Can’t find warehouse workers? Turn to a 3PL

If your company runs its own warehouse, finding warehouse workers is likely an ongoing concern. Warehouse employees are hard to come by and competition for their services is more heated than ever. In this article, we’ll examine how a third-party logistics (3PL) company can take these concerns off of your plate.

How hard is it to find warehouse workers?

Find-warehouse-worker-graph  The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated growth of eCommerce dramatically. As consumers were forced to stay home and shop online, eCommerce sales grew by 44% in 2020 compared to 2019. With this rise in eCommerce adoption comes a greater need for warehouse talent to perform pick and pack and multichannel fulfillment. This need has been so great that warehouse employment reached its all-time high in September 2020 with 1.25 million workers.

Despite record employment levels, finding the talent your warehouse needs can be a real challenge. For starters, the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt and some warehouse associates are not yet ready to return to work due to safety or household/childcare concerns.

The second and perhaps most significant issue in finding warehouse workers is that there are many companies competing for the same talent. This competition typically comes in the form of higher wages and more attractive benefits packages, making it difficult for small or mid-size operations to match the enticing offers that the big 3PLs and e-retailers can provide.

A third issue is that, even after your recruit and hire an associate, you still have to guard against employee turnover. In 2019, the turnover rate among warehouse associates was estimated to be 32.5%.  When you consider that turnover can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 per employee, this can be a very expensive problem.


How can a 3PL help?

If recruiting, hiring and retaining warehouse associates is part of your company’s core skill set, then continuing to operate your own warehouse may make sense. If, however, you find that you struggle to adequately staff your warehousing operations and that your customers’ experiences are suffering as a result, then handing your warehousing operation over to a 3PL may work to your benefit.

When you partner with a 3PL for shared or dedicated warehousing, the 3PL is responsible for all staffing. This includes warehouse associates and management.

3PLs have several staffing advantages that you likely do not have on your own:

  • 3PLs have resources that are solely committed to the recruitment, hiring, training and retention of employees
  • Many 3PLs have multiple distribution centers and can cross train employees so that they can fill in gaps at other locations during high-volume periods
  • 3PLs tend to have close working relationships with temporary staffing agencies, helping to ensure adequate coverage during peak periods
  • 3PLs are typically well known to prospective employees in their markets, making recruitment easier


Turn to Kanban Logistics instead of finding warehouse workers yourself

Located in Eastern North Carolina with over one million square feet of warehouse space, Kanban Logistics is a trusted logistics partner to companies in the manufacturing, food, pharmaceutical, aerospace, automotive, import and retail industries.

At Kanban, our employees are truly seen as part of our family. In the last 5 years, we’ve only had a few departures among our warehouse team – and one was due to retirement. The majority of our warehouse associates have been with Kanban for many years and use that experience to guide the logistics operations of our valued customers. To learn more about Kanban’s warehousing and logistics services, contact us today.