The global supply chain is a $26 trillion per year industry, with the job growth for logisticians in the U.S. at 22% through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Moreover, today the demand-to-supply ratio of jobs to qualified individuals is six to one. In a few years, that could be as high as nine to one. Moreover, today the demand-to-supply ratio of jobs to qualified individuals is six to one. In a few years, that could be as high as nine to one. Most of the openings exist in middle management positions, in which there is a current shortage of 54%. But a recent study by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, revealed that 90% of CEOs believe they should be doing more to attract supply chain talent. In a similar Deloitte survey, only 38% of company executives interviewed were extremely or very confident that their organizations possess the competencies needed to deal with today’s supply chain issues.

There are several reasons for the shortage of talent in the supply chain field, including the looming retirement of skilled Baby Boomers and the qualifications required to keep pace with a changing landscape. Just take a look, for example, at what’s required for supply chain professionals working for a global third-party logistics. Employees need to know customs rules and regulations, fulfillment, distribution, warehousing, transportation, consolidation, and just about any logistics and trade-related services.

Another issue for the talent shortage is the outdated perception among potential candidates of the supply chain industry, deterring them from entering the field. The industry has a whole has to present a clearer understanding of what supply chain professionals do, which can lead to a big increase in supply chain talent. Similar to our own industry where many graduates don’t fully understand how dynamic an insurance career can be, the supply chain sector faces the same types of hurdles to bridge the talent gap. George Prest, CEO of logistics trade group Material Handling Industry (MHI), says “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.”

Where is the industry scouting for talent? At supply chain schools such as MIT, Michigan State University, Ohio State University and others. In addition, conferences sponsored by nonprofit groups, such as Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Institute for Supply Management, are great ways for interested individuals to meet people in the industry who know about specific job openings and opportunities.

Roanoke Underwriting serves the commercial marine insurance and customs bond needs of agents and brokers throughout North America working with supply chain risks and logistics service providers. For more information about our products, please contact us at 1.855.213.4545.

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