The U.S. is expected to generate about 270,000 logistics-related jobs each year, but schools will only be able to fill 28 percent.

By Gary Forger

Think about this for a minute. The U.S. is expected to generate about 270,000 logistics-related jobs each year through 2018. At current job creation rates, that’s a bit more than 10 percent of all new jobs annually in the U.S.

Many of these people will be working in warehousing and distribution as well as trucking, operations management, industrial engineering, freight rail and air cargo supervisors.

All of that sounds very positive. But there’s a punch line that hurts.

The nation’s 7,600 colleges and technical schools will be able to fill only 28 percent, or just 75,000, of those jobs with formally trained, degreed or certified workers annually.

That gap was reported by the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics in “The Logistics of Education and Education of Logistics.” You can find the full report on their website at

In fact, this is not a new situation or condition. But it is one that Page Siplon, director of the Center, found and was willing to put in front of people. And many agree that logistics can do better.Logistics is no different than other fields in how it fills many positions. Those who don’t arrive pre-qualified, arrive with more general degrees and learn on the job.

Some would say this works well enough. Others see this as a huge gap in the workforce and general understanding of the value of material handling and logistics to our economy.

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