Logistics managers with e-commerce skills receive 42% more salary

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 396 views 

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Logistics managers with strong e-commerce skills are earning 42% more than those in the same position without those skills, according to a recent salary survey.

In April, Logistics Management released its 33rd Annual Salary Survey, based on 687 respondents and conducted by Peerless Research Group. Those who have e-commerce skills were earning a median salary of $105,000, compared to a median salary of $73,500 for those with little to no knowledge of e-fulfillment processes. A total of 37% of respondents were highly knowledgeable in e-commerce, while 10% had little to no knowledge of it. The remaining 53% had some e-commerce skills.

John Kent, director of the Supply Chain Management Research Center in the Sam. M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, cited supply and demand, when asked why logistics managers with these skills are earning more.

The real estate demand for fulfillment centers is high, and along with that, the need for talent to operate those centers is driving up labor costs, he said. Fulfillment centers are used in e-commerce, and the goods from the center are delivered to the customers. This differs from warehouses and distribution centers where items are stored on a longer-term basis or are shipped by the pallet. As an example, a fulfillment center might ship one item, instead of a pallet of items, to the customer.

Meanwhile, women have been challenged to find opportunities in the high-tech industry, but the opposite looks to be the case for logistics management, according to a Logistics Management article on the survey, which showed 18% of survey respondents were women.

A greater ratio of women think there are advancement opportunities, the number of job functions for women has risen over the past two to three years and more women are looking to take classes over the year because they expect it will lead to a better salary. However, a greater amount of women are becoming unsatisfied with the lack of recognition and promotion to positions of leadership.

While Kent wouldn’t agree on the challenged labor market in the high-tech industry for women, he said there’s a shortage of talent in the logistics industry. He sees attracting more women into the field as an opportunity.

Median salary for women rose 7% to $75,000, from $70,000 in 2016. Median salary for men fell 7% to $85,000, from $92,000 in 2016.

Overall, median salary was $90,000, flat from 2016 and down 5% from $95,000 in 2015. In 2013, median salary was $85,000. Looking at average salary, it rose 7% to $113,175, from $105,675 in 2016. But the average salary is down 4% from $118,880 in 2015. In 2013, average salary was $113,450.

The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metropolitan area – Northwest Arkansas – has the highest average salary for transportation, storage and distribution managers nationwide, which includes logistics managers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average wage of $140,260 was higher than Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., at $135,090 or Peoria, Ill., at $133,920.

Also, Northwest Arkansas had the 10th highest concentration of the jobs in the nation at 410, according to BLS. Peoria had the highest concentration at 430 jobs, while the Memphis metropolitan area had the sixth most at 1,150 jobs.

In Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area, 280 people are employed in the field with an average salary of $92,540 annually, according to BLS. In the Fort Smith metro, 90 people are employed in the field with an average annual salary of $81,880.

In Arkansas, 1,290 people are transportation, storage and distribution managers, and they earn an average wage of $105,160. The top three states for employment are California, Texas and Illinois, and the highest paying states are Delaware ($133,140), District of Columbia ($131,260), New Jersey ($122,010) and Rhode Island ($121,680). Nationwide, 113,270 people work in the field, and the average wage is $97,630. Salaries also varied by region. In the South, median salary is $106,000, in New England, it’s $110,000, and it’s $79,000 in Canada.

According to the Logistics Management salary survey, the majority (61%) of respondents said their salary rose over the past year, while 7% said it declined. On average, the increase was 7%, and the decrease was 19%, compared to respondents’ 2016 salary.

Pay rose for those between 45 and over 65 years old, while it declined for those between 35 and 44. Median pay rose for those less than 35, but average pay declined 14% to $68,365, from $79,840 in 2016. For those between 45 and 54 years old, average pay rose 8% to $119,660, from $110,740.

A greater level of experience correlates with a better salary. Those who’ve worked three to five years in a position are earning 11% more this year than in 2016. Median salary at this experience level is $97,500 compared to $87,500 in 2016. Median salary for those with more than 10 years in a position rose 41% to $119,000, from $84,000. However, median salary for those with six to 10 years of experience in a position declined 7% to $90,000, from $97,000 in 2016.

Those who are more satisfied in their positions have better salaries. Those very satisfied in their position, representing 49% of survey respondents, saw median salary rise 6% to $109,500, from $103,000. Those very or somewhat dissatisfied, which included about 6% of survey respondents, saw median salary fall 2% to $70,000, from $72,000 in 2016.

A large portion (43%) of respondents are always looking for better job opportunities, and 20% are passively looking while 10% are actively looking. Those who are happy with their position, comprising of 27% of respondents, earned a median salary of $95,000, the same as in 2016. Median salary for those who are always looking for better opportunities rose 11% to $95,000, from $85,000.

When negotiating salary, social networking increased in importance to 40%, from 29% in 2016. Other factors important in negotiating salary include continuing online education programs (33%) and involvement with professional associations (36%).