My First 6 Months as Transport Manager
26th August 2020
Susan Brougham talks all about her first 6 months as transport manager here at Mackie's Crisps. Brexit, Covid, and all thing's transport.
We're delighted to welcome her to the team.
My name is Susan and I am the Transport Manager here at
Mackie's at Taypack. I joined the company back in early February
and since then it has been non-stop for me. There have been the
ordinary challenges & learning curve involved in starting a new
role plus the extenuating circumstances that we have all found
ourselves in due to Brexit (remember when that was all we could
talk about?!) and laterally the COVID-19 crisis.
I started my journey in the transport industry just over 6 years
ago. I drove HGVs full time for 4 years before going back to
school to gain my Transport Manager qualification.
Before working at Mackie's at Taypack, I worked for 2 years as
Transport Manager for a small local haulier. Whilst I loved the
experience and knowledge my last role brought; I knew I wanted
to sink my teeth in to a bigger challenge. After meeting with the
Director's here I was sure this would be a great opportunity and a
fantastic place to work.
The set up of the transport arm here is different to that of
an outright haulage company, as the lorries I control are
part of the overall group. So, whilst we run almost like a
standalone fleet, we are very lucky to have access to a large
stream of in-house work delivering our delicious crisps
and popcorn across the country.
COVID-19 brought around a massive shift in consumer
spending across the board. While we saw smaller
independent retailers close their doors due to lockdown,
we saw a huge upscale in supermarket shopping. Who can
forget the pictures of the supermarket shelves being
stripped bare in those first few weeks? This massive
increase in supermarket spending in those first 3 or 4
weeks of lockdown brought its own unique set challenges
to my industry.
Usually when there are peak periods of spending e.g.
Christmas or Easter, transport operators have months to
plan how they will cover the increase. They might hire in
extra vehicles or bring in agency drivers to ease the strain
on their existing operation. Sadly, in the case of COVID-19
we had no advance warning or notice, so almost overnight
we had enormous quantities of product to move, with no
extra capacity to move it. Imagine you are trying to stuff an
armchair through a letterbox, and you will be somewhere
close to the position we were in! It has been a very
challenging time both for me and the transport industry as
Fast forward to now, and for the most part things seem to
be settling down. It feels like we are almost back in a
rhythm of semi-normality. We are pleased and delighted to
be delivering to customers who temporarily had to close,
which is such a positive milestone and really feels like the
green shoots of recovery are starting to show.
Will things ever be normal again? Who knows!! But I do
know I will continue loving the challenging role I have
found here at Mackie's at Taypack. I am lucky to come to
work every day with a team who are dedicated to producing
an award-winning product for everyone to enjoy. For me
personally, I will continue to safely transport as much of
our goodies to your favourite retailers as I possibly can.
Take care & stay safe,