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March 20, 2018

Skilling manpower rapidly an urgent need in Indian logistics sector

by Abhishek Rathi, JBS Academy

Indian logistics sector is on a growth trajectory buoyed by robust industrial demand. Traditionally comprising core service providers and issuing key contracts for trucking, shipping, Inland Container Depot and Container Freight Stations, the requirement has been witnessed for varied skill sets in this domain.

This is primarily due to the emergence of multiple modes of transport of cargo using rail, road and sea links, all needing corresponding training and expertise to handle deftly the job at hand. After all, logistics is defined as the process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient, cost-effective flow and ensuring goods reach their destination on time.

For supply chain managers, the ability to analyze and multi-task are considered important. Crucial are interpersonal skills and ability to resolve a crisis. Special managerial skills, interpersonal and analytical strengths are a must in logistics to tide over critical infrastructure and organizational challenges.

Incidentally, due to the unorganized nature of transport, warehousing, logistics and packaging operations, issues with regard to poor organization skills, inadequate leadership qualities have been felt at mid-tier and managerial levels. This has seriously impacted the achievement of targets for a holistic sector growth and support to development.

Statistics revealed by Cygnus Research suggest that the annual logistics cost in India is growing at 8-10%. Logistic cost by value, accounts for close to 13% of Indian GDP. The figure is way higher compared to US where this stands at 9%, Europe where it stands at 10% and Japan at 11%.

Semi-skilled or minimally educated workers constitute a large portion of employment. As the business environment transforms into a more mature arena, a strong demand for quality and efficient logistics that does away with core issues around enabling infrastructure, regulations and consolidates a fragmented industry, can be tamed gradually.

A gradual shift has been seen towards providers who bundle services such as transport, warehousing and freight forwarding (3PL) and those who work as business process providers and manage co-ordination along with 3PL. This shift is thriving on demand from global customers and is backed by a bent towards higher technology and a one-stop solution for all logistics needs. Global logistics management is a new generation futuristic concept where a single supplier will be able to meet logistic needs, geographies notwithstanding.

The logistics value chain is linked to transportation, warehousing, and value-added services. While the skill requirements for transportation differ significantly as per the mode of transport, they differ to a lesser extent for warehousing meant for pure storage.

However, skills required for transportation related to warehousing such as those needed in CFS/ICD/transshipment centers, may vary based on the mode of transport. Likewise, value- added services arise from leveraging core transportation and warehousing strongholds.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author, Abhishek Rathi, JBS Academy. The matter of this article has not been edited by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)