Head of Operations at Crown SDS, Glenn Jones talks about the impact of the UK’s failure to incentivise younger generations into logistics careers and how improving regulation & introducing professional standards could be the solution.
“The recent pandemic, among other things, brought ten to fifteen years of unaddressed issues within the logistics sector to a head. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the industry mostly ignored, in terms of investment. The challenges we’ve seen recently, the driver shortage for one, is a result of those issues being left unresolved”.
“It all sounds a bit doom and gloom”, Glenn adds “but it signals the need for positive change – it is time to clean up the industry and get a grasp on some of the big changes that are coming”.
“The industry seems to be in a race to the bottom. Demand from consumers, for instant gratification, has led to unsustainable delivery costs that keep being driven down. What we need to remember is, delivery isn’t ‘free’ – there needs to be a longer-term solution to meet evolving expectations”.
“Improving efficiencies can ensure we continue to give good service, whilst investing in the sector and helping to drive value up”.
“With that in mind, now is the ideal time to incentivise new talent into logistics to help reinvigorate the sector and help shape its future”.
Having started his career in the Royal Mail postroom over 30 years ago, Jones experienced first-hand the potential there is to enjoy a long and dynamic career within logistics.
“The scale of logistics is vast and once you’re in it, it keeps you. The sector has huge potential for careers to grow and flourish, because there are constantly new challenges. It’s hugely exciting. There just needs to be more encouragement to bring new faces in”.
“Logistics workers are the backbone of the economy and it’s time for the Government to recognise the hugely important role logistics plays. It touches everything – it brings things together across cities, borders and even nations. During the pandemic, it kept us supplied with food, transported 100 million vaccines, kept the economy going and so much more. It’s high time the sector was highlighted for its true value and what incredible opportunity there is to develop and grow within it”.
With many logistics roles deemed low-skilled, Jones adds:
“it’s time to evaluate the status of driver roles, the lapse in both pay and working conditions, as well as improve training and apprenticeships to make logistics a more attractive career path for youngsters”.
When asked if he had any advice for anyone who is looking to start a career in logistics, Jones enthused “jump in!”
“There’s a huge amount of satisfaction and achievement to be gained from working in a sector that is so pivotal to so many other areas”.
“There are also some big challenges coming up in terms of embracing automation and overcoming environmental issues that would benefit from a fresh approach – anyone looking to join the industry can be part of shaping positive change rather than just being a recipient of it”.
Discover more from Crown SDS by reading the latest thoughts and views of our logistics leaders.