Supply chain and logistics are two of the most exciting industries to work for in this decade as both are key drivers for growth and development. While it may look and feel like the changes in these sectors are too drastic, they would certainly create a wide range of opportunities for the future workforce.

The logistics industry was already looking face-to-face at significant digital transformation as it explores the impact and potential of advanced manufacturing, also known as Industry 4.0 technology solutions, even before the pandemic struck us. Digital transformation accelerates the automation of transactional tasks and processes, which in turn helps create more value-adding jobs and tasks for employees.

However, digital transformation isn’t the only thing that’s shaking up the logistics landscape. Rising global demands and evolving customers’ expectations have given rise to the e-commerce revolution, which has resulted in warehouses grappling with space issues and a lack of skilled manpower.

With all the challenges and supply chain disruptions, business leaders and organisations would need to be more agile to enhance the supply chain resilience.

So where are the opportunities now and what should you do to prepare yourself for the future?

job opportunities in supply chain and logistics

Singapore is a critical key node in the supply chain networks in Southeast Asia and globally. Owing to the thriving advanced manufacturing ecosystems and excellent infrastructure, several companies have chosen Singapore to house their innovation hubs, centres of excellence and business operations to serve the region.

Numerous employers are currently expanding their workforce to fulfil backlogs and drive digital transformation simultaneously. This would require them to hire talent with different experience levels, professional backgrounds and across a variety of specialities.

reasons of supply chain workforce expansion
reasons of supply chain workforce expansion

Manufacturing and supply chain jobs such as logistics operations, warehouse administration and planning, procurement as well as customer and account management are in-demand. Companies are focussing on critical business strategies to expand and strengthen their processes, so that they can provide positive experiences for both their clients and end customers.

Even with all these job opportunities, the talent pool in Singapore remains small. The logistics industry relied quite heavily on foreign talent in the past. The negative perception of laborious and grimy work environments has also deterred some local talent from pursuing a career in logistics. Companies have consistently observed that Singaporeans with relevant experience are often drawn to more prolific and prestigious industries such as banking and financial services, technology and marketing. To curb consistent manpower shortages, employers in the logistics space started looking outwards.

However, many of the expats in Singapore had returned home during the two-year border lockdowns, which left a wide gap in the workforce. Although many employers know that it’s more challenging to attract and hire locals due to higher expectations, they will still prioritise Singapore citizens and permanent residents for any open job opportunities. 

As the number of jobs increases, some talent with in-demand skills and knowledge are interviewing with 3 to 4 different companies at the same time.

having the upper hand in salary negotiation

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the employee-employer dynamics in many ways. For example, many job seekers who are equipped with in-demand skills and knowledge now have the upper hand during salary negotiations. Employers are also seen to be matching these new expectations with the existing talent shortage situation.

In 2022, many job seekers are stepping up to ask for higher base salaries, and if the person is the right fit for the job and company culture, it’s likely that the employer would try to match the figure. In addition to a bigger paycheck, many candidates are also looking for companies that offer a healthier work-life balance. While this may not be possible for some of the jobs in the logistics industry, companies are investing to improve their technologies and work environments so that employees feel more motivated.

Organisations are also reimagining their office workspaces. Gone were the days when employees worked from cubicles in dull offices with poor lighting and outdated software. Many of the larger logistics firms have redesigned their offices to make more space for collaborative spaces, a bigger pantry, and even add a splash of colour to liven up the workspace. Hardware such as CPUs and wired keyboards have all been replaced with laptops and wireless technology so that those who want to work from home can do so in the future.

While office renovations and digital transformation may only be possible because of the right timing, it also goes to show that many companies are willing to change from their old ways of working to attract and retain as many employees as possible.

the impact of industry 4.0 on singapore’s logistics workforce

Job changes and displacements are expected to happen as you graduate and enter the workforce. This is not a phenomenon that is unique to the logistics industry. In fact, the logistics industry may be behind the curve when compared to the professional and financial services industry.

You’ll find that your job responsibilities may be different from what you previously know. The Jobs Transformation Maps by Workforce Singapore revealed that 54% of the logistics workforce would undergo job redesign or displacement.

However, this is no cause for concern as the total number of jobs in the logistics industry will not decrease. On the contrary, the jobs that are at risk of significant change or displacement would most likely be replaced with higher-value and more fulfilling jobs such as data analytics and software development for instance with more opportunities for growth.

logistic industry create more valuable jobs
logistic industry create more valuable jobs

In the near future while leveraging on advanced manufacturing, we’ll see more roles such as supply chain data analytics, automation engineer and I4.0 maintenance specialist. It is hence necessary for you to continue upskilling, even if you are a fresh graduate, to make sure that you’re capable of keeping up with the evolving skills requirements.

When shortlisting companies to work for, always find out what are the companies that offer robust professional development opportunities. Connect with tenured employees at the company on LinkedIn and ask them about their career progression within the organisation and company culture to evaluate whether you’re the right fit for the company. You would not want to be stuck in a role for a few years in a company that isn’t investing in your professional development.

be agile and prepared as you pursue your career in logistics

The logistics industry is constantly evolving, and so should you. Read the job description carefully to evaluate whether you have the right skills and knowledge for the opportunity and research the company to find out whether it’s an environment where you can thrive.

As you search for your next role, your expectations may change along the way. To realise your full career potential, you’ll need to be agile and prepared to make changes. Head on over to our jobs portal to start applying for jobs in logistics and supply chain.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a career growth in other fields, reach out to the recruitment experts. Our recruitment consultants continue to work closely with various industries and specialisms, like engineering, manufacturing, construction, properties, life sciences and more!

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randstad blue suite

The Randstad Blue Suite is a collection of industry insights from the Randstad leadership team.

randstad singapore leadership insights
randstad singapore leadership insights
about the author
manufacturing and supply chain recruitment consultant
manufacturing and supply chain recruitment consultant

yit wei kwan

associate director in construction, property & engineering, randstad singapore

Yit Wei leads Randstad Singapore's specialist recruitment teams across supply chain & manufacturing, construction, property & real estate and industrial, where they match highly-technical and skilled professionals with jobs in the new frontier.

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