Airborne Inc., the parent company of overnight package-delivery company Airborne Express, has initiated the first system-wide workforce reduction in the company’s 55-year history, largely in response to weakened economic conditions.
The layoff of approximately 640 employees, about 2.5% of Airborne’s total workforce, will span all subsidiaries and nearly every organizational level, from officers and management to staff and line personnel.
“This decision, certainly one of the most difficult and painful Airborne has ever made, was necessitated solely by the continuing drop in customer shipping that has affected our entire industry,” said Carl Donaway, Airborne’s president & COO. “Unfortunately, we see no indication of any turnaround in the near future.”
The workforce reduction, which is expected to trim $26 million to $28 million in costs annually, includes employees at the company’s Seattle headquarters and at various domestic and international operating locations. The company will take a one-time charge estimated at $3.1 million to $3.6 million in the second quarter for severance packages and other restructuring costs.