(NewsNation) — Nationwide, approximately 3.5 million truckers zig-zag the country to keep our lives moving. They’re a vital part of the supply chain. Now, staffing shortages have led to a national recruiting effort for new drivers.
“Morning in America’s” Adrienne Bankert joined XPO Logistics, a freight transportation company, to get a firsthand account of the trade.
“Always keep your eyes moving. Always give yourself space. Always give yourself an out,” said XPO Logistics driver and instructor Ed Koch.
The trucking company primarily provides less-than-truckload and truck brokerage services in 18 countries. It also pays students to learn how to drive 18-wheelers.
Koch is an instructor of the seven-week course. He says, “Your truck is your office” and drivers have a responsibility for what goes on in and outside of the cab.
“You’re responsible for everybody’s safety that you’re coming into contact with,” Koch said.
About 12,000 people currently driver with XPO. The American Trucking Association reports companies nationwide need to fill more than 80,000 open positions. The Association says the number is the difference between the number of drivers currently in the market and the optimal number of drivers based on freight demand.
“We are able to get a lot of people from other trades into the trucking industry,” Koch said.
Upon completion of the program, students earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), an entry-level driver training certificate and employment as an XPO driver.
“The job security is what brought me here,” said driver Rosie Hayden. “The money and different opportunities to travel the country as well.”
Hayden is among 8 percent of women truck drivers
“I don’t feel like I’m at a disadvantage. It’s actually an advantage,” she said. “It’s opportunity to show other females they can do the same thing.”
Still, the Association predicts the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030. For trucking opportunities, visit XPO Logistics.