With potential growth in the logistics sector so dependent on trade volumes, forecasts are understandably cautious. After an exceptionally good first half of last year, the second six months provided a reminder that air and ocean freight demand from the main markets in Europe and North America is variable.
'In the past couple of years, business has been up and down quite a bit,' says Paul Tsui, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics. 'There is a need for frontline, middle management and senior staff, but companies are looking for multiskilled employees who can work in different departments during peak periods.'
The preferred skills tend to include detailed knowledge of security and compliance procedures, and an understanding of environmental impact. 'For tenders, more and more big customers require the logistics service provider to do a carbon calculation for them and show where they can help reduce emissions and consumption,' Tsui says.