Demand for skilled logistics workers expected to rise

Demand for skilled logistics workers expected to rise

Spring Professional says the move towards multi-channel retailing means logistics players will increasingly need workers who can handle new modes of supply chain management.

SINGAPORE: Demand for skilled supply chain and logistics workers is expected to rise by 15 to 20 per cent over the next two years.

This is according to a forecast by recruitment services firm Spring Professional. It said the move towards multi-channel retailing means logistics players will increasingly need workers who can handle new modes of supply chain management.

The logistics landscape in Singapore is evolving, and players like Jurong Cold Store aim to stay on top of it. The small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) offers storage and transportation solutions for frozen food. It has invested S$30 million into an automated logistics system.

It said what is key is getting the right talent. Said Mr Darren Lee, business director at Jurong Cold Store: "Labour is getting more expensive, so we do have a problem, or face challenges attracting the right talent to our operations, which are becoming more sophisticated in the hardware and also software."

According to Spring Professional, Singapore's logistics sector employs 192,600 professionals. And with rising internet connectivity, the recruitment firm said that it is important that these professionals adapt to the changes technology brings.

It is not a simple matter of online versus offline retailing. Often, it is a convergence of the two, and that means logistics providers may have to modify their business models to serve new and emerging needs.

Spring Professional said the focus should be on helping workers attain niche or specialised skills to serve evolving supply chain models.

Mr Kenneth Koo, associate director of supply chain and logistics at Spring Professional (Singapore), said that there will be a huge demand for creative new supply chain talents. He added that there will be “potential fierce competition for these people and obviously … (it will be) potentially more expensive than anticipated to hire these people".

Spring Professional also notes that the trend leans towards staff movement out of third-party logistics providers into in-house logistics teams of companies.

This means that service providers will find it a challenge to retain staff, and these logistics firms will need to develop comprehensive staff talent and retention plans to ensure they have a strong talent pool.

Source: CNA/ms