- UPS' initiative to cut back on late departures and deliveries is also reducing extra working hours, with the company touting an improved work-life balance as it hires for the busy peak season.
- The company's "Total Service Plan," which it launched in July, leverages technology to reduce idle time by targeting on-time departures for feeder truck drivers. UPS' overtime hours fell by 1 million in Q3, while driver dispatch timeliness improved by 13% since the plan's launch, executives said on an Oct. 25 earnings call.
- UPS Central Plains District President Darren Jones said in an interview that a healthy work-life balance is one of UPS' top priorities during the peak season, as the company is in the midst of hiring 100,000 seasonal employees.
The hiring environment for warehouse employees remains challenging and highly competitive, said Jeremy Tancredi, a partner in West Monroe’s Operations Excellence practice. Those with the most success are offering shorter and more flexible work schedules.
"There's always going to be forced overtime as volume fluctuates, so that 8 to 10 hour shift becomes a 10 to 12 hour shift," Tancredi said. "That's a lot of the reason [why] people weren't taking those jobs is because it was so inflexible and had such long hours."
Through UPS' Total Service Plan, the company is collaborating with its employees to reduce the average time they work each day, Jones said. He also highlighted a speedier hiring approach to get more seasonal employees in the door. UPS rolled out a streamlined application process that it says takes 25 minutes — from filling out an application to receiving a job offer — for most people.
An accelerated hiring process is an advantage for UPS, allowing the company to secure peak season employees that otherwise might take a holiday job elsewhere, Tancredi said.
"The early bird gets the worm, if you will, and so you reduce that speed to hire, and you're more likely to hit your hiring plan because you're not losing people to other companies and other competitors," he noted.
Other delivery and logistics providers are also in the midst of their peak season hiring sprees. The U.S. Postal Service announced in September that it would hire 28,000 employees for peak, while DHL's Supply Chain and eCommerce Solutions units plan to bring on thousands of workers to handle holiday demand.