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Transport layoffs: Navigating job cuts in 2024

Transport layoffs: Navigating job cuts in 2024
Transport layoffs: Navigating job cuts in 2024

A wave of restructuring is reshaping the transport sector as Cruise, Vroom, UPS, Flexport, and others reduce their workforce.

The recent layoffs highlight a shift in operational strategies as transport companies strive to adapt to the evolving market dynamics.

Recent transport layoffs

Cruise, GM’s self-driving subsidiary said it would be laying off 900 employees in an attempt to recover from an accident in October 2023, when a driverless robotaxi struck a pedestrian. A recent investigation into the incident revealed “leadership lapses.”

Meanwhile, Flexport is planning an additional 20% reduction of its workforce, while UPS says it could cut up to 12,000 jobs this year. Here is a recap of the biggest job cuts expected in 2024. 

UPS’s cost-cutting measures

Just months after the Teamsters union negotiated a tentative contract agreement with UPS, the shipping courier released a revenue outlook for 2024. Since the contract agreement includes pay raises for full- and part-time union workers, cuts had to be made elsewhere. 

As reported by Fox, CEO Carol Tomé said during a conference call that by reducing staff, UPS could save up to $1 billion. Jobs on the cutting board are management roles and contractors. The courier company is also ordering workers to return to the office, five days a week. 

Flexport’s staff reduction

Flexport – having already laid off 20% of its workforce – told Supply Chain Dive it is gearing up for an additional layoffs “in the coming weeks.” 

This is the third round of layoffs for Flexport, after cutting 20% of its workforce in October, followed by another 20% in December. 

ALSO READ: Flexport faces ‘third major staff cut in a year’

Getaround’s workforce restructuring

Car-sharing company Getaround says it will trim its North American workforce by 30%, saying the company’s focus is “on profitability and sustainable business growth necessitated by this difficult workforce reduction program.”

This strategy includes immediate job cuts, which would result in saving approximately $7 million on an annualized run-rate basis. Getaround CEO Sam Zaid says while the restructuring plan is “the right decision for the business,” it doesn’t make it easier to say goodbye to “talented colleagues.” 

Vroom’s operational wind down

Houston-based online car retailer Vroom announced that it would discontinue its e-commerce operations. This includes not only closing down some of its facilities, but also laying off 515 workers in Texas.

Despite “significant efforts” to raise additional capital, CEO Thomas Shortt said in a statement they were “ultimately unable to raise the necessary capital in the current market. Obviously, we are very disappointed with this outcome.”

Penske job reductions

Logistics company Penske, headquartered in Pennsylvania, issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notices, detailing the job cuts of more than 200 truck driver and warehouse jobs. 

Workers at Penske facilities in Washington and Oregon will know their fate by March 31. The WARN notices, as seen by Freightwaves, included the layoffs of 36 Oregon-based truck drivers and 22 warehouse workers.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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