The Millennial Generation in the Trucking Industry

The Millennial Generation, or Generation “Y”, has the ability to shape and reshape the trucking industry as we know it. With their technology, innovative thinking, and brand new ideas, it’s interesting to imagine what the transportation industry will be like in the upcoming years.

Why is the millennial generation so important?

• In 2015, in Canada, the millennial generation, aged 18-34 made up 27% of the population
• They made up 37% of the labor force
• Only 25% of baby boomers ages 65+ are still in the workforce, and within the next few years that number will decrease and eventually disappear
• 75% of millennials obtain a post-secondary degree or diploma

Bridging the gap between millennials and other generations is crucial for this industry. It is possible that millennials have misconceptions about this industry, and think that a career in transportation is nothing more than just “driving a truck”. It’s crucial, now more than ever, to show them why they’re wrong. The trucking industry is one community, valuing loyalty and hard work. Demonstrating these values to millennials is a great opportunity to attract them and prove that the trucking industry might just surprise them.

Here at Erb, we are always looking for innovative ideas to further our organization, and we know that many other trucking companies are the same. This is another area millennials would use their full potential in, as they tend to be strategic thinkers and can get creative about what the industry could benefit from. Since millennials have grown up in a world of constant change, multi-tasking, and new technology, they could bring a new perspective into transportation, while working alongside some true trucking veterans.

The trucking industry needs loyal, committed employees, and millennials will provide this as time goes on. Once the industry catches the eye of the average millennial, it won’t matter what brought them here, what will matter is why they choose to stay.


Val Sanderson

It is interesting to note the statistic in this storyline that says ‘75% of millennials obtain a post-secondary degree or diploma’. I think one obstacle that could be in the way of attracting millennials to the trucking industry is that the typical entry level positions in trucking, such as Dock worker or Document Control/Admin type positions, would not offer a level of challenge that takes into account their post-secondary education. Additionally, the entry level jobs in trucking would not offer a level of compensation that meets the wage expectations that come with that post-secondary education. Compounding that problem, the education that the millennial person has obtained is very unlikely to be specific to the trucking industry, so they may not even think of trucking as a potential area of employment.
So a road block that faces a millennial who might be interested in a career in the trucking industry would be that while they don’t have specific education related to trucking that would help them be hired into a higher level position at a trucking company, they are still looking for a position that recognizes their degree or diploma.
Perhaps some initiatives aimed at attracting millennials could be centered around creating some ‘apprenticeship’ type programs around some of the operations/office/management type positions in trucking? For example, in the areas of Dispatch, Safety, Payroll, Operations Management – there are many such positions we could bring millennials into, which would offer specific trucking-related training in their area of interest, and also offer a graduating compensation level that takes into account their initial level of education, plus increases based on experience/training gained as they work with the company.
This could be one way in which to target and attract millennials into the trucking industry.


    Wow, what an interesting point. You’re right! Millennials do seem to both value and take advantage of the benefits of education. Implementing programs and acknowledging degrees and diplomas would be a great way to further interest their generation. That’s a great comment! Thanks!

Dave Dietrich

Thanks Val for your comments – awesome perspective! It’s interesting to note that a local college is considering offering a diploma program for Transportation Dispatchers. This is very exciting and great to see that the educational system in paying some attention to the trucking industry and our requirements.

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