Logistics and supply chain management is often misunderstood, yet it’s a critical business function for every retail organisation and is vital to consumers. Simply put, it’s about delivering products and services at the right time, to the right place, at the right cost to the company and customer, and at the right quantity and quality. It’s an intricate process requiring a lot of work at each stage, meaning there are plenty of career opportunities up for grabs. In this post, we’re exploring why you should consider a career in this thriving industry.
To help bring this area to life, let’s take the example of fruit and vegetables at your local supermarket. The products first need to be sourced from the farmer or manufacturer who grows them, then a schedule created to plan what resources, space and transport are needed to move the items, and at what cost. Finally, the supermarket needs to put this plan into action: appropriately storing and transporting the food to the point of consumption, ensuring that the items reach the shelves in good condition, ready for you to purchase at a fair price.
Or think about how this process applies to Amazon, one of the largest supply chain operations in the world, and all the steps that have to be completed before a product turns up at your door. But logistics and supply chain doesn’t just apply to big organisations – any company that sells products is dependent on an efficient supply chain and in turn, they’re dependent on skilled workers to bring goods to consumers.
A thriving industry
Employing 2.5 million people, it’s a rapidly growing industry that’s been boosted by the increase in online retail and evolving customer expectations; we expect to have things with more convenience and at greater speed than ever before, which directly impacts organisations’ supply chains as they compete to satisfy customer demand in a cost-efficient manner.
Brexit is also playing a role in this growth, as new customs regulations have resulted in more administration work at UK borders, to process goods coming into and going out of the country. In turn, demand for import and export employees has shot up. And we’re seeing another promising trend: employers are increasingly open to candidates without a logistics background, but who can bring transferable skills and experience from other industries.
Breadth of opportunities available
A career within the logistics and supply chain management sector could see you working for the company who directly sells products to consumers, be that in retail, manufacturing or pharmaceuticals, for example. Or you could be employed by a logistics and distribution company, who specialise in storing, transporting and distributing goods for those retailers, or a freight forwarding company who transport goods on behalf of importers and exporters.
You might be dedicated to one transportation method or work across a range of methods, whether it’s moving goods by sea, air, rail or road. There’s plenty of scope to be had and roles available at coordinator, supervisor or managerial level, including:
- Freight Forwarder / Freight Agent
- Logistics Coordinator
- Customs Agent
- Import/Export Controller
- Transport Planner
- Warehouse Supervisor
- Supply Chain Manager / Logistics Manager
Working in this industry means you’ll be a part of the overall customer experience and have the essential role of bringing goods to consumers. Whether you’re already working in the industry and are looking for a new role or want to transition into this area, help is available.
View all of our available job opportunities in the freight and supply chain space, and apply for a role today.