Driving in foodservice distribution is a lucrative occupation. - Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Driving in foodservice distribution is a lucrative occupation.

Photo: Deborah Lockridge

The average annual wage for Class A CDL delivery drivers working in foodservice distribution now stands just shy of $70,000, according to a new study released July 21 by the International Foodservice Distributors Association.

IFDA’s 2021 Compensation Survey: Driver and Warehouse Positions Edition finds that average hourly wages for foodservice distribution employees in general are “highly competitive and often surpass those of other distribution verticals” and for many other occupations.

This research proves that choosing a career in the foodservice distribution industry pays off,” said IFDA President and CEO Mark S. Allen. “With a wide range of positions – from drivers to warehouse to diesel mechanics – and opportunity for flexibility and upward mobility, our industry offers well-compensated career opportunities.”

He added that many jobs in foodservice distribution facilities offer on-the-job training and development, adding that “with more than 17,500 truck driver and 15,000 warehouse positions open currently, it’s a great time to get started in the industry.”

Specifically, the study pegs foodservice distribution drivers as earning average annual gross wages of $69,694. That compares remarkedly favorably with Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers averaging $48,710, per Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. The wage difference rises yet more when compared to BLS wage data for other types of driver positions, such as Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers averaging just $41,050

 Other key findings include:

  • Annual gross compensation is higher in foodservice distribution than in overall distribution industries for a majority of the 24 driver and warehouse positions included in the survey. 
  • Foodservice distribution warehouse Selectors/Pickers and Stockers receive average annual wages of $42,695 and $46,766, respectively. In general, Warehousing and Storage Stockers and Order Fillers receive average annual wages of $35,440

IFDA said the cross-industry survey is based on confidential surveys from 272 distribution companies providing data for 818 distribution facilities, of which 57 companies and 384 facilities are foodservice distributors. The survey is based on 2020 data and an updated survey for 2021 will be released this year.

The 2021 Cross-Industry Compensation Report: Driver & Warehouse Positions Edition was compiled, tabulated, and analyzed by Industry Insights, Inc.

IFDA is a trade organization serving the $303 billion foodservice distribution industry, which supplies food and other products to more than 1 million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S.

More food-service reading: Santa Monica Seafood Delivers

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