NEW YORK — Walmart employees who once unloaded trucks now have the ability to drive them.
The nation’s largest retailer has launched a training program that gives employees who work in its fulfillment or fulfillment centers a chance to become Walmart Certified Truck Drivers through a 12-week program taught by the company’s established drivers. ‘business.
Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, also said it was raising wages for its 12,000 truck drivers. The starting range for new drivers will now be between $95,000 and $110,000, according to Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield. The retailer said $87,500 was the average new truck drivers could earn in their first year.
The measures announced on Thursday come as the pandemic has worsened the shortage of truckers as demand for freight transport reaches historic highs. The American Trucking Associations, a major industry trade group, estimates that the country is short of about 80,000 drivers.
Walmart said about 20 workers in Dallas and Dover, Delaware, had obtained their commercial driver’s licenses. About 400 to 800 workers in the company’s supply chain network are expected to complete the truck driving program this year, Hatfield said.