Logistics Firms Cut 17K Jobs in February Amid eCommerce Slowdown - Modern Distribution Management

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Logistics Firms Cut 17K Jobs in February Amid eCommerce Slowdown

The layoffs came as the overall U.S. economy gained 311,000 jobs in February.
Retail Warehouse full of Shelves with Goods in Cardboard Boxes, Workers Scan and Sort Packages, Move Inventory with Pallet Trucks and Forklifts. Product Distribution Logistics Center.

Logistics companies cut nearly 17,000 jobs last month as eCommerce growth stalls, new economic data shows.

Trucking, warehousing and parcel-delivery companies eliminated a combined 16,900 jobs in February, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary employment figures released March 10 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a significant jump from January, when the logistics industry laid off 2,200.

The layoffs came as the overall U.S. economy gained 311,000 jobs in February, driven primarily by growth in service sectors such as restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes, according to the data.

February is typically a soft month for logistics hiring as companies pull back after peak shipping season during the holidays, but the latest employment figures suggest a “broader cooling of demand,” Glassdoor Inc. Chief Economist Aaron Terrazas told the Wall Street Journal.

“We’ve seen all of the big retailers that do eCommerce talk about slowing demand and pulling back on really the massive investments they’ve made in terms of warehousing and distribution capacity,” Terrazas said. “That’s really a big part of what’s driving the courier, messenger and warehousing decline.”

Warehousing and storage companies cut 5,500 jobs in February after adding 1,500 in January, according to the BLS data. Courier and messenger companies cut 2,900 jobs in February after laying off 5,000 in January.

Among the “big retailers” feeling the effects of stalling eCommerce is Amazon, which announced after the new year that its layoffs would exceed 18,000 jobs.Logistics Firms Cut 17K Jobs in February Amid eCommerce Slowdown

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