UPS Inc. said today it expects to hire between 90,000 and 95,000 temporary employees to handle the expected surge in pre-holiday package deliveries, about 5,000 to 10,000 more workers than it hired for the 2013 holiday period.
Atlanta-based UPS said it has begun the hiring process for seasonal positions as package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers, and drivers. UPS anticipates more applicants this year than in 2013, according to John McDevitt, the company's senior vice president of human resources and labor relations. UPS hired 85,000 seasonal workers last holiday season.
The increased hiring is part of UPS' broad-based plan to manage the demands of 2014 "peak-season" traffic and to avoid a repeat of the 2013 holiday shipping season when millions of packages from online orders hit UPS' system close to Christmas, causing massive backlogs and resulting in many late deliveries.
For the first time in history, UPS this year will operate a full domestic air and ground network the day after Thanksgiving; in the past, only its air network was open that day. The company will add about 6,000 package-delivery cars for the peak season, a move it said will boost its car capabilities by 10 percent over last year's period.
UPS is also building "mobile distribution center (DC) villages" across its U.S. network that will begin operating during the peak period. At its "Worldport" primary global air hub in Louisville, Ky., UPS will add 900 staging positions for trailers that bring letters and packages to the 5-million-square-foot facility for sorting and that then deliver sorted pieces to their final destinations. The trailer expansion will bring the number of trailer-staging positions at Worldport up to 1,500.
These and other changes are part of a $500 million program to expand the company's capabilities for the 2014 peak and for the years ahead, UPS said. The increases in package car and trailer-staging capacity, as well as the use of the mobile DC villages, will remain in effect throughout the year, UPS said.