‘Tug of war’ erupts over logistics salaries

‘Tug of war’ erupts over logistics salaries

More logistics professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.

According to the FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, 92% of employers will increase their transport and distribution staff salaries in their next review, up from 83% who did so in their last review.

However, the value of these increases will fall. 71% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 63% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 3% of employers intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.

Professionals prioritise a salary increase

For their part, 26% of the transport and distribution professionals Hays also spoke to expect no increase whatsoever and a further 48% expect 3% or less. Yet while these professionals anticipate little or no increase, they’re not going to sit idly by and accept it.

In fact, more than half (57%) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. 46% intend to achieve this by asking for a pay rise, while others are looking elsewhere – 41% of jobseekers say their uncompetitive salary provoked their job search.

“Tug of war over salaries”

“Evidently, the aggregate effect of several years of sedate salary increases is taking its toll and we’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries,” said managing director of Hays Logistics Tim James.

“On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they want to curtail salary increases.

“There are only a few exceptions. The recovery of the senior supply chain market led to demand for supply chain managers and, in turn, mid-tier demand and supply planners. In some states, salaries have increased in response to this demand.

“Tasmania’s positive economic climate led to a surge in interstate and international exports. Looking ahead, salaries are expected to increase in the state for multi-combination drivers and warehouse supervisors, who remain in short supply.

“While salaries for warehousing roles remain steady in smaller organisations nationally, larger companies are offering salaries over $90,000 for highly skilled and experienced candidates, especially those with safety qualifications and experience.

“In addition, in New South Wales and Victoria, higher vacancy activity has significantly drained the available pool of candidates and created a war for talent. As a result, employers in these states have begun to offer higher salaries for senior warehouse supervisors, operations managers, transport managers and fleet managers and controllers.”

In other key findings, the 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide found:

  • 67% of organisations offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefit is salary sacrifice, offered by 55% of employers to all employees. This is followed by above mandatory superannuation (offered by 37% of employers to all their employees), parking (33%), bonuses (27%) and private health insurance (26%).
  • Of the benefits offered to a select few employees, private expenses tops the list, with 70% of employers offering it to a hand-picked number of employees.
  • 68% of employers said business activity had increased over the past year, with 70% expecting it to increase in the next 12 months.
  • 57% intend to increase permanent distribution staff levels over the coming year.
  • 70% say skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their business or department in either a significant (28%) or minor (42%) way, up from 67% last year.
  • 54% of employers are restructuring to keep up with changing business needs – the key driver of these restructures is a change in the required skill sets.
  • In skill-short areas, 57% of employers would consider employing or sponsoring a qualified overseas candidate.

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