- The rush for holiday staffing began early this year, with many employers posting jobs as early as August, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Warehouse, logistics, and delivery sources such as FedEx and UPS also advanced their start dates in order to meet the holiday demand. However, the amount of workers hired will remain in line with last year's numbers.
- In a market with more positions than available workers, companies target former seasonal workers and students; enticing them with bonuses and free lunches.
Retailers and logistics operators used to prepare for holiday shopping by stockpiling inventory, leasing more trucks and opening new warehouses. But all the signs point to a different, prolonged peak season, which has turned supply chains' focus to decrease lead time and improve overall capacity.
Logistics operators, for example, are contracting fewer trucks in anticipation of slower shipments during the holiday and a difficult financial market. Instead of assuming transportation will be available, then, fleet managers should proactively contact trucking companies to reserve shipments as far in advance as possible.
For months now, warehouses too have been preparing for a prolonged season by opening new distribution centers in more diverse geographic areas. Seasonal pay and benefits are increasing too, and last year FedEx and UPS offered numerous full-time positions ot these employees. Meanwhile, retailers are relying less on in-store purchases and improving their omnichannel capacity.
Whether expectations are met remain to be seen, but e-commerce appears to be driving a stay-at-home, order-late holiday season and supply chains need to adapt to retain sales.