Demand for talent in logistics is skyrocketing amid global supply chain disruption. Anuja Nadkarni reports. 

Logistics, manufacturing and transport employers are desperate for talent as demand for e-commerce puts more pressure on supply chains.

Seek employment data shows IT and manufacturing, transport and logistics jobs rose 46 percent last month, the highest among all industries, compared to the same time last year.

Asia Pacific logistics group TMX NZ general manager Caleb Nicolson says his business has also been looking for experienced supply chain professionals for months as it grows in the New Zealand market.

“Knowledge in the area has become hot property in the last couple of years. Even in our team of 15 we’ve taken on an undergrad,” Nicolson says.

“There’s high demand for experienced people in this industry because people are having to rethink their entire logistics systems.”

According to logistics company DHL, in the United States, demand for talent is expected to outstrip supply by six to one.

The TMX business has 190 advisers across Australia, Singapore and Vietnam and launched in the New Zealand market last year. It has worked with Bunnings, NZ Post and Cool Pak logistics in procuring distribution centres.

Volatility in the global shipping industry continues, with congestion at ports causing delays and prices of freight skyrocketing.

Last week, shipping giant Maersk told customers it was going to stop forward booking and would only allow spot pricing. 

“There’s high demand for experienced people in this industry because people are having to rethink their entire logistics systems.”
– Caleb Nicolson, TMX NZ

Nicolson says all businesses are grappling with how they can manage the rising costs of getting goods.

He says global supply chains were already under pressure before the pandemic.

Increased e-commerce consumption during lockdowns put pressure on retailers trying to keep up with growing demand.

“Suddenly when a lockdown happens, requirements for online [orders] increase up to eight times, it’s phenomenal. And that is what’s challenging business leaders.

“It’s no longer just in time, it’s just in case. We’ve got clients who have three times the warehousing space that they had two years ago.”

But Nicolson says the supply chain problems coupled with labour and skills shortages will push industries towards investing in automation. 

“The wage rate inflation and the general inflationary pressures. That would be if I’m setting an executive table that is top of mind, because my – if I’m in retail and warehousing – wages are a significant proportion of my spend, and I’m going to be looking to how to mitigate that.”

He says Amazon’s Kiva system has been a game changer for the industry and will likely be the future for managing logistics systems.

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