20 years later: two pioneers of a transport company look back on their experiences

3 Sep, 2021

Testimonials: the pioneers of a transport company near Bordeaux confide in us

The company’s twentieth anniversary is also an opportunity to give employees a voice. Two employees from the beginning come back on some memories of this long and sometimes epic adventure in the transport of goods in New Aquitaine!

Bruno Brillant has devoted his career to the transport of goods in Charente-Maritime. Today, as head of the Tonnay-Charente branch, he looks back on the challenges that have made up his career. As for Benoit Alvarez, he was part of the very first team in Vayres when the carrier was created near Bordeaux. He has been in almost every department: from the quay to the operation, he looks back on his career rich in changes.

Discover their testimonies in this video.

Transport and its beginnings in 2001, when everything started in Gironde and Charente-Maritime

For Bruno Brillant, the story began even before GLS was created in 2001. Indeed, Bruno had been working as an accountant for several years in a transport company that was looking for a buyer. In 2002, Joël Gonzalez came forward to take over the structure and create a new GLS agency in Charente-Maritime. Bruno likes to point out that he is the oldest member of the Tonnay-Charente branch, even before the arrival of Joel and Eve Gonzalez!

Benoît Alvarez was part of the first team, the first 7 employees with whom everything started in 2001. He started his career in freight transport as a handler on the quay.

An evolving career: when the small Gironde transporter becomes big

Being loyal to a company does not mean having a monotonous career! Indeed, Bruno and Benoît have never stopped evolving and have had to face many professional challenges over the last 20 years. That’s the whole point of working in the road transport sector, there are a multitude of jobs and multiple opportunities for development!

This is how Bruno, with the confidence of Joël and Eve Gonzalez, went from accountant to operator. For GLS, he managed 5 to 6 people at the time. Over the years, the Charente-Maritime agency has grown and the team has expanded to include 40 employees. Bruno had to evolve in his practices and his managerial management. To do so, he was able to count on the support of Joël Gonzalez and later, under the recommendations of Benjamin Gonzalez, Bruno benefited from training to be perfectly at ease in his new role as branch manager.

As for Benoît Alvarez, to say that his career has evolved would be an understatement… He arrived as a handler and saw all the successive depots and expansions. This loyalty allowed him to become after a few years a dock manager where he managed 20 handlers. But the story doesn’t end there, Benoît continued to evolve to become a dock supervisor where he was in charge of 20 to 30 drivers in addition to the handling division. Finally, since 2019, his career has undergone a new and important evolution as Benoît Alvarez has become daytime operations manager. He/she is responsible for 7 to 8 sedentary employees and the management of day and night drivers.

Some colorful memories

With emotion in his voice, Bruno tells us how Joel Gonzalez surprised him with a bike to celebrate his 40th birthday. But he also remembers, not without a certain amusement, the “blow of gueule” of Joel and his ardent temperament, the small mishaps of the drivers at each of his visits… But above all, Bruno tells us how much the freight transport sector has changed in 20 years. How GLS and now Goëvia have been able to adapt their level of requirements, put customer satisfaction at the center of their strategy and manage the constraints that have multiplied in a few years.

For Benoît, it is above all the pride of having participated in the evolution and the blossoming of his company that he will remember. A company that he saw being born and which is today a leader in the transport sector in New Aquitaine and of which Benoît is, for sure, an essential link. More than memories, these are values that remain engraved in his mind: the requirement, the customer satisfaction and the deep attachment and respect that link the Gonzalez and Benoît family.

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