Secretary of Transportation Research Pete Buttigieg spoke about his commitment to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation in assisting to retain and recruit truckers at the annual board meeting January 12. He spoke of the need to recruit and make working conditions and compensation reflect just how essential this industry is. Speaking of the value of the supply chain, Buttigieg said, “If you got a package today, thank a trucker. If you enjoyed a gift that was under the tree, thank a warehouse worker. If you click on something online and it’s on your doorstep two days later, thank a longshore worker who probably unloaded it. We depend on the human beings and that human factor more than anything.”
Buttigieg mentioned provisions in the new $1 trillion infrastructure law and other programs meant to respond to supply chain struggles, such as the recent announcement of $52 million in federal aid to assist on-dock rail operations at the Port of Long Beach and the $17 billion planned to enhance connectivity programs at commercial ports. Included in the $1 trillion bill was an apprenticeship program that would allow companies the opportunity to hire prospects as young as 18 years old (down from 21 years old) in the hopes to increase trucker workforce (https://qz.com/2089831/the-infrastructure-bill-will-put-teenage-truckers-on-us-roads/ ). Another effort in the works is the adoption of new technologies for each mode of transportation. He assured those at the meeting that promoting productive and rewarding careers for the freight industry is a priority of the Biden administration.
Soren worked tirelessly in 2021 to meet logistic demands, despite supply chain back-up and lack of drivers. Regardless of what methods Washington uses to promote positive change in the trucking industry, we will continue to strive to put the needs of those we service first, from customers to carriers to anyone in between. It is our mission to “provide a better experience for everyone,” and that is what we will strive to do (https://www.ttnews.com/articles/workforce-key-easing-supply-chain-crunch-buttigieg-says)!