Coca-Cola, a Shipper of Choice that quenches drivers’ thirsts for efficiency

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) moves about 10,000 loads per week in the United States. Drivers picking up those shipments – whether they’re beverage bases destined for bottlers or ice tea for retailers – can expect can expect free refreshments, but more importantly, short dwell times. 

“We want to provide quality service and hospitality to the drivers who are serving our customers and brands but at the same time ensure we are doing all possible to increase efficiency by reducing dwell times and incenting fast service with deliveries,” said Rob Haddock, group director-supply chain for Coca-Cola North America.

Coca-Cola was ranked in the top 25 in FreightWaves’ inaugural Shipper of Choice awards, conducted in partnership with Convoy. 

Based on voting from carrier-members of Truckload Carriers Association and the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), the awards recognized companies that engaged in best practices to ensure supply chains move smoothly. 

A shipper ‘drivers want to serve’

Coca-Cola monitors dwell time at its facilities and actively looks for ways to improve efficiencies. It also looks at the bigger picture of how trucks move through its network. 

“Given the lack of capacity across the shipping industry we want to be sure we are doing everything necessary to be seen as a shipper of choice – someone that drivers want to serve – while balancing that with efficiency and speed,” Haddock said.

Coca-Cola uses a common tracking system with its bottlers and other customers to improve load visibility. Strong relationships with bottlers allow Coca-Cola to quickly pick up a phone and address any efficiency issues as they arise. 

Relationships with the roughly 60 carriers Coca-Cola works with are also part of the equation. That includes annual awards recognizing its best carriers. 

Coca-Cola has been working with other members of the food and beverage industry through the Trading Partner Alliance to improve supply chain efficiencies, including dwell time. 

“As an industry, we need to figure out how to do this together,” Haddock said.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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