The supply chain industry has been hit hard by labor shortages, with many organizations struggling to fill critical supply chain roles. Attracting and retaining talent remains a top priority for shippers and 3PLs, as supply chain operations have become increasingly more complex and demand new skillsets.

This year, over three-quarters-78%-of shippers and 56% of 3PLs reported that labor shortages had impacted their supply chain operations. Most saw the talent crisis as a long-term issue, with 22% of shippers and 24% of 3PLs expecting the shortage to last two years or more, while 27% of shippers and 29% of 3PLs reported they believe there has been a permanent shift in the labor market.

As a result, both shippers and 3PLs experienced difficulty in attracting and retaining supply chain talent. Hourly workers (i.e., pickers, packers) and certified/licensed hourly workers (i.e., truck drivers, equipment operators) continue to be the hardest roles for shippers and 3PLs to fill. To help attract and retain talent, an overwhelming majority of shippers (76%) and 3PLs (81%) also said they were offering non-traditional and alternative benefits for hourly workers.

Additionally. advances in automation and technology offer new opportunities to help offset labor shortages. Over 70% of shippers and 84% of 3PLs report they are either actively implementing or are researching and reviewing new technology or automation to address these shortages. Meanwhile, a higher percentage of 3PLs (73%) than shippers (46%) reported that companies are seeking out 3PL partners to counterbalance labor shortages.