The 2021 Holiday Logistics Guide

The 2021 Holiday Logistics Guide

Halloween is in the rearview mirror and Black Friday is on the horizon. As such, retailers and logistics providers are gearing up for the annual holiday logistics crunch. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has forecast that holiday sales during November and December will grow between 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. Additionally, NRF estimates that online sales will increase between 11 percent and 15 percent to a total of between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion over 2020. This surge in e-commerce will put added strain on an already disrupted supply chain. As we’ve done in years past, let’s check in to see how some of the largest logistics providers and retailers are handling the holiday logistics rush.

Amazon has been on a hiring spree as it gears up for the holiday season. The company plans to hire 150,000 seasonal staffers, which is about 50 percent more than last year. These workers will be used to store, pack, and ship items from its warehouses. Amazon said that the average starting pay of jobs in the US was $18 an hour. And with more competition for entry-level workers, the company has also been offering signing bonuses of as much as $3,000, depending on location, and as much as an additional $3 per hour for workers willing to work overnight or weekend shifts.

Amazon also rolled out “Black Friday-worthy” deals in mid-October in a bid to hook early holiday shoppers. The early Black Friday deals coincided with Amazon’s beauty products event, called “Holiday Beauty Haul.”

UPS is hiring more than 100,000 workers this holiday season, which is about the same number as last year. The company is filling full- and part-time seasonal positions, primarily package handlers, drivers, driver helpers, and personal vehicle drivers. UPS has a track record of turning seasonal jobs into permanent positions. Over the last three years, about one-third of people hired by UPS for seasonal package handler jobs were later hired in a permanent position when the holidays were over, and about 138,000 current UPS employees, or nearly a third of the company’s US workforce, started in seasonal positions. Through the company’s Earn and Learn program, eligible seasonal employees who are students can earn up to $1,300 towards college expenses, in addition to their hourly pay, for three months of continuous employment.

FedEx is bringing in approximately 90,000 seasonal workers this year, which is an increase of about 30 percent over last year. The company is also adding new hubs and sorting centers as well as making improvements in package handling and delivery capabilities to keep up with demand. FedEx is making the commitment to seven-day residential delivery to get packages where they need to be every day of the week. On top of the seasonal workers to sort and deliver packages, FedEx is also hiring about 500 people to fill positions in IT and data science.

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