Automation & Digital Transformation

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63% of the logistics sector report shortage of digital skills, new data finds

New data from the 2024 UK logistics digital infrastructure report has revealed a significant digital skills gap within the UK logistics sector, with 63% of companies reporting a shortage of digital talent. Experts warn of digital transformation stalemate without sufficient investment.

Findings revealed that less than two in five logistics companies consider their employee skillset well-placed for digital growth, spotlighting the pressing need for investment.

This shortage poses a considerable challenge to the industry, already grappling with digital initiatives failing at over 4 in 5 companies during the past year.

The research, conducted by dedicated internet access providers Neos Networks, surveyed business leaders and decision-makers from UK logistics companies to explore the role connectivity has to play in the present and future of UK logistics, and assess how ready the industry is for wider digital transformation.

Issues identified by operators include outdated systems, reported by 37% of logistics companies, hindering the ability to adopt and integrate digital processes. Over a third (35%) also highlight insufficient digital infrastructure as a significant barrier.

The findings underscore the urgent need for the logistics sector to invest more to keep pace with evolving technological demands.

David Bruce, CRO at Neos Networks (pictured left), says: 

“A shortage in digital skills acts as a barrier to innovation and efficiency in the logistics sector, ultimately restricting growth in a digital-first world. Investing in digital education and infrastructure is imperative to create a culture of innovation, ensuring the UK at the forefront of global logistics.”

“Collaboration between industry leaders, digital experts, and government is needed to overcome the digital divide and unlock a digital-first approach for the logistics sector.”

Steve Parker, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) (pictured right), says:

“The need to develop a well-planned digital transformation strategy can be impeded by the unwillingness to commit sufficient human and financial resources to that development; as it can be seen as high cost in a sector with typically very low profit margins.

“There is a need for well-qualified staff with in-depth technical knowledge and that can be lacking as a career in logistics may not be as appealing to the experts as some other sectors.

“One of the biggest challenges faced by any company looking to undergo digital transformation is the natural resistance to change that arises within any organisation. Many companies have invested heavily in outdated legacy systems and technologies that can be difficult – and expensive – to replace.”