Scott RuffinFounder and CEO, Pandion
- Industry: E-commerce Delivery
- HQ: Seattle, Washington
The Problem Solver
Scott Ruffin, founder and CEO of e-commerce delivery network Pandion, lives and breathes logistics. “It’s what makes me tick and what I think about 24/7,” says Ruffin, who previously founded Amazon Air, the company’s dedicated air cargo solution. “It’s hard for me to imagine doing anything else.”
The former Marine Corps logistics officer and self-proclaimed “problem-solving geek” has always loved puzzles and finding new ways to tackle inefficiencies—even in an airport security line. “I find myself incredibly frustrated, thinking ‘If we just set the queue up this way, it would be moving faster,’” Ruffin says with a laugh.
There was a need for a purpose-built transportation solution for e-commerce that could level the playing field for every retailer to effectively compete against the most sophisticated companies out there.
The idea for Pandion came in 2019 from a similar moment of frustration. This time, it was peak holiday shopping season, and Ruffin was leading e-commerce transportation at Walmart when it became clear that infrastructure for online shopping had not caught up with its convenience and business proposition. Small parcel networks simply did not have sufficient capacity to meet rising consumer demand, and companies were often left with inconsistent deliveries and dissatisfied customers.
“There was a need for a purpose-built transportation solution for e-commerce that could level the playing field for every retailer to effectively compete against the most sophisticated companies out there. That’s really when it became clear to me that something had to be built,” he recalls.
Launched in 2021, Pandion’s platform uses machine learning to make faster, more precise decisions about a package’s journey in real time. It analyzes data, such as weather reports and historical performance, to create the most efficient routing that flexes with demand and disruption. Ruffin compares it to a navigation app constantly course correcting to optimize a trip based on road conditions ahead. He calls it “the Waze of e-commerce shipping.”
As supply chain disruptions continue to wreak havoc across industries, Ruffin says the global focus on solutions is unlike anything he’s seen in his 20-year career. “My kids started using it as an excuse for why their homework wasn’t turned in on time. It’s no longer, ‘the dog ate my homework.’ It’s ‘a supply chain crisis.’”
Where some see a crisis, Ruffin sees an opportunity. For him and other like-minded problem solvers, it’s an exciting time to lead, innovate and evolve.
“It’s an opportunity for logisticians to affect our quality of life, our GDP and the economy overall,” says Ruffin. “It’s our time to add value in ways that most of us have always known was possible. Now we have a seat at the table to really make that big impact.”