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Gig Economy and the Future of Warehouse Work

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Gig Economy and the Future of Warehouse Work

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“We’re hiring” seems to be hanging from just about every warehouse door these days. With more people sending more packages, third-party logistics (3PL) companies like Amazon and ShipHero must grow to keep up with the soaring ecommerce industry. And now more than ever, we depend on our people to get the job done. 

While there has always been a blend of traditional employees and gig workers, like seasonal workers coming in to help with the holiday rush, 3PL companies are now keeping these workers on longer to keep up with the increased shipping volumes from COVID-19.

Pick-and-Packers and fulfillment specialists are in high demand these days. Are you considering joining the growing number of gig workers that are taking on warehouse jobs? If so, let’s take a look at the future of warehouse work, and why more and more 3PL companies are partnering with the Gig Economy.

The Future

As customers have come to expect same-day or two-day delivery, logistics companies and ecommerce fulfillment providers are under pressure to get faster. For that reason, 3PL companies have started increasing the size of their team and investing heavily in people and technology. 

There are 400,000 current job openings in US Manufacturing, which is only predicted to increase significantly over the next decade. 3PL companies need to get talent on their team now, or risk getting flogged down with too many orders and not enough people to fulfill them. In order to hire quickly and effectively, 3PL companies are turning to gig workers.

Technology Leads to Trust In the Gig Economy

For 3PL companies and fulfillment providers, the biggest expense is warehouse worker salaries. The next largest expense is investing in the training and tools to attract the best candidates and produce highly effective teams.

For that reason, warehouse jobs are being posted on sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, GigSmart, and more, so that the companies can quickly and thoroughly find a candidate pool that’s large enough to fill their demand. Companies can choose the right applicants that match their needs, and oftentimes the platform facilitates payment and provides support for gig workers.

Through advancements in technology and interconnectedness, companies and workers both have reason to trust in the Gig Economy.

Flexible Workforce Management

Hiring gig workers provides flexibility for work schedules, and allows the warehouse manager to only hire for what they need. Flexible workforce management reduces overall cost to the customer, and allows the 3PL company to offer its gig workers more competitive hourly wages. For that reason, warehouse and fulfillment jobs are extremely popular gigs on most job-hunting platforms.

Not only that, gig workers in the logistics industry are often hired for a certain expertise or for seasonal availability. These specialty workers can offer their services for a well-defined scope of work.

It’s More Than a Gig

When you start a warehouse job, what you’re joining is a traditional team of employees as well as some gig workers like you. We engage our temporary workers and regular employees the exact same way, where other industries may treat gig workers like commodities. For that reason, more and more seasonal gig workers are becoming regular employees, because when the gig is up, they feel part of the organization.

Ready to find your side hustle? Whether you’re looking for temporary/seasonal work, or maybe something more long term and fulfilling (excuse the pun), consider a warehouse gig with the local 3PL companies, fulfillment providers or warehouses in your area. Hey, you could even become a ShipHero!

We’re currently building an experienced warehouse team to pick, pack & ship orders in our 150,000 sqft warehouse located in Pennsylvania. You’d be part of a team that helps ship over $5 billion of e-commerce orders a year.

ShipHero is a leading provider of SaaS 3PL software for ecommerce fulfillment.

Special thanks to our friends at Shiphero for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.

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