Even with all the talk of a recession, there are still many industries that are faced with significant labour shortages. More than half (58%) of large organizations in Canada reported talent shortages this year. It’s a far cry from the workforce from 2020.

According to BCG.com, “Canada’s labour surplus of between 700,000 and 1.1 million people in 2020 will become a deficit of up to 2.3 million by 2030.”

One of the biggest shortages is found in the supply chain industry.

supply chain recruiters the state of the supply chain labour shortage


“All businesses sectors have been affected by the workforce shortage, but the supply chain has especially felt the hurt. That’s a major reason why the country is currently suffering from severe congestion at ports, truck yards, railroads and warehouse: there simply aren’t enough people to move the freight. Nor are there clear prospects for an early solution to the problem,” says Robert J. Bowman on SupplyChainBrain.

The current labour shortage crisis has had a significant impact on supply chain management (SCM), causing a shortage of qualified workers. This shortage is affecting businesses globally, including those in construction and transportation. The consequences of the labour shortage include delayed shipments, poor product quality, customer service issues, and financial difficulties. These outcomes are inevitable due to the severity of the labour shortage.

Why is there a Labour Shortage in Supply Chain?

There is a significant demographic shift happening in the workforce, resulting in a significant generational change. The “Baby Boomers” who came after World War II are now retiring, but there are not enough Gen-Xers and Millennials to take their place.

It is predicted that over 60 million Baby Boomers will retire by 2030 in the U.S., leading to a significant loss of technical and institutional knowledge. Reports indicate that 4 out of 5 manufacturers are worried about the ongoing labour shortage resulting from the workforce’s retirement. The same trend is happening here in Canada.

Another issue is many industries are experiencing an image crisis. Younger generations are not finding careers in industries such as construction and manufacturing appealing enough, and there is also a growing need for technical skills in these fields. Companies like Samsung have recognized this challenge and are taking steps to change the perception of these industries among young people.

For instance, Samsung recently held a Manufacturing Day event for students, giving them the opportunity to visit their shop floor and learn more about the sector. With over 4.6 million job vacancies expected in these industries over the next ten years, initiatives like these are crucial in bridging the gap between supply and demand.

Solutions to Address The Supply Chain Labour Shortage

There are a number of strategies supply chain companies can take to try to offset the labour storage

  • Hiring industry recruiter experts to help companies build their employer brand to attract workers
  • Focus on retention and keeping the talent they already have
  • Promoting a positive workplace culture and inclusive workforce
  • Offer workplace flexibility to support young parents and others who require greater flexibility
  • Consider increasing compensation to attract people to the industry


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Peter Zukow Executive Search

Peter Zukow

Peter is a Partner at IQ PARTNERS, leading our strategic growth & geographic expansion. As an executive search leader he is a trusted advisor to clients, colleagues, and business partners. As a business leader he thrives on challenge, inspires those around him to achieve their full potential, and has led many high performing teams to success.

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