The early phases of the pandemic showed Amazon what happens when demand spikes above what a warehouse network can handle. The company struggled to manage incoming product and outgoing packages. Order fulfillment slowed, and Amazon temporarily barred non-essential items from coming to warehouses.
The solution, in part, was hiring. Amazon announced plans to hire 100,000 fulfillment workers in mid-March and by mid-April, it had done so. More square footage is another part of the fix. CFO Brian Olsavsky said the company would increase its square footage by 50% YoY by the end of 2020.
For Amazon’s first-ever peak season in a pandemic, the company is focused on safety first, capacity second and shipment speed third, according to Olsavksy. Amazon aimed to hire 200,000 workers for peak season 2019 — the first with one-day Prime shipping — which puts its total hiring for the year not out of the normal realm, though with different timing.Supplychain Dive