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Skill requirements for logistics professionals: findings and implications

Vinh V. Thai (Division of Infrastructure Systems and Maritime Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Stephen Cahoon (Department of Maritime and Logistics Management, Australian Maritime College, National Centre for Ports and Shipping, Launceston, Australia)
Hai T. Tran (Department of Maritime and Logistics Management, Australian Maritime College, National Centre for Ports and Shipping, Launceston, Australia)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore the current profile of skills and knowledge of Australian logistics professionals and identify important requirements for the future.


The study targeted the population of 1,300 professional members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Australia, employing the triangulation of both mail survey and in‐depth interview techniques. A total of 147 usable questionnaires were returned and seven interviews conducted. Data were analysed using the SPSS 13.0 software and thematic analysis technique.


It is found that all proposed business‐, logistics‐ and management‐related skills and knowledge are important for logistics professionals. Logistics‐related skill and knowledge set was found to be the area that educational and training institution in Australia should particularly aim at to further equip local logistics workforce with substantial skills and knowledge to perform their job successfully. In addition, universities and other training institutions should focus on developing and providing specific courses, especially professional development courses, to prepare logistics professionals with a broader skill set for the future.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this research is that the revised BLM framework has just been tested only in Australia. Future research direction is desired, e.g. conducting the study using the same instruments in other countries to increase the reliability and validity of the proposed revised framework.


Although this study was designed on the BLM framework, it has gone further to elaborate the framework and incorporated a number of additional skills and knowledge which are considered to be critical in the contemporary business environment, and thus it helps to enrich the contemporary literature on logistics knowledge and skill set for logistics professionals. This study is also of benefit to managers in logistics firms as they can identify important skills and knowledge to improve on, while policy makers and educational and training bodies can also use the findings from this research to design and implement courses which are necessary to facilitate skill and knowledge development for logistics workforce.



Thai, V.V., Cahoon, S. and Tran, H.T. (2011), "Skill requirements for logistics professionals: findings and implications", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 553-574.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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