Tavio Headley, Vice-President of XPO Logistics in Chicago Heights Looking to Expand its Workforce in 2022 (Chicago Heights, IL) – Tavio Headley has seen firsthand the state of the truck driving industry for years as an economist for the American Trucking Association as well as his current position at one of the largest American freight transportation companies. He understands that demand is superseding the physical driver pool. His nationwide company is determined to reverse these trends.
“The truck driving shortage has been around for decades,” said Headley, vice president of investment relations at XPO Logistics, Inc. which is one of the biggest trucking companies in the world that has one of its largest facilities in Chicago Heights. “With the pandemic, the driver shortage has only been exacerbated by drivers’ retirement, drivers absentee and the growth of e-commerce accelerating the need for drivers.”
80,000 Drivers Short
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The United States is 80,000 drivers short today and that figure is expected to jump to 160,000 by 2030, according to the American Trucking Association. Both figures are an all-time high.
“Over the next decade, the industry will have to recruit nearly one million new drivers to replace retiring drivers, drivers who leave voluntarily as well as additional drivers needed for industry growth,” said Headley. “The industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.”
It is a difficult job that combines tasking lifestyle demands such as being away for weeks at a time from family; demanding schedules; and physical wear and tear on the body. Because of that situation, truck drivers are either retiring early or finding alternative careers, exacerbating the challenges further.”
XPO is aggressively looking to mitigate the problem through several initiatives. Some include expanding recruitment efforts to hire more female drivers (currently only seven percent of drivers are female); recruit more veterans and minorities; offer more flexible schedules that enable drivers to sleep in their own beds and be with their families; provide tuition reimbursement; and competitive salaries and benefits. They were honored by the Women in Trucking Association as one of the best places to work. They had 900 trucking graduates last year and are looking to double that number this year.
“We take pride in being an employer of choice for drivers,” said Headley. “Building a robust pipeline of diverse talent is something we are always looking to do. Our goal is to attract people with diverse backgrounds and talents.”
Illinois is a critical part of their business as they have 14 facilities in the state and just this past October, opened a brand-new facility in Chicago Heights. The south suburb facility doubled physical capacity for our customers and is massively important to operations in the region.
Chicago Height Trucking Terminal
“The opening of our Chicago Heights terminal is an important part of our strategic growth plan and will have a positive impact on customer service,” said Headley. “ Truck driving is a challenging job for sure but it is very rewarding. It provides a path to a career that pays well, it provides an opportunity to see parts of the country that you wouldn’t be able to see in a traditional job and the pandemic really highlighted the critical role that truck driving plays in keeping the supply chain moving.”
The company is a supply chain partner to blue chip companies across every major industry with a sole focus on freight transportation. Their global network includes 756 locations and about 42,000 employees.
“We move freight on pallets that won’t fill an entire truck and then we pick up the pallets from our customers, bring it to our network of service centers and there we consolidate and deconsolidate the freight to our final destinations,” said Headley.
Tavio Headley, Vice-President of XPO Logistics in Chicago Heights Looking to Expand its Workforce in 2022