10 things eft’s been reading this week
Out of stock? How a lack of labour is putting the brakes on growth in the logistics industry.
Solving a labour shortage is one of the most difficult challenges for an industry. It requires time, planning, investment and training. These strains are even more challenging for those trying to keep the supply chain moving than in other industries.
Take trucking in the US, which may need wholesale cultural change. It’s an industry where 94% of drivers are men and often those drivers face poor working conditions, which is leading to a rapidly ageing workforce and extreme turnover. This is before we get onto wages for the sector. Data suggests that current pay is still more than 20% below the wage levels for truckers received 40 years ago in real terms. Some analysts believe that wages need to increase by more than 40% to attract the right people in (see the Business Insider article below). Instead of soaring pay packets though, wages are stubbornly refusing to head upwards to the necessary degree, with American take-home pay trickling upwards in 2018 and long-distance trucking pay rising by just 1% in the year to June (see Bloomberg’s article).
Whilst the shortages are accelerating the push to self-driving and platooning, these have yet to fully mature technologically, yet alone pass regulatory hurdles.
This has serious consequences, as more than 70% of domestic freight in the US is moved by truck. It is not just truckers as well, with shortages across our industry, from tech experts to warehouse pickers.
Furthermore, this is a period where economic migration is being squeezed, unlike the past, exacerbating the already tight market.
Therefore, in this week’s 10 things, we look at the talent shortage, how bad it is and what might be done to change it.
‘What Does a Trucker Look Like?’ It’s Changing, Amid a Big Shortage. [New York Times]
Overcoming the Warehouse Labor Shortage with Automated Solutions. [Manufacturing.net]
IoT, the talent shortage and robotics. [Logistics Management]
GO-Biz Releases Cybersecurity Labor Market Study for Supply Chain Industries. [Supply Chain Management Review]
Rail increasingly in sweet spot as trucking capacity crisis hits peak season. [Logistics Management]
Ongoing Labor Shortage Underscores Need for Optimized Warehouses. [Multichannel Merchant]
What’s Holding Back Wages in America? [Bloomberg]
If you would like to ask questions live to our “addressing the talent shortages in the logistics industry” interactive panel at the 20th Annual Logistics CIO Forum: North America, then book your ticket now.