Hays reports salary expectations gulf in T&L

Wage lift to mostly track inflation despite parts of market heating up

Hays reports salary expectations gulf in T&L
Hays Logistics MD Tim James


The transport and logistics segment of the economy is shows signs of wage growth tension, according to recruitment firm Hays.

Commenting on the sector’s outlook in the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide, the company notes 81 per cent of Australia’s transport and distribution employers will give their staff a pay rise of less than 3 per cent in their next review, while 4 per cent will not increase salaries at.

The report shows a further 11 per cent will give staff an increase of 3- 6 per cent. Just 4 per cent will increase by 6 per cent or more.

Compared with their last review, when 11 per cent of transport and distribution employers gave no increases, the findings show that more logistics professionals will receive an increase.

Logistics workers however have higher expectations than employers for a salary increase — 23 per cent expect an increase of 6 per cent or more.

Employees have also prioritised a pay rise. Two-thirds (67 per cent) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year.

"If their employer doesn’t offer a pay rise, almost half (48 per cent, up from 45 per cent last year) will request one," Hays Logistics MD Tim James says. 

"Across Australia’s warehousing, transport and supply chain markets, a key theme has been positive productivity linked to efficiency improvements.

"Logistics companies have therefore been targeting multi-skilled candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes.

"They must also have a proven track record in reducing costs, the ability to achieve demanding KPIs, and diverse experience.

"Add the requirement for a wider technical skill set and the ability to meet compliance and OH&S regulations for those in management roles, and it is surprising that salaries have not increased in line with rising employer expectations.

"How long this can continue remains to be seen.

"In transport specifically, we have seen an active market for transport professionals, particularly in Victoria and New South Wales where infrastructure is strained.

"Salaries have increased in response to demand, reaching up to $85,000 plus superannuation.

"Candidate movement at the senior level, particularly heads of logistics, transport managers/planners and distribution managers, has been minimal.

"However this is expected to change in 2018-19 as senior professionals become more aware of the opportunities presented by industry growth. This could also be the catalyst that prompts employers to increase salaries to retain their top talent.

"Within the supply chain market, the value of a robust and transparent supply chain has seen sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes come to the fore. This has created demand for quality supply and demand planners.

"Salaries are competitive given the drive from employers to secure the best available talent in this area."

Guide researchers note that most activity transport allocators are in high demand in the busy infrastructure-building states of New South Wales and Victoria, with salaries of up to $85,000 plus superannuation of offer.

"Lateral thinking transport coordinators and managers who can cope with pressure are also in demand," they note.

"Companies have likened the transport room to that of a Wall Street trading floor, where one wrong decision can cost a company potentially millions of dollars."

The Hays Salary Guide also found:

  • Business activity increased for 74 per cent of employers in the past 12 months, while 77 per cent expect it to increase in the next 12 months
  • 40 per cent foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months
  • 40 per cent of employers expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months in their distribution department
  • Meanwhile 20 per cent expect to increase their use of temporary and contract distribution staff
  • 40 per cent of organisations now employ temporary and contract staff in their distribution department on a regular ongoing basis and another 20 per cent employ them for special projects or workloads
  • In the last 12 months, 16 per cent of Australians asked for a pay rise but were declined – a further 18 per cent asked for a pay rise and were successful
  • The success of the latter perhaps explains why 48 per cent say they intend to ask for a pay rise in their next review. A further 24 per cent are as yet unsure
  • 32 per cent of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation over the last 12 months
  • 67 per cent of employers, compared to 65 per cent last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (26 per cent) or minor (41 per cent) way
  • 67 per cent of employers offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefits offered to all employees are salary sacrifice (offered to all employees by 57 per cent of employers), above mandatory superannuation (41 per cent), parking (33 per cent), private health insurance (29 per cent) and bonuses (27 per cent)
  • 70 per cent of employees have access to flexible work practices, 56 per cent receive ongoing learning & development, 45 per cent career progression opportunities, 36 per cent health and wellness programs, 32 per cent over 20 days’ annual leave and 30 per cent financial support for study.


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