07-08/2014 Upstairs - Downstairs
The global freight forwarding and logistics industry is not only an important sector with a crucial role to play for the entire economy, it is also an extremely fascinating service industry, and one which frequently provides us with new and interesting insights into a diverse range of trade and industrial production activities.
If you take time to talk to experienced forwarders and logisticians, people who are dedicated neck and crop to the profession, and if you ask them what fascinates them in the – admittedly very broad range – of their work, then the answers are frequently similar. Transport, forwarding and logistics represent an international, multicultural, dynamic and ever-changing life style. Logistics is simultaneously also an interesting trade because the people working in it have to deal, primarily, with people. Logistics is the true people business. This is partially because increasingly complex processes, new technologies and the increasing demands of customers mean that ever-more comprehensive job specifications are called for by the industry. On the other hand, it is also down to the fact that logistics solutions have to be created anew every day – by people.
So far, so good.
But in the logistics industry the differences between upstairs (the managers’ floor) and downstairs (where warehouse workers might work) are intensifying – as they are in other industries too. The tasks that logistics managers have to perform and the requirements needed to carry them out are becoming ever more demanding, which is why lateral entrants from academia have also gained a foothold in logistics. Simultaneously there are more and more areas of work in the industry that require workers to accept questionable and monotonous working conditions, frequently in the CEP segment’s dispatch and logistics centres. Logistics companies are thus well advised to keep a good eye on the growing distance between managers, and workers with fewer qualifications.
Head of Forwarding & Logistics