Shipping & Logistics

Lack of experts poses biggest challenge for logistics firms

A worker at logistics firm Bollore Africa’s
A worker at logistics firm Bollore Africa’s warehouse in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

Logistics companies are grappling with high cost of training workers every time they shift to new technologies.

Industry officials said lack of experts has forced companies to frequently train staff, a process that slows down business and adds to the high cost of buying the new equipment. The executives cite lack of skills as the biggest challenge for nearly every logistics firm seeking to adopt modern technology.

“Coming from a heavy paper-based system, lack of skill for the new technologies has been a major challenge. This has therefore brought about the need for frequent training of staff on how to use these systems,” said Job Kemboi, transport manager at Siginon Global Logistics.

The fast-changing nature of technologies has also come with cost implications for logistics companies as they rush to acquire new equipment and systems as market trends change.

“Dynamic changes in the global logistics world means we have to upgrade regularly to acquire the most updated versions,’’ said Jason Reynard, regional chief executive Bollore Logistics.

This has cost implications to the business arising from costs of acquiring the new systems as well as training and re-training staff in case of system upgrades, he said.

Adopting modern technology has also led to losses in jobs as some of the processes previously done manually are now being executed by technologies.

For instance, agencies earlier involved in documents clearance have lost job opportunities.