With the tremendous growth in the e-commerce industry, especially because of the post-pandemic escalation in online shopping and increasing urbanisation, the logistics industry today has a wide range of job opportunities. These roles are in numerous sectors and aimed to ensure smooth supply chain management, and prompt and safe delivery.

For those looking to enter this field, here is a look at the in-demand skills, the kind of courses to pursue, and other details that can help them build a successful career and thrive in this industry.

The skills in demand in logistics

Just like every other field of work, the logistics industry too requires a wide range of competencies to accurately oversee and optimise the storage and supply of goods, and perform various other functions.

Mahima Agarwal, President-HR, CJ Darcl Logistics Ltd, a transport and logistics company, says that within the logistics industry, essential skills encompass data analysis, strategic and analytical capabilities, accountability, proficiency in effective communication, and adept relationship-building skills. Besides, the pivotal role of leadership and team development for logistics managers cannot be overstated.

Elaborating further on the skill requirement, she says that technical proficiency can help early career professionals comprehend and implement the latest logistics software and tools relevant to transportation, warehouse management and inventory tracking. Plus, understanding the taxation systems (TDS, GST) is vital for financial management.

“The logistics industry is advancing towards a more predictive and efficient operational model,” says Suvendu Choudhury, Vice President India and CE Operations MEISA, FedEx Express, a multinational delivery services company. “In response, the industry is placing immense value on seeking professionals who are technologically proficient, particularly in AI and data analytics, and also possess critical soft skills like adaptability and strategic problem-solving. These skills are essential to navigate the complexities of digital transformation and to anticipate and meet evolving customer expectations.”

At present, the company is actively engaging with academic institutions to attract talent that has these blended capabilities, and is offering attractive packages for entry-level positions, he adds.

AI’s incorporation in logistics, and its impact on the skill demand

AI is spearheading a revolution in the logistics sector, particularly in decision-making processes, says Agarwal. Through AI-powered decision-making, logistics businesses benefit from rule-based and expert systems; machine learning (ML) is increasingly being applied for tasks such as demand forecasting and route optimisation. This technological integration enhances efficiency and precision, optimising resource utilisation and reducing operational costs.

Offering clarity around how AI is modifying the skill demand, she says that it has become imperative for logistics professionals to have expertise in managing advanced technologies — from implementation to integration.

Moreover, she says that the rise of applicant tracking systems (ATS) in HR processes is noteworthy as it helps streamline recruitment by leveraging AI for efficient candidate screening and selection. Human resource information systems (HRIS) — cloud-based networks — are becoming integral for managing workforce data and processes. Hence, it’s of utmost importance to blend domain expertise with proficiency to navigate AI applications and advanced HR systems to thrive in the logistics sector, she adds.

A glimpse of the courses and certification programmes

In Indian logistics, a diverse array of courses and certifications are available for individuals aspiring to establish a successful career, says the President-HR of CJ Darcl. For those interested in pursuing e-learning courses, there are numerous platforms offering courses around logistics, supply chain management, materials management, stores and stock control management, transporting dangerous goods by sea and warehousing operations.Many esteemed colleges also provide certifications like Certified Logistics Associate (CLA), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Manager Certification (CM), Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP), and Certification in Transportation and Logistics (CLT). Such programmes, according to her, work as valuable tools to enhance one’s career within the industry by equipping them with skills in material handling, logistics, supply chain management, management accounting, general management, billing and coding, purchasing and transportation.

Flexi staffing opportunities in the logistics sector

With the growing demand for logistics services, Agarwal says Indian logistics companies are actively seeking freelance or contractual opportunities to manage their workload and meet supply chain needs effectively. The immediate need to adapt to changes in demand, seasonal variations and evolving customer behaviour is fuelling the demand for flexi staffing.

Freelance and part-time logistics positions for roles like logistics management, supply chain specialist, freight broker and supply chain consultant are available on a bunch of job search platforms. E-commerce warehouses also often hire temporary workers for tasks such as inventory receiving, order picking, packaging and shipment preparation during peak seasons.

Agarwal points out that freelancers specialising in inventory management and logistics coordination are instrumental in overseeing inventory levels, conducting stock audits, optimising warehouse layouts and implementing accurate goods tracking systems.

This rise of freelance logistics jobs mirrors the evolving nature of the industry as it aligns with the dynamic needs of the e-commerce and retail sectors, she adds.


Source link