In another sign of gig economy growth, FedEx and UPS have found that leaning into this emerging space actually made them stronger. At the pandemic’s height, it appeared that gig work was going to compete with traditional package delivery services. The two biggest carriers were inundated with shipments, raising prices and becoming selective about what they were going to deliver. The result was unsatisfied customers. This sort of environment creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to seize the moment.
One such company was Veho, a next-generation shipping alternative whose operation enabled gig workers to drive their own vehicles, wear their own clothes and get paid as they went. Meanwhile, UPS has been supplementing its union drivers with “personal vehicle drivers” deliver packages in their own cars, a program their new CEO has been touting. And FedEx did something very similar to optimize their delivery routes by hiring about 6,000 contractors as part of their “alternate vehicle program.” What’s really interesting is that they recently classified their flexible workers as W2 employees who would be eligible for benefits.
Then again, FedEx has the economies of scale to afford doing this. Another large company that also took advantage of the gig economy’s mainstreaming is Amazon, which allows gig workers to handle a massive amount of overflow. This all bodes well for the growing gig economy. Flexible work is becoming a viable option that’s just way too attractive to resist for not only employees but also employers that are dealing with scalability. There’s so much growth in the model and lots of opportunities for my gig-work staffing company, Gravy Work, and others that have embraced this type of work. No doubt, we are on the leading edge of an evolving U.S. labor market.
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