Tyranny of the Urgent Drives Most Logistics Teams Today
Atlanta, GA — October 26, 2023 — IntelliTrans, a leader in global multimodal solutions for optimizing supply chain operations for bulk & break-bulk industries, discusses future transportation employment trends. According to the Department of Labor, 80% of the available US workforce will come from ages 65 and up by 2031. This will put more significant challenges on who in the workforce actually wants to work, adding an increased tightness in available labor.
“Many bulk and break-bulk businesses face increased labor challenges due to increased order complexities; lower levels of available, seasoned staff; and changes in economic conditions where recovery rarely generates a return to prior staff levels,” says Chad Raube, President and CEO of IntelliTrans. “With a continued growth forecasted for domestic freight in 2025 and beyond, there is an expected need of nearly 2M new employees for transportation and warehousing jobs, due to growth and attrition.”
Companies are competing for a shrinking share of the population. Only 19% of the labor force will increase in 2021 to 2031 for ages 25 to 65. Eighty percent of the workforce in 2031 will come from the over-65 population.
Staffing levels in the bulk and break-bulk industries are compounded by:
- Staffing is usually seen as “do more with less.”
- Teams often move from one emergency to another = tyranny of the urgent.
- Rail service is the most economical but often has questionable service levels, which drives the rail volume to trucks.
- Orders can be challenging with short, requested lead times, cancellations, and changes,
- Need to account for site and product-specific requirements.
- Smaller teams have less tenure and many “fires” to deal with.
- The building of new manufacturing sites has tripled in the past two years because of reshoring; this will change distribution patterns and transportation modes.
Companies need to differentiate themselves with a talent strategy that involves technology deployment, employee engagement, and having a mission that matters. Technology like a transportation management system (TMS) can help as it will automate tedious work, improve productivity by 35%, and increase satisfaction, as people want to work for a company with great technology.
- The TMS should allow shippers to manage by exception, which helps employees focus on only the shipment that needs attention.
- Using a TMS will reduce costs by saving>$110/load.
- The TMS will also improve service significantly if customers can help themselves, such as finding the correct ETA and carriers can self-schedule.
- Between 10 – 15% of freight bills contain errors, and accessorial charges are wrong 25% of the time. A TMS with freight bill audit and pay capabilities allows shippers to pay what they owe and carriers to get paid on time, which helps with cash flow.