Automation and new recruitment/retention strategies can help address the supply chain labor crunch.
There is an acute shortage of labor in the warehouse and logistics markets; but they are not alone. There is a skilled labor shortage across the board in the service, repair, and manufacturing sectors as well. Additionally, the lack of truck drivers in the U.S. is contributing to a spike in shipping costs.
As we reported last year, the growth in the supply chain and manufacturing sectors has led to a 6:1 difference in the number of new positions created versus the available labor pool. This is made worse by a decline in labor force participation and an increase in retirements. A report from January found that 81.6% of companies employing warehouse workers use supplementary, temporary, or contract workers.
So what can warehouse operators do to address this gap, while still meeting their customers’ needs? A few strategies are emerging that can help the deficit now, while also laying the groundwork for a larger pool of skilled workers in the future.