The Case for Millennials in Transportation Management Jobs

We often discuss how TMS is crucial to shippers’ fiscal plans, customer service strategies, supply chain management plans and sales execution processes. Very little however, is written about how TMS solutions are critical to a shipper’s workforce management strategy and every transportation department leaders’ career development. Bet you didn’t think there was any correlation between TMS solutions and the workforce or between TMS solutions and your career path as a transportation executive. But there is! And if you’re not hip to it, you should be. Here’s the short story – hire Millennials today for the success of your company and your own career.


You may have read that Millennials or Gen Y – the monikers given to the generation born after Gen X between 1980 and the early 2000s – are difficult to employ. Coddled, entitled, and lacking disciplined work ethic are the stereotypes commonly associated with Millennials. This is just the typical, inter-generational gripe older generations have about their successors. The reality is hiring Millennials today to join your transportation department is the best thing a smart supply chain manager or CSCO can do. Here’s why: TMS.

Yes, transportation management systems and other emerging supply chain logistics automation solutions are no longer the future of supply chain management. They are the present. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) says today’s teens and young twentysomethings will make up the majority of the US workforce by 2020. True “digital natives”, Millennials have spent their entire lives using technology to collaborate with others and solve problems. SHRM says, “Companies that learn how to engage these individuals and adapt to how they work will be the ones that survive the major changes in the global workforce that are currently underway.” Boomers are aging out of the workforce and must naturally be replaced by Millennials (and their 18 to 22 year old cohorts, “Generation Z”). These workers naturally embrace technologies and are wired since birth to leverage tech tools to yield maximum benefit.

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A savvy transportation leader today can position his organization exceptionally well for a competitive tomorrow by bringing these younger resources immediately into SCM roles.

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AQPC’s Andrea Stroud (a Millennial supply chain practitioner herself) wrote in a recent post, “Expect our generation to harness game-changing technical innovations as we move into the higher ranks. Envisioning and implementing how big data, artificial intelligence, and automation are used and leveraged is where Millennials will make the most meaningful impacts.” A savvy transportation leader today can position his organization exceptionally well for a competitive tomorrow by bringing these younger resources immediately into SCM roles.

Moreover, they can improve their own marketability as a professional – teeing up their next, more lucrative career step by demonstrating the impressive results they’ve produced engaging Millennials to maximize the benefits of logistics IT within their current positions.

According to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) 2014 Salary Survey, the average pay for a supply chain pro with up to 4 years’ experience is $72,119 annually. On a par with engineering, this is among the highest paying positions for those young professionals starting out. Instead of clinging to aging processes, practices and tools, the wise transportation management pro is embracing TMS technology and welcoming the influx of younger generations bearing innate abilities for innovation using cutting edge tools.

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