Human Resources - Bottleneck in Vietnam's Logistics Development Strategy

2:19:00 PM | 18/12/2019

In the Sustainable Marine Economic Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045, Vietnam's development goal will become a strong marine nation. To realize this goal, in addition to developing port infrastructure, shipping and logistics, human resources must also be fully developed in quantity and quality to improve economic competitiveness. This is also an important “bottleneck” in Vietnam's logistics development strategy.

Demand for high quality human resources

Human resource development is always one of top concerns of the Government. According to the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index (LPI), in 2018, Vietnam ranked 39th out of 160 countries, behind Thailand (32nd) and Singapore (7th). However, at present, Vietnam logistics industry still has many problems in all aspects, including infrastructure, institutional framework and service supplier capacity. These factors hinder global interconnectivity, trade promotion and market expansion.

Besides, the demand for logistics human resources is very high. Companies are currently finding it hard to develop logistics personnel because they are weak at professional knowledge and English communications skills. In fact, graduates of vocational schools fail to meet working requirements, both quality and quantity. Most employers have to retrain their new recruits. This is very time-consuming and costly for them. Therefore, Vietnam's logistics industry is expected to fall short of labor force by 2030, especially high quality labor resources.

Speaking of port and maritime human resources at the workshop on “Advanced personnel training trends for port, maritime and maritime safety and security sectors” held recently in Hanoi, Mr. Truong Tan Loc, Director of Tan Cang - STC Company, said that currently 90% of import and export goods in the world are transported via seaports. By 2030, the logistics industry needs about 30,000 people, of which the southern region accounts for more than half of the demand.

According to a representative of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, Vietnam signed transport agreements with 28 countries. The country also inked 32 international agreements on the recognition of crew qualifications, including 18 mutual recognition agreements, 11 foreign agreements recognizing diplomas granted by Vietnam and three Vietnamese agreements recognizing diplomas granted by other countries. This is a favorable condition for seafarers to join the international working environment in order to improve the working expertise in particular and the competitiveness of Vietnam's logistics industry in general.

Advanced trend in training logistics human resources

Great e-commerce potential is creating a great chance for electronic logistics. Therefore, logistics service providers have to expand professional E-Logistics channels to meet e-commerce needs. This will improve delivery to minimize costs for the logistics system to enhance product competitiveness.

Mr. Truong Tan Loc, Director of Tan Cang - STC Company, said, the current seaport trend is applying automation and electronics into operation. This will impact recruitment and employment trends in the logistics industry. Accordingly, some job positions may disappear while some new positions will be of high demand and highly paid.

Remarking on human resources trends in the coming time, Mr. Loc said, most of current positions are involved in general logistics, shipping and business. However, in the near future trend, the most attractive job position is online marketing and sales. Besides, jobs relating to manual customs declaration are also likely to disappear. The demand for managers, warehouse operators, inventory managers or some manual employment positions may also decrease.

Furthermore, investment for technology and personnel will be a decisive factor in future logistics development. In the coming time, recruitment will focus on work skills, foreign language competence, technological prowess rather than qualifications. Therefore, the cooperation of businesses and schools to design a more practical curricula and to have focused training solutions is extremely important.

Last but not least, businesses themselves must actively train their own personnel and improve their skills to keep up with ongoing rapid changes, mainly caused by technological advances and global economic integration.

Thu Ha (Vietnam Business Forum Magazine)