Industry Insights: The new wave of the logistics workforce

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CartonCloud logistics workforce insights

The Q3 CartonCloud Logistics Index Report identified a strong cultural shift within our industry, changing the way companies attract and retain their staff. One of the most critical issues facing the logistics industry right now is workforce shortages.

As the logistics sector continues to grow in both size and value, and flow on-impacts from the global pandemic continue to impact day-to-day operations.

The unprecedented nature of the pandemic highlighted the critical role of supply chain stability and flexibility in the logistics industry. However, it also brought with it border closures coupled with workforce restrictions, illness, and precautionary health measures that dwindled the workforce at a time when logistics operations were booming. 

Industry Insights Show Logistics Hiring Culture Shift 

Our recently released CartonCloud Logistics Index (CCLI) 2022 Q3 industry whitepaper has shown how these ongoing workforce shortages are driving businesses to think outside the box in terms of hiring.

Gathering insights from over 80 members of the logistics industry, from operational roles to senior management, the Q3 CCLI report detailed a strong cultural shift angled at boosting workforce recruitment and retention, with businesses examining and defining their own company culture, hiring strategies and training opportunities in order to be more attractive to potential employees. 

“What it means to work in logistics is changing. Our industry is changing, and while our bread and butter will continue to be the storage and movement of goods, the services and specialized roles supporting this are evolving,” said Mr Fletcher. 

“We’re seeing a major shift in the attitudes and tactics surrounding hiring within our industry. 

“Companies are working to become more attractive employers by offering flexible work arrangements, on-the-job training, higher pay structures, and career advancement, looking at their own company values and culture.” 

The Logistics Industry's Evolving Workforce 

“We’re seeing higher adoption of technology, and greater expectations from both customers and other industry partners, which are driving data capture and sharing — and changing the roles of those working in the industry," Mr Fletcher said.  

“Importantly — while automation and robotics allow teams to achieve higher output, simplify complex tasks, and remove manual paperwork — the need for skilled personnel will never be replaced.

“Higher tech adoption across the industry brings new roles for data analysis and may open up greater opportunities for hiring flexibility in terms of roles and hours. What’s more, companies using easy-to-operate technology are finding it easier to train and assign workloads within their workforce, which means they can expand their hiring beyond those with prior industry experience.”

Post-Pandemic Trends Influencing Workforce Shortage 

The wider impact of post-pandemic flow-on includes rising labor and operational costs (rising fuel prices and warehouse rent among a few), changes in workforce preferences and accelerated retirement. These trends have coupled to change the workforce of our industry, driving companies to explore new avenues in terms of workforce attraction and retention. 

“The global pandemic showed us how essential the strength of our supply chains are, and brought the world of logistics into the spotlight,” said CartonCloud Founder and CEO Vincent Fletcher. 

“What’s more, it has drawn back the curtain on the industry in terms of innovation in technology, management, and employment opportunities within the industry — and what we’re seeing right now, is logistics companies bringing this to the forefront of their company culture and values in order to attract and retain staff, and even to win new business.” 

CCLI Q3 2022 results infographic

Using Company Culture to Set Themselves Apart

Having more defined company values can not only be used to set employers apart from the pack, CartonCloud COO/ Head of North America Shaun Hagen explained. 

Strong company values also provide an opportunity for employers to look at bringing in new skill sets, and offering their customers new services, like data analysis, sales and marketing. 

“It may be that new logistics employment opportunities emerge as a result of the cultural shifts toward hiring,” he said.

“New members of the workforce will continue to diversify the skill sets held within companies, and the adoption of technology and software solutions will continue to reduce the load of manual tasks, allowing companies to invest in other areas for growth.”

Wider Hiring Net Supported by On-The-Job Training 

Mr Hagen said another key attraction tactic many companies said they were currently undertaking, or planning to for 2023 hiring, was offering on-the-job training. 

“For many companies, offering greater access to staff training has become a key action in staff attraction and retention tactics. 

“Others are looking internally, to build a company culture for staff retention, through offering better pay, professional development and training, and building a positive, welcoming environment for their workforce.”

CCLI respondents cited flexible hours, on-the-job training, healthy team dynamics, wage incentives, and appropriate benefits as some of the tactics they were using to attract and retain their staff.

The report gathered insights from over 80 members of the logistics industry, across all roles and operations, from Australia and North America. 

To find out more, download the full CartonCloud Logistics Index here, or contact the team at CartonCloud for more information on intuitive software systems, built for logistics people. 

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Streamline your logistics operations today

Streamline your logistics operations today
Oct 23, 2023
Dec 23, 2022
 min read

Streamline your logistics operations today

Streamline your logistics operations today