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Get hip or go under, new report warns logistics industry

[ March 30, 2012   //   ]

The transport and logistics industry is just not ‘hip’ enough to attract talent and is in urgent need of a radical transformation by 2030 if it is to stay competitive, according to a new report by accountancy firm PWC published on 29 March.

It said that poor pay was a turn-off and training is vital for survival and, on present trends, the odds were against people still finding the sector ‘attractive’ to work in by 2030.

In Winning the Talent Race, Volume 5 of PwC’s Transportation & Logistics 2030 series, experts said the brand perception of the industry needs re-invigorating and it is also seen as one of the most poorly paid and least diverse to work in.

PwC created 15 theses which were presented to a panel of 94 senior executives from 24 countries working in business, government and the scientific arena and were asked to stud different hypothesies.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske, PwC’s global T&L leader, said: “These findings are hugely significant for the T&L sector showing us what must be done before the industry falls into a critical state. Poor image, poor pay and poor prospects are all perceptions that currently choke the industry. The reality is that there are rewarding, multinational opportunities out there that need tapping into.”

Panellists also predicted pay would continue to be generally low compared with other industries. In the UK for example, the average salary of someone in finance could be over £51,500 but in T&L it was only £28,000.

Firms also needed to seriously change their image or brand to stay competitive and there are still real issues in recruiting women in traditionally male roles. With women’s education improving worldwide, T&L firms should promote talented females through the ranks.

Ruske added: “Logistics companies in emerging countries need to invest heavily in training, development and education to prepare for a younger workforce. Those in developed countries will also need to incorporate these factors into their business strategies as well as working to improve their recruitment and retention methods and adapting the workplace to support an older workforce.”

“Jobs in this industry can evolve into great careers for people but the image must change, and soon.”

In response to the report, managing director of GEFCO UK, Tristan Balayn, said: “As (the) report demonstrates, the future of the logistics sector depends on its ability to attract and retain top talent and to demonstrate that a career in logistics can be rewarding, varied and exciting. Transport and logistics is vital to the UK economy;  we need, as an industry, to better-communicate its value to the very best-qualified people.”

He added that Gefco would soon be launching a new graduate scheme in the UK which sets out to develop a diverse pipeline of talent in the business, and offers graduates excellent long term career prospects.


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