Skills for the European Logistics Sector


24 September 2008, Elewijt, Belgium

Over the past decades, the European logistics sector has continuously and rapidly grown like few others over the last decades. The characteristics of this sector have changed intensively over the past years: Today’s logistics is not merely an agglomerate of storage and in-time delivery; it is a substantial part of the value chain that – due to globalised competition and the holistic application of information and communication technologies – requires a much higher level of integration of all its elements than used to be the case.  Logistics as a sector does not only exhibit junctions to almost all other industrial sectors, but, as a method, emancipates itself from the attachment to a specific sector: As a sector-neutral instrument for increased efficiency of work and business processes, logistics is on a comparable level to information and communication technologies, whose importance as a new cultural technique has not been obtained yet but with which it can create a link that makes its achievements indispensable in almost all economic sectors.  The state of vocational education and training in this sector is not in accordance with these recent changes. It has failed to adapt to the newly achieved importance of this sector: Vocational education is mostly restricted to occupations such as “Forklift driver“ or “Storage specialist”. At the level of high professionals, there are only few logistics-specific study programmes. An integration of technology (mechanical engineering), business administration or IT sciences aiming at a holistic approach to logistics has barely been achieved by universities. 

Appropriate and applicable concepts and standards of qualification including systems for certification and career models for the different levels of the employment system have to be developed in order to avoid present and future lacks of skilled labour in this key sector.

We propose the development of a European initiative for skilled labour in the logistics sector which accounts for the globalisation of logistics just as for the necessity to tie qualification to national structures. This initiative – under the auspices of the European Union – should aim at the continuous cooperation of all stakeholders of the development of the logistics sector. A platform for the political dialogue as well as a forum for the coordination of a long-term process could be attained through the creation of a European Logistics Skills Forum.

Agenda Welcome Notes

  • Peter Scherrer, General Secretary EMF, Brussels

 Logistics – A Key Sector of the 21st Century

The PROLOG Project – New skills for European Logistics (pdf, 158 kb)

  • Helmuth Geletiuk, Günter Fridrich, Lagermax, Salzburg
  • Peter Baumann, Natascha Jordan, 24Plus Systems Transport, Hauneck
  • Arletta Witalevska, Dieter Amme, Panopa, Poznan
  • Dr. Karin Bockelmann, Scientific Project Advisor, PROLOG

Logistics Skills Systems and Initiatives

 The Road Ahead – A European Logistics Skills Forum 

Skills Policy in European Logistics - challenges and opportunities (pdf, 137 kb)