AJOT Insights

Cultivating Future Leaders

Apr 03, 2017

At the heart of CaroTrans, a global NVOCC and ocean freight consolidator, is a strong company culture with focus on people and promoting from within. Through its Future Leaders Program it recruits and develops new employees to be future managers. This college graduate recruitment program attracts students from a diverse range of studies that have an ambition to grow professionally and personally.

Future Leaders Program recruitment

CaroTrans seeks new faces through college career center recruitment, social media, word-of-mouth and job fairs. Ideal candidates have a bachelors or masters degree and less than two years of professional work experience. The global NVO looks for recruits with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Those graduates that are motivated, self-starters and have a thirst for knowledge are considered. Additionally, an interest in working anywhere in the U.S. is also a consideration since CaroTrans has a broad network of U.S. offices throughout the nation.

These young minds bring a fresh perspective to an established industry and to the local CaroTrans offices. The program is set up to assist and challenge the new team members as they develop into CaroTrans future leaders.

Two-year program

The Future Leaders program, a two year training event, begins with the branch manager sending out a welcome email to introduce the new member to the entire CaroTrans global team. It is not long before emails come flooding in with well wishes and personal experiences to make the new hire feel at home.

Future Leaders start in entry-level positions and are cross-trained in all aspects of a specific department before moving on to another. To strengthen the team member’s knowledge of supply chain and container shipping, as well as leadership, a yearly two-day training workshop is held in Los Angeles. Future Leaders from all over the country meet to learn from accomplished team members and managers. A wide range of topics are covered including: a company overview, time-management, and effective communication methods, conflict resolution, self-reflection and team building exercises. Attendees make long lasting friends that allow for an easier transition in the future if they are relocated.


To keep future leaders progressing, introductions are made to many knowledgeable team members with similar experiences and objectives as a way to organically find mentors. These mentors regularly communicate with the future leader to review goals and make plans to achieve success. Mentors encourage graduates with follow-ups, advice and reading suggestions geared toward leadership.

Future leaders are able to create their own career path once training is complete. There is no hierarchy model that presents a ceiling on success within the organization. If a trainee sees a need and the company agrees, then they can create and manage a newly justified department to fill the void.

CaroTrans prides itself on team recognition. Team members receive an award for every five years of employment. These trophies represent commitment to the company and symbolize the value the company places on that commitment.

Tom Swain who participated in the Future Leaders program and is now Boston branch manager commented, “The grad program is an important tool for companies such as ours to cultivate young, talented and career driven candidates and mold them into the future leaders of the company.”

People are CaroTrans most important asset. The Future Leaders program nurtures the best and brightest to ensure the company is positioned for the next hundred years of outstanding service to customers.

by Greg Howard and Melina Martinez

Author Photo
Greg Howard