The Canadian trucking industry has felt the effects that the pandemic has had on the domestic supply chain, amplifying old challenges, and creating new ones. James Johnstone, Associate Vice President of Transportation at Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., Tiger Trucking and his team played a key role in helping to insulate the organization from supply chain issues being felt across the country.
“We’re not immune from these challenges, we’ve just learned how to help protect ourselves by investing in our internal capabilities,” said Johnstone, adding that there are still lingering effects from the supply chain crunch, including part shortages, uncertainties with new regulations, and hiring challenges. However, having a proactive supply chain strategy has helped the company work through challenges as they arise, setting up a solid foundation to prevent the breakdown of Giant Tiger’s supply chain to their stores.
Tiger Trucking’s Strategy
In terms of supply chain issues impacting Giant Tiger, a problem that has been felt organization-wide is figuring out how to counter the tightening of domestic transportation capacity, alongside escalating freight prices. Johnstone explained that Giant Tiger has Tiger Trucking, its private fleet in operation since 1987, which has helped the company stay self-sufficient.
“It has been our strong suit when faced with hurdles and has allowed us to continue to support the needs of our stores across the country,” said Johnstone.
By implementing rigorous truck inspections and investing in proper equipment with top-of-the-line safety features, Tiger Trucking can keep trucks operational to meet the needs of the communities it serves. Giant Tiger takes a proactive approach to fleet maintenance, which avoids trucks or trailers being taken off the road for weeks on end because of a global shortage of parts.
“To maintain a strong domestic supply chain, Tiger Trucking has built a solid safety and maintenance program, with technicians on-site to get maximum utilization of our equipment,” said Johnstone. Tiger Trucking’s proactive management of truck maintenance helps to solve minor issues before they become major repairs.
Investing in Drivers
Another important way that Tiger Trucking helps to mitigate supply chain issues is by investing in its drivers. This involves ensuring employees are taken care of during times of uncertainty so that drivers know that they have a secure place to work.
“We’re able to give them hours and a safe place to work, which was a huge advantage because our drivers have a personal investment in making sure the communities they call home are well taken care of,” said Johnstone, with drivers having a sense of pride and ownership in what they do.
With driver recruitment being an industry-wide issue, Johnstone spoke to Giant Tiger’s strong company culture as being a main factor in situating Tiger Trucking as a destination of choice for drivers, offering a rewarding career path and support for employees to reach their professional goals.
Although these are challenges the industry is facing, Giant Tiger will continue to grow and pivot with its supply chain strategy, expand its driver network, and continue to encourage new drivers to be part of its success. To learn more about hiring opportunities, please visit gianttiger.com/careers.
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