May 17, 2020

UK to fill 285,000 logistics jobs & transform industry image

Supply Chain Digital
Supply Chain
supply chain news
Freddie Pierce
4 min
Moloney, Skills for Logistics & Simmons, Norbert Dentress.
In the UK, Norbert Dentressangle is involved in a long-term scheme in the South East Midlands to support the 91,700 people already working in logistics...

In the UK, Norbert Dentressangle is involved in a long-term scheme in the South East Midlands to support the 91,700 people already working in logistics, boost the logistics sector and answer an urgent need for 285,000 logistics workers over the next six years.

The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has pledged a commitment to supporting its essential logistics sector and the 91,700 plus people working in logistics within the SEMLEP area.

SEMLEP has also calculated that there will be an additional 285,000 logistics positions to fill across the South East Midlands between 2014 and 2020, with considerable demand expected for both management and elementary positions.

At a launch event at Northampton-based Norbert Dentressangle Logistics UK SEMLEP unveiled its five-year strategy which calls for an urgent need to recruit new as well as younger people into the sector, retain and train up existing staff and the need to change and transform the image of logistics so that it is viewed as a viable career of choice.

The discrepancy between the sector’s workforce needs and numbers of people working in and entering the sector to work is identified as a pressing challenge, and this SEMLEP Logistics Report, written by Skills for Logistics calls for urgent change if the sector and UK economy as a whole is to thrive.

Councillor Mary Clarke, SEMLEP Director and Chair of the SEMLEP Logistics Group, said: “Logistics is critical to the South East Midlands and our central location, which makes us the most accessible area in the country. We have already attracted many of the world's most successful brands, including the likes of Tesco, Amazon and John Lewis.

“The South East Midlands is a key logistics hotspot and this report underpins our commitment to supporting the 91,700 plus people already working in logistics within the SEMLEP area and to creating new jobs and a skilled workforce to take the sector forward." 

The area’s established regional infrastructure, combined with labour and low property costs, has made logistics the joint number one biggest employer in the South East Midlands (alongside the healthcare sector), home to the likes of Culina Logistics, Yusen Logistics, Kuehne & Nagel, Wincanton, C Butt, Maxim and Eddie Stobart.


The SEMLEP Logistics Report identifies three key areas which need to be prioritised to enable the South East Midlands logistics sector to meet sector demand and to retain its reputation as a UK logistics hub spot.

1.       Attract new blood, talent and competence

Too few people see the Logistics Sector as a viable career option so a portfolio of projects directly aimed at attracting new recruits into the sector is recommended – to encourage younger talent (only 7% of the workforce are currently under 25) as well as female and minority representation. It is recommended that these projects engage with those with pre-existing logistics training, including ex-offenders and people leaving the military.

2.       Develop people so they can progress up the career ladder

Evidence suggests that people who begin in the Logistics Sector can become stuck, leave and take their skills and experience with them. There is need to develop people so they are work ready and also support people so they can progress up the career ladder.

3.       Support

The skills and training system often feels perplexing to a non-specialist - a system of funding and acronyms seemingly developed without the end user in mind. Consequently, even when an employer or individual is minded to seek training, the experience can be so gruelling that they may become disillusioned to the extent that they turn their back. This cannot be allowed to continue. 

 Skills for Logistics has identified a number of sites across the SEMLEP area which have the capacity to support current organisations as well as future development potential. These include Daventry’s Prologis Apex Park, Corby’s Prologis Park, Marston Gate’s Prologis Park, Magna Park in Milton Keynes, Prologis Park in Dunstable, and Prologis Park Pineham in Northampton.

SEMLEP has already lined up substantial funding and expertise to boost the area’s logistics sector and is funding key transport schemes in 2015-16 and 2018-19 which include Woodside Link in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Western Bypass, London Luton Airport surface access and A421 dualling from Milton Keynes to J13 on M1.

A number of proactive focus groups are run by SEMLEP, all committed to supporting the growth of companies based in South East Midlands.

The SEMLEP Skills Forum, chaired by Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton, is developing a Skills Strategy to capture the skills priorities for economic growth.

For a copy of the SEMLEP Logistics Report log on to www.semlep.comor call the SEMLEP team on 01234 436100


Share article

Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

Share article