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Walmart says it’s elevating pay for truck drivers, beginning coaching program

A Walmart truck departs the corporate’s distribution heart in Washington, Utah.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Walmart stated Thursday it’s elevating pay for long-haul truck drivers and launching a brand new program to coach the subsequent era, because it seeks the staffing it depends on to replenish retailer cabinets and warehouses throughout the nation.

The retailer stated truck drivers will now make from $95,000 as much as $110,000 of their first yr with Walmart, which the corporate stated will elevate their common pay. The corporate didn’t present the present wage vary for a brand new truck driver at Walmart, however stated they’ve made a median of $87,500 of their first yr.

Walmart has additionally began a 12-week program in Sanger, Texas, and in Dover, Delaware, the place individuals can earn a industrial driver’s license and be part of Walmart’s fleet. It would cowl the price of incomes a license, which may run between $4,000 and $5,000, stated firm spokeswoman Anne Hatfield.

This system will initially be open to solely provide chain associates who’re close to the 2 coaching places, Hatfield stated. Sooner or later, she stated all Walmart workers will have the ability to apply for this system. She stated the corporate hopes to coach between 400 and 800 new drivers this yr.

Walmart, the nation’s largest non-public employer with 1.6 million employees, is ramping up recruiting efforts for truck drivers as the expansion of e-commerce adjustments its enterprise and complicates its provide chain. Additionally it is a decent marketplace for trucking labor.

The scarcity of truck drivers within the U.S. hit an all-time high of more than 80,000 workers final yr, in line with the American Trucking Associations commerce group. The shortage of employees has stemmed from a number of elements, in line with the commerce group, together with the grueling hours of long-haul journeys, the older common age of present drivers and the small variety of ladies within the business. The Covid pandemic exacerbated the scarcity, it stated, as some truck drivers left the business and fewer individuals went by means of coaching applications.

Walmart posted in regards to the pay bump and coaching program Thursday morning on its company web site. It has about 12,000 truck drivers in its workforce. The corporate employed 4,500 truck drivers, a bigger quantity than any time in its historical past, a spokeswoman stated. 

Throughout the pandemic, extra of Walmart’s gross sales have shifted on-line as individuals received groceries delivered to the house or retrieved on-line orders by curbside pickup. U.S. e-commerce gross sales rose 11% within the final full fiscal yr, ended Jan. 31. They jumped 90% on a two-year foundation.

For Walmart and different retailers, hovering on-line gross sales have shaken up the cadence of enterprise and prompted a race to ship packages rapidly and maintain objects in inventory at shops.

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