Strategic Talent Management in APAC’s Evolving Logistics Landscape

Posted on May 20 , 2024. 
By Ben McDonald
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In the rapidly changing logistics sector of the Asia-Pacific region, companies are adopting nuanced approaches to talent acquisition and development. Insights from industry leaders Ann Eliahu from Kuehne+Nagel, Ankit Sethi from Li & Fung, and David Christmas from DB Schenker shed light on strategies that are critical for navigating the talent landscape, underscoring the need for digital skills, local market understanding, and engaging young talent.


Balancing Digital Expertise with Interpersonal Skills

Ann Eliahu underscores the increasing importance of digitalisation in the logistics industry, stating, “We are seeing a bit of a shift in what talents need to bring to the table.” While digital skills are paramount, Eliahu also highlights the critical role of soft skills, particularly in nurturing customer relationships, a facet just as vital as technical know-how for sustainable success in logistics. Kuehne+Nagel’s commitment to fostering these skills is evident in their comprehensive training programs, aimed at developing a well-rounded, future-ready workforce.


Local Insights for Tailored Strategies

Ankit Sethi provides a perspective on the unique opportunities in Southeast Asia and India, where understanding local market dynamics is crucial. He notes the region’s growth potential, fueled by a combination of demand-side growth and a shift in supply chains away from China. Sethi points out, “Very few times do you get such a confluence of tailwinds which propel a sector in the right direction.” However, he also cautions that the decentralised warehouse model and reliance on manual labour in the region require a bespoke approach to logistics operations, emphasising the need for strategies that resonate with local realities.


Engaging and Developing Young Talent

David Christmas speaks to the potential of younger employees in the logistics sector, particularly those with digital skills, to drive innovation. He stresses the importance of integrating these talents into leadership roles, noting, “Somehow, we’ve got to get these voices onto the C-Suite.” Christmas also highlights the challenges in attracting young professionals to logistics, a sector often misconceived as lacking dynamism. He argues that rebranding the industry’s image is essential to showcase the meaningful and exciting aspects of logistics careers, stating, “We don’t sell ourselves well enough as an industry.”

Cultivating a Future-Ready Workforce

The insights from these leaders converge on a few key themes for the future of logistics talent management in APAC:

  • Comprehensive Skill Development: Companies need to foster a blend of digital and soft skills to prepare their workforce for the evolving demands of the logistics sector.
  • Local Market Adaptation: Understanding and adapting to the unique characteristics of the APAC logistics landscape is vital for effective operations and growth.
  • Youth Engagement: Attracting young talent requires showcasing the logistics industry as a field ripe with opportunities for innovation, meaningful work, and career advancement.


By addressing these areas, logistics companies in the APAC region can build resilient, adaptable, and forward-thinking teams capable of navigating the complexities of a rapidly evolving industry landscape.



This article is part of an ongoing series exploring hiring trends in the APAC logistics sector. Next, we’ll offer some forecasts for the rest of the year along with some recruitment recommendations. Can’t wait? Download the entire series as a report here.


About the Author: 

Ben McDonald is a Co-Founder and Partner at Connexus Global. With a 20-year track record in recruitment, particularly in Supply Chain & Logistics, Ben partners with clients to secure top talent, driving their success in the Asia-Pacific region. 


About Connexus Global: 

Connexus Global is a specialised recruitment firm operating in Singapore, Bangkok, London, and Austin, focusing on the industrial, consumer markets, commodity trading, and renewable energy sectors.

Ben McDonald


Consumer & Industrial Markets


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