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Today’s Pickup: Walmart’s wage hike would see truckers earn $87,500 on average

Image: Jim allen/Freightwaves

Good day,

Walmart is looking to hire 900 truckers this year and plans to hike wages for the 8,000 drivers it has on payroll, amid the trucker shortage that has hit the nation. To attract more drivers, Walmart has put out referral bonuses of $1,500 and even shortened the hiring process to quicken the signing up phase.

Notably, the company hired 1,400 new drivers last year and expects hundreds more to join this year. The hike in pay would mean that drivers working for Walmart would earn $87,500 on average per year, more than double the national average that stands at $42,480. The company has also mentioned that hauling schedules would be predictable and that drivers would get 21 days of paid leave, along with quarterly bonuses based on the company’s financial standing.

Did you know?

In 2018, global logistics startups collected more than $6 billion in VC funding. Chinese businesses raised about 40 percent of that; U.S. logistics startups raised 19 percent, or about $1.2 billion.


“There is nothing concrete on Chinese buying, and in that environment of uncertainty it is hard to see an increase in U.S. bean prices.”

– Phin Ziebell, agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank while commenting on the need for firm volume commitments before pricing in new Chinese demand.

In other news:

China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest retail market this year

China’s economy may be slowing down, but the country is still set to eclipse the United States as the world’s top retail market for the first time. (CNN)

DHL could profit from no-deal Brexit, says boss

Deutsche Post CEO Frank Appel said in the long run Brexit would not benefit the UK or the EU, but might profit DHL in the short term from the disruption because “our business is to manage complex situations”. (BBC News)

Cramer: Oil prices are taking too much control over the stock market’s moves

Oil prices, which are “almost entirely hostage to the trade talks with China,” declined on Wednesday, reflecting the notion that “no news is bad news,” Cramer said on his show Mad Money. (CNBC)

The great divide in how Americans commute to work

The U.S. is cleaving into two nations — one where daily life revolves around the car, and the other where the car is receding in favor of walking, biking, and transit. (CityLab)

Dutch bike company puts TV on packaging, reduces shipping damage 80%

Vanmoof founders came up with an ingenious solution of putting a TV photo on the packaging of their e-bikes, which led to the delivery personnel handling it more carefully. (Twisted Sifter)

Final thoughts:

Last year saw the demise of retail chains like Sears and Toys R Us – businesses that could not compete against the might of ecommerce, as it plows its way through the U.S. retail market. Though affordable big-box retailers and local dollar stores might run out of business, the same cannot be said of all brick-and-mortar storefronts.

It is likely that the high-end storefronts innovate and continue to stay in contention. Amazon understands this as well, piloting its Amazon Go stores that allow customers to pick products off the shelf and leave the store without standing in long checkout queues.

Artificial intelligence and computer vision enable Amazon to understand the products being picked and adds them to the customer’s Amazon virtual cart, to be paid later at his/her convenience. Clothing stores like Reformation have opened tech-infused dressing rooms that alter room lighting to resemble day and night, helping customers perceive how outfits look throughout the day. Brands like Away and Warby Parker are setting up storefronts as well, but with a twist – their stores are “compatible” with Instagram, meaning the store’s success is connected to the number of Insta posts it inspires.

Hammer down everyone!