As a leading exporter of herbal teas, Cape Natural Tea Products has a dedicated logistics team that ensures each of our orders is packed, loaded, and shipped correctly. In this blog post, we chat with our logistics controller, Danni de Bruyn.
How would you describe yourself in four words?
Life of the office.
Tell us about your journey with Cape Natural Tea Products
I first came to Cape Natural Tea Products as maternity cover for the receptionist. I went on to become the full-time receptionist where I first cut my teeth in logistics, assisting the sales department.
As the company grew and the need for a logistics division became needed, I was promoted to logistics assistant in 2015. Now, I am the logistics controller and oversee all shipments to domestic and international markets.
The company has been supportive of my journey from the start. They continue to unlock new opportunities for growth, including regular training. I have been afforded the agency to develop the logistics division myself, taking charge and doing things in my own way.
Almost all the receptionists who were appointed after me also went on to be promoted to other departments.
What does a day in your life look like?
My job is to ensure that every order that is placed, is loaded and shipped to the client. From making bookings and planning vessels to applying for certifications and export permits.
I have built strong relationships with our shipping partners, freight forwarders, and port officials; this makes it so much easier and more fun to navigate the logistical complexities.
I have a team working with me to ensure that the loading of containers takes place on time and according to food safety and quality standards. Once the shipping containers leave our facility, it's my job to track the shipments and to update the sales team on the status of their clients' orders.
What challenges do you overcome on a daily basis?
Global shipping operations are highly unpredictable. When the Suez canal was blocked earlier this year, we had a shortage of food-grade shipping containers and I was calling our shipping partners around the clock to ensure our orders arrive on time.
We often have stack dates moving around and vessel delays because of weather conditions and technical difficulties. It's my job to ensure that these external forces don't impact the on-time delivery of our shipments.
What's the favorite part of your job?
I love the adrenaline rush. Every morning when I wake up, I know there's a challenge waiting for me to overcome. The feeling when I meet my delivery dates is so rewarding. I love my team and the team spirit keeps me going.
Whenever there's a challenge, we all chip in to make sure it's fixed.