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Exploring Logistics

Logistics is a multi-billion pound sector! Everything happens because of logistics - by land, sea, or air, everything is delivered to different houses and companies all across the world. That means there's much more to the industry than just driving lorries around and, if you like travel, logistics could be for you!

What can I do in logistics?

Logistics is a journey that everyone takes part in. The process starts with people arranging the order; you could be ordering hundreds of tonnes of items depending on where you work, food, technology, clothes... Anything! Then the logistics team has to work out how it gets to its destination. This is quite tricky when you have so much to deliver - your job might be to work out the cheapest way to get things delivered on time. Would you use a plane (which is faster, but can't take as much), or a container ship (slower, but cheaper)...?

Once you've found a way for the cargo to reach Essex, then you have to take it from there and deliver it either to an individual house or to a company if its an order to go into shops. Hundreds and thousands of items are stored in warehouses after they arrive into the UK, so this needs to be seriously managed so that everything is in order! From there, packers get the right items onto large lorries, where the most skilled drivers take to the roads to see the delivery through!

London Gateway

Logistics is a highly sophisticated industry, influenced by technical and environmental challenges. It is a growing sector in Essex, particularly in Thurrock.  This sector employs more than 35,000 people in over 2,900 companies in Essex. It covers a number of areas including freight logistics, supply chain management, vehicle manufacturing and retail, passenger transport, transport planning and traffic management.

Demand is rising with the expansion of logistics, particularly at London Gateway and Tilbury Ports, London Stansted and London Southend and with the relocation of Amazon to Greater Essex

This industry has seen rapid growth, fueled by the increase of high-speed internet and a rise in popularity towards online shopping.

London Gateway, a deep water port and business park near Stanford le Hope is the largest inward investment project in the UK. DP World's high tech deep-sea container port opened in 2013 and become home to a high tech logistics business park, creating thousands of new jobs. DP World London Gateway already hosts names like UPS, Lidl, Dixons Carphone and SH Pratt Group. 

Top skills

  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Leadership
  • Computer Skills
  • Teamwork

South Essex College Logistic courses

South Essex College is looking to train large numbers of logistics professionals in answer to the UK driver shortage issue.

The country is facing a lorry driver shortage because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. The college is offering a wide variety of courses to aid the industry and get more drivers out on the roads delivering goods.
Individuals can upskill, retrain and start a new career with one of the college’s logistics modules including:

•    Traffic Office Manager programme
•    Driver CPC
•    LGV Driver Training (5 day practical course)
•    Introduction to LGV driving
•    Introduction to Express Courier
•    Forklift Truck practical training
•    ADR Dangerous Goods Driving


Mark Bentley, Director of Operations at the college, said: "The shortage in commercial drivers is now becoming mainstream news, with a reputed 100k driver shortage across the UK. Recent events have contributed to this, however the momentum in getting to this point has been gathering pace for a number of years. It really is becoming the perfect storm for UK haulage operations. 

“We can support organisations with apprenticeship opportunities, helping to recruit new drivers or upskilling current employees into driving roles. Along with other funding opportunities, it really is worth contacting us to see how we can help your business."

Gerard Lewis, Logistics Commercial Lead, said: “For the past 18 months, Key Workers from the logistics sector have dedicated a great deal of time and effort into keeping the economy and country moving. 

“As we begin to rise from the pandemic and the realisation of Brexit strikes home, many opportunities have arisen for individuals to retrain and gain much needed qualifications and skills. The driving industry has been hit particularly hard and needs new blood to help keep our shelves stocked, garages replenished, building materials moving to sites, essential services running and so much more.”

Individuals wishing to train in driving services and employers wishing to upskill their workforce should contact [email protected] for more information.

For more information about the courses, visit  https://www.southessex.ac.uk/workforce/the-logistics-and-transport-business

Apprenticeships in High End Logistics

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High End Logistics Learning Opportunities

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'Logistics' Job Vacancies

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Top advertised job roles

Learning about Logistics

If you're not sold on logistics yet, just look at how much you could earn in the sector! Essex is well known for logistics and, with four major ports and two airports here, this is one of the best places in the UK to work in logistics.

What's out there for me?

We like to think that there's a bit of everyone who can find something exciting about at least one of these job roles, but if you're not quite seeing your dream role here, you'll definitely find it on other sites like careersthatmove.co.uk.

Freight Forwarder: The kings and queens of transport strategy. Freight forwarders plan the most effective means of getting cargo where it needs to be. From route planning, costing, security and more, freight forwarders always keep things moving in the right direction... Literally!
Distribution ManagerWhen you've got hundreds of tonnes of goods, you need someone to take proper care of them all and make sure that they end up in the right places! Are you organised and can you think on your feet? If so, you could be a distribution manager. Distribution managers help organise all of the stock and the staff that moves it too!
Control Tower ManagerTake to the skies without really leaving the ground! Control tower managers work in a small team using the best technology to monitor all import and export traffic and handle cross-border relations. The manager also gets to develop and manage reporting tools to make sure that everything is secure and well located.
Merchant Navy OfficerSay 'ahoy' to the sellers of the sea! The merchant navy officer keeps everything ship-shape by monitoring deck machinery, coordinating the safe loading of cargo, recording stock and costs and dealing with legal matters - all whilst out on the ocean!
Transport PlannerA transport planner has the role of investigating all the methods of transportation and looking at ways to improve the system. These people shape the future of transport to make sure that it keeps up with the ever-changing world, dealing with climate change, technology and even politics!

How to get into logistics

Depending on the role you're interested in, you may want to consider a higher level qualification or degree, or if you want to begin at the entry-level, simply gaining valuable work experience or offering some time voluntarily will be just as helpful in beginning your logistics career. People in logistics are often quite strategic and good at getting things done quickly. An apprenticeship will help you build those skills if you're not quite confident in these things yet.

If you are thinking about college, there may be specific logistics courses or modules you can take, but other courses like business management, languages, or even STEM subjects (Science, Technology, English and Maths) are all subjects that will impress employers.

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