By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - XPO Logistics Inc said
on Friday it is hiring more than 6,000 seasonal workers for the
crucial peak holiday season, roughly 20 percent more than last
year, as the third-largest publicly traded U.S. logistics
company gears up for a surge in e-commerce deliveries.
XPO's previously undisclosed plans reflect higher
expectations for shipping demand for the holiday rush, which
starts a day after Thanksgiving and continues into early
The low U.S. jobless rate heading into peak this year poses
a challenge for XPO and other major logistics and shipping
companies, such as FedEx Corp and United Parcel Service
Inc, which must add thousands of temporary workers to
handle as much as twice their normal package volumes.
XPO is a big player in e-commerce deliveries through its
contract logistics and "last-mile" services for heavy goods,
with a North American supply chain workforce of roughly 26,000
employees across 388 sites.
"E-commerce is the most exciting dynamic in the logistics
industry," Troy Cooper, XPO's chief operating officer, told
Reuters. "We're constantly in recruiting mode, and we're ramping
that up for the holiday peak."
Shoppers this year will shell out more on holiday gifting,
according to industry surveys, buoyed by a labor market that is
churning out more jobs every month, rising home prices and stock
markets hovering at record highs.
Deloitte Consulting predicts sales of $1.04 trillion to
$1.05 trillion between November and January, with e-commerce
sales jumping 18 percent to 21 percent.
FedEx expects to add more than 50,000 positions and offer
extra hours to some current staff, while UPS said it would add
95,000 seasonal workers.
Seasonal hiring plans also give a glimpse into retailers'
holiday sales expectations as the companies make nearly a third
of their annual sales during the period.
Amazon.com Inc said it would hire 120,000 workers
in the U.S. this season, same as last year, joining a list of
U.S. retailers cautious about their hiring plans amid an
improving job market.
Department store operator Target Corp was an
outlier, however, with plans to hire 100,000 workers for the
holiday season, 43 percent more than last year, as its
turnaround efforts take hold.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Stephen
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