How to Prevent Supply Chain Disruption During Labor Shortages

As the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages pose significant challenges that threaten an already vulnerable supply chain. For example, roughly 3% of the US workforce quit in August 2021—the highest number ever recorded—and another 55% plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months. In other words, more than half the country’s workforce will look to make a job change within the year. This phenomenon has become known as the Great Resignation.

These severe labor shortages, along with product scarcities and high demand, have wreaked havoc around the world. While largely pandemic-induced, the problem is likely to last well into 2022—and maybe even longer.

The bottom line? Labor shortages have left disruptive gaps in the logistics sector. However, suppliers can bridge the gaps and start rebuilding their supply chain in time for the holiday season and beyond by taking action now.

Recruit young talent

While the Great Resignation has impacted nearly all industries, the logistics industry has some particular staffing woes because of the increased difficulty recruiting young people. With an aging and retiring workforce, Gen Z and Millennials must become the main characters in the pool of eligible candidates.

However, with many young employees opting in high-growth sectors like healthcare or technology, employment in the supply chain industry has decreased by almost 400,000 since the pandemic. Such a severe labor shortage makes it nearly impossible for shippers to rebuild the supply chain effectively.

A younger workforce is ideal and is the obvious course of action for filling new positions and positions vacated by retirement. The younger workforce may not have the experience, but they can be trained to take on managerial roles. With the proper guidance, they’ll quickly grow into positions with greater responsibility.

However, a younger workforce is not enough to ease the strain of such a severe labor shortage. Employers are going to have to look at new technology to make up for job losses. A bonus of a younger workforce is their willingness to adopt new technology that will ease workloads and increase productivity, making some positions obsolete.

Automate manual processes

Just as technologies like Zoom and Slack have risen in popularity to meet work-from-home demands, the logistics industry must embrace automation to speed manual processes. Amid the Great Resignation, recruiting and training talent in the logistics sector requires new technologies that align with the expectations and practices of a younger workforce.

By focusing on automated technologies that can reduce the number of human resources needed to manage supply chain processes effectively, workers can do better, more interesting work that only a human can do. And with younger workers open to embracing this technology, systems can be more effective and cost-efficient. That’s where logistic management services come in.

Automated logistic management services bridge the gap between supply chain disruption and the logistics sector workforce shortages. CTSI-Global can take over functions or manage the entire supply chain process, from navigating relationships with carriers to handling tracking and reporting to dealing with damaged freight— and much, much more. With 60 years of experience, we bring the knowledge necessary to bridge skill gaps created by labor shortages and give employees more time to do work that matters to your business.

Let’s rebuild the supply chain together. Contact us today.