Walmart is raising its starting salaries for truck drivers in its private fleet.
Previously, the average starting annual salary for these truckers was about $87,500.
The company is increasing that number to between $95,000 and $110,000.
Walmart is shifting its pay structure so that its drivers can earn up to $110,000 in their first year with the retailer as it strives to shore up its logistics capabilities with new investments.
Previously, the average starting salary for Walmart's truck drivers was $87,500. Now, it ranges between $95,000 and $110,000. In a blog post, Fernando Cortes, the company's senior vice president of transportation, and Karisa Sprague, its senior vice president of supply-chain people, wrote: "Drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location."
Walmart's new starting pay range for truckers is nearly double the average truck driver's salary of $50,340 a year, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The salary spike for truckers is just the latest effort from the Arkansas-based retail giant to set up more mechanisms to allow for internal promotion from Walmart's huge labor pool. Walmart employs 12,000 drivers and has a total workforce of 1.6 million in the US alone.
In additional to increasing truckers' pay range, Walmart has also launched its Private Fleet Development Program to establish a pipeline between supply-chain jobs and trucking positions. The 12-week development program features classes from already established Walmart truckers. Inaugural classes graduated in Dallas and Dover, Delaware, this year, with participants earning commercial driver's licenses and getting hired into Walmart's private fleet.
Walmart is one of many retailers working to attract more truck drivers. Last year, the company offered truckers an $8,000 sign-on bonus, joining several transportation companies that gave new drivers bonuses as high as $15,000.
Earlier this year, the American Trucking Association reported there was a shortage of over 80,000 truck drivers. Truckers move about 72% of all goods in the US, and trucking capacity has been repeatedly cited as a contributing factor to the supply-chain crisis — which has spawned shortages and price hikes.
Even the White House has taken action to help bring more truck drivers into the industry. On Monday, President Joe Biden said his administration's Trucking Action Plan had helped push employment levels in the industry past pre-pandemic levels.
Insider previously reported trucking companies had begun recruiting drivers at gas stations and convenience stores, as well as offering perks like luxury truck stops with masseurs and pet-bathing stations.
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