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Skills shortages negatively impacting most logistics businesses

More than three quarters of logistics leaders experiencing workforce shortages in their operations, survey suggests.

The findings of the survey are revealed in a new report from software service provider Descartes. The report, How Bad Is the Supply Chain and Logistics Workforce Challenge, notes that 76% of the supply chain and logistics leaders surveyed are now experiencing notable workforce shortages in their operations. Furthermore, 37% of respondents describe the resource shortage they face as high to extreme.

While the issue is affecting companies’ financial, peak season and logistics partner performance, the survey also showed it’s taking a toll on customer service performance, with 58% specifying that workforce shortages have negatively impacted service levels.

The acuteness of the workforce challenge varies by organisational function, the report continues, with the areas suffering the most from resource shortages in transportation operations (61%) and warehouse operations (56%).

While these areas are admittedly highly labour-intensive, findings also revealed that 55% of supply chain and logistics leaders said knowledge workers are the hardest to hire — and they are becoming increasingly important as supply chain and logistics operations become more technology-enabled and data-driven.

“With economies cooling and Covid more manageable, the general thinking has been that companies would see the workforce shortages of the past few years subside; however, this does not appear to be the case,” said Chris Jones, EVP, Industry at Descartes.

“The study shows that, post-pandemic, supply chain and logistics organisations continue to struggle getting the labour, knowledge workers and leaders they need to thrive.

“With business performance driven by both the quantity and quality of the workforce, supply chain and logistics leaders need to rethink not just their hiring and retention strategies but also how technology can help to mitigate current and future workforce challenges.”


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  • Supply Chain