Another holiday season is upon us and once again it looks like there will be a shortage of seasonal employees to help with the holiday rush. If this year so far has given any indication, there will be “Help Wanted” signs up all over. This of course includes retail and fulfillment. With the approaching 2022 retail peak season, many fulfillment operations worry that they will not be able to scale to demand and may need to consider new ways to solve their labor issues.
Supply Chain Labor Woes
It has been a tough year for supply chains, with disruptions and delays to contend with, in addition to hiring difficulties. In 2021, warehouses experienced a 49% turnover rate, causing businesses to re-evaluate their hiring processes and employee opportunities. Part of the issue in finding and retaining warehouse workers is the job itself, which has a reputation for being dirty, boring, and exhausting. However, many warehouse positions have come a long way and are now using technology and smart infrastructure to get the job done.
How a 3PL Can Help Fulfillment Labor Shortages
The solution to fulfillment labor challenges is as easy as working with a 3PL. Shippers are using their 3PL (third-party logistics) partners to help with some of the labor shortages that they are experiencing across the supply chain. A 3PL has the following advantages when it comes to hiring and retention:
- – Better Opportunity. Many workers want to find opportunities to learn skills that will be useful but say that they are hard to find. A 3PL can help to create the idea that there are opportunities for workers that want to learn and advance. This can be carried into future job opportunities for the employee. Seasonal work can bring about inconsistent or erratic hours, but a 3PL provider can offer a consistent schedule with flexibility because they work with multiple companies in the same facility.
- – Lower Labor Costs. In-house fulfillment operations are costly when wages, benefits, and rent are all factored in. A 3PL is able to spread the costs of hiring and retention of workers across its customer base, which results in competitive salaries and benefits packages that encourage workers to stay. It also attracts a larger pool of talent.
- – Improved Technology. Investing in fulfillment technology is a must. This can be a lot for a smaller-sized shipper, but many 3PL’s utilize a warehouse management system (WMS) in addition to automated and semi-automated fulfillment process that make the picking and packing process more efficient.
- – Training Processes. Because they have years of fulfillment experience, 3PL’s are able to train new warehouse employees quickly. This is especially useful during the peak holiday season when the use of seasonal employees becomes important. Being able to onboard new employees properly and efficiently means they can start contributing faster.
Advantages of Outsourcing Your Warehouse Employment
Allowing your 3PL can help your business become more efficient and offers the following advantages:
- – Taking the Load Off of HR. Most likely, your HR department is struggling across the board to fill positions. Being able to outsource fulfillment to a 3PL partner can cut down on the strain on internal resources and allow HR to focus on other areas of the business.
- – Labor Costs. Finding a new warehouse associate can be quite costly. With the high turnover rate in fulfillment positions, these costs can soar out of control, particularly for a smaller company. By having your 3PL handle warehouse employment, these turnover costs are handled by the 3PL, as are the salaries, healthcare benefits, and insurance so that fulfillment becomes a fixed rather than variable cost for your business.
- – Business can peak and wane depending on demand and the time of year. A partnership with a logistics provider enables your business to scale when needed without having to incur the costs of hiring additional personnel.
A 3PL Can Make Your Peak Season More Efficient
A 3PL like Red Arrow Logistics has extensive knowledge about managing seasonal surges. Whether you have a labor, fulfillment, or shipping issue, we can help you optimize productivity during this time of year while creating solutions to solve your hiring and retention challenges.
Your Trusted Partner
At Red Arrow Logistics, we provide expertise and white glove customer service with fast-growing, complex, and high-value supply chains. As the next-generation model of logistics companies, we offer tailored transportation and logistics solutions — from single shipments to complex over-dimensional and international orders.
Red Arrow offers the scale and scope of services including air, ocean, and ground transportation to meet the budget and schedule requirements of the largest and smallest companies alike. If we can be of assistance, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 425-747-7914.