Living through a pandemic puts things into perspective; having a career in a supportive, self-sustaining industry is more meaningful than ever before.
When COVID-19 arrived in Canada, the trucking industry stepped up to serve Canadians and the world in a time of need, when other industries were forced to stop operating and close their doors.
The trucking industry is an essential service – a driving force for delivering and receiving goods and services – that will continue to rein as the world shifts, adapts and evolves to the post-pandemic realities of life.
As we all look ahead to the ‘new normal,’ the question of ‘what’s next’ is an easy one to ponder; however, your career shouldn’t be one to question.
Private Motor Carrier had the opportunity to connect with Angela Munsterman, Transport Compliance Specialist with Coke Canada Bottling, to discuss the benefits of building a carrier in the trucking industry, joining a private fleet and being a part of the team at Coke Canada Bottling.
Describe the current climate of the trucking industry (the demand for work, the people you work with, the type(s) of work you can get into, etc.)
The current climate has the trucking industry in high demand. Canadians depend on truck drivers to deliver the necessities, which we rely on daily, from food and household goods to fuel for our vehicles. Likewise, those same drivers depend on support staff to keep the wheels turning, the drivers educated, and ensure that equipment is serviced and in compliance with applicable regulations. The need for drivers has especially been heightened given the COVID-19 pandemic, and the demand for essential goods and products across the country.
I am currently a Transport Compliance Specialist at Coke Canada Bottling and a member of the Customer Excellence team. In my role, I have incredible opportunities to collaborate with a variety of people such as transportation and law enforcement officers, legal counsel and law-makers, collision investigators, as well as a variety of internal departments, such as safety, distribution, finance, security, and more. I work on a variety of projects and initiatives which support my skills development and future career growth opportunities in a number of directions, such as transportation focused safety, employee transportation training creation (i.e. new driver orientation, etc.), compliance-based policy creation, collision reconstruction, and accident investigations.
Why consider trucking
as a career option?
As a driver, in many ways you can be your own boss, with the opportunity to travel, meet a variety of people from diverse backgrounds and build new support networks. With experience you can become recognized as a subject matter expert in the industry, which can lead you to new opportunities to network and further advance your career in a variety of ways as I mentioned earlier. It depends on what you are looking for in the long term for your career as to which direction you want to take, but there are so many different and challenging options to consider.
What are the benefits of joining a private fleet – and in particular, the team at Coke Canada Bottling?
For me, one of the biggest benefits of joining a private fleet, such as the Coke Canada Bottling team, is the pride and care that is shown for the products we make, distribute, merchandise, sell, and then ultimately transport to our customers. At Coke Canada Bottling, we are an independent, family-owned business and we truly consider ourselves a team and a family where we all share our values of acting like owners, innovation, collaboration and inspiration, as we develop ourselves and each other. We take pride in delivering optimism to Canadians. We also value the partnership of collaborating with Coca-Cola Ltd. to bring some of the most well-known brands to market.
Working as a driver at Coke Canada Bottling offers many rewards and benefits that people might not realize, such as offering a variety of shift options and working local routes instead of long haul, ultimately providing a good work/life balance. I’ve found that joining a private fleet at a large and established organization with over 120 years of heritage in Canada has a variety of benefits including stability, experience, development, and building relationships with customers and people in the communities we serve.
What is Coke Canada
Bottling’s corporate culture?
Coke Canada Bottling is an independent, family-owned business. We are committed to creating a better future through our over 5,500 diverse employees from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
We are working to ensure we have a high performing and inclusive culture. Every day, our employees deliver optimism to Canadians across the country. We are committed to building a multi-generational business that is creating a better future by delivering sustainable value for ourselves and our customers, consumers, and communities. This dedication shows through our Vision to be the Greatest Bottling Company Built by the Best People. When Larry Tanenbaum O.C. and Junior Bridgeman took ownership of Coke Canada Bottling in 2018, they committed to achieving excellence in operations and setting the highest standards for the business. Their entrepreneurial energy, supporting the company’s vision of being the “best bottler, built by the best people”, is really felt throughout the Coke Canada Bottling team and is reflected in the company culture.
As a company, we also aim to have a team that is skilled at working in an inclusive and respectful way and supporting a culture of overall wellness and mental well-being. We strive to create workplaces in which open and honest communications among all employees are valued and respected. For instance, our Diversity and Inclusion Council provides development opportunities for our employees and the Council has helped stir conversation ensuring that the company offers an inclusive environment where we all feel like we all belong. To me, this sense of belonging is something that stands out when I think about our company culture.
Is there room for professional growth/development/advancement with Coke Canada Bottling?
As a large organization, we offer a wide variety of job opportunities supporting continued development through our programs and accessible career growth opportunities.
We have found many of our employees to be very successful, beginning their careers with Coke Canada Bottling, and continuing to grow and develop in different positions across the company.
Our team is invested in building high performing teams and supporting the success of our people, so when you begin employment with us it often can lead to a variety of growth opportunities across the company, the country, and across different functions. Whether you work in distribution, operations, sales, supply chain, or any of our many varied and diverse departments, the possibilities are there to explore.
Describe Coke Canada Bottling’s position in the industry and how it supports/gives back to its fleet, the industry, and customers/communities (and feel free to provide lots of examples, ranging from internal best practices and procedures to external community outreach)
From a driver’s perspective, driving as part of Coke Canada Bottling in Canada, is ‘the dream’ job.
The driver network is strong and highly connected where someone often knows someone else that works here. The stories we often hear focus on drivers who have been with the Coke Canada Bottling family for years, the financial and job stability they have, the value of working local routes and being able to spend time with their families, as well as the genuine care and respect they have for their colleagues. This is precisely what many drivers are looking for - the stability and respect for the job they do.
At Coke Canada Bottling, we have close, local connections with the communities in which we operate – through our local manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, and the employees who make, distribute, merchandise, and sell our beverages. And we are determined to make a positive difference in those communities. Since the beginning of COVID-19, I’ve been inspired by the company, and the local teams across the country who have truly come together and supported both our customers and our communities.
Our teams have been going above and beyond to provide assistance in our local bottler communities. Many have been diligently donating much-needed beverages to support healthcare workers, first responders, and residents of economically disadvantaged communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, our fleet of drivers are an integral part to ensuring this happens, delivering thousands of cases of product to over 30 organizations across the country. We continue to identify opportunities where we can assist in our local communities.
We know our foodservice and retail customers have been facing unprecedented pressures. The company launched the national #LoveYourLocal campaign, with a call-to-action in supporting local businesses, as well as the Coca-Cola Rapid Response Resource Canada website providing free resources to assist restaurants and foodservice operators as our economy begins to re-open. We also worked closely with Coca-Cola Ltd. and partnered with Sheridan College’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies to design, produce, and distribute protective countertop shields for small, local businesses across Ontario. The shields will help consumers confidentially shop and engage with store operators, knowing that measures are in place to help prevent community spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has been a trying time for all industries; Coke Canada Bottling has responded to the call of being an essential service by ensuring that other essential services, including grocery stores, convenience stores and hospitals, receive the products they need in order to serve communities across Canada.
To learn more about Coke Canada Bottling, visit www.cokecanada.com.