Logistics Industry – Sunrise Industry


According to NSDC(National Skill Development Corporation), the manpower requirement in logistics sector would be 28.4 mil by the year 2022. Though the logistics industry in India is expected to grow at 10-15% over the next few years, the major challenges faced by the industry are poor infrastructure, too many small players, lack of FDI in the sector and poor supply of skilled manpower. The skilled manpower requirement is at all the levels. At the entry level the skill gap is in core technical skills, safety awareness, knowledge about the software used in the industry. At the supervisory level, the gaps are mainly related to lack of supervisory skills, planning skills, lack of basic knowledge of warehousing practices. Basic management practices is another major gap at this level. At Managerial Level or top level, the gap is more on IT knowledge, lack of leadership skills, owner driven level, hence limited vision, cannot build manpower capabilities.

Logistics Industry – Sunrise Industry

The requirement of skilled manpower in the sector is ever increasing. At the managerial level, the typical roles are Warehouse manager, Port planning managers, Yard Managers, shipside(Quayside managers), Project managers etc. In the IT sector in logistics, there will be a big scope for programmers, Data entry operators, system operators such as GPS, RFID, bar coding machine operator etc.The technical skill roles are typically, forklift operators, stackers, mechanical trolley operators, overhead crane operators, drivers, gantry crane operators, EOT crane operators, port workers to handle the cargo, stackers, loaders, strapping machine operators, palletising operators, safety officers etc. In the Container and warehousing areas, the requirements are gate keepers, receiving –data entry operators, store keepers, inventory supervisors, truck schedulers, order receivers, container operators, Planners, data entry operators, Port material handling operator.

Besides the Indian logistic market, there is a huge demand for skilled manpower in the global logistic market. Many of the world’s big logistics companies have opened their back offices in India. They need skilled manpower in system operators, planners, and managerial staff with adequate knowledge of Port, warehousing and logistics sectors. Basic knowledge about accounting, understanding of different global rate structures in port sector, communication skills, data warehousing and system management skills are prerequisites for the jobs in the industry.

 

On one hand, there is a big dearth of skilled manpower and on the other hand there are poor facilities for training. Majority of the training happens on job. Lack of practical training, practical knowledge at several business schools offering executive development programs, which impart solely theoretical knowledge; but largely lack practical skills. Few formal training institutions for driver training , there has been practically none for operational training on associated areas — like loading/unloading supervisory, proper handling practices etc.

High cost of logistics coupled with poor infrastructure and dearth of skilled manpower has affected the growth of the sector. There is huge scope for 3PL and 4PL providers. With more and more global players entering in the Indian markets and governments thrust of developing road and rail network, the sector looks more attractive from a career point of view. Though traditionally the pay packages in the sector are low, the work environment was also not very professional( majority companies are owned by small entrepreneurs), the sector is changing toward more professional setup. In the Port/Terminal sector, the global private operators such as APM Terminal, PSA and DP World the port productivity in India has improved substantially and now matching the global standards. With more and more privatization in the sector, the need for professional work force is ever increasing.

Considering the huge skilled manpower requirements at all the levels, logistics is going to be the next best career option! Programs that are offered by School of Ports, Terminal Management & Logistics at SSOU are going to be very effective. Moreover, SSOU works closely with the sector skill council as well as offers training on the port, in simulation labs etc. Even their short terms certificate programs are useful to working professionals!

Written by Milind Kulkarni. He has been working in logistics and terminal management industry in global companies for past more than 30 years. He is now associated with Symbiosis Skills & Open University with their School of Ports, Terminal Management & Logistics.

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