The logistics industry in Vietnam will likely be taking on a great many more personnel this year, based on projections for the growth of e-commerce. The latest statistics from IDEA, the Vietnam e-commerce and digital economy agency, project that the country’s e-commerce market will grow to as much as US$10 billion in 2020, and the market for delivery services is expected to grow by at least 20 percent as a result.
There are two caveats to this prediction, however. Firstly, most of the hiring seems likely to be done by foreign firms. Recent research by Vietnam Report (also known as the Vietnam Assessment Report Joint Stock Company) found that out of more than 4,000 transport and logistics companies now operating in Vietnam, foreign-owned enterprises take up some 70-80 percent of market share. Local firms, in contrast, tend to be small or medium-sized enterprises with low registered capital, providing only basic services and employing few people.
Secondly, there appears to be a serious shortage of logistics professionals. The Vietnam Logistics Business Association has highlighted talent as one major obstacle to the industry’s growth: there is a lack of qualified personnel and personnel who have experience in supply chain management and facilities. Case studies and research reports also repeatedly raise the issue: one article in the European Journal of Engineering Research and Science describes human resources for logistics services as improperly trained and “insufficient, weak, and unresponsive”.
The government is taking steps to alleviate the shortage, however. Government agencies have been working with private sector education providers to develop and offer seminars and training courses for logistics professionals. One such firm, training center Tan Cang-STC, said that the skills demanded by the industry will include command of the English language, communication, and negotiation, especially as the industry digitizes and manual tasks are phased out by automation.
Truong Tan Loc, general director of Tan Cang-STC, said: “HR is one of the biggest problems that cause difficulties for logistics enterprises.”