FedEx Using VR to Help Train Package Handlers

With the holidays fast approaching, delivery companies like FedEx are about to get quite busy. That means millions of packages and thousands of new seasonal employees. Package handlers who work on FedEx Ground loading docks deal with about 8.5 million packages a day. The job isn’t for the faint of heart as due to the volume and physical nature, many new hires end up quitting the same day.

FedEx is turning to virtual reality to better train workers and give them an idea of what they can truly expect with the job. They’ve partnered with VR training company Strivr to help create the program. It was initially set up as a small test pilot but has recently been expanded.

FedEx VR Training Simulates Package Handling

Fedex’s VR training program simulates loading and unloading packages in different environments. It will give employees different configurations and scenarios to deal with. The program will also allow trainers to keep track of an employee’s eyes to make sure they are focusing on the correct areas and objects. Focusing on the wrong things could lead to safety issues and damaged packages.

“It allows us to bring an immersive learning technology into the classroom so people can practice before they step foot on a dock,” said Jefferson Welch, human resource director for FedEx Ground.

VR Training Helping Improve Worker Performance

So far FedEx’s VR training has been successful as the company claims a notable “improvement of what people retain from what they’re taught”. They are also in the process of compiling data on how much money the VR data is saving the company with improved worker performance.

FedEx isn’t the first company to use virtual reality to better prepare employees. Walmart recently began using VR to train and evaluate workers. Companies like Verizon, Jet Blue and BMW have also experimented with virtual training.

Check out our articles on the world’s largest virtual hospital in Poland and Russia’s robot clones.