Would you expect there to be more opportunities to advance up to driving in a large, busy area or a smaller one? Smaller ones probably have less routes and if no one is retiring... but large ones would have a lot more employees who may have been working there longer.
It depends on the area, like the HUB i work in, is also a large center, the current wait is about 12 years to go package car driving (and anywhere from 3-10 for feeders depending on who your talking to, go figure). However that wait is soon to skrink because in the next 2-5 years about 33-50% of our drivers are gonna retire, and no one wants to drive or is too old to drive and wants the inside job.
The wait wait in our center seems is probably 3 to 4 years .It took me 4 1/2 years to make the list, but seemed to drop to less than that after i went full time. We have 2 centers in our building im guessing probably 130 to 140 routes.
I would think that, simply due to the numbers, a larger center would offer more opportunities than a smaller center. We have 26 full-time routes with up to 4 cover routes during the year and up to 11 added routes during peak, so the opportunities here may not be as good as at a larger center.
Im at a large hub, and our wait to drive was at least 10 years as of our hire date...When i was hired there were about 1200 employees in front of me that were part time..However turnover ratio is high, and alot of the drivers walking around there look close to retirement age so it might not be that long..
It really depends on where you are. In some metro areas, drivers are being hired off the street. Everyone inside that wants FT is there and bids are going unsigned. The new contract is allowing lots of folks to retire now without penalties and they are doing that. I heard managers of rural centers say that they are expecting to lose 50% of their drivers in the next 2-3 years.
So, if driving is your goal, go to upsjobs.com and apply and be willing to move and be happy with the move.
I think it is interesting that the railroads are struggling to fill engineer and conductor positions, particularly in LA, Phoenix and Texas.