Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Sentiment stays positive

Hiring activity in logistics was steady last year, allowing candidates with office experience in global supply chain, sourcing and trading to benefit from employers' general optimism.

That positive sentiment is continuing in this year's first quarter, with demand for individuals with solid backgrounds in freight forwarding operations and logistics management. The essential technical skills now required include a detailed knowledge of consolidation, import and export documentation, and cargo planning for sea and air freight shipments. Recruits are also needed to conduct supplier audits and ensure compliance. Candidates with a good understanding of the mainland market, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East will have a definite advantage.

Excellent soft skills are important for anyone hoping to move up the management ladder. These must complement knowledge of the operations and hardware that transportation and logistics relies on. Candidates should have good interpersonal skills to collaborate with customers, carriers and international agents, and must be able to negotiate with suppliers and service partners on pricing, quality and delivery commitments. People familiar with the procedures for handling time-sensitive materials are always in demand.

Lancy Chui, managing director of Manpower Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam operations