Transport and logistics provider Geodis will hire some 5,000 seasonal workers across 20 of its campuses in the U.S. and Canada for peak season this year, marking the start of the sector’s annual burst of job activity for the winter holiday shopping season.
The new, temporary workers will join Geodis’ current rolls of 13,000 employees in North America as the company bulks up its warehousing and distribution center capabilities.
Geodis is forecasting that the extra employees will be needed to handle an expected level of “healthy” consumer spending patterns following record 2021 holiday sales, as global supply chains continue to stabilize after seeing post-pandemic turmoil and delays in recent months.
"With the economic conditions consumers and our clients are facing, it is now more critical than ever that businesses have a trusted third-party logistics partner with the expertise and team to navigate the unexpected," Anthony Jordan, Geodis in Americas Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said in a release. "At Geodis, we are positioning ourselves to successfully steer through all of today's supply chain dynamics for our customers."
The announcement comes as economists are struggling to forecast shopping patterns for the upcoming holiday season, saying their usual models are complicated by variables like the emergence of new covid variants, a surge and drop in fuel prices, rising inflation and interest rates, and tense negotiations between dock workers and port managers on the U.S. west coast.
For example, the enterprise software vendor Salesforce said inflation could rein in shopping levels during the 2022 peak season. “As we look beyond the pandemic, we’re seeing online shopping demand level off, with consumers finding a new balance between digital and physical channels. We’ve already predicted that the modest growth of the 2021 holiday shopping season could foreshadow this year, with our first-quarter data showing a 3% year-over-year decrease in global digital sales,” Salesforce said in a blog post. “But, given the significant surge of the last two years, there’s no cause for alarm relative to the health of online shopping.”
Another mixed forecast came from the National Retail Federation (NRF), which said that core retail sales rose in July even as overall sales reported by the Census Bureau remained flat on a monthly basis. Both calculations showed year-over-year gains as consumers kept shopping despite high inflation, but price pressures are changing the mix of goods in shoppers’ baskets. “Retail sales grew in July, supported by declines in prices at the gas pump and moderately lower inflation,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a release. “Consumers are adapting to higher prices by prioritizing essentials like food and back-to-school items, and retailers are working hard to absorb the impact of higher costs and help customers stretch their hard-earned dollars.”