UPS to hire more than 100K seasonal workers for peak

Staffing levels to be comparable to 2020’s peak season

UPS Inc. said Thursday that it plans to hire more than 100,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming peak holiday shipping season, roughly the same number that the transport and logistics giant hired during the 2020 peak season.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) said it is hiring for full- and part-time positions for drivers, driver helpers, package handlers and personal vehicle drivers. The latter is expected to become an increasingly important part of UPS’ peak delivery landscape, as well as an increasingly contentious issue with the many thousands of UPS drivers represented by the Teamsters union concerned about work being siphoned to nonunion drivers with their own vehicles. About 340,000 UPS employees are represented by the Teamsters, accounting for about one-quarter of the Teamsters’ membership of 1.4 million.

UPS said it will offer “competitive wages” to attract workers whose services may be in strong demand this holiday given the expected surge in delivery volumes. Activity will begin to climb next month and stay strong through January, UPS said.

In what may be a sign that UPS feels the need to be more aggressive, it said that most applicants will have an offer in hand within 30 minutes of applying. In years past, it took about two weeks for a seasonal applicant to receive a job offer. The company is leveraging its digital tools to dramatically reduce the response times, according to a UPS spokesman.

Over the past three years, about one-third of UPS’ seasonal package handlers were hired for permanent, year-round positions when the holidays ended, the company said. Nearly one-third of UPS’ 138,000 U.S. workers started in seasonal positions, it said.

UPS will encourage but not mandate that seasonal applicants receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday that it plans to hire 40,000 seasonal employees. French logistics company Geodis S.A. said Thursday it will hire about 4,200 seasonal workers to staff its U.S. locations.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) has not disclosed its seasonal hiring plans. FedEx hired 70,000 workers for its 2020 peak season.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes FedEx (No. 1) and UPS (No. 2).

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.