Evans Distribution Systems Logo White Version

Gig Economy Keeps the Supply Chain Moving

In the complex world of logistics, a flexible labor solution is critical to success. Enter the gig economy, which was expected to reach $455.2 billion in 2023, according to Statista.  A gig worker is comparable to a freelancer, where someone takes on work for a period of their choosing. In today’s digital age, the gig economy runs on app technology, to efficiently match employers to workers based on immediate need.

Benefit to Workers

Gig workers benefit from a flexible work life. They have more control over their schedule, type of employment, workload, and income. In an industry like logistics that is known for long hours and labor intensity, having control empowers employees to work at their own pace without risking loss of employment.

Benefit to Employers

The gig economy has a very promising impact on the warehousing and transportation industries. The logistics world can be very unpredictable, with shortages, seasonality, and consumer demand. The need to scale up and down quickly is constant. Gig workers provide companies with access to flexible labor at the most critical times.  

The technologies behind gig work are designed to optimize time and demand. It has become an efficient tool in an industry that runs on lean operational models. It also helps to reduce costs associated with expensive labor and the resources required to find employees such as a human resources team or agency. Another benefit of the gig economy is access to a larger labor pool. Most apps focus on a certain type of work and companies can cast a wider net in a highly targeted way.

What Apps Are Out There?

Uber Freight – Carriers book their own loads and receive payments through the Uber Freight app. The app also optimizes the route, ensuring that carriers are making the most of their time on the road.

HapiGig – An app that matches warehouse managers with on-demand labor. Registered workers are given ratings based on skillsets, attendance, and availability. They also go through a background screening process before they can sign up. The app verifies training for certain positions like forklift drivers.

Bacon Work – This app is specific to warehouse labor. It has customized shifts and back-up workers that guarantees workers are sent to every shift.

Gigsmart – This app has a variety of talent categories including warehousing, delivery, and logistics. It allows you to advertise full-time and part-time positions.

Roadie – This app allows the delivery of any size, anywhere. And it provides a number of options from 2-hour delivery, returns, cold chain, and more.

WarehouseGig – This app offers full-time, part-time, and contract positions in the warehouse industry.

Shift in Employment Mindset

The gig economy may be shifting the labor force for good. The days of working for one company for an entire career seem unbelievable to the younger generations. And companies are also becoming accustomed to having a changing business model that only hires workers when they need them, especially during peak season. As we move away from full-time employment we will have to adjust our hiring processes to create a more fluid workplace environment.

This could possibly mean a different approach to training and process development. One of the downfalls to the gig economy is having a workforce that is unengaged and unqualified—which can lead to quality issues. The future depends on the ability to adjust our work environment to maintain quality standards and customer satisfaction.