Inside UPS boot camp for drivers about to hit the road on this holiday

United Parcel Service told CNBC that it intends to hire 12,000 delivery drivers to handle what is expected to be the biggest holiday e-commerce spike ever.

Almost $ 212 Billion In Holiday Online Spending This Year eMarketer predicted, more than 18% of total estimated holiday sales of nearly $ 1.15 trillion.

To find out how to handle all of these shipments, all UPS driver candidates in the US attend a one-week intensive training course at boot camp at one of 10 locations.

CNBC gained exclusive access to downtown Menlo Park, California, a few weeks before Black Friday, which is generally considered the start of holiday shopping season.

UPS training includes: driving on a mock district, carrying boxes in a car that simulates slippery sidewalk or flooring, delivery in 90 seconds, and other tricks.

Tristan Christensen, head coach of UPS, told CNBC that about 20% of candidates go through a training program she has developed to make drivers efficient and profitable.

“These are important people and are essential for us to remain profitable,” Christensen said. “I don’t necessarily talk to the driver about the overall profitability of the company. But the methods they are taught, the effectiveness in which we work, I think they understand that. “

During the holiday peak, UPS increases the number of flights by 25% and the driver can make up to 200 stops per day, which is about 33% more than the daily average.

“Sometimes I saw myself get scared,” driver candidate Fernando Su told CNBC. “Having a workout like this – being here and learning all this first-hand before I actually go out there – really calms my mind a little. Su added that it makes him “feel a little more comfortable going out. I do it myself and believe myself that I can do it. “

In the current job market, competition for the best drivers is very high. Amazon and FedEx aim to hire 125,000 seasonal workers and 90,000, respectively.

UPS that announced in September plans to hire a total of 100,000 seasonal employees, CNBC told CNBC that 30% of these workers are moving to full-time jobs.

Christensen, who started out as a seasonal employee, believes that the opportunity to pursue a career at UPS makes the company more competitive. “It’s a tense work climate. We need to make UPS attractive and attractive to people. I think offering career opportunities to people who have been laid off or laid off from their previous job makes UPS very attractive. ”

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