Dynamic environment: New report on labour shortages in the logistics sector


HICKEY, a global location consulting firm, assesses the European market on labour shortages across the Logistics Industry that should be on every Investor / Developer / Occupier’s radar

Europe (11, Nov 2019) – HICKEY released their European Logistics Trends Report, highlighting the major structural challenges caused by the explosion in E-Commerce causing increasing shortages of logistics workers across Europe.

HICKEY experts examined 16 key markets across Europe by evaluating leading operational and location factors, including talent pipelines, infrastructure, fertility rates, migratory patterns, commute times, amenities, and grants & incentives, among a number of other vital concerns.

Along with the vast research undertaken, they also surveyed numerous occupiers, 3PL’s, employment agencies, and developers/investors, amongst other stakeholders.

HICKEY’s European Logistics Trends report also analyses key labour factors for developers to consider when locating logistics operations and for operators seeking a sustainable workforce.

  1. Commute times & ease of commute matters – Choosing an optimum location is critically important for attracting employees, not just to meet supply chain demands.
  2. Companies need to be an employer of choice – In a highly competitive environment, employees are increasingly being selective who they work for.
  3. Employees are demanding / expecting more benefits / amenities & flexibility – seeking similar perks traditionally bespoke to their office-based colleagues.

Europe is witnessing a massive growth in online retailing (particularly in Clothing, Software & Media, Household Goods and Electronics) with Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany leading the way.

Meanwhile, Eastern European markets are now doubling their E-Commerce sales every year, all of which is creating a massive surge in the demand for warehousing.“What our findings highlight is that all companies / businesses need to look at factors other than simply cost when considering locations to base their logistics / warehousing facilities,” said HICKEY in the report.

“Attraction and retention of quality labourers has become extremely difficult as employees are now well equipped to work for their employer of choice.”

Companies are now increasingly basing a large part of their location decision on where the labour pool lies and formulating strategies to tap into it” commented Guy Douetil, EMEA Managing Director of HICKEY. “Our report analyses key strategies logistics & warehousing operators are implementing to attract & retain their current and future workforce by providing a well-rounded working environment that is easily accessible and offers best-in-class amenities for a productive workforce.”

A boom in online retailing, lack of natural population growth, and longer-term shifts in work choices & education will require governments to act upon labour shortages seen in the logistics & warehousing industry and provide thoughtful ways to supply the labour needs of tomorrow,” added David Hickey, Managing Director of HICKEY.

After having spoken to our clients surrounding their labour challenges, we have been able to work with these companies to provide advice on key locations that will help deliver the challenges currently faced by many to attract & retain these logistics workers.”

We have conducted interviews with a range of companies operating in 3PL’s, employment agencies, occupiers/developers’ industries and have been able to draw together ground breaking trends that companies have implemented and will continue to innovate on these trends to differentiate themselves from their competition.” said Guy Douetil.

“Great example of this can be found with companies piloting employment apps to provide their employees the ability to clock in/out and get paid on the same day if their manager concurs they have satisfactorily completed their work for the day.” This concept, if brought to life, will prove to be a game changer for the more transient employees looking to get paid at the end of each workday.

The HICKEY European Logistics Trends report also reveals the importance of education and training as the logistics and warehousing industry is still perceived by many to be low paying jobs with unsociable hours and heavy manual labour. Our research shows how in reality the dynamic industry has changed with an increased focus on skilled jobs that have come through the ranks with increasing use of technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

The full report is available at the following website www.hickeyandassociates.com/eurologisticstrends We encourage our readers to explore the robust findings of the report and If you would like to discuss further, please contact Guy Douetil.