To cope with rapid trade expansion in the Greater China region, recruitment firms have confirmed that employment in the logistics sector is strong and job prospects are positive.
As has been the case throughout the history of logistics, new technologies, client demands and fresh ideas keep the sector evolving - paperless processes, real-time cargo visibility and electronic payment systems.
James Gagne, CEO for Greater China with global logistics provider Agility, says factors impacting the logistics industry also include rising wages on the mainland, increased operating expenses, the urbanisation of consumers and uncertainty surrounding the renminbi. However, he says the biggest challenge is hiring, developing and retaining human capital.
"We don't manufacture products, so our people who provide our clients with logistics and transport solutions are our competitive differential," says Gagne. "If you don't get the talent development and people opportunities within the business right, in the long term, it can affect the services you offer to clients, which can directly impact the company," he adds.
As part of its global efforts to support staff development, Agility has introduced a region-wide leadership development programme. Designed to provide professional and personal growth, selected staff receive on-the-job learning and receive coaching and mentoring from Agility executives.
"The programme is offered for and by the people of Agility. Unlike an executive education programme, the learning process is led by experienced managers within Agility," says Gagne, whose shipping and logistics experience dates back to his days as a United States merchant marine.
Believing that competitive remuneration is only part of employee well-being, Gagne says it is important to provide staff with opportunities to see where they can progress within the company. As part of its talent development activities, through US-based Kaplan University, Agility also provides employees with