The Rise of E-commerce: Meeting the Distribution Workforce Demand in Upstate SC

The Rise of E-commerce: Meeting the Distribution Workforce Demand in Upstate SC

The global pandemic and subsequent lockdown of 2020 changed the world as we know it. One of the biggest trends from that time that is still playing a tremendous role is the rise of e-commerce. Online shopping had been available since 1994, and was already a major player in the retail space during the 2010s. But when the world went into lockdown, e-commerce skyrocketed by an estimated 43%, according to the US Census Bureau. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down, even three years later.

All this online shopping, coupled with continuing pressures on the supply chain, also means an unprecedented demand for warehouse and distribution workers across the globe, including in Upstate South Carolina. So how can distribution centers meet these challenges?


One of the biggest ways to quickly ease the pressure on your distribution workers is to embrace automation. Automated processes can allow you to fulfill orders more quickly and efficiently and allow your workers to focus less on tasks that can take up valuable time. Automation can also be a valuable tool when it comes to day-to-day distribution tasks such as picking and packing duties, which can, in turn, reduce the risk of workplace injuries.

Temporary Workforce

Another way to meet the surge in demand is by adding temporary workers as needed. Your business likely experiences seasonal ebbs and flows, and you may be reluctant to bring on new full-time employees. Partnering with a temp agency allows you to quickly scale up to meet higher demand, and then to scale back down when the season is over. A good staffing agency can get you highly skilled and experienced distribution workers within just a couple of days, for a contract length that meets your individual needs.

AI-Driven Data Analytics

Of course, the best way to ensure that your company is not overwhelmed by surging demand is to predict when that demand is likely to occur. Your distribution center offers opportunities to gather an immense amount of data at every stage of the process. And AI can help you make sense of that data, leading to better forecasting than ever before.

Automation and AI will never replace human distribution workers. But now is a great time to upskill your existing workforce, and perhaps bring a few new people on board who are experienced in working with these technologies. The demand for e-commerce is only likely to grow in the future, so it’s time to make sure your distribution center is ready for it.

Ready for New Talent?

Are you looking for new short-term or long-term distribution employees? Phillips Staffing has been serving Greenville and Upstate South Carolina for 55 years. Contact our Greenville corporate office to learn how we can help!

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