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UPS to hire as many as 95K holiday workers

Michael Sasso
Bloomberg News

United Parcel Service Inc. plans to hire as many as 95,000 seasonal employees to handle the anticipated increase of holiday shipments, about the same number as last year.

The expected number of temporary workers is based on “initial volume forecasts from customers” for the period that starts in November and lasts through January, the Atlanta-based company said Tuesday. The bulk of the new positions will be package handlers, drivers and driver helpers.

An accurate gauge of peak season demand can make a large difference in performance for the world’s largest package- delivery company. Two years ago, UPS was under-staffed and ill-equipped for a surge in late-season online orders and delivered some packages after Christmas. Last year, the company added too many employees in some areas and some workers and facilities were left idle at times during the holiday season.

While the company hasn’t released a holiday-season shipping forecast, the hiring plan provides a glimpse into the company’s expectations. In July, UPS had said it expected to hire fewer temporary workers.

UPS rose 2.5 percent to $99.34 at 10:07 a.m. in New York. The shares had declined 13 percent this year through Monday. FedEx Corp. gained 1.2 percent on Tuesday.

Getting the holiday season wrong hurt UPS in the last quarter of 2014. Profit fell short of forecasts, and the shares tumbled the most in more than eight years.