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DHL Supply Chain Adds Staff, Robots for Holiday Surge

DHL Supply Chain, a contract logistics arm for the Americas of DHL Group, revealed plans to hire 12,000 seasonal warehouse associates as a part of its preparation for the annual peak season for the retail sector.

Of the 12,000 associates, 9,000 will be placed in the company’s warehouses that cater to its retail and e-commerce customers in anticipation of the higher holiday shopping volumes.

“We are seeing a return to pre-pandemic growth rates as the pent-up demand that fueled the high surges has been tapering off in most product categories,” said Scott Sureddin, CEO, DHL Supply Chain. “Nonetheless, we expect volumes to remain strong. It is with this in mind that we have made substantial investments to provide the resources needed to support both our customers and employees.”

With 497 operating sites across the company’s North American network and more than 151 million square feet in warehousing space, DHL Supply Chain is also turning to innovative technology solutions to meet the demand. This year there will be 2,000 collaborative robots, up from 1,500 robots in 2021 peak season, to help offset the industrywide labor challenges and increase efficiency in the warehouse operations.

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“Last peak season our collaborative robots played a key role in our success–they helped to improve throughput by up to 20 percent,” said Sally Miller, chief information officer of DHL Supply Chain. “Additionally, the feedback from our associates has been overwhelmingly positive as they are able to maintain consistent productivity levels throughout the day thanks to the reduction of their walking time by 60 percent.”

In 2021 DHL Supply Chain processed more than 3 million orders during the seven-day time period between Black Friday (Nov. 26) and Dec. 3. Of those orders, 99.98 percent were processed within promised service levels.

Rival UPS said last month it would bolster its seasonal ranks by more than 100,000 workers as it heads into the peak shipping season. The company said seasonal full- and part-time positions are available for last mile delivery drivers, driver assistants, commercial drivers and package handlers.

UPS said it would utilized a digital application and hiring process to speed up recruiting efforts, allowing applicants to bypass the need for interviews in most cases. It noted that applicants can be hired in as quickly as 25 minutes in this digitally based recruiting process.

UPS said about a third of its seasonal hires last year, or about 35,000, transitioned into permanent positions, with delivery drivers earning an average of $95,000.