Major logistics firms ramp up hiring of thousands of seasonal workers as holiday shipping peak nears

Published: Monday, October 19, 2020

Global unemployment in 2020 surged due to the pandemic but some industries remain robust like logistics and e-Commerce, among others. UPS is hiring 100,000 seasonal workers. FedEx is adding more than 70,000 temp jobs for the holidays. DHL is also hiring. Amazon opened up 100,000 new positions since the pandemic began and continues to employ more people across the world.

Traditional jobs are slowly being wiped up in the new normal where human functions can be replaced by AI powered machines or systems.  The Coronavirus pandemic further exacerbated unemployment in traditional jobs widely seen in the manufacturing sector by putting 1.6 billion of the world’s workforce on edge with global economic activities grinding to a halt.

Uncertainties still loom when the unemployment trend could be abated even if lockdown restrictions have been eased. Those who lost their jobs in the aviation sector are still in limbo despite flights resuming with passengers coming in trickles due to health and economic concerns.

One thing is certain—the new normal requires contactless business which means more activities for e-Commerce and its major supply-chain, the logistics industry.


UPS, which handles nearly 22 million packages and documents on any given day, announced it’s hiring more than 100,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated annual increase in package volume that will begin in October 2020 and continue through January 2021.

“We’re preparing for a record peak holiday season. The COVID-19 pandemic has made our services more important than ever,” said Charlene Thomas, Chief Human Resources Officer. “We plan to hire over 100,000 people for UPS’s seasonal jobs, and anticipate a large number will move into permanent roles after the holidays. At a time when millions of Americans are looking for work, these jobs are an opportunity to start a new career with UPS.”

UPS said it is filling full- and part-time seasonal positions – primarily package handlers, drivers, driver-helpers, and personal vehicle drivers – by offering competitive wages across multiple shifts in thousands of locations across the country.

Over the last three years, about 35% of people hired by UPS for seasonal package handler jobs were later hired in a permanent position when the holidays were over, and about 123,000 UPS employees – nearly a third of the company’s U.S. workforce – started in seasonal positions.

The company said through its Earn and Learn program, eligible seasonal employees who are students can earn up to $1,300 towards college expenses, in addition to their hourly pay, for three months of continuous employment. UPS has invested nearly $670 million in tuition assistance – nearly $30 million a year since the program was established in 1997 – helping over 300,000 employees pay for their college education. Interested applicants should apply at

FedEx & the holiday shipping season

Anticipating peak of holiday shopping and shipping season despite the pandemic, FedEx announced it’s adding more than 70,000 seasonal employees.

The company, which rakes in on average annual earnings of more than $71 billion, said business demand this year noticeably improved.

“As our team of more than 500,000 team members is busy preparing to deliver the holidays, we once again expect to see a large number of packages traverse our global network over the 2020 peak holiday shipping season,” FedEx said on a statement on its website.

“In order to provide the best possible service during this busy time of the year, FedEx is increasing hours for some existing employees and boosting our workforce with seasonal positions, as needed. Currently, we expect to add more than 70,000 positions in the lead-up to this Peak season, with the majority of those added to the FedEx Ground network,” it added.

DHL says ‘Thank You’

The world’s leading express service provider, DHL Express, honored its frontline workers across its hubs and gateways in more than 220 countries for bravely committing to their jobs despite the threat of the virus.

Alberto Nobis, CEO DHL Express Europe, led the symbolic occasion in June marked by the unveiling of a DHL aircraft with a livery of a rainbow and a huge “Thank You” sticker.

The customized plane travels across Europe and beyond. It has so far made stops to 23 different countries and 32 different gateways including Germany, UK, Finland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Italy, Spain, and Morocco to name just a few. Further stops in Israel, Portugal and Austria are planned.

“Thanks to their efforts, we are able to maintain the stability of supply chains and critical infrastructure. With our special aircraft we want to emphasize our deepest gratitude and respect for their selfless actions and willingness to fight for a good cause,” said Nobis.

Now DHL, which has approximately one million Time Definite International (TDI) deliveries per day using its fleet of more than 260 dedicated planes, is further increasing its frontline workers announcing its need for thousands of seasonal employees to keep up with increased customer demand this holiday season.

In North America, DHL said it plans to hire 7,000 associates through the end of 2020 to handle large volumes of shipments due to the holiday season.

“This year, with an accelerated shift toward e-commerce, non-retail industries potentially seeing a resurgence in pent-up demand, and consumer goods and life sciences and healthcare companies continuing to ramp up their production capabilities, many of our customers are facing their most unpredictable fourth quarter ever,” CEO of DHL Supply Chain North America Scott Sureddin said in a statement.

 Amazing Amazon

In March, the world’s biggest e-Commerce retailer, Amazon, which has also forayed in the business of deliveries, hired 175,000 staff across its operations to help keep up with businesses and people’s growing online purchases demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, it announced it’s hiring more than 100,000 people in the United States and Canada, it’s fourth hiring spree in North America, as demand for online sales continue to peak up. The new recruits will fill up roles at 100 new warehouse and operations sites it recently opened.

Apart from that the company announced 33,000 new openings for corporate and technology workers as it rolls out sophisticated automation systems at its sites.

With more than 875,000 employees worldwide, Amazon has been consistently recognized on LinkedIn’s Top Companies, currently ranks #2 in the Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies, and was selected by Fast Company as one of the Best Workplaces for Innovators.

Amazon has more than 600,000 full- and part-time employees in the U.S., across more than 40 states and 250 different counties, two headquarters, 18 Tech Hubs, more than 150 fulfillment centers, sortation centers and delivery stations, and more than two dozen Amazon Go, 4 Star and Amazon Books retail stores. Since 2010, Amazon said it has invested more than $350 billion in the U.S., including in infrastructure and employee compensation.

On top of the company’s employees, there are more than 2 million businesses, content creators, developers and delivery providers in the U.S. using Amazon products and services to start or grow their careers. Small and medium-sized businesses selling their products on have created more than 1.1 million jobs.