The winter holiday season is a heavily conflicted time for Americans. December combines two pillars of American culture – adherence to tradition and a drive for commerce. On one hand, it is time for family, tradition, and reflection. On the other hand, it is a massive business undertaking that heavily involves logistics and supply chain industry.
The National Retail Federation released that total holiday retail sales for 2019 topped $730.2 billion. Products bought off the shelves at big-box retailers have to first be transported to those retailers – that is a big reason why the winter holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for cargo transportation. Over 300 million packages are delivered between Black Friday and Christmas Eve with Supply Chain 24/7. Behind the scenes of the holiday is a supply-chain orchestration that goes largely unnoticed by the public.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the high unemployment rate in the U.S caused by the global pandemic event, warehousing and storage jobs jumped by 32,200 positions. Companies are adding ten of thousands of warehousing jobs as they scale up e-commerce fulfillment and distribution capacity ahead of a high stakes fourth quarter.
Courier and messenger companies that deliver packages to homes and business added 10,300 jobs in September; meanwhile, trucking companies added 4,600 positions.
The rush of logistics hiring comes as analysts warn that soaring e-commerce demand amid the coronavirus pandemic could strain distribution networks during the holiday season. However, companies are struggling to fill open logistics and distribution jobs despite high unemployment during the pandemic, in part because of worker safety concerns. Light-truck and delivery drivers are also in short supply.