. Many things are still done on paper; even routing and dispatching is done manually or in person. Right now, there’s not a lot of artificial intelligence that goes into finding and creating routes and finding the most efficient ways to move freight from A to B. Even warehousing is still done with pen and paper, as you see companies like Amazon really disrupting, bringing all this technology into this industry. Hopefully I’ll be there to guide the company through the next generation of technology developments and update us on what’s out there right now.
How do you plan to go about solving and introducing more technology into the industry?
First, I learned about the trucking industry, the supply chain and the issues unique to this industry. [At CDL-Rockies,] I’ve been exposed to all the new, cutting edge new stuff that’s coming out. There were about 60 companies, and many of them were focused on energy or agriculture, but there are elements that can be integrated into the transport industry. There is also the [CDL – Supply Chain program]; it would be interesting to see what comes of it.
Do you think making the transportation industry more technology-driven will help the economic growth of the industry?
Calgary is uniquely positioned to not only be a transportation hub for Canada, but for many places in the United States as well. By transforming Calgary and the transportation infrastructure [etc.]we truly have the opportunity to be the epicenter of transportation in Canada.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
In the future, I would like to lead and own this company one day, making it the number one transportation company in Canada. The best service, the best workplace and the safest workplace. Hopefully I’ll be there to guide the company through the next generation of technology developments and update us on what’s out there right now and what the Amazons of the world are doing.