C.H. Robinson, the Eden Prairie-based freight and cargo logistics provider, confirmed on Monday that it laid off 650 of its workers last week.
According to a statement by the company, the positions have been eliminated across the company, not specific to Eden Prairie. Transition assistance is being provided to those affected.
CEO Bob Biesterfeld cited slowing freight demand as the reason for the layoffs.
During the company’s most recent earnings call, Biesterfeld addressed the natural cycle of the freight market and the efficiencies C.H. Robinson is gaining from its technology and automating processes.
“On our second quarter earnings call in late July, I talked about a deceleration in demand that we were expecting to see in the second half of 2022 in three large verticals for freight, including weakness in the retail market and further slowing in the housing market,” he said. “We’re now seeing those expectations play out and with slowing freight demand and price declines in both freight forwarding and surface transportation markets.”
Throughout the changes in the freight cycle, Biesterfeld said C.H. Robinson maintained its focus on “improving the customer and carrier experience” while scaling digital processes and operating models to foster “sustainable and profitable” growth.
“Today, we believe that we’re entering a time of slower economic growth, where freight markets will continue to cool from their pandemic peaks and will operate more reliably at more normalized rates with fewer disruptions,” he said. “These changes in market conditions, coupled with many successful endeavors on our digital road map directed at scaling our model to be more efficient, are allowing us to take actions to structurally reduce our overall cost structure.”
According to the Star Tribune, the cuts involve 3.6% of the 17,945 employees C.H. Robinson reported it had earlier this month. The company has just under 2,600 employees in Minnesota.
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