Walmart's fleet drivers can now make up to $110,000 per year.
Walmart Inc. has rolled out a new program for its approximately 12,000 fleet drivers that will offer higher wages and expanded benefits. The Private Fleet Development Program will also give the company’s supply chain employees in certain geographic areas the opportunity to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and allows current drivers to become trainers for incoming associates.
According to a company blog post, fleet drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year, and could earn even more in the future based on factors such as tenure and location.
“Our transportation team will continue to grow with our business, and we’ll continue to invest in them along the way,” wrote Fernando Cortes, SVP of transportation and Karisa Sprague, SVP of supply chain people at Walmart. “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.”
For the educational portion of the program, supply chain employees in the Dallas and Dover, Del., markets were able to earn their CDL as part of a 12-week program. Walmart also gave current drivers the opportunity to become certified driver trainers through specialized training in the Walmart Academies. The newly minted trainers oversee both written material and actual driving practice.
Walmart hired a record 4,500 in 2021 and plans to keep hiring aggressively to meet customer demand.
“The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home,” Cortes and Sprague wrote. “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 move comes as the U.S. deals with one of its worst driver shortages, with the trucking industry short 80,000 drivers as of November 2021, according to Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations.
“Without substantial action, by 2030 and at current trends, the driver shortage could grow to 160,000,” Spear shared at the time. “Overall, nearly 1 million new drivers will need to be trained and hired in the next decade to keep pace with increasing consumer demand and an aging workforce.”
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.