Transport vs. Logistics: What’s the Difference?
The logistics industry and transportation sector are closely linked and often confused. Transport, or the moving of goods from one location to another, is only a small part of the logistics chain. By contrast, logistics is an umbrella term which covers a number of procedures. But what does the difference between the logistics industry and transportation sector mean for a career in the logistics industry?
Put simply, transportation is the business of moving goods, people or animals from one site to another via any number of modes such as air, rail, road, sea, cable, pipeline and even space. The sector is made up of three core parts:
These may be fixed installations, such as roads, railways, pipelines and canals, or terminals, such as stations, airports and warehouses.
These include planes, trains, ships, and spacecraft.
This includes how vehicles are operated, as well as covering policies, legalities and financing.
Logistics is the management of the flow of resources. These resources may be physical, such as food, materials, liquids and equipment, or abstract, such as information. It is important to note that a career in the logistics industry means you will play a key role in supply chain management, which deals with delivering end value to the customer, after sales service and reverse logistics (recycling).
The logistics field includes a number of procedures:
The logistics industry and transport sector both endeavour to minimise time, cost, and resources involved in their respective processes. It is a highly competitive market, where both physical and abstract products must move quickly and cheaply, paired with improved service.
Both industries have benefited from advancements in technology, and improved business processes. Technologies allow real-time monitoring of flow and resources, transparency across multiple points and the seamless exchange of operational information with KPIs which have had a profound impact on the industry.
The past several decades have seen globalisation push the logistics industry to the forefront of business operations. Add digitisation to the mix, and companies now compete with the entire world, rather than just those close by. Customers can purchase goods from anywhere in the world, and expect almost instantaneous delivery, something which would have been impossible several years ago. These shifts, coupled with the advances in technology, offer both significant risk and potential reward.
Experts have suggested that data will play the most crucial role in shaping the future of logistics over the next five years—90% to be exact, compared with industry averages of 83%. While the industry has never had access to more data, it is the digital culture and training that facilities the currently growing jobs in logistics.
The College for Adult Learning offers students the option to study the Diploma of Logistics qualification (TLI50219) which is accredited Australia-wide. It is also highly regarded within adult education courses across Asia-Pacific and the globe. The course gives students a broad understanding of the various functions within the logistics sector and helps to prepare for a promising logistics career.
It can either act as an entry point to a career, or a foundation for further university study. A career in the logistics industry to which students could aspire includes Warehouse Management, Transport Operation Management, Distribution Operations Management, Logistics and Inventory Management or Supply Chain Management.
Top 4 Reasons to Enter the Logistics Industry
Australia’s Economic Position
Australia is currently experiencing continued growth in the logistics industry. Once a sector favoured by Europe and North America, the Asia-Pacific has now gained the upper hand. Our strategic location perfectly positions our nation to continue to boom.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development and wider community understanding.
According to BITRE, in 2013, the logistics industry in Australia was estimated to account for 8.6% of our GDP in 2013, contributing $131.6 billion to our national economy. Compare this to the 2016 findings, and the GDP has increased to 10.2%, adding over $170 billion to the economy.
A Chance to Travel the World
While Australia may be well-positioned to enjoy a fruitful logistical relationship with the rest of the world, there is endless opportunity to travel in a career in the logistics industry. Not many other industries share these firm connections with countries all over the world, and so it is common to move either within an organisation or between jobs. China, South America and Russia are some of the exciting areas of growth which could prove to be your new home.
Travelling isn’t the only opportunity offered from the currently growing jobs in logistics. Often, new roles encourage candidates to speak to people from non-English speaking backgrounds. This, combined with travel, can encourage the learning of another language. Workers who are new to the sector often find that after several years, they have gained the international business sense to move on to new opportunities, either here or abroad.
The logistics industry is currently expected to employ 1.2 million people. Global job hunting site Seek reports that new job listings in assembly and process work are up 24% year-on-year, and new job listing growth has also been seen for pickers and packers, machine operators, warehousing, and storage and distribution.
What’s more, employers are actively seeking younger candidates to fill a gap in demand. Approximately 48% of workers in transport and logistics are over 45 years old, and so experts and employers agree that attracting younger a talent to the industry is crucial.
According to Hays’ 2017 trend report, companies in the logistics industry are targeting candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes, combined with a proven track record in reducing costs and achieving demanding KPIs. Furthermore, the report states that in an effort to improve efficiencies in the face of stiff competition, employers are seeking candidates with a broader skill set.
On top of these industry-specific skills, soft skills such as communication and interacting with people of all backgrounds can go a long way to helping you secure that entry level spot. When you study logistics courses online via College for Adult Learning, this all-encompassing introduction to the logistics industry provides practical skills which can launch students straight into a career in the logistics industry. With so many specialist fields within the field, these adult education courses can also help to direct further study for those with aspirations for senior logistics roles.
5 Growing Jobs in Logistics
There’s no doubt that the manufacturing, transport and logistics industry offers promising career opportunities. In Australia, there are currently over 10,000 jobs being advertised. Coupled with a 38% growth in the last five years, and a predicted similarly strong growth in the coming five, it’s a bright future for job seekers, as well as students researching the currently growing jobs in logistics. We’ve collated some of the in-demand jobs in the logistics industry, along with the expected salary and the skills required to attain each position.
Also known as a Purchasing Manager, or Procurement Specialist, this role is in charge of obtaining anything an organisation might need in order to deliver their logistics solutions. They oversee all orders and purchases to help the operations run smoothly. This may include sourcing suppliers, purchase orders, licenses, or even property. Procurement Managers are also responsible for negotiation with suppliers when it comes to price and contract terms.
- Analytical and organisational skills
- Interpersonal skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution and supplier liaison
- Management skills and ability to supervise effectively
- Ability to lead, manage a team, and make decisions
Salary Range: $60k-$150k
Distribution Centre Manager
The Distribution Manager is responsible for handling the organisation, supply, movement and storage of products within a distribution centre, where goods are held before they are sent out to customers, wholesalers, or retailers. It involves maintaining stock levels and tracking stock, managing customer issues, and reviewing best practices using data analysis. Naturally, Distribution Managers are also responsible for ensuring all members of their team abide by WHS regulations.
- Ability to lead as well as work within a team
- Acute attention to detail
- Customer service and communication skills
- Able to solve problems as they arise and calculate risk
Salary Range: $115k-$140K
The primary focus of an Operations Manager is to coordinate and plan the day to day business operations, ensuring everything flows smoothly and efficiently like a well-oiled machine. To implement this, Operations Managers oversee staff, projects and clients. Working closely with senior management, Operations Managers develop and implement business plans to improve on costs, allocation of resources and customer service.
- Higher level leadership experience and/or training
- Organisation and planning skills
- Advanced computer skills, necessary for tracking and maintaining stock levels
- WHS exposure
- Client and stakeholder management skills
Salary Range: $80k-$120k
Logistics Managers oversee the entire logistics supply chain, including purchasing, movement, storage, scheduling and delivery. Reporting directly to the CEO, this is a senior role which often includes preparing and negotiating tender contracts, coordinating staff, preparing regulatory documentation and implementing WHS standards. In roles dealing with international logistics, this role will need to be familiar with import, export, and international freight procedures.
- Strong numeracy and IT skills
- Proficient managerial skills
- Strong organisation skills
- Able to solve conflicts, negotiate and liaise with all contacts
Salary Range: $110k-$150k
Transport Schedulers ensure assets are available for delivery, as well as making sure that transport is continually improved to enhance efficiency. Key responsibilities include the planning of transport of goods on time, cost effective allocation of resources, management of drivers and staff to meet KPIs, maintaining schedules, WHS and fatigue management compliance, scheduling internal and external deliveries and ensuring all customs and transport requirements are met.
- Strong problem solving and troubleshooting skills
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of Australian transport rules and regulations
- Good record management skills
- Enjoy working in a fast paced, practical environment
Salary Range: $50k-$120k
With so many promising career pathways in the logistics industry, why not start your journey and study the Diploma of Logistics online with the College for Adult Learning today?