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Skills for Logistics

Industry Overview & Skills Issues

The UK logistics sector is worth £74.45bn to the economy. One in twelve working people in the UK work in logistics – 2.3 million people spanning some 196,000 companies.

Freight logistics companies fall into two groups:

  • Those that manage their own logistics system, known as Own Account Operators

  • Those that manage it on behalf of the owners of the cargo, often referred to as Third Party Logistics Providers or Hauliers.

Over 60% of UK freight is carried out for ‘Hire and Reward’ on behalf of another company.


Skills Shortages

The industry has previously suffered from major skills shortages, inparticular of HGV drivers. Our research has identified that this has not been a major concern since the middle of the decade. However, skills gaps have been identified among junior and middle managers and the supply chain management credentials of more senior managers are currently under examination. The sector continues to have a relatively poor diversity profile.


Perception of the Industry

Logistics has traditionally suffered from a misguided perception that it is a poor industry in which to develop a successful career path.

Skills for Logistics identified that this perception is exacerbated by the lack of a single career framework that covers the whole of the sector and provides a route-map for people to plan their careers. The Professional Development Stairway, developed with employers accross the sector; provides this single framework for career progression.

Skills for Logistics has also convened an industry-wide group of experts from the main Trade Associations and the Professional Institute to ensure that the image of logistics and its attractiveness as a career is improved.