In comments recently submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey suggested that port truck drivers can earn upwards of a quarter of a million dollars per year.
The FMCSA recently put out a call for public comment on a controversial pilot program to allow 18, 19, and 20 year olds to operate commercial vehicles interstate if they participate in a probationary period and an employer apprenticeship program.
In comments submitted on November 2, 2020, the Port Authority NY&NJ expressed “strong support” for the pilot program and argued that it would “greatly benefit the trucking industry by growing the eligible workforce and bolstering a vital link in the national supply chain.”
The Port Authority’s comments also suggested that the pilot program could be a gateway to a surprisingly generous annual salary.
From Bethann Rooney Deputy Port Director’s submitted comments:
The proposed pilot program would greatly support interstate commerce and economic resiliency by reducing a barrier of entry for qualified CDL-holders to enter the workforce and fill needed positions. Seasoned drivers at the Port can make upwards of $250,000 annually and local truck drivers in our Port alone contribute toward $12 billion in annual tax revenues … Businesses at the Port of NY & NJ are uniquely positioned to immediately participate in this pilot.
While the Port Authority NY&NJ is in support of the FMCSA pilot program, many truck drivers have submitted comments questioning the safety impacts of allowing 18 to 20 year olds to operate interstate.