Jochen Thewes

Competition to attract new staff is tightening. The CEO on DB Schenker’s approach to this “war for talent”

Photo: Max Lautenschläger

Dear readers, at regular intervals logistics becomes a warring faction, namely in the “war for talent”. And just as regularly, it seems, logistics already appears to have lost this (to be sure, metaphorical) war. In a survey published a few months ago by the Trendence Institute in Berlin, for example, logistics was portrayed as one of the sectors considered least attractive by young professionals. Not exactly a comforting outlook!


It is a fact that logistics companies find it quite difficult to attract and retain new talent. This problem applies to industrial nations as much as it does to emerging markets – the difference being that in the former it is the ageing of society that plays a major role, whereas in the latter the problem is often a lack of relevant qualifications. Besides, logistics companies find it hard to recruit talent both at managerial level as well as trained logistics warehouse staff and truck drivers. Calling a spade a spade is vital, because only on the basis of an accurate analysis is it possible to implement targeted countermeasures.


And this is precisely what we are doing at DB Schenker – at a whole range of different levels, from cooperative ventures with tertiary institutions all the way through to offering international internships. You can read about our latest projects in this issue. One of these projects focuses on a virtual reality (VR) based application that allows forklift drivers to be trained quickly and efficiently – a task that our warehouse managers around the world are faced with constantly.


The other project involves a logistics education program in Egypt. Under this program, young people can participate in a solid three-year course of training as warehouse logistics specialists, free of charge. Graduates are then able to embark on a relevant course of study in this field. These are just a couple of examples of how we are working towards alleviating the shortage of qualified personnel. And they show clearly that the “war for talent” is far from lost!


Kind regards,

Jochen Thewes 

Chairman of the Board of Management at Schenker AG