Thinking Of Working In Logistics?

Thinking Of Working In Logistics?

By Ed Hanna

Time was when standard delivery terms on items bought by mail order was 28 days! Of course, today’s customers aren’t going to wait the full part of a month to receive their orders. It’s an example of how logistics continues to take an Olympic trajectory, becoming seemingly faster, stronger (and more efficient).

Industry and commerce refuse anything but the most effective preparedness and solutions; both transferable skills right off page one of the Service-leavers list of attributes.

The parallels between the logistics sector and the Military don’t end there. The sector has always been one of the most innovative and pro-active and is able to adjust swiftly to economic shifts and market conditions, just as the Military are able to deal with fluid mission variables.

Optimism

It’s this ability to quickly adapt that gives logistics companies in the UK a feeling of confidence and optimism for the future.

Logistics is shaped by economic, social and political currents, such as those impressed by an increasingly digital market as well as notions of sustainability. Of course, this can often produce contradictory demands that are not easy to resolve in an industry that runs on tight margins. Service leavers that choose to join logistics companies will therefore need to be aware of an expectation to alter their modus operandi sometimes at very short notice. Again, not unlike the possibility of short notice provided in Military deployment circumstances.

Service-leavers should not underestimate the wealth of skills they’ve already developed. An ability to make sound and sensible assessments, communicate, solve problems and make decisions quickly are skills you’ve built up in the Armed Forces and are highly valued.

Among a host of roles in logistics are:

LGV drivers

The role is, as you might expect, primarily concerned with the safe and efficient delivery of goods. Clearly, your driving skills will be good but you’ll also need to be able to adapt to situations concerning road closures, etc (navigation and map reading).

You’ll need a clean driving licence and pass a medical test plus hold certificates including a LGV licence in categories C (smaller, rigid vehicles) or C+E (larger, articulated vehicles).

You’ll also need a Certificate of Professional Competence – a practical and theory test taken every five years. Basic motor maintenance skills are also handy.

Average entry-level salary is £24,643 progressing in stages to £26,913 for drivers with 20-plus years of experience.

Warehouse Manager

A warehouse manager is responsible for strategic planning (of stock levels and capacity requirements) and may also be required to involve themselves in practical work on the warehouse floor. Much of the role is in briefing and supervising employees as well as communicating with distributors, suppliers and general management to ensure quality and delivery standards.

Strong management skills and the ability to efficiently organise a large team on various shifts are a must. (Warehouses can run 24 hours a day.)

You may be required to show evidence of stock control and perhaps even customer relations. Elsewhere, IT skills and sometimes relevant qualifications such as a forklift truck licence will be useful.

An entry-level warehouse manager can expect to earn an average of £22,231. This can rise with experience up to an average of £30,441 with 20 years’ experience. (Salary notes from: www.payscale.com)

Major employers

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport compiled a list of the UK’s top 30 logistics and service providers earlier this year. The top three were: DPD Group in first place followed by DHL Supply Chain and UPS. Another well-known name, Hermes, was sixth but surprisingly other big brands such as CitySprint, DB Schenker and FedEx were all in the bottom half of the list.