Walmart on Friday announced a pay bump to incentivize drivers to join its fleet, and now the retail giant says drivers can make $95,000 to $110,000 during their first year, and that pay can rise from there.
Walmart said it has 12,000 current company drivers and had made a new investment in its workforce that means "drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company. And that’s just a start – drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location," the company said on its blog.
Additionally, the company launched the Walmart Private Fleet Development Program, which saw supply chain associates in the Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware, areas earn their CDLs over a 12-week program to become drivers for Walmart.
Previously, Walmart had paid its drivers in the range of $85,000 to start. Walmart's move comes as many fleets raise pay to compete in a tight freight market.
Last year, owner-operators posted highest ever average income levels, tracked by ATBS, well above $70,000. Experts who spoke to Overdrive on Friday reported a potential softening in spot freight rates on the horizon, and predicted it could spur a move towards contract freight.