How to Kick Start a Rewarding Career in the Trucking Industry?

Author: Truckadium
Date: July 2, 2020

Trucking is the dominant delivery system in North America, as it is the most efficient and cost-effective means of transporting shipments. Being one of the fastest-growing industry, it adds a significant share of revenue to the economy. The demand for trucking services is growing and is increasing steadily with the rise in popularity of e-commerce.

Owing to the growing demand there are a lot of exciting opportunities for you to start a rewarding career in the trucking industry in several roles. As there is a shortage of skilled workers in the industry, there is a fair chance for anyone who is well trained and experienced.

Overview of the trucking industry

The trucking industry in North America is the backbone of the US and Canadian economy and is a growing industry. As reported by the American trucking Association, the trucking revenue in 2018 was $796.7 billion, a 14 percent rise from $700.1 billion in 2017. The 2019 ATA report states an addition of around 100,000 jobs to the industry in 2018, making it a lucrative career option.

The trucking industry has many players of varying sizes, including individual operators. The business is highly competitive and runs on relationship-building, yet there is a scope of growth at all levels.

Starting a Career in the trucking industry

You have a lot to explore in the trucking industry if you are detail-oriented and tech-savvy, have good communication skills, and offer great customer service. If you love being on the road, working as a Truck Driver could be your calling.

The most rewarding options are:

1. Truck Driver: If you bought it, chances are a truck driver brought it. A truck driver is the most crucial part of the supply chain. During COVID-19 pandemic truck drivers have been the heroes who brought all the essential goods and medical supplies to us. Shortage of qualified truck drivers is one of the biggest challenge the trucking industry is facing in North America today. If you love being on the road and are looking to travel to new places this could be the career option for you. Working as a truck driver can offer lot of flexibility in terms of working hours and can pay you well. You can decide if you want to drive locally, do a short haul or do you like long hauls? You will notice owners of many successful trucking companies have been truck drivers at the start of their career. For driving a truck you need a commercial driving license. Please check licensing requirements and cost for your individual province or state before planning to start a career as a Truck Driver.

2. Truck Dispatcher: You can join a trucking company as a truck dispatcher or start your own truck dispatching business. The role requires you to use your analytical skills to match loads with drivers and manage the entire lifecycle of a load. Truck dispatcher is again one of the most crucial roles in a trucking company. This role offers lot of opportunities for growth.

3. Freight Broker: You can work as a freight broker to match Shippers with Motor Carriers. You will need to look for fresh business opportunities, prepare quotes for shipments, negotiate with vendors, track and keep customers updated with the status of their shipment. Be prepared to multitask and actively use your interpersonal skills. You can start your career with a Freight Brokerage or 3PL company. If you want to be your own boss you could also start working as a Freight Broker agent with a large Freight Brokerage or eventually open your own Freight Brokerage business.

4. Logistics Coordinator: Joining as a logistics coordinator at a reputed transportation company is another great opportunity for you. For this role, you must have knowledge of state laws and trucking regulations. You must monitor the supply chain operations for the company and ensure the optimum utilization of resources.

5. Safety and Compliance Specialist: This role is perfect in case you have experience in the trucking industry and are familiar with trucking safety regulations. As a Safety and Compliance Specialist, you must prepare and maintain all documents for FMCCSA/DOT safety audits and other regulatory provincial requirements in Canada. You must also ensure that all drivers and equipment are meeting FMCSA/DOT and provincial compliance regulations.

6. Sales Executive: The role of a sales executive is best for anyone with a keen interest in building relationships with some knowledge about the trucking industry. The profile involves connecting with prospects, generating leads, negotiating rates, and coordinating with customers.

7. Customer Service Executive: Another role that requires strong interpersonal skills is of a customer service executive in a trucking company. You need to ensure correct data entry into the tracking system and monitor shipments through the delivery process. You must also trace shipments and provide updated information to customers.

Salary for each of these roles is highly competitive and varies depending upon the company size. The experience you gain helps you quickly grow to the mid-management roles and also makes you ready for starting with a setup of your own.

Training required to start a career in the trucking industry

Professional training courses help you understand the basics of the industry and your role. It helps you get ready for the regular challenges of your job. The minimum educational qualification required for applying to a job in the trucking industry is a high school diploma or equivalent. A certification in logistics or transportation gives you in-depth knowledge of the industry and will increase your chances of getting hired. The knowledge of the state and federal transportation laws is an added advantage for most roles.

You can gain insights into the trucking industry and get hands-on training with these specialized training courses offered by industry experts:

1. Truck Dispatch Training : This training gives you an in-depth understanding of the role of a truck dispatcher and practical aspects of the profession. You become job-ready by practicing on dispatcher tools including load boards, truck dispatch software, and customs and border crossing process including ACE and ACI.

2. Freight Broker Training : This training gives you insights into the industry and safety regulations associated with transportation industry. It helps you in understanding how to handle the operations, workflow, and challenges of the freight brokerage business.

Certifications or license requirements

You don’t need any specific certifications or license to start your career in the trucking industry in Canada or US for any of the above roles except for a truck driver where you need a get a commercial truck driver license. You must, however, undergo professional training to get acquainted with the real-life scenarios of the trucking industry and the ways to tackle them regularly.

In case you plan to set up your own freight broking business and wish to move US-Canada cross border loads, then you will need broker authority from FMCSA.

Take up a job or work independently?

The trucking industry also offers the option to work independently for those who don’t want to take up a full-time job. You can work from home as a truck dispatcher or freight broker agent without setting a big trucking company. The only things you will require will be a phone, computer, internet, and a bit of motivation to become a trucking entrepreneur.

So, if in case you are looking for stable income while working out of the comfort of your home, the trucking industry can be a great choice for you.

Takeaway:

The trucking industry is customer-oriented and there is a lot of scope for building a rewarding career. There is no major investment even if you want to start on your own but domain knowledge is necessary to perform well and get the desired results. While the opportunities are endless, proper guidance from industry experts will put your career on the right track.

For more details on getting started and in-depth career consultation, contact the experts at Truckadium today.

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