Current Skill Deficit and challenges for Logistics Industry

Logistics has always been a people driven industry. Even the very high usage of technology has not diminished the need for people. In fact the increase in volumes and more importantly awareness and importance experienced in recent times have increased the need for people.

There has been no specific study done, however an NSDC report does put the figure at 1.77 crone new personnel. Sameer Shah, Partner JBS Group of Companies writes about the skill gap The demand for people in logistics can only grow. However the skills and capabilities of people in this sector is less than desired. The knowledge; ability to adapt; to re- act and act is still way behind what is desired or seen in other regions worldwide in our sector. Can we say like the advertising industry- “no other group has the skills, scope and scale that we have”. The origins of this problem lie in recruitment. Joining the Logistics industry is by default or as a last option. One can get a job easily here. There are no major entrance requirements and the need for personnel is very large and continuous. The Logistics industry has never proactively worked towards addressing this need. We remain too busy in execution and have little time or inclination for policy or industry centric activities. We are also too busy being competitive and challenging in our quest to get the best deals out of our vendors for our clients.

This must change. We require skilled manpower with a readiness to update themselves continually. What will and should change is the ability of the individual working here. Logistics remains a competitive field – it always has been and shall remain so for posterity. We need to appreciate that the cutting edge competitiveness with which we can challenge each other is our manpower. Technology and processes shall change but they will be available to each of us. We need to recognize that it is our people who will help us to grow in this competitive market. The need of the hour would be that we recognize that  only we can help ourselves. We are best placed to help ourselves. We could work to popularizing this segment – awareness campaign in the schools and colleges; road shows; award ceremonies; create role models for the youth to aspire to follow. We need to sell careers and scaling up in life here. We could work out standards for recruitment; minimum education- al and other guidelines; minimal  and continual training protocols;  certification; easy movement to  staff within the sector for the first  few years and then let the individual companies work on attrition issues.

This article was published in SCM Education magazine May 2015 edition