Five Reasons Why Veterans Should Consider a Career in Freight Transportation

It probably comes as no surprise that a large percentage of the goods used daily in American households are moved by trucks. However, there is a shortage of truck drivers and other freight transportation professionals. So, if you’re looking for veteran jobs or shifting gears to a civilian career, you may want to consider joining a freight transportation company.


The benefits of working in the freight transportation industry are attractive to individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, but it’s become clear that the job is particularly well-suited to people who’ve served in the military. There are many reasons why people with a military background are particularly well-equipped for success in the industry and should consider veteran jobs, but here are what we think of as the top five:


1. You exercise a strong sense of accountability and integrity

The military is well-known for instilling accountability, integrity, discipline and a great sense of responsibility in its personnel. These traits are essential in freight transportation, where individual responsibility and accountability are key to the ultimate goal of delivering goods on time and damage-free.


For veterans it’s likely second nature to do the right thing when no one is looking, and they tend to value accountability especially highly. Your military background has trained you to hold yourself and others accountable for providing timely updates to management. Effective communication about delivery status updates, anticipated delays and other important information are critical in the trucking industry to ensure the smooth delivery of goods.


Another highly desirable quality of individuals with military service experience is a strong sense of self-discipline. As a veteran, you’re aware of the importance of complying with procedures, keeping to schedules and performing tasks to the best of your ability. Military personnel know how to operate independently and take responsibility for their actions – qualities that lend themselves well to a career in trucking.

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2. You know how to be a team player

Delivering top-notch customer service requires the collaboration of numerous teams working across various terminals in a complex, network-based industry like trucking. The timely and secure delivery of goods depends on every team member's contribution. Solid teamwork is critical to the success of every freight transportation organization, including XPO. That means being dedicated not only to fulfilling your own responsibilities, but to having the backs of your coworkers as they fulfill theirs.


Trucking teams depend on one another to meet delivery deadlines, deal with unforeseen situations and protect customers’ goods. This demands a shared dedication to quality and the determination to ensure the work is done right. Throughout the delivery process, team members must cooperate and communicate clearly, and your military background has equipped you well to set an example in those areas for others to follow.


3. You’re focused on career progression

With your military experience, you already know that to progress in your career and move up the ranks you need to continuously build your knowledge and skill set. Companies like XPO share this emphasis on continuing professional and personal development.


Freight transportation providers need a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce, so professionals in this industry are strongly encouraged to advance their training, gain additional certifications and continue their education to expand their knowledge and skills. For example, truck drivers can progress to become fleet managers, logistics coordinators or transportation directors by developing their expertise and experience. These jobs come with more responsibility and higher pay, giving you the opportunity to progress in your career.

An XPO truck with military paint in the foreground and many XPO trucks with a flying flag in the background

4. Your workplace will be a familiar environment

As you know, discipline, routine and decisive execution are highly prized in the military. To ensure the effectiveness of operations, military personnel are required to uphold rigid standards and stick to set protocols. This organized and disciplined approach is equally necessary for a freight transportation operation to guarantee the prompt and damage-free delivery of products.


As a veteran transitioning to a trucking career, you’ll likely find many of the procedures and expectations to be familiar and easily adopted. Companies in the industry share the military’s prioritization of discipline and responsibility, making it an especially good fit.


5. You’ll find camaraderie

There’s already a significant presence of veterans in the trucking industry, so you’ll likely work with other professionals who’ve served in the military and have found that their skills are easily transferred. These seasoned workers often serve as mentors, and many freight transportation providers have veterans in senior leadership positions who can act as career counselors to aid in your professional development. Working with executives who have a military background helps to foster a sense of understanding and camaraderie that goes a long way toward easing the transition to the civilian world.


A great place to begin the next chapter of your career

Whether you’re a veteran or thinking about your professional future after military service, you’ll find opportunities to leverage your experience in a wide variety of industries. Trucking provides an expanse of opportunities, and these five reasons only begin to tell the story. As you continue your research on the freight transportation industry, we hope you’ll consider XPO. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about a career with us.