The logistics industry is booming and needs an increasing number of workers. The online shopping trend well underway before the pandemic has simply exploded post pandemic and the need for delivery riders from anything to food, groceries and every small or large item needed is simply just a click away.
The above article highlights the shift of manpower from traditional factories towards logistics. The pay is better and the gig workers enjoy better working conditions than in some factories. As more workers follow the gig economy, their career growth may stagnate and they will be unable to build skills. Eventually drone deliveries may also replace some of the manpower needs as technology permeates into all sectors of business. The increase in online purchases and logistics demand has created a worker shortage at factories and payroll costs are increasing in China, the manufacturing hub of the world. As higher salaries work themselves into the cost of production, the world will start to feel the pain of inflation soon for all China sourced product. Global shipping rates have also been steadily climbing and the sanctions related to the Ukraine war are making fuel expensive along with increasing container shipping rates. While the current off-shoring supply chain starts to think about on-shoring more production, the process is complicated and will take a few years and will not necessarily result in lower cost of production. It is the perfect storm.
Shanghai, a city of 26 million people in China is in complete lockdown. Since nobody can leave their homes, there is a huge logistics effort to delivery daily essentials to its residents. No small task but someone has to get the job done.
Likewise Singapore is also seeing hiring needs increasing with over 1700 open positions in the logistics sector
As the easy one click delivery platforms gain traction, small local mom and pop retailers struggle to survive. Recovering rental costs start to become challenging while some have signed up to service and deliver orders received from large online retailing platforms.
More deliveries also translate into more packaging items like boxes, cartons, bubble wrap and plastic envelopes. But more packaging also means more waste which is hard to recycle and simply adds to global pollution. As supermarkets start to charge for plastic bags and expect consumers to bring their own bags, to reduce plastic consumption, online logistics packaging waste perhaps far exceeds the savings from grocery stores towards the recycling effort.
Whether these changes and their impact is transitory or permanent only time will tell. Meanwhile millions are enjoying the convenience of having items they need delivered to their doorstep.