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Logistics hotspots of skills in demand

The second of Hays’ bi-annual Logistics Job Reports for the year 2019 highlights some areas with significant vacancy rates in the transport and logistics area.
This vacancy activity will be focused on multi-skilled candidates across transport, warehousing and supply chain. This is the result of a focus on efficiency improvements and positive productivity, with employers looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of systems and processes and a history of reducing costs, achieving demanding KPI and diverse experience. Employers also want candidates with a wide technical skillset whom they can utilise to their full potential.
Within the transport industry, strained transport networks in Sydney and Melbourne will continue to fuel demand for Transport Allocators. With a busier transport sector in Brisbane, there is a need for Transport Allocators and experienced Transport Supervisors and Managers to lead operations. Employers require candidates with experience in a similar role.
Lateral thinking Transport Coordinators and Managers who cope well under pressure and find the best route at the cheapest rate are also in demand.
Casual HR Drivers as well as MC Drivers with an MSIC card are needed. So are HR and HC Drivers who are open to a multi-skilled role such as driving and labouring.
Freight Forwarders remain in demand but require relevant experience. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has increased vacancy activity in freight forwarding across Australia and subsequently demand for Import/Export professionals, with a focus from employers on sea freight and Mandarin speaking candidates. Those with CargoWise knowledge are also sought.
The heavy vehicle regulations will continue to create demand in the transport sector for qualified Supervisors with a Chain of Responsibility accreditation.
Within warehouse and distribution, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors are required. Candidates must be analytically sound with a proactive approach to KPI. As companies continue to appreciate the benefit of improving logistical efficiencies, candidates who can track, monitor and manage KPI performance are highly sought after. Warehouse
Supervisors willing to manage small teams are also required.
In the warehousing sector, diploma or degree qualified candidates with experience in lean principles are sought.

Distribution of vacancies

In a localised trend, New South Wales’ growing 3PL footprint is leading to demand for Warehouse Managers, Logistics Coordinators, Analysts, Pallet Controllers and Dispatch Coordinators. Employers want to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved and KPI and contracts are being met. Expectations from 3PL employers are growing and they therefore look for candidates who can ensure service delivery levels are met, if not exceeded. They also want to see degree qualified candidates with experience in a similar environment.
Import and Export Coordinators are another area of demand. With many companies moving their manufacturing overseas, candidates with international shipping experience and cargo software knowledge are required.
Dispatch Coordinators are needed, too.
Wharf Fleet Controllers are also sought in response to turnover resulting from the high pressure working environment. Employers look for candidates with wharf experience and a secure, stable and successful career within this space.
In the SME sector, inventory control professionals who can develop procedures to improve inventory accuracy and transparency are required.
Inventory Controllers are another area of demand. The duties of this role were once the responsibility of Warehouse Supervisors, however employers now have strict stock levels tolerance.
Store persons with inventory management software experience are needed too. Companies seek multi-skilled candidates who can manage inventory needs, possess strong computer skills, a forklift license and the ability to load and unload deliveries, pick and pack orders and tidy a store.
Forklift Operators skilled in operating different attachments and High Reach Forklift Operators are sought. While Forklift Operators are available, those with attachment and high reach expertise are rare, as are those who have worked in busy warehouses and have strong navigation skills.
Casual Skilled Labourers are needed for one to two-day assignments. With most people looking for longer-term assignments, reliable candidates for short-term roles are rare.
Another interesting trend is the recovery of the senior level supply chain market. Today, candidates with change management experience, from both a people and process perspective, are in high demand. This is a result of organisations realising the impact that big data, systems and technology can have on improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Individuals who can coach a business through this transition are highly sought after in the current market.
Demand also exists for quality Supply and Demand Planners and S&OP Managers who have worked with complex manual based systems, have exposure to and have assisted with the development of S&OP processes and implementations, possess an analytical and commercial focus and can influence and educate internal stakeholders across an organisation.
Finally, fixed-term contracts and project roles are available. This is a notable change in a market that was previously dominated by permanent roles.

Salary trends

According to our FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, more logistics professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.
We found that 92% of employers will increase their transport and distribution staff salaries in their next review, up from 83% who did so in their last review.
However, the value of these increases will fall. 71% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 63% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 3% of employers intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%. The number of employers who will increase salaries at the mid-level, between 3 and 6%, has risen slightly, from 17% to 18%.
There are only a few exceptions. The recovery of the senior supply chain market led to demand for Supply Chain Managers and, in turn, mid-tier Demand and Supply Planners. In some states, salaries have increased in response to this demand.
Tasmania’s positive economic climate led to a surge in interstate and international exports. Looking ahead, salaries are expected to increase in the state for Multi Combination Drivers and Warehouse Supervisors, who remain in short supply.

Chute Technology’s world-first chute design cuts costs and downtime

A multidirectional rotating underground coal chute system that can be installed in less than a single shift at a typical mine has been developed by Chute Technology in what the Australian technology and manufacturing partnership believes is a world first.

The cost-saving universal chute – which can rotate output through 160 degrees left or right – can remove completely the need to custom-manufacture individual chute types to fit the confined spaces and particular angles of individual mines. 

The versatile bolt-in system – comprising a complete integrated structure from head end to conveyor outlet – features a rotating outlet beneath the head that can be angled to any position required to facilitate product flow.

In addition to radically reducing the labour required for manufacture and installation, the chute’s ability to be installed in a fraction of the time of custom chutes minimises downtime by keeping production moving when chutes wear out.

“This is a brilliantly simple breakthrough in cost and time saving at a time when the mining industry needs it most to maintain production. The benefits are obvious when you look at the basic concept, but we don’t know of anywhere else in the world where it has been done,” says Chute Technology Partner Mr Tom Woods, whose experience of coal chute manufacture through family company T.W. Woods Construction extends back more than 40 years.

The new chute system – of which the first example has already been produced – is the result of the analytical, design and manufacturing experience of each of the three Principal Partners in Chute Technology, who have combined experience of more than 80 years in a wide variety of resource industries including coal, iron ore, alumina and limestone across Australia, the USA, South America and South Africa. The company’s technologies are also applicable to gold, nickel and other bulk minerals and ores.

“A great thing about the new system is that it is easily configured to flow with the hugely diverse geology of mines throughout the world, which have shafts joining other shafts at whatever angles the geology and conditions underground dictate.

“Instead of having to engineer custom-fabricated chute systems to suit unusual angles, this system just bolts into place in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost in time and money.

“In addition to savings in extending mines and adding new production, the chute system is far more time and labour-efficient in replacement of worn-out chutes, when you usually have to dismantle the old and install the new piece by piece. This one just slots into production virtually overnight.  

Chute Technology Pty Ltd combines the local and international manufacturing experience of T.W. Woods, represented by Director Tom Woods, with the similarly broad engineering and technology experience of Engineering Consultant Dennis Pomfret of Dennis Pomfret Engineering, and Design Engineer Gary Telford of McKajj Services, which contributes extensive design engineering, detail drafting and project management experience.

A bonus of the system they have produced is that it is designed from the outset to solve spillage and conveyor bulking problems common in coal mining and coal handling facilities.

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