Demand for warehouse workers is outpacing supply, leading to fierce competition for labor as we approach the busy holiday shipping season. To attract the workers they need, companies are beginning to offer increased salaries and signing bonuses. Shortly after Amazon announced a $1,000 signing bonus, B2B office products supplier Uline upped the ante by offering $23 per hour and a $6,000 signing bonus.
As we discussed in an earlier blog, it takes 15 times more labor to pick and ship 25 pieces for individual ecommerce shoppers than it does to pick one case of 25 for a single store. Warehouse labor is becoming increasingly scarce as companies begin to hire thousands – both seasonal and full-time – for the holiday season. Here are some of the recent hiring announcements:
Walmart reported they will hire more than 20,000 seasonal workers in ecommerce fulfillment.
Preparing Inventory For The Corona-Holidays, And Beyond
The corona-holiday season is quickly approaching, leading DCs, retailers, and manufacturers to change their stocking and inventory decisions.
Grocery DCs are stocking up on goods that ran in short supply in the early phases of the pandemic, while other retailers are planning for a more drawn out holiday shopping season. And makers of disinfecting supplies like Clorox are directing production to high-demand products like sanitizing wipes to be sure they can meet a potential surge over the winter months.
This extended shopping season, and the increase in local fulfillment, will have have implications for DCs. Not only will they need to fill more direct-to-consumer orders, but they will also be challenged to keep stores stocked both for local shoppers and for local pick-up and delivery. DCs that can support multiple channels from one inventory will have a clear advantage. We recently spotlighted one Lucas customer that is meeting this challenge in a virtual DC Tour of Conair’s Glendale, Arizona DC. Watch a recording of the event here.
Vaccine Cold Chain Challenges
The first Covid-19 vaccines are in their final trial stages, which is setting up some unique supply chain challenges, both to store the vaccines at sub zero temperatures, and to get enough dry ice to keep them frozen in transit. The two leading vaccine contenders need to be stored at -80 and -20 degrees (celsius).
McKesson has been chosen as the centralized distributor in the U.S. for future Covid-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, the NY Times reports that FedEx and UPS are also gearing up to deal with the unprecedented logistics challenges. UPS is constructing a “freezer farm” in Louisville and FedEx is adding freezers at it’s hubs in Memphis, Indianapolis and Paris. The two companies are also looking at expanding their capacity to produce dry ice, which has been running in short supply this year.
38 News Sources For Distribution Logistics
Warehouse and distribution center operations and technology are changing rapidly, as companies adapt their supply chains to ecommerce and a range of other business, economic and social trends. With so much change, it’s a battle to keep up with the latest technological advancements – like autonomous mobile robots – let alone new distribution and business models like on-demand warehousing and store-based fulfillment.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite go-to sources for information and news about what his happening in the industry. In addition to our Work Smarter blog and monthly Warehouse and DC Newsletter, the list includes the top publications, blogs, newsletters, podcasts and video channels that will help you stay up to date on all things related to warehouse and distribution logistics. Click here to check it out→
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