Amid the problems in the supply chain and those surrounding labor shortages, area distributors continue to vie for workers.  Positions for pickers and sorters, as well as operations managers remain in high demand, but no position is in higher demand than Class A CDL drivers.

It’s becoming harder to fill driver positions in the foodservice distribution industry.  Fewer and fewer people seek to be on the road every day, up at 3am only to face the job of hauling huge pallets of product into every stop. 

Another problem facing the industry is the competition created by other companies outside of the foodservice industry.  Seeking less physically demanding jobs, they leave for firms like Walmart or Black Horse with the hope that they can just be drivers.

This has led the bigger companies in the area to offer increasingly larger rates of pay and bonuses as they try to outgun each other.  Below we look at six different foodservice distribution companies, starting from the lowest pay and benefits to the highest.  The list hierarchy is based not on salaries, but on what each company is willing to promise up front combined with salaries. The offers are all for Class A CDL drivers.

6. Derstine’s- This is the smallest company on our list and so their package is relatively basic: $18-$22hr with full benefits. 

5. Sysco- The world’s largest broadline foodservice distributor is only second on our list because although their drivers can make up to $81,000/yr, they are only offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus.

Photo Credit: Sysco.com

4. Ferraro Foods- This relatively small company based in Piscataway is the first on our list to pony up some serious sign-on cash in addition to its average salary of $75,000.  Retention bonuses pay out $500 for the first 60 days, $1,000 for 90 days, and $1,000 for 180 days.  If you can refer a driver that sticks around for 90 days, you get $500.  180 days?  Another $500. 

3. U.S. Foods- The second largest broadline distributor really needs some help and isn’t afraid to part with some of its $1.2 Million profit (as of the second quarter of this year).  Salaries start at $29.55/hr, but the sign-on is a respectable $5,000.  Not bad.

2. Performance Food Group- Things are heating up.  PFG must really need drivers, because they will not only pay you $30/hr, but are ready to dole out $10,000 as a sign-on bonus.  You can do a lot with that kind of money.

1. Mclane- coming in at the top spot, nation-wide distributor Mclane truly makes a case for employment.  You will make an average of $85,000-$110,000 as your salary on a four-day week.  And if that alone isn’t enough to prick your ears, then maybe the $15,000 sign-on will!  Where do I go to get my CDL?

Photo Credit: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

So, as you can see, these companies are in desperate need of qualified drivers.  Yes, it is a tough life, but if you’re young and want a job that pays close to executive pay without the headaches of having to manage people, then get that CDL and apply.  What’s more, in situations like this, they need you so bad that you have a better chance of negotiating things in your favor.  So, what are you waiting for?