Good opportunities in the region for Logisticians

Roger OakdenGlobal Logistics

The employment report.

The Supply Chain and Logistics 2013-14 Employment Market Report has recently been published by the specialist recruitment firm Logistics Executive at

This is the 7th year of the report and with more than 5,000 respondents in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, it carries a good level of confidence in its findings.

Of the respondents, less than 5 percent do not hold a tertiary qualification and more than 50 percent are executives in supply chains, logistics, logistics services and procurement across 41 industry sectors. This illustrates the broad range of jobs and careers in the disciplines; a factor that few people realise.

Across the regions, there is a strengthening in demand for qualified talent and near 60 percent of respondents state that their organisation is facing increasing challenges in sourcing and hiring supply chain and logistics professionals. However, tightening visa restrictions on expatriates means that employers must look to recruit and train local residents and support domestic education and training in supply chains and logistics.

The primary reasons that respondents resigned from their previous employer were: inability to advance their career; increased salary and not agreeing with their ’employer values’.

So, it appears that to retain good staff, employers need to concentrate on career advancement. However, with flatter organisation structures, advancement may not be in a promotion,  but rather in gaining more responsibility, knowledge and skills.

Logistics employment by region

In SE Asia, there is demand for talent in the life sciences, utilities, oil & gas, industrials & chemicals and 3PL service providers sectors. However, across the economies there are insufficient practitioners and not enough young people considering supply chains and logistics as a career. A major challenge for business is to support  action, including education and skills development, to build the pool of talent required for improved supply chains in the region.

In North Asia, the operative terms are rebalance, re-configure and re-skill as economies change, the most extensive being China as it moves from an export manufacturing economy to a consumer, service orientated and innovative economy.

At junior and middle management levels there is a critical shortage of leadership and soft skills, with McKinsey consultants identifying that less than 20 percent of managers have had the opportunity to develop their capabilities.But will talent be willing to move across Asia and within North Asia for development opportunities?

In the Middle East, more than 70 percent of respondents said their organisations were recruiting, especially in supply chain IT solutions and related technologies and logistics professionals in the mining and construction, chemicals/industrials, FMCG, healthcare and retail sectors. As with other regions, it is becoming harder to source and hire quality staff.

Although the economy in India has not had stellar growth, there are strengthened hiring intentions as major companies move to outsource their logistics operations, but this has intensified existing skill gaps. Emphasis is now being placed on recruiting talent who are qualified in supply chains and logistics, but it will require industry to support the development and staffing of these professional courses.

Share This Page

About the Author

Roger Oakden

LinkedIn X Facebook

With my background as a practitioner, consultant and educator, I am uniquely qualified to provide practical learning in supply chains and logistics. I have co-authored a book on these subjects, published by McGraw-Hill. As the program Manager at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, I developed and presented the largest supply chain post-graduate program in the Asia Pacific region, with centres in Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong. Read More...