FedEx will handle peak season if it can recruit enough staff

In an interview on US national TV this weekend, FedEx CEO Fred Smith said that the logistics giant will make holiday deliveries on time, only if it can recruit enough staff. This comes amidst a nationwide logistics recruitment crisis. He said that FedEx is set to handle more than 100 million items this festive peak season.

“We’re ready, assuming that we can get the employees,” Smith said in an interview with CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’. “The lack of employees, particularly since last spring and into the summer, partially because of the Delta variant and partially because of the stimulus which hit right before the Delta variant took hold of a lot of the country, created a lot of employment issues.”

Smith said that there has been a surge in job applications with FedEx processing 90,000 job applications in the last week as compared to 50,000 in a one week period in May. The CEO admitted that the lack of staff in the company was contributing to delays in delivery, and that the surge in applications could well rectify the problem.

Smith also thanked the US Congress for moving the federal vaccination mandate (where companies with more than 100 employees must demand COVID-19 vaccinations in all their staff) from December to January as this would have impacted FedEx’s operations even further and during the peak delivery time. At the same time he said, “But the people that operate the pickup and delivery systems, the warehouses and the fulfilment and sortation centres that make this country’s logistics system go, there’s a fair number of them, a large percentage, that simply do not want to be vaccinated.” At the same time he didn’t deny that COVID is a serious health issue.