Skills development and the ability to retain competent people, including truck drivers, are at the core of Bridgewater Logistics’ success over the years.
“Our mantra: ‘People, Performance and Partnerships’ proudly emphasises the credence we place on developing the skills of every member of our winning team to ensure that they stay motivated and loyal. This approach spans all levels and divisions of the company and, importantly, includes our many drivers, who operate at the ‘coal face’. They play a critical role in helping Bridgewater Logistics provide a class-leading road transport and logistics solution by ensuring the timely delivery of our customers’ product to market and, just as importantly, doing this safely,” Quinton de Villiers, managing director of Bridgewater Logistics, says.
De Villiers says that local reputable third-party logistics providers are still wrestling with a dearth of competent truck drivers in the country, and this is being exacerbated by a shortage of skills at all organisational levels.
It is estimated that there is a lack of about 3 000 professional truck drivers in the country at present, and this has placed most reputable transport logistics companies under immense pressure to constantly train and develop skills.
In some instances, fly-by-night operators are placing incompetent people behind the driver’s wheel, contributing towards the high accident rate on South Africa’s roads.
“It is estimated that 16 000 people die and 100 000 are injured every year on South Africa’s road network and, sadly, many of these incidence involve heavy commercial vehicles. No wonder so many investors and financial institutions remain cautious towards the transport sector. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every reputable participant in the growing South African road transport industry to ensure that they invest in significantly raising the competencies of the country’s drivers, as opposed to merely poaching available skills,” he says.
De Villiers says Bridgewater Logistics never takes the credentials presented by new recruits on face value, with the team always first adequately verifying their skills.
Meanwhile, driver training, which includes important familiarisation drills, also remains a significant focus for this supply-chain solutions specialist.
This approach has ensured that the company continues to maintain its high safety track record on South Africa’s road network in delivering its cutting-edge distribution and line-haul solutions!