Digital skills gap found in the logistics sector

Apr 26, 2024
Author: Paul Wormald
Paul is a partner at our Doncaster office. Paul specialises in advising small businesses and businesses in the transport & logistics sector. Paul also specialises in providing cloud accounting services to our clients.
Digital Skills gap logistics sector


As the world becomes increasingly digitised, industries are facing a pressing need to adapt to technological advancements. The logistics sector, a cornerstone of the UK economy, is no exception. Recent findings from a report by Neos Networks have unveiled a significant digital skills gap within the logistics industry. This revelation comes hot on the heels of previous challenges faced by the sector, including shortages in drivers and HGV technicians.

The report highlights how this digital skills deficit is impeding companies’ efforts towards digital transformation and the adoption of technology-driven initiatives. Through surveying industry leaders nationwide, Neos Networks delves into the crucial role of connectivity in the UK logistics landscape, while also gauging the industry’s readiness for broader digital transformations.

In this article, we explore some of research findings and address some of barriers facing investment in digital skills in the logistics industry.


Research findings

The research conducted by Neos Networks highlights a concerning shortage of digital talent within the UK logistics sector, with 63% of companies facing this challenge. Only a minority of logistics companies feel adequately equipped for digital growth, with less than 40% possessing the necessary skill set for tech initiatives. Outdated systems plague a significant portion of the industry, hindering the adoption of digital processes, as reported by 37% of surveyed companies. Additionally, insufficient digital infrastructure poses a substantial barrier, according to 35% of respondents.


Barriers to investment in Digital skills

Experts caution that without sufficient investment, the sector risks stagnating in its digital transformation efforts. We explore some of common barriers preventing logistics companies from investing in digital skills.


Unwillingness to invest

One of the primary obstacles encountered by any organisation seeking to embark on digital transformation is the reluctance to embrace change. Furthermore, the importance of crafting a digital transformation plan may encounter hindrances due to the reluctance to allocate adequate human and financial resources for such projects. This is especially the case in sectors that typically have low profit margins such as logistics.


Not an attractive career path compared to other sectors

The logistics sector has a need for well-qualified experienced staff with in-depth technical skills. However, this may be difficult to achieve as a career in logistics may not be as appealing to these experts as other sectors.


Outdated technology and systems can be expensive to replace

Many logistics companies have invested a huge amount of money into technology and systems that are now outdated which could be difficult and expensive to replace.


Why is it important for the logistics sector to invest in technology?

Investing in digital education and infrastructure is very important to create a culture of innovation which will ensure that the UK will be at the forefront of the logistics sector. To achieve this their will need to be collaboration between industry leaders, digital experts and the government to overcome the digital skills gap barrier in the logistics sector.

How can we help?

Hawsons has a dedicated team of specialist transport and logistics accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

We act for a large number of clients in this sector across our three offices, ranging from hauliers to international couriers, and understand the challenges this dynamic sector faces.

Nearly every other commercial sector is reliant on the services transport and logistic businesses provide and, in many ways, this specialist sector is the linchpin for our country’s economy.

With our experience in the transport and logistics sector we are able to develop a close understanding of your business and, through active year round involvement, we can help you anticipate and deal with challenges quickly and effectively.

More from our transport and logistics experts

You can find all of our latest transport and logistics sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

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Paul Wormald, Partner

Paul Wormald

Partner, Doncaster

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