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The Logistics Skills Gap

Labor Market Trends for the Modern Supply Chain

December 9, 2021 by Clare Coffey

Every day seems to bring new reports of supply chain chaos causing shortages for consumers and slowdowns to the economy. As our supply chains have grown more globalized and more complex, maintaining an adequate labor force of skilled logistics professionals who can maximize efficiency and solve emerging problems has never been more important. 

The Logistics Skills Gap: Labor Market Trends for the Modern Supply Chain, a new report in partnership with Coyote Logistics, examines the shape of the modern logistics professional that companies desperately need. 

A Sign of Strain: Logistics Companies Are Changing Their Posting Strategy

We can see the urgent need to fill logistics roles when we look at the way posts have changed over the last few years. Between 2019 and 2021, there was a 40% increase in the share of postings offering on-the-job training. There was a further 45% increase in the share of postings offering career advancement opportunities. Most notably, there was a 333% increase in postings requiring no previous experience.  Companies are increasingly willing to fill their open jobs with entry level applicants, or attract workers from other industries looking to make a career switch.

Big Data Skills Are In Demand

Logistics professionals are in high demand, but so are particular skillsets. There’s strong demand for emerging, experimental technologies like artificial intelligence and the blockchain, but an even stronger theme is big data. From Python to SQL to Tableau to data science, there’s an urgent need for people who can process and analyze data, and use their findings to inform strategic and tactical decisions.

Emerging Skills Are Shaping Supply Chain Roles

The sheer volume of data required by the modern supply chain is creating new roles focused on its management. Between 2016 and 2021, logistics postings for jobs with cybersecurity in the title grew by over 800%. Roles focused on policy, robotics, and cloud computing also saw significant growth.

 

Skill Change is Transforming Existing Roles

We’re not only seeing new roles emerge downstream from skill demand, we’re also seeing existing roles change. For example, within supply chain specialist roles, demand for critical thinking grew by nearly 120% between 2016 and 2021, while product development grew by 80%. While a supply chain specialist may once have resembled sales and operations roles, acting as a liaison between vendors and businesses, it’s now a strategic, data-focused role closer to that of a product manager. 

These are just a few key findings from The Logistics Skills Gap. You can read the complete analysis of how skill demand is shaping these critical roles here.

 

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