The U.S. logistics industry will have nearly 1.1 million job openings between 2013 and 2016 just to keep pace with projected industry growth during that period, according to a soon-to-be-released study by a state advocacy group.
However, the report, to be published Oct. 30 by the Savannah-based Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, found that only 75,000 logistics workers are being trained, degreed, or certified each year to fill what will be more than 270,000 annual job openings through 2016.
Unless the trends change, the nation would be short about 800,000 qualified logistics workers by the end of 2016, meaning that nearly 70 percent of available job openings would go unfilled, according to the report.
The report based its findings on data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to the report, the warehousing and distribution industry will have more than 125,000 job openings per year over the four-year period. That is followed by trucking, with more than 115,000 job openings a year; industrial engineering, with about 12,000 openings; logistics operations and management positions at 12,660 per year; and freight rail at 4,530 positions.
The Georgia center, whose primary mission is to highlight the state's strengths as a logistics hub, said in the report that federal and state lawmakers need to separate logistics from other business functions and make it an "independent industry sector." The report also called on educators to expose students to the industry earlier in the educational process and to provide better coordination and support for technical colleges so they could expand logistics instruction.