If you pay attention to the last two letters of the word %22Logistics%22, you can see that it is %22HR%22, that is, %22Human Resources%22. Here, I would like to emphasize that logistics is a labor-intensive “work” done with people by using a “metaphor” here.

The success or failure of the logistics business depends on the success or failure of the %22Human Resources%22 working in the logistics business.

29.07. In the 2012 HR supplement, %22Logistics industry has a shortage of qualified personnel%22, in the HR supplement of the Haber Türk newspaper, dated 28.04.2013, %22Logistics industry needs fully equipped personnel%22, and in the 16.11.2017 issue of the Hürriyet newspaper, %22Driver wanted… Investments have come to a standstill! ” He had the news and even a shipping company, I think in 2017, placed large ads in the newspapers to find a driver.

In the logistics business, which was shown as the %22profession of the future%22 years ago, the problems related to %22human resources%22 10 years ago are still being talked about today. For example, in the “Sectoral Overview 2020 – Transport and Logistics” Report of KPMG Turkey, “The logistics sector in Turkey cannot attract enough investors due to the limited qualified human resources.” is called.

Companies that find it difficult to find enough qualified human resources for their logistics business have difficulty in retaining the human resources they find difficult. For example, according to the “Employee Turnover Rate” Report prepared by PERYÖN, the “Employee Turnover Rate” for the logistics industry in 2018 was 22%. In other words, the employee profile of companies providing logistics services changes “completely” every five years, or 22% of the employee profile, “every year”. Although there is no data for warehouses, I know that this rate is much higher especially for “blue-collar” employees in warehouses. Every manager or white-collar or blue-collar %22outgoing%22 and each %22incoming%22 employee creates additional material and moral %22costs%22 and %22problems%22 for the company.

According to the results of many researches conducted in Turkey and around the world and my observations, young people started to take less interest in the logistics business, which lost its attractiveness. That’s why the logistics business is having a hard time competing with other business lines in order to employ enough qualified young people.

In fact, even though 10 years is enough time to solve the problems, why are these problems still being talked about?

Why is “qualified human resources” still considered a VERY IMPORTANT PROBLEM, although there are undergraduate and associate degree programs related to logistics in more than 50 higher education institutions in Turkey?

Is the logistics business ready for the “Y” generation born after 1995 and the “Z” generation born today?

What should companies do to reduce the “Employee Turnover” rate?

Here are my suggestions for solutions:

  • All stakeholders (relevant Ministries, logistics companies, relevant NGOs, relevant educational institutions) should work together to increase the attractiveness of the logistics business.
  • In order to encourage the logistics business, videos or public spots with special emphasis on the logistics business, and even the performance of the logistics business that serves people in the Covid-19 period can be broadcast on television.
  • Logistics business can be explained with «child language» in kindergarten or primary school, and especially the “Z” generation can be interested in logistics.
  • Turkey’s current logistics employee inventory (how many people work in which position in which function of logistics?) is prepared and the projection of “employee needs for logistics work” for 10 years (how many people with which competencies and in which position should work in which function of logistics?) and training planning according to this projection can be done.
  • Companies should reconsider their %22management style%22, especially for blue-collar and field workers, and work on how to %22retain%22 existing employees and %22convince%22 qualified youth.
  • Logistics is an operation and is done on site. Therefore, more attention should be paid to blue-collar workers and field workers. The most important benefit of logistics is that the goods are made available to the customer. If the customer cannot use the goods he bought (if it arrives late, incomplete, damaged or wrong), that product is of no use to the customer. In short, %22quality of service%22, that is, the goods ordered by the customer to arrive on time, complete and undamaged, is much more important. Service quality is ensured only by the %22right%22 people (especially blue-collar and field workers) and the %22correct%22 management of people. For service quality, the competencies of blue-collar workers and field workers should be increased.
  • Opportunities for women to enter the driving profession can be provided for the need for drivers, and %22heavy commercial vehicle%22 training can be provided to unemployed or military youth.
  • The right human resource to work in the logistics business can be determined by making a %22competency%22-based recruitment evaluation for the employment of suitable %22white-collar%22 personnel (drivers, warehousemen, etc.) who are suitable for the difficulties of the logistics business.
  • In order to provide qualified human resources to work in logistics operations, instead of 4-year departments that provide undergraduate education in logistics, %22Logistics Vocational High School (ML)%22 and %22Logistics Vocational School (MYO)%22 graduates should be focused. Undergraduate graduates of other disciplines who want to work in the logistics business, with a 6-month (maximum 12 months) program in logistics, planning software, sales, business, accounting, etc. Can do office tasks such as
  • For field operation, MLs (sea, port, air, iron, warehouse, land) should be opened, with the first 2 years of school and the last 2 years of full-time internship. Counting internship periods for ML students to SSI; earning minimum wage during the internship period and having full SSI; Those who are successful in the internship (50% contribution of the internship to the graduation grade) can be given special rights such as being able to pass to Vocational School without an exam or to be given a plus point in the exam for transition to undergraduate departments.
  • By making legal arrangements for internship, students; It can be randomly assigned to all companies, without exception, that do logistics business according to their success, interest and place of residence or internship, and all expenses of these students (SGK, service, pocket money …) can be covered by YÖK, the Ministry and relevant NGOs.
  • It can be emphasized that ‘ML or Vocational High School’ graduates are recruited to government staff related to logistics and that these graduates are given importance, and companies can be encouraged to employ more ML and Vocational School graduates by giving incentives (such as SKG discount).
  • It can be ensured that 50% of the faculty members are logistics professionals (with legal regulation, companies allocate knowledgeable and experienced personnel to provide training) or that existing academics have at least 2 years of field practice.

In my opinion, the biggest and even the only problem of the logistics business in the world and in Turkey is that it cannot and will not find a “sufficient” number of “qualified” human resources. The single biggest problem because all other problems can be solved with qualified people.

The most important element in logistics is people. Unless there are qualified people, logistics always loses money; As long as there are qualified people, logistics always saves money. Firms and managers who can manage people %22correctly%22 will be successful.

In my “Prophecies” article about 5 years ago, “The most important problem of the logistics business in Turkey will be to supply the need for a sufficient number of qualified human resources, and this may lead to a crisis.” By repeating my claim and saying, “Human resources for logistics are too important to be left to the Human Resources department and experts alone.” I finish by saying.

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