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With many career options, interest in logistics and supply chains is growing as more people want to know where their purchases came from. But did you know how large and varied the entire logistics and supply chain industry is? When thinking about career options, there’s a whole world or responsibilities awaiting this industry.

Technology such as RFIDs, barcodes and the internet have allowed for products to tell their rich histories to consumers. It’s not surprising then that more people are becoming interested in how things get from A to B. That interest may even grow to become an active step towards a career in the logistics and supply chain field.

However, the industry is much more encompassing than most people realize. It can even seem overwhelming if you haven’t done your research. To get a better understanding of the field, we’ve compiled a list of three things to know before you make the jump.

1. It’s a Bigger and More Varied Industry Than You Think

The logistics and supply chain industry is big, very big. In the U.S alone in fact, over 55 million tons of freight was moved daily in 2013. The freight was valued at $50 billion. Both numbers have since grown. As of 2015, U.S business logistics costs alone sat at $1.48 trillion.

These numbers aren’t surprising. Although the industry goes mostly unnoticed by most people, it’s responsible for every step of a product’s journey from the manufacturer to the customer’s hands. The process isn’t simple, it involves a lot of moving parts and planning. Various stages of delivery and transportation are involved to ensure they reach the right location at the right time.

With companies becoming bigger, more international in reach and scope, the demand and complexity of supply chains grows as well.

2. Logistics is Not the Same as Supply Chains

There’s a distinction between supply chain and logistics, although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Quora contributor Anastasia Kelm, outlines the differences clearly in this discussion thread.

Logistics — That part of supply chain management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.

Supply Chain — The planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers.

3. There’s Plenty of Opportunity to Grow the Career That You Want

According to a Fortune.com article, the logistics industry will need to fill 1.4 million jobs by next year. That estimate is conservative when you remember the explosive growth of e-commerce in recent years.

The truth is, even if you don’t have a relevant degree (or a degree at all), there’s still plenty of opportunities for you. Logistics is a vast industry and functional supply chains are a building block of any successful business. Not everyone looking to start a career in this field needs to be an operational manager or a truck driver either. There’s many jobs in warehousing, material handling, packaging, and management software. That’s to say nothing of support functions like HR, marketing and communications.

To learn more, check relevant job statistics on sites like Glassdoor and see what enrollment would be like at your local post-secondary school. Regardless of the avenue you plan on taking, do your research and determine for yourself if this dynamic field is right for you.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

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Yesterday was International Women’s Day (IWD), a celebration and tribute to women’s rights. This year marked the 108th anniversary of IWD.

IWD 2017’s goal is to speed up the timeline in reaching parity between men and women in opportunity, wages and leadership representation. According to the World Economic Forum, it’ll be nearly 170 years before the gender gap is closed. That’s a long time to wait for equality.

Let’s have a look at how far women have come. Both in the workplace and in field of logistics.

Women Internationally

Women have made tremendous progress across the globe in terms of rights and in the workforce. However, the last few years haven’t been as promising.

Despite an additional quarter billion women entering the workforce since 2006, women are a third less likely to participate than a man. In fact, in the ten years between 1995 and 2015, globally, women’s labour force participation dropped over 2%. Representation in administrative roles isn’t much better as women only hold 12% of the world’s board seats according to a report by Deliotte.

The disparity continues in wages. Globally, women earn around a third less than what men earn.

Women in North America

The numbers are a little more optimistic if you narrow the scope to just North America.

In Canada and the U.S for example, the difference between the number of men and women in the workforce was 9.6% and 12.4% respectively.

The two countries show very different numbers when it comes to women in management positions. Women hold around 35% of management and professional roles in Canada, whereas in the U.S, the number goes up to 51%.

Only modest gains have in regards to the number of women serving as Fortune 500 CEO’s. There’s only 24 women (4.8%) in the top levels of these companies. However, Fortune is reporting that the number is increasing to 27 by the end of first quarter 2017. While still low, these numbers are big improvement over 20 years ago, when women were completely absent from these positions.

Women in Logistics

The logistics industry continues to struggle with equality. There are several reasons for this, but a root cause is perception. It’s hard for the industry to escape the perception that it’s all about heavy lifting and moving. This image problem has affected the number of women seeking out a career in logistics.

Currently, around 65% of graduates going into the logistics field are male. Only 35% of graduates are female. The difference is the greatest of any business field. The number drops to 5% when looking at women in logistics holding top level positions.

These figures are troubling not just from an equality perspective, but from a business point of view as well. Financial performance significantly improves if there’s at least 30% women in higher-level leadership positions according to a 2009 report by McKinsey.

Women have come a long way since the first IWD 108 years ago. Organizations are increasingly seeing the value of having qualified women on their teams, from entry-level to CEO positions. The logistics industry especially has a lot of work left. But, we’re confident that as the industry continues to modernize, the number of female leaders will grow as well.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

To most job seekers, a career in logistics or supply chain is just misunderstood — or invisible. This is why we’ve compiled 10 reasons why a career in logistics and supply chains can be the dynamic and rewarding career so many look for!

Have you ever wondered how a package or an item gets to where it needs to go? You should—the system that ensures that it happens is called a supply chain. The industry that ensures that it runs smoothly is called logistics. And the reason why this industry is so exciting is because without it, no other industry would be able to operate!

Despite the critical role logistics plays behind consumer goods, military supplies and personnel, it’s an industry with a recruiting problem.

Here Are Our Top Picks for Why This Career May be Right for You

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.