Walmart Dangles $110,000 Starting Pay to Lure Truck Drivers – The Wall Street Journal

man standing near the green truck

Walmart is increasing pay for truck drivers who drive long distances, an extremely demanding job that is more and more difficult for companies to fill.

Walmart Inc. is raising the salary of its truck drivers in its own fleet to upwards of $110,000 per year, and is expanding its program to train existing employees to become drivers.

The firm, in an effort to ensure that its supply chain is functioning smoothly, is establishing the salaries of truck drivers ranging from $95,000 and $110,000 annually in addition to an average of $87,000 for the starting salary according to an Walmart spokesperson. The training program within the company will give employees working in other Walmart positions a 12-week program to be certified as truck drivers and become part of the company’s fleet, according to the company.

Walmart (WMT) is one of the few chains with its own trucking company, has announced it is increasing the average starting salary of drivers in the first year from about $88,000 to between $95,000 and $1100,000.

Walmart requires drivers to transport products to stores and warehouses and satisfy the growing demand of customers’ online purchases. Walmart has added over 4,500 drivers in the past year, which was a record recruitment spree for the company with around 12,000 truck drivers.

The latest raise in pay will “help us to continue to recruit rapidly to meet ever-increasing demands from our customers,” a Walmart spokesperson stated via email.

Walmart is also working to recruit employees to train new driver internally. It has started a three-month learning program for supply chain employees in selected regions to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. They can then be Walmart truck driver.

A lack of truck drivers in the pandemic is putting pressure on supply chains. About 70% of American freight is transported by trucks.

The turnover rate is high in the trucking business and the job is known for its long working hours and weeks away from home and a low salary. It’s also physically demanding.

The median salary in 2020 for heavy-truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $47,000 according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The pay of companies has been increased to attract drivers and remain on top of the market, but the trucking industry reported in the last year that it was in need of 80,000 drivers.

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