Organisations need to minimise costs, and one way of doing this is through their logistics team. Logistics professionals are found working across a variety of sectors and can work within a number of stages of the logistics process, from inbound logistics (sourcing, transportation and storage of incoming materials) to outbound (storage of finished products and distribution). Travel and transport is a huge area within logistics too.
Professional sectors within logistics include supply chain, transport planning, rail, active travel and travel planning, bus and coach, ports and maritime waterways, freight forwarding and aviation.
There are many graduate schemes within logistics across a whole variety of sectors, so opportunities are broad. Qualification wise, employers would expect a good undergraduate degree, and might encourage you to work towards a CILT qualification (ranging from level 1 to 6). With the qualification and experience behind you, you can look forward to a long career with good progression opportunities.
The logistics market conditions are largely affected by the level of manufacturing in the retail and consumer goods industry. Analysing consumer demand and spending can help to indicate the growth of and manpower required in the logistics sector. Reduced demand during the economic downturn has had a negative effect on the shipping industry, whilst fluctuating oil prices and changes in environmental policies continue to influence other forms of transportation, essential in the supply chain process.
However, there is currently optimism within the sector as consumer spending is increasing, influencing manufacturing demand and the need for logistics professionals. At present the UK is experiencing a slow recovery, keeping forecasts for the logistics employment market fairly positive. The outlook for this important sector will improve even further with successful emerging markets (BRICs) and even further still once the Eurozone crisis eases.