Holiday Help on Your Wish List? Consider a 3PL.

For those of us who lack an army of elves and eight lightning-fast reindeer, staffing can be one of the biggest challenges of holiday logistics.

Seasonal labor is especially hard to come by this year. Why is it such a struggle to find temporary help? We’re experiencing a particularly tight labor market. There are simply fewer workers available, with unemployment holding around 5 percent for the past year, according to job-search site Indeed.com.

A survey conducted by Snagajob found that 82 percent of employers are facing serious challenges filling their temporary holiday positions, including a lack of qualified workers (44 percent); a lack of available workers (34 percent), and competition due to openings by other employers (30 percent).

While the National Retail Federation reports that retail hiring will remain about the same from last year, comScore suggests the biggest increase will be in transportation and warehousing.

Added competition for employees prompted retailers and warehouse and logistics firms to start searching for temporary workers in August, a month earlier than in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Snagajob study shows that employers are spending 16 percent more time on hiring than in 2015.

Logistics Outsourcing Helps to Address Seasonal Labor Issues

Want to avoid the time, cost and headaches of seasonal staffing? A 3PL with scalable resources can help you to accommodate holiday labor needs.

An established 3PL will have a scalable pool of reliable, experienced workers ready when you are. They provide the training, handle scheduling, and assume the overhead investment – so you don’t have to. This can be particularly valuable when seasonal fluctuations can make workload inconsistent, leading to frenzied activity one week and idle hands the next.

At Saddle Creek, for example, the company’s 2,700-plus associates help the 3PL to take its customers’ seasonal logistics needs in stride.

For nearly two decades, Coty Inc. has relied on the company to handle its packaging needs— including seasonal display and gift pack assembly. Saddle Creek accommodates Coty’s complex requirements for fluctuating warehousing space and an army of assembly workers during an intense peak period between June and September. The operation ranges from a low of 50,000 square feet to a high of around 250,000 square feet. An average gift set line takes about 20 people to run. During the busy season, Saddle Creek runs 16 to 18 lines.

Pura Vida Bracelets also values Saddle Creek’s flexible space and staffing during the holidays. Last year, Pura Vida’s Thanksgiving weekend volume was more than 10 times that of a typical long weekend. To ensure sufficient capacity, Saddle Creek expanded staffing, tripled the number of shifts, and added order management software and material handling equipment to further increase efficiency.

Each of these customers recognizes that outsourcing can help them accommodate their seasonal labor needs so that they can concentrate on their core competency. Want to learn more? Watch our Pura Vida video and read our Coty case study.

A good 3PL partner can be downright magical – and much easier to find than elves and reindeer. Something to consider for Holiday 2017!

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