Boom in e-commerce results in skills shortage for warehousing and supply chain industries

Boom in e-commerce results in skills shortage for warehousing and supply chain industries

Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting equipment for the warehousing industry including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is warning employers to consider the health and safety of current warehousing and supply chain staff as demand reaches record levels.

A significant rise in e-commerce due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Brexit stockpiling and the impending Christmas shopping season has resulted in a skills shortage for the UK warehousing and supply chain sectors.

With lockdown showing a polarization in the labour market, recruiters throughout the UK are highlighting a lack of suitable candidates for warehousing and forklift driving roles as demand spikes.

In the run-up to the first deadline for the UK to leave the EU back in March 2019, a report from January of the same year noted that three-quarters of UK warehouse owners said their spaces were already full to capacity.

This demand has further continued into 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in online shopping being cited as reasons for the need of quality warehousing space reaching record levels in the first half of 2020 with a take-up of  66% above the long term average, according to the latest Savills Big Shed briefing.

In turn, economic research carried out by world-leading recruitment and career advice website Glassdoor has reported that warehousing roles are among the occupations with the biggest increase in job openings from March to May 2020.

Combined with the amount of EU nationals looking for employment closer to home due to Brexit and travel restrictions, employers are being urged to consider the health and wellbeing of their current staff as increased demand is set to rise as the festive season and predicted post-Brexit border disruption approaches.

Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said “With candidate shortages hitting hard across both warehousing and supply chain sectors, it is imperative that employers look at ways to safeguard the health and safety of current staff as the industry prepares for the busiest year on record.

“From training staff to carry out several roles as business needs dictate to ensuring a robust and plentiful supply of good quality materials lifting equipment to reduce the risk of avoidable injuries, employers should also be focusing on the wellbeing of their current workforce as well as looking to attract suitable candidates to new vacancies.”

With a strategically located warehouse featuring a wide range of ready to ship equipment, Midland Pallet Trucks has been able to keep up with the demand for products crucial to the success of warehousing and supply chain sectors during lockdown.

Thanks to special permission to remain open granted by the UK government, the company has celebrated the most successful trading period in its history.

To find out more about the wide range of materials handling equipment available from Midland Pallet Trucks, visit