The Logistics field needs more employees. It’s estimated that by 2018 the trillion dollar industry will need 1.4 million new supply chain workers. The materials handling industry, which falls within the supply chain, will have the same issue.
With America’s focus on higher education in fields like technology, business, medicine, and law, fewer students are being presented with opportunities to learn about materials handling. According to the 2014 Materials Handling Equipment Distributors Association’s report, “Today, small numbers of students first hear of material handling and logistics at the high school level or upon graduation. Others hear of the field when they enter college. Still others are relatively unaware of the field as a career path until after graduation. There is no broad promotional campaign to position the industry before the general public.” This could be a massive problem in a few decades.
The MHEDA’s report details many of the steps needed to meet the future demands of materials handling. One large issue in the field is the age of the workers and the lack of diversity. Most workers are males over 40 years old, with many approaching retirement age. The Millennial generation is not educated about materials handling and their numbers of workers in the field is low and worrisome. In materials handling it’s reported that over 80% of employees are male, and by some estimates up to 94% of forklift operators are male. Who will take the retirees’ jobs, with a huge part of the population not engaged, educated, and trained?
Let’s have a look at more numbers and a few of the important recommendations makde by the MHEDA report: