The logistics industry has a recruiting problem. It’s huge, making up 8.5% of GDP, and growing fast. But to most job seekers, it’s misunderstood — or invisible.
FORTUNE — How can a $1.3 trillion industry, getting bigger every year, be hidden in plain sight?
Easy. The vast U.S. logistics business, which delivers 48 million tons of freight (worth about $48 billion) daily and already employs roughly 6 million people, operates mostly behind the scenes.
“When you order something from, say, Amazon, you know it arrives on your doorstep in two days, but most people don’t think about how,” observes George Prest, president of logistics trade group Materials Handling Industry (MHI). He adds that the field gets overlooked by new grads in particular, who think of supply chain work — if they think of it at all — as “a guy driving a forklift in a dusty old factory.”
That outdated image is a huge hurdle for an industry that badly needs new talent in high tech, analytics, robotics, and engineering. Career changers, take note: Seasoned managers, marketers, data analysts, and human resources executives are also in demand. “There are currently six to eight management jobs available for each applicant we get, and the median salary is about $80,000,” notes Prest — and that’s even before the wave of Boomer retirements the MHI projects over the next few years. In total, says a new MHI report, the logistics business will be looking to fill about 1.4 million jobs, or roughly 270,000 per year, by 2018. Read the rest of this entry »
Source: The Economist
GETTING rich used to be tough. For most of the past two centuries, few countries managed it. Lant Pritchett, an economist now at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, wrote in 1997 that “divergence, big time” between the rich and the rest was “the dominant feature of modern economic history.” But those stubborn gaps have begun to close. Industrialisation is suddenly everywhere. Since the mid-1980s, emerging markets have grown faster than advanced economies (see chart).
Liberal reforms and sound macroeconomic management surely helped. Yet recent research by Richard Baldwin of the Graduate Institute in Geneva suggests it is not so much the developing world that has changed as development itself. Today’s emerging markets face a different sort of globalisation than their predecessors 50 or 100 years ago.
Most advanced economies industrialised as part of what Mr Baldwin calls globalisation’s first great unbundling: the geographical separation of producers and consumers. Early in the industrial era, high transport costs restricted trade. Expensive shipping limited most manufacturers to sales within the same city or country. But as the industrial revolution progressed, steamships and railways slashed transport costs, exposing firms to foreign competition for the first time. The most productive firms were those best able to take advantage of economies of scale. A single large plant could produce goods at a lower unit cost than lots of smaller factories, and a cluster of large suppliers at lower cost still. Production clustered in massive cities in a few economies. Read the rest of this entry »