Higher manufacturing output in the Midwest is translating to more trucking jobs.
Less-than-truckload carrier Holland plans to hire 450 drivers to meet demand that is “knocking some of the rust off the Rust Belt,” President Scott Ware said.
YRC Worldwide’s Midwestern subsidiary hired 750 drivers last year and already has added 300 drivers this year, bringing its total to more than 6,000, Ware said.
The LTL carrier is benefiting from resurgent automotive business and a related recovery in manufacturing in the Midwest. The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index rose 12 percent year-over-year in April.
“Across the board, we are seeing volume increases take place in many areas,” Ware said. “The fact is manufacturing is heating up, and we’re benefiting from that.”
Finding qualified drivers isn’t easy, even for a unionized LTL company that gets most drivers home at night and pays a higher wage than many nonunion carriers.
“There are some markets where it’s much tougher to find drivers these days,” Ware said, “and there are fewer qualified candidates coming into the industry as a whole.” Holland is looking for drivers in large metropolitan markets, he said.
“There’s a lot of benefits to the LTL side,” Ware said. “They’ll be home on a more regular basis; that’s a big selling point. We have a pretty high retention rate.”
Holland’s hiring drive follows one launched by long-haul sister carrier YRC Freight in May. The Overland Park, Kan.-based company is hiring 200 truck drivers.