DHL warns supply chain sector over looming talent gap crisis
The U.S. Bureau...
Logistics giant DHL has warned the supply chain industry that more must be done to combat the growing talent gap crisis in the sector.
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that jobs in logistics are estimated to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020, while another global study estimated that demand for supply chain professionals exceeds supply by a ratio of 6:1, with some predicting that ratio could be as drastic as 9:1
A recent DHL survey of more than 350 firms found that there are a number of reasons contributing to the talent shortage crisis in what is a rapidly evolving field.
The report ‘The Supply Chain Talent Shortage: From Gap to Crisis’ was commissioned by DHL and authored by Lisa Harrington, president of the lharrington group LLC.
Harrington said: “Leading companies understand that their supply chains – and the people who run them - are essential to their ability to grow profitably.
“However, the task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult – especially at the middle- and upper management levels. Unless companies solve this problem, it could threaten their very ability to compete on the global stage.”
The survey revealed the top factors driving the talent shortage:
Changing skill requirements: Today, the ideal employee has both tactical/ operational expertise and professional competencies such as analytical skills. Some 58% of companies’ said this combination is hard to find. But tomorrow’s talent must also excel at leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, and high-level analytic and technological capabilities.
Aging workforce: As much as a third of the current workforce is at or beyond the retirement age.
Lack of development: One third of companies surveyed have taken no steps to create or feed their future talent pipeline.
Perception that supply chain jobs lack excitement: The industry is still contending with the impression that other fields are more prestigious and offer more opportunities, fuelling lack of interest in the industry within the world’s future workforce.
Harrington commented: “Companies are now recognising that sourcing strategy has a large impact on their bottom line and ability to remain competitive.
“As one study recently found, companies that excel in talent management increased their revenues 2.2 times as fast and their profits 1.5 times as fast compared to ‘talent laggards.’ That’s a powerful advantage.
“Unfortunately, recruiting the right talent - especially at the critical mid-level and senior management levels - is proving very difficult in today’s environment.
“New technologies and fundamental areas of the supply chain have changed, meaning they now require that a person have a different and much larger skillset than required when most of the current workforce began their careers.”
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.