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How Logistics Technology Creates New Job Demand

Jan. 26, 2023
As more decision-makers use logistics technology, they’ll create new jobs and overall interest in the sector. Here’s a closer look at why that’s the case.

Logistics leaders are beginning to understand that they must update their operations to use more technology when relevant. Doing so optimizes workflows. However, it can also help create jobs and get more people interested in working in logistics.

Logistics Technology Can Attract Tech-Savvy Workers

Most people wouldn’t immediately think of the logistics sector as one of the most forward-thinking industries in terms of tech usage. However, as that gradually changes, human resources workers and others involved in hiring decisions should find that the increasing use of technology within logistics roles appeals to people who already know and love tech.

Logistics professionals say they see younger or tech-loving workers viewing industry roles as opportunities that let them use skills they already have and want to keep developing.

Plus, many people entering the workforce evaluate how forward-thinking a company is before deciding to take a job there or even fill out an application. Logistics companies that have made significant automation investments or opted to use other advanced technologies show people the business is planning for the future.

Relatedly, individuals may perceive logistics as a less-daunting industry to enter if they believe the roles within it allow them to capitalize on skills they already have. Technology investments break down barriers that may otherwise convince people that logistics roles don’t suit them.

However, professionals who need to fill logistics roles must show job candidates the tech focus rather than just tell them about it. One way to do that is to create YouTube videos or other social media clips. Tech-savvy job applicants will appreciate seeing how much they can use logistics technology in their everyday work. Making “a day in the life” clips can help people seeking employment imagine themselves in available roles.

Logistics Tech Startups Can Revolutionize the Sector

Identifying unmet needs is a common driver of innovation. People with great ideas for new ways of doing things often feel compelled to launch startups featuring new technologies. That’s happening in Seattle, where Amazon employees are often behind new logistics tech startups.

Many got wealthy from Amazon’s success, then combined that wealth and experience working with the company’s technologies when developing their new businesses. Amazon is an undisputed leader in developing and launching logistics technologies. In 2012, the company signaled a significant ramping up of its logistics technology via investment in robotics brand Kiva. Now, Amazon uses various robots in its facilities, usually to accelerate order processing while improving safety.

A current or former Amazon employee can’t steal company secrets if starting a logistics technology company. However, working at an organization where high-tech solutions are so embedded into the workflow can understandably spark inspiration that leads to business creation. Instacart, Convoy and Shipium are just a few logistics and shipping companies Amazon employees helped create.

Once logistics startups get past the planning phases and begin operating, they need employees to support the day-to-day workflow. The workers who choose to do so are supporting high-tech advancements in logistics overall, and they’re showing others it’s a more advanced sector than they may have initially thought. Such changes in opinions could be instrumental in helping the industry grow and keep thriving.

Logistics Technology Can Change People’s Views

Many people overlook logistics when considering what jobs they find attractive; they see jobs in the sector as physically strenuous and dangerous. Those are not entirely misguided beliefs. Warehouse and transportation roles have the second-highest workforce injury rates, with only construction recording more incidents. However, logistics technology can make jobs safer while reshaping people’s opinions of logistics. 

Training for a new logistics career could also be more fun than people expect. Instead of watching outdated videos, people are more likely to go through virtual reality simulations. Some employers also add gamification to training processes and daily operations. That approach can keep workers more motivated and help them track progress. Logistics technology lets people realize they need to update their views about the sector and can change other opinions about the work.

Companies with logistics roles to fill can position those opportunities as long term and ripe for growth. Some individuals think these companies primarily hire to address seasonal demand spikes. Indeed, many businesses in the sector do fill positions more aggressively during times of heightened need. However, employees can also work in logistics for years and earn competitive salaries. Overtime is also often available, helping workers make more money and save for things they want.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the sector will grow much faster than average compared to others regarding employment prospects: They’ll increase by 28% from 2021 to 2031. Hiring managers could point out growth opportunities specific to logistics technology. Perhaps someone could learn how to interpret the data from connected sensors or do basic robot maintenance. Those extra, tech-related duties could boost their earning potential and help them stay involved in the technical side of the work.

Creating New Jobs With Logistics Technology

Some experts have warned that the historically slow transition to logistics digitalization has discouraged those who might otherwise pursue work in the sector. Fortunately, the industry can make up for lost time by changing perspectives and focusing on technology now.

However, it’s also important to realize that the push to adopt more logistics technology will be a job creator because it helps people do their work differently. Many now use smart sensors to track intermodal containers through each stage of their journeys. Companies will make new roles where people’s sole responsibility is to monitor the status of each sensor and make inquiries if anything seems out of the ordinary.

Research suggests automation will help more people transition into higher-skilled jobs. That could mean they earn more and love what they do. Much of the new work related to more advanced skills will involve logistics technology.

Imagine if a logistics company is investing in robots for the first time and deploying dozens or hundreds of machines throughout its facilities. Such a widespread new usage typically needs at least a few robotics experts overseeing it. That means the business could create new roles or even a new department and hire adequate staff before proceeding with the robotics rollout.

As the sector becomes progressively more advanced in its tech usage, it will need more experts to lead the way and maximize the expected or possible outcomes.

Logistics Technology Will Create Jobs and Boost Interest

This overview shows why people should see the ramping up of logistics technology usage as hopeful and positive. It will help them recognize they can use their existing tech skills in the sector while learning new ones. Plus, those who may have yet to consider working in logistics will realize the industry is more than they thought it was and deserves a second look.

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About the Author

Emily Newton

Emily Newton has eight years of creating logistics and supply chain articles under her belt. She loves helping people stay informed about industry trends. Her work in Supply Chain Connect, Global Trade Magazine and Parcel, showcases her ability to identify newsworthy stories. When Emily isn't writing, she enjoys building lego sets with her husband.