DHL prepares for peak season as holidays approach

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DHL Supply Chain, America’s leader in contract logistics, said it plans on hiring 12,000 seasonal warehouse associates as it prepares for the peak season in the retail sector.

Of those seasonal hires, the company said 9,000 will be in the company’s warehouses that cater to retail and eCommerce customers in anticipation of 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. Nonetheless, we expect volumes to remain strong,” DHL Supply Chain CEO Scott Sureddin said. “It is with this in mind that we have made substantial investments to provide the resources needed to support both our customers and employees.”

The company said it will turn to innovative technology solutions – like 2,000 collaborative robots – to help offset labor challenges in staffing its 497 operating sites across the country. DHL’s North American Network includes over 151 million square feet of warehousing space. Robots will help increase efficiency, company officials said.

“Last peak season, our collaborative robots played a key role in our success; they helped to improve throughput by up to 20%. 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%,” DHL Supply Chain CIO Sally Miller said.

Last year, the company said it processed over 3 million orders during the seven days between Black Friday and Dec. 3. Of those orders, 99.98 percent were processed within promised service levels, the company said.

The company also announced it is partnering with BigCommerce to help online business owners across the country capitalize on opportunities to expand their portfolio of products worldwide.

“We are looking forward to working with BigCommerce and potentially helping their merchants across industries strengthen their global reach,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO at DHL Express. “As the needs of small startups, mid-market businesses, and large enterprises continue to evolve and heighten, we will be able to further support B2B and B2C BigCommerce merchants by offering quick, reliable, and expedited shipments that will help maximize their cross-border potential.”

BigCommerce merchants who join the program will receive discounted DHL Express rates and will have special access to DHL shipping and logistics professionals who can help unlock global sales opportunities while helping merchants ship internationally. Merchants will also have access to DHL’s On Demand Delivery tool that allows customers to receive notifications and offers worldwide flexible delivery options.

“Our partnership with DHL further illustrates our commitment to providing merchants access to the highest-caliber technologies and service providers available in the industry,” said Russell Klein, chief commercial officer for BigCommerce. “DHL shares our desire to help merchants sell more and grow faster to maximize success, and we look forward to working together to mutually support customers.”

DHL ships to and from more than 220 countries. Over the last several years, the company has invested in improving its flight capabilities and infrastructure to meet the needs of e-commerce shippers.