Boosting Starting Pay For Long-Haul Truck Drivers
As reported by Reuters, Walmart (WMT.N) said it is boosting starting pay for its 12,000 long-haul truck drivers who deliver merchandise to its stores and Sam's Clubs locations amid a U.S. shortage of drivers that threatens to prolong supply chain snarls and merchandise shortages.
Qualified drivers - who tend to be in their late 40s and 50s, according to government and industry officials - remain in short supply. Federal limits on daily working hours, Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine policy, and other hurdles have prompted many truck drivers to quit.
Walmart Inc is also following rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) in incentivizing employees in other roles to retrain for in-demand transportation jobs required to ease supply chain bottlenecks and support their online operations.
Walmart's drivers were already among the best compensated in the nation. Now the world's biggest retailer is upping the ante by resetting truck drivers' starting salaries to $95,000 to $110,000 a year, from $87,500 previously.
That far exceeds 2020's median pay of $47,130 for American big-rig drivers, whose "real" earnings have lagged inflation and effectively remain at about 70% of what they were in the 1970s, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 1.9 million big-rig drivers use the nation's roads, according to the bureau.
Walmart's move could strengthen its competitive advantage at a time when safe, experienced 18-wheeler drivers are in short supply and as Amazon builds its own network of trucking contractors.
Walmart Drive-In Opportunity Statement
Walmart's Fernando Cortes, Senior Vice President, Transportation, and Karisa Sprague, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain People described how drivers working at Walmart will enjoy better benefits as a result of the new Private Fleet Development program.
Throughout Walmart’s history, we’ve been committed to turning ambition into opportunity. In the last several years, we’ve cast a wide net, inviting associates from across the business to learn more, see more, and do more.
Now, we’re taking that same approach to the very foundation of our supply chain: the Walmart Private Fleet. Ask drivers in our Private Fleet, and you’ll probably hear something similar: Walmart is one of the best places to drive and Walmart's benefits are among the best in the industry.
Our approximately 12,000 drivers are deeply dedicated to safety and professionalism, and today, we’re proud to announce pay raises to ensure Walmart remains one of the best companies in the world to drive for.
These latest investments mean Walmart drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company. And that’s just a start – drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location.
Your Dollar Will Go Further When You're A Walmart Fleet Driver
The Average Salary* For A Long Haul Driver is $56,491 a year. Walmart’s starting wage can nearly double that.
*Source: Glassdoor/How much does a Long Haul Driver make? (data pulled April 4, 2022)
Life as a Walmart Driver: A Destination Job
The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home. 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.
"I can’t imagine driving anywhere else. 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" - Allyson Hay, Walmart Private Fleet Driver
Our transportation team will continue to grow with our business, and we’ll continue to invest in them along the way. It’s an exciting time to be part of one of the world’s largest Private Fleets and we plan to keep hiring the best drivers in the industry to join our team.
To apply to drive for Walmart, visit drive4walmart.com.
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