Global logistics industry is valued at $3.5 trillion and is expected to touch $4 trillion in next two years. Opportunities would be more for those who learn ocean freight forwarding as 92 percent of the world trade is though the high seas. Logistics is and will be one of the major job engines worldwide.
Container terminal India spends about RS. 4,700 crores every year abroad for transshipment. The International Container Transshipment Terminal, Kochi, would be able to tap a major share of this on its completion. It would be handling 4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually. The openings will be a boon for the supply chain managers who are looking at reducing cycle time and costs to make their products competitive for the domestic and global market. The market would expand to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the first phase. This would bring in more volumes resulting in the need for more manpower to ensure smooth handling.
In ten years from now, Kochi, an all-weather natural harbor, will also be listed among the world’s 39th famous port cities like New York, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney. There are approximately 400 companies altogether now including those engaged in shipping lines, freight forwarding and cargo handling services that offer direct employment to approximately 5,000 people in Kochi. Some of them include shipping line giants like Maersk Sealand, MSC, MOL, Hyundai, Evergreen, SCI, PIL, ANL, Major freight forwarding companies include, Panalpina, Kuehne Nagel, and Expeditors. A few shipping lines, freight forwarding, and cargo handling services have started and more would open their offices in future in Kochi. All these lead to a new era of opportunities locally in logistics.
Opportunities and careers
Opportunities in logistics are spread across the globe. A freight forward, logistics and supply chain management qualified candidate would find opportunities in manufacturing, distributing, supply chain management, logistics, freight forwarding, shipping line, airline, warehousing, export-import and trading companies. One can focus on career growth in sales, marketing, administration, customer service, documentation, human resources operations, accounts, finance and information technology.
The logistics industry is likely to face an acute shortage of senior management professionals by 2015. So, one who enters early by adding necessary qualifications and skill set would have better chance for career advancement. It is a multi-cultural industry and you can find people from all nations. Thus, you can find will win lot of friends from different parts of the world. The industry offers good salary prospects based on your performance along with career advancements and opportunities worldwide. Indians have a global demand in logistics due to our English-speaking skills and service attitude. One who focuses on a career abroad in Gulf countries or the Middle East will find over 50,000 opportunities every year for the next five years irrespective of the current problems in the region as logistics is a basic necessity. Indian logistics industry would require a minimum of 70,000 people a year for the next five years. There could be a direct requirement of 200-400 skilled people every year for the next five years for activities related to the Vallarpadam terminal alone. Unskilled laborers would be required in abundance in bonded warehouses for loading, unloading, packing, stuffing, De-stuffing and related activities. Skilled laborers would be needed in two areas viz. technical and management or administrative areas.
Requirement in technical areas will include maintenance staff and operators in areas such as forklift, cranes, other goods and container handling equipment. In India, for a beginner, pay would vary between RS. 5,000 to RS. 20,000 whereas in the Middle East the pay would vary from RS. 25,000 to RS.1,00,000 and will increase with experience and expertise.
Scope of Indian Logistic Industry
- Employs over 4.5 Crore of people.
- Currently estimated at $105 billion, it is expected to touch $300 billion by 2015.
- 100 per cent foreign direct investment in logistics is permitted.
- Logistics sector spending accounts for about 13 per cent of India’s GDP, compared 9 per cent of GDP in developed nations
- Progressive government policies.
- Growth in Indian GDP and trade.
- Supportive regulatory changes and expanding infrastructure.
- Containerization of general cargo has progressed steadily.
- Public-private partnerships in road, rail, air and port freight service.
- Rise in population (current 1.21 billion) and therefore domestic consumption leading to retail boom.
- Continuous demand for and supply of new products resulting in increase of logistics volume.
- India is developing lot of seaports across its 7,500-km long shoreline.
- Indian seaports handle around 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade.
- The demand-supply ratio of requirement versus trained candidates is alarmingly low.
Given the primacy of trade and commerce in the world, there will be demand for good logistics managers.