The professional roles in logistics are changing following the growing market demand, not only in terms of tasks, but also, and above all, of skills. Logistics is – almost as per definition – a dynamic and transforming sector. Indeed, there are more and more factors that are changing the way in which each role today contributes to the creation of added value and the success of the business.
There are many factors that are contributing to targeted professional research: automation and digitization, market and demand evolution, the impact of e-Commerce, an increasing level of competitiveness, a rapid transformation of the expectations of B2B and B2C customers in an increasingly demanding market, unprecedented business models… These elements are profoundly transforming the world of logistics, with important consequences also for employment, since many functions will be increasingly automated, both in the warehouse and in delivery management, with a more frequent use of drones, autonomous driving vehicles, 3D printers, etc.
Socio-cultural development, environmental impacts, generation gap, new regulatory framework (such as the new national collective labor contract in Logistics): the constantly evolving scenario requires professional figures with an increasing level of training, specific skills and abilities in different areas.
Human resources and the General Management of the main logistics operators are progressively searching for skills instead of qualifications, meaning that expertise is key in the development of a company’s Value Proposition.
Not all warehousing operators can afford to invest in full robot automation, so the need for human workforce stays high and employees demand a pay increase. While, on the other hand, many businesses see that automation increases workforce stability, job satisfaction and productivity while reducing recruitment needs – a big win/win for the staff and management, according to a recent Australian study.
The future “most wanted” positions will include, among others:
- Distribution Managers, to optimize paths and distribution of products, while organizing IT systems, negotiating contracts and managing staff;
- Supply Chain Engineers, to optimize the supply chain by finding new ways to improve the production and transportation of products while maintaining relationship with vendors and distributors;
- Quality Managers, to meet product standards and expectations;
- Specialized truck drivers, in particular for ADR products and multimodal transportation.
Another aspect to take into consideration is population aging in Europe that will lead to labor shortages. In Europe the percentage of employees approaching the retirement age (i.e. currently 50-64) in the road transport sector is higher than the average percentage for other industry sectors, according to “Transportation & Logistics 2030” study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In addition to that, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in logistics are estimated to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020, so companies need to focus on finding specialized staff.
Companies will need to get compensation levels right for both men and women – and that includes more than just wages. Benefits and working conditions will be important too, because they increase productivity and help workers feel they have a share in the organization’s success, which is an important factor when it comes to keeping talents on-board. Clear career paths for advancement and improving working conditions are vital too.
Attracting more women to a traditionally male sector will also bring advantages in terms of creativity and innovation, which are definitely increased by cultural and gender diversity.
By making sure their current personnel is satisfied, companies can improve their employer brand and therefore attract more talented people.
 Source: The future of job report 2018 – Word economic forum