Manpower management

Freight forwarders can benefit from outsourcing human resources, says Prakash Parab, manpower services manager at Dulsco.
Manpower management
By Prakash Parab
Wed 23 Jan 2008 04:00 AM

Question:How can freight forwarders benefit from using the services of manpower outsourcing companies?

Expert:Prakash Parab
Manager of manpower services, Dulsco

Why outsource to a service provider?

The continued growth of the Middle East's logistics industry has resulted in increased competition between freight forwarders and warehouse operators throughout the region - each battling to increase their share of this lucrative market. As a result, these companies will benefit from concentrating on their core activities, with a particular focus on improving their operational efficiency and maximising their customer satisfaction levels.

To support these objectives, business tasks that require the highest levels of managerial involvement, such as human resources, can be outsourced to a professional company that specialises in manpower supply. Such a company will have professionals to handle a variety of different matters, such as resolving employee grievances, handling the recruitment of personnel, and arranging other resources to encourage their client's future growth.

The benefits for logistics companies

The key elements of the logistics industry - such as airfreight and seafreight transportation - have peak and lean periods throughout the year, which means freight forwarders are facing a great deal of fluctuation in their manpower requirements. Many companies handle this scenario by balancing higher personnel levels with lower utilisation, thus increasing their overhead costs.

To make matters worse, the logistics industry is currently experiencing a skills shortage in the region, with increased difficulties in sourcing multi-skilled professionals within the Middle East.

However, hiring the services of a manpower outsourcing company can help to reduce the burdens of these market challenges. In theory, the company should be providing their customers with a strong selection of personnel and easy replacements if a person is deemed unsuitable or suddenly becomes unavailable due to sickness.

Market demand continues to grow

A company like Dulsco, which has been in business for the last 72 years, has considerable experience in the field of manpower supply operations. In particular, it has seen demand from the logistics industry continue to grow, especially in terms of cargo warehouse operators, forklift drivers, storekeepers and delivery drivers of different categories.

Over the years, the company has secured a number of contracts from logistics heavyweights such as the Emirates Group (Dnata Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and Emirates Airline), DP World, DHL, Al-Futtaim Logistics and FedEx.

A case study from the logistics industry

Al-Futtaim Logistics has partnered with Dulsco for the supply of manpower to support the management of short-term and long-term orders. The two companies have a flexible agreement, which supports the day-to-day fluctuations in order levels and manpower requirements. As a result, Al-Futtaim Logistics has benefited from smoother business operations with reductions in its overheads.

In addition, with the market boom in the Middle East, there is a tremendous shortage of skilled workforce, especially drivers. Al-Futtaim has bypassed this headache by contracting Dulsco to provide drivers of all categories, with a focus on light duty to transport vehicles from the port to the holding yard, and by car carriers to other locations within the United Arab Emirates.

Safety and best practice is paramount. All drivers undergo full training with practical tests and regular reviews to ensure the highest levels of proficiency and safety are maintained. All drivers are experienced in the full range of vehicles deployed and are committed to the highest safety levels imposed by both companies.

Will the bubble burst in the future?

According to market research, the Middle East logistics industry is expected to continue its growth in the coming years. In addition, the number of freight forwarders entering the region will increase considerably, especially in Dubai. As a result, Dulsco has predicted a lot of growth prospects and potential in providing manpower to logistics companies. To support this increased focus on the industry, the company has created a specialist team to specifically handle this segment of the business, which is expected to add value to both Dulsco and its logistics customers.

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