About graduate careers in logistics, transport and supply chain
Logistics and supply chain is to do with the fast, safe and efficient movement of goods, materials and services, while transport planning and management concern the designing of transport systems and the movement of freight or people by road, air, sea or rail. Employers within the sector include retail and consumer goods chains, supermarkets, transport companies, courier services, manufacturers, and third-party logistics and distribution companies. Within transport planning the main employers are local authorities, specialist consultancies, civil engineering firms and transport providers.
A complex international supply chain network has emerged from our changing lifestyle – increasing demand for cheaper goods has resulted in sourcing and manufacturing overseas. Many international companies are investing in countries with emerging markets, such as India, China and Brazil, as their presence becomes more significant within the logistics industry.
Businesses in supply chains are always looking for ways to become more efficient, both to cut costs and to have less of an impact on the environment. Environmental issues are also a major concern of the transport industry, which faces pressure to find more sustainable solutions for the transport of goods and passengers in line with environmental regulations –particularly in air travel. Within the industry, many have moved towards more environmentally friendly and financially steady biofuels, and the collaborative transportation of goods to reduce wasted space in transit is becoming more common.
Opportunities for graduates
There is a variety of roles available within this sector. Graduates might work in sourcing, storage, distribution, operations management and supply chain analysis within logistics and supply chain, but could also apply for roles within support functions such as finance, HR and marketing. In transport planning, graduates might start out in research or data modelling roles. Roles in this sector are open to business and engineering graduates as well as those from an unrelated discipline. Employers run specialist or more general introductory training programmes. Graduates in this sector require excellent problem-solving and analytical skills as many roles involve planning and organisation. The ability to communicate well with a range of people is particularly important in logistics and supply chain roles, as graduates often spend time in warehouses and factories.
- Everything you need to know about getting a graduate job in logistics, transport and supply chain.
- Find out what careers in logistics and supply chain really involve.
- Discover what transport planning careers are about.
Students interested in logistics, transport and supply chain…
- were most likely to study sociology (35%), languages, literature and classics (25%), business/management (22%) and psychology (18%)
- would take into account a company’s reputation when considering careers, as 100% of students actively disagreed with the statement ‘If the salary was right, I would work for a company with a bad image’
- were likely to want to interact with recruiters face to face, as meeting employers via stands at careers fairs (82%), via off-campus careers events (75%) and via employer presentations (75%) were the most popular methods of engaging with employers
- were less likely to use social media for careers purposes, as a sizeable 35% of those surveyed did not use any of the social media channels listed.