Walmart is upping pay for its fleet of close to 12,000 truck drivers and launching a new program to train new drivers.
The big-box retailer on Thursday announced new pay raises for its truck drivers and a “Private Fleet Development Program” to train new associates. According to Walmart, truck drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company, with the chance to earn even more over time. According to Glassdoor data cited by Walmart, the average long-haul driver makes about $56,491 a year.
Walmart’s Private Fleet Development Program will train supply chain workers in Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware in a 12-week course to become a Walmart driver with a commercial driver’s license. The investments come as U.S. retailers face a truck driver shortage, which hit a high of 80,000 workers last year, according to data from the American Trucking Associations.
“The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home,” wrote SVP of transportation Fernando Cortes andSVP of supply chain Karisa Sprague in a blog post announcing the changes. “There’s never been a better time to join our fleet. Once drivers are on board, this is a job many leave only for retirement.”
The announcement marks another major investment in Walmart’s supply chain network. The retailer in November announced a goal to hire 20,000 associates for supply chain roles. Walmart said that the average wage for supply chain associates is $20.37 per hour.
Factory shutdowns, port congestion, and shipping delays have made repairing supply chain operations a top priority for retailers over the last year. In addition to hiring more supply chain workers, Walmart said last year that it was securing supply early and chartering vessels to prepare for Q3 and Q4.
Like other retailers, Walmart has announced a slew of benefits and competitive wages for new employees as it looks to meet staffing targets amid a labor shortage.
“I can’t imagine driving anywhere else,” said Walmart private fleet driver Allyson Hay in a release. “Walmart drivers take a lot of pride in delivering for millions of people every day. You know you’re making a big impact in peoples’ lives and helping them live better, and that’s a special feeling.”