UPS said today it expects to hire between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated increase in package volume during the November-December holiday gift-giving season. This is the same number that the company hired last year.
Rival FedEx has yet to announced its holiday hiring plans. The company hired 50,000 seasonal workers in 2014.
“We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary holiday season jobs,” said Myron Gray, president, U.S. operations for UPS in a statement. “We have needs for various positions on all shifts at UPS locations throughout the United States.”
The full- and part-time seasonal positions – primarily package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers – have long been an entry point for permanent employment at UPS. Many senior UPS executives, including CEO David Abney, started their UPS careers as part-time employees.
In 2014, UPS spent $500 million in infrastructure improvements ahead of peak season, which some saw as an overreaction to the problems it experienced in holiday peak the prior year, when 1 million packages were delayed due to a multiplicity of issues. That year it said it was hiring 55,000 temp workers, but boosted it to 85,000 when demand spiked.
Higher-than-expected peak costs in 2014 negatively impacted the company’s bottom line, executives said in February, as capacity outstripped demand and things ran relatively smoothly.
At that time, executives said UPS would institute offsetting peak surcharges. To that end, it has been negotiating with major retail shippers about eliminating discounts for large parcels during peak, to combat increased costs from packages its network was not designed to handle efficiently.