How to Prevent Holiday Burnout in the Shipping Department

Shipping managers can help hard-working employees stay productive and healthy with these tips.

Shipping, Warehouse, Fulfillment

In many companies, the holidays mean busier times and more work for employees — and this is perhaps most true at the loading dock. Workers in the shipping department might go from a regular 40-hour work week to 60 hours or more. 

As a shipping manager, you’ve got to make sure your staff can handle the increase without burning out. 

“During the holiday season, a company’s order volumes can double, triple or quadruple,” says Mark DeFabis, CEO of IDS Fulfillment and co-chair of the Fulfillment Council of the International Warehouse Logistics Association. “The ability to ramp up and still meet your deadlines is a real challenge.” 

One way to prevent burnout, DeFabis says, is showing employees your gratitude. “When you’re working hard like that, you want to know your efforts are appreciated.”  

Watch this video to learn tips for preventing holiday burnout in the shipping department. 



Video Transcript
The holiday season can be a stressful time for shipping departments. Orders are likely to increase significantly, expanding the workload for you and your staff. 

Part of a shipping manager’s job is to protect employees from burnout during the holiday season. Pay attention to scheduling, training and safety, and showing your appreciation. 

Some shipping department employees want extra hours, while others can’t take them on. Talk to your workers and do your best to accommodate their needs. 

Creating a weekend shift can open up more options for employees and make the weekdays less hectic, but sometimes you still need seasonal workers to fill the gaps. Just make sure to train them before the rush starts. 

Whether workers are full-time or seasonal, continuously remind them to keep safety top of mind. Shipping department managers should be on the lookout for incorrect lifting techniques and unsafe equipment use. 

At the end of the day, people just want to feel appreciated for their extra efforts. Simple things like coffee and doughnuts or a catered lunch can go a long way. 

With a little planning and thought, you can make sure your warehouse remains productive during the holidays and keep your workers happy, too.