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Media Release – Economic Optimism Turbo-Charges Australia’s Logistics Industry


Massive optimism in the logistics industry is fuelling a jobs boom with businesses planning to hire new staff to meet demand, a sentiment snapshot has revealed.

The inaugural CartonCloud Logistics Index took the pulse of warehouse and transport businesses in the first quarter of 2021 with 50 respondents providing feedback on business operating conditions, workforce and hiring outlook, growth, opportunities and challenges.

CartonCloud founder Vincent Fletcher (pictured below) said the results of the index pointed towards a healthy industry emerging from the pandemic disruption with significant confidence for the future.

“Optimism is high in the current economic climate and businesses are looking to capture growth opportunities in the months ahead,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The confidence is translating into the creation of new jobs in the industry, particularly for operations involved in warehousing.

“The numbers speak for themselves: 90 per cent of the businesses surveyed believe they are likely or very likely to increase their staff numbers.

“Increasing the workforce isn’t just positive for our industry but increasing employment opportunities and creating new jobs will benefit families and communities across Australia.

“Job creation is a powerful indication that logistics businesses in Australia are growing and they are in secure financial positions to bring on new staff.”

Mr Fletcher said it was satisfying to see more than 80% of businesses expecting to perform well or very well over the next six months, which was a sign of a very strong industry.

“Businesses are looking to grow by further increasing demand for logistics services, expanding the range of services they offer and making additional investments in business-to-consumer or e-commerce capabilities,” he said.

“Another opportunity to drive growth is the adoption of more technology across both warehouse and transport operations to drive efficiencies and unlock capacity.

“While 55% of respondents believe their business is embracing technology adoption well or very well, there’s clearly room for improvement in many warehouse and transport operations.”

Despite surging optimism and hiring intentions, the industry wasn’t without its challenges.

“Some businesses are scrambling to meet the high demand and customer expectations,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Hiring and upskilling the workforce so businesses can meet demand and customer expectations is a key challenge for both warehouse and transport businesses.

“We found it interesting that a significant number of senior management and business owner participants cited their own lack of digital vision and support as a key inhibitor in their business’s adoption of technology.

“Workforce knowledge and skill was also identified as a key barrier in the use of technology.”


What is your view of the current economic climate for your business?

A significant 68% of respondents believed the current economic climate for their business was either positive or very positive. This is in stark contrast to only 5% of respondents experiencing a poor economic outlook. The positive attitudes to economic conditions are a strong sign businesses are confident and are experiencing success in their operations. It’s important to note 27% of respondents reported a neutral view of their economic climate and future events may tip some of them into the poor or positive category.

How do you expect your business to perform in the next six months?

An overwhelming 83% of businesses expect to perform well or very well over the next six months. Less than 3% of participants expected their business to perform poorly, which is a sign of a very healthy industry outlook.

How would you rate the likelihood that your business will bring on additional staff within the next six months?

The positive economic and performance outlook is encouraging with 65% of participants indicating they believe their business is likely to bring on additional staff over the next six months. Likewise, 25% said they were very likely to increase their staff numbers.

Which of the following activities, if any, are you planning in the next 12 months in order to drive revenue growth?

More than 50% of participants believe their businesses will also tap into e-commerce/B2C fulfilment, and require an expansion in the range of services in the coming 12 months.

A smaller segment (15) saw automation and robotics as their primary revenue growth mechanisms for the coming months.

What will be the biggest challenges facing your business in the next 12 months?

Increasing operating costs were the main challenge faced by most (50%) businesses followed by driver and workforce shortages (43%). Inability to balance demand for services and capacity rounded out the top three.

60% of transport companies expect driver and workforce shortages to be the biggest challenge facing their business in the next 12 months.


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