Walmart Hikes Driver Pay, Launches Private Fleet Program

Walmart truck

Walmart is giving pay raises to the roughly 12,000 drivers in its fleet, the retail giant announced on its website Thursday (April 7).

“These latest investments mean Walmart drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company,” the announcement said. “And that’s just a start — drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location.”

Read more: Walmart Will Hire 50K in the US

In addition, the company has launched what it calls its Fleet Development Program designed to attract even more drivers.

The program debuted in the Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware areas recently, a 12-week course where supply chain workers earned their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and became full-fledged Private Fleet drivers for Walmart.

Many of these drivers go on to become driver trainers for new hires, teaching written material and overseeing actual driving, Walmart said.

Walmart’s efforts come at a time when the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage. Last year, the industry was down a record 80,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Association, an industry trade group.

See also: White House Hoping Veterans Can Help Trucking Woes

The Biden administration recently announced efforts to combat this shortage and said in a briefing earlier this week that efforts to hire more long-haul truckers had borne fruit, with that industry seeing the most robust hiring stretch in 30 years between December and February.

Last month Walmart announced plans to hire more than 50,000 workers to strengthen its stores and fulfillment centers.

The company said last year it hired 5,500 pharmacists or pharmacy managers, more than 13,000 pharmacy technicians, and nearly 4,500 truck drivers in 2021. Last year also saw Walmart announce plans to hire 150,000 new workers for its stores in the U.S., most of them in permanent positions.