The U.S. warehousing and transportation industry gained about 50,000 jobs last month, which represents one of the highest employment growth rates in our current economy. The sector now has 200,000 more jobs than it did pre-pandemic and about 5% more than a year ago. Of course, many of these roles are seasonal; but others are likely to be permanent positions to support the ongoing shift from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce.
In fact, some early forecasts expect a record $910 billion in global e-commerce sales this holiday season alone, up 11% from last year. In light of this powerful growth, the warehousing industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the job market since 2019. Jason Miller, a professor of supply chain management at Michigan State University, told Marketplace that these jobs are likely to stick around after the pandemic.
And there are even more opportunities on the horizon. Just this week, Kroger announced that it will add 700 e-commerce warehouse jobs in North Carolina throughout a five-year period, and Walmart noted its plans to add 300 full-time warehouse jobs in Tennessee. Last week, Amazon reported that it’s on track to add 1,000 new fulfillment center jobs in Daytona Beach, Fla.
With such intense demand, it’s unsurprising that companies are struggling to fill these roles. United Natural Foods Inc. is offering wages as high as $28 an hour and a competitive benefits package in order to entice the 160 workers it needs to staff its distribution and fulfillment center in North Whitehall Township, Pa. In the United Kingdom, DHL is offering salaries as high as 43,000 British pounds — about $56,757 — to new warehousing hires at its East Midlands Airport distribution center.
Skilled workers, smart employers
It’s clear that organizations everywhere are highly motivated to attract, recruit and retain warehousing professionals, and there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this field. But the first essential step is providing people with the education necessary to fulfill critical warehousing roles. In support of this objective, ASCM and Prologis, a global leader in logistics real estate, have developed the Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate. This program enables individuals to build their knowledge in warehousing, distribution, inventory management, product storage, packaging and shipment, sustainability, and more.
In addition, for those with some experience in these areas, earning the certificate is a wonderful way to enhance current knowledge — and it’s eligible for 20 certification-maintenance points for APICS credential holders. Most importantly, as this year’s ASCM Supply Chain Salary and Career Report reveals, embarking on a warehousing career is an efficient pipeline to the highly rewarding field of supply chain.
But there’s another key factor to consider: Just as people upskill and improve themselves in order to acquire these career opportunities, companies must put in the effort to become first-rate employers. This involves providing fair wages and benefits, work-life balance, a safe and inclusive culture, and other strategies that help ensure employees feel valued. This is a pivotal moment, and ASCM’s industry-leading education and training, research, partnerships, and thought leadership are here to make your supply chain organization an employer of choice.