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I served in the Royal Military Police for seven years, but ultimately decided to leave to seek an improvement in my work life balance, having spent quite a bit of time away from friends and family. After leaving, I started driving trucks and was given the opportunity to progress quickly into an office-based role where I co-ordinated loads and shipments of stock. I then joined a couple of well-known UK food retailers where I held various roles in operational management.

After a varied five years in transport, I joined the Co-op at the West Thurrock depot working as a transport manager. I then moved across to the Co-op’s Cardinal depot, working as a transport manager for one of their third-party logistics providers, Wincanton, where I’ve been for the last three years.

I changed the path of my career, so there are plenty of life experiences and backgrounds you could have come from, to be able to work in a logistics environment – everyone brings something slightly different with their own perspectives and ideas. The Co-op is open to this when searching for the best candidates.

A state-of-the-art site 

Once I heard about Biggleswade opening, the opportunity was really appealing. It was an opportunity to challenge myself and lead the transport operation for a new flagship site. After working at a few different Co-op depots, I’m now the transport operations manager of the largest site in the Co-op network.

The Co-op is a great business to work for, and it looks after it’s colleagues – something that’s really important for me. The site at Biggleswade has been designed with colleague wellbeing in mind from the start.  There's designated rest and break out areas for colleagues to unwind and it's one of the greenest depots in the country too! 

My vision for the site

Being a start-up, it was going to be hard work, but also very rewarding. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to embed a fresh vision from the outset and not necessarily inherit any legacy approaches or ways of working.

My vision for the depot was to ensure we have a transport management team that cares about our colleagues, listens to them, and acts. I also wanted to make sure that colleagues feel part of one depot team all pulling in the same direction.  Delivering the best levels of service is only possible when my colleagues are happy and feel engaged with the wider team.

Building a career in logistics 

There’s plenty of opportunity to expand your knowledge and progress into different roles within the depot, whether that’s a driver assessor, a team manager or even becoming a driver buddy for new starters – there are lots of roles to build and develop your career.  The Co-op make huge investments into colleague training and development every year. 

Brad Rymer, 

Transport Operations Manager, Biggleswade depot