Shortage of skilled labour in Viet logistics

With rapid economic development and foreign investment over the past ten years, Vietnam has seen a boom in the freight forwarding and logistics sector, but the country is now facing a significant shortage of qualified staff.

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As the country’s economy expands under integration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime, there is a pressing need to grow the size and quality of the supply chainworkforce, say industry insiders.

In 2000 there were only a handful of Vietnamese enterprises involved in logistics, but that number has now swelled, with hundreds of national companies and joint ventures with overseas companies now active in the freight forwarding and logistics markets.

A number of key stimuli were behind this, including the development of the air freight industry in recent years; the official recognition of logistics under Commercial Law in 2007; improvements in Vietnam’s warehousing facilities and fast tracking of goods through Customs thanks to new and simplified procedures.

According to a report by the Viet Nam Association of Freight Forwarders (VIFFAS), Ho Chi Minh City has 600 to 700 logistics enterprises out of a total of 800 to 900 in the nation.

The director of human resources training and development for the association, Do Xuan Quang, said the downside to the “hot” development of the industry was the small size of theaverage Vietnamese company.

“Most companies can only carry out parts of logistics operations,” he said according to a Vietnam Business Finance News report, adding that “the technology being used is at a low level compared to that in other regional countries.”