Transportation & Logistics industry not ‘hip’ enough to attract talent

Posted on 29 Mar 2012 by Tim Brown

A new report out today has warned the global transportation and logistics industry (T&L) is in urgent need of a radical transformation by 2030 if it is to stay competitive.

In the latest version of PwC’s Transportation & Logistics 2030 series, “Winning the Talent Race,” the company says the brand perception of the industry needs re-invigorating and it is also seen as one of the most poorly paid and least diverse to work in.

The business advisory firm created 15 theses which were presented to a panel of 94 senior executives from 24 countries working in business, government and the scientific arena. Over the course of eight weeks they studied the hypothesies and were asked to assess the probability of each one on a scale of 0-100%.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske,  global transportation and logistics leader at PwC, said: “These findings are hugely significant for the T&L sector showing us what must be done before the industry falls into a critical state. Poor image, poor pay and poor prospects are all perceptions that currently choke the industry. The reality is that there are rewarding, multinational opportunities out there that need tapping into.”

Panellists also predicted pay would continue to be low in the majority of jobs in comparison to other industries. In the UK for example, the average salary of someone in finance could be £51,620 but in T&L it’s £28,022 – 46% less. In the US, a worker in the electricity/energy sector could earn $65,150 on average, but in T&L this would drop to $43,400.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske, PwC’s global T&L leader, said: “T&L companies should take a critical view of their remuneration systems and benchmark their salaries against their peers and other industries and recognise salary alone isn’t the only way to compensate employees.”

Key findings include:

  • There is a 68.3% probability that firms will need to seriously change their image or brand to stay competitive and a low 35.6% probability of it being seen as a ‘hip’ and attractive sector to work in by 2030.
  • The likelihood of the workplace changing to adapt the older workforce will also be key and panellists gave that a 55.5% probability rating. Probability ratings were less than 50% when the group considered if females would play a more active, and senior, part in T&L firms and also if the T&L industry would be more diverse in comparison to other sectors, by 2030.
  • Diversity will continue to be a big issue, the report states. Research shows there are still real issues in recruiting women in traditionally male roles, such as truck drivers or seafarers, but by 2030 it’s estimated 40% of women worldwide will have completed secondary education and T&L firms should embrace this and promote talented females through the ranks. A stronger brand and more diverse workforce will ultimately attract the brightest and best, the report says, and that could lead to improved results.

Mr Ruske said: “There is no doubt that investment is needed in all of these areas. Logistics companies in emerging countries need to invest heavily in training, development and education to prepare for a younger workforce.

“Those in developed countries will also need to incorporate these factors into their business strategies as well as working to improve their recruitment and retention methods and adapting the workplace to support an older workforce.”