Oakland e-commerce fulfillment company shifts to packing COVID-19 test kits

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic forced hiring freezes and furloughs, but one Oakland company has done the opposite.

E-commerce fulfillment company Unchained Logistics recently hired 33 Bay Area locals including David Greene. “I started putting in applications to a lot of websites companies looking for employment," said Greene.

The company needed extra help to take on a new task. “Our focus changed a bit when this whole pandemic came down,” said CEO Daniel Weiss.

Unchained Logistics packs and ships items for businesses, usually things like makeup, clothes and perfume subscription boxes, but when a Southern California research lab called and needed someone to assemble and send out their coronavirus testing kits, Unchained Logistics stepped up.

“These test kits are so desperately needed. The difference between knowing if you have COVID-19 and not knowing that uncertainty, it’s huge,” said Weiss.

In the last three weeks, they’ve sent more than 200,000 tests to medical facilities all over the country.

“It could also give a person hope as far as knowing the kits are being made and being distributed out,” said Greene. The idea of giving someone hope right now is what keeps these new hires motivated.

“The vibe out here is something else, the diversity here and just everyone in the community coming together working with each other,” said Greene who’s grateful to know where his next paycheck is coming from, but it’s not about the money. “It’s a fulfilling process because you come in each and every day you know you’re doing something not only impact you but impact someone else,” he said.