Logistics Competencies Logistics Skills
18 Jun

6 Must-Have Logistics Competencies and Skills to Master

As the first form of organized trade, logistics activity has been around for thousands of years. However, it didn’t become a popular field of study until the 1900s, when the distribution of agricultural goods began to receive attention. Logistics abilities and skills are difficult to learn because the function has a wide range of applications and a major impact on a society’s level of life. Since logistics is a broad, far-reaching function that significantly impacts a society’s standard of living, logistics competencies and skills are challenging to master.


Today, we take it for granted that our favorite foods, clothes, and other products are easily accessible when we visit our preferred shopping mall. Without proper logistical systems and staff members with the logistical competencies and skills, this won’t be possible. Recently, the need for effective logistics management has come to light as a key opportunity to boost businesses’ profitability and competitive performance. As a result, improving logistics skills is top priority. It also counts as one of the crucial support costs on the profit and loss statement.


Unlocking Your Logistics Competencies


People in the logistics industry support marketing efforts, product development, pricing promotion, and customer service by contributing fresh ideas in addition to performing material or information transitions. They guarantee that the business will offer prompt, precise, and high-quality service. Competent logistics specialists enhance sales, open up possibilities for significant operational cost reductions, and deconstruct the complexity of the distribution network. The following logistical competences and skills are required for them to accomplish their work at the maximum level in order to make all of this happen. 


1. Distribution Design, Sourcing, and Management


The understanding of best practices for establishing and operating distribution centers and networks, including value-added services like kitting and reverse logistics, is known as distribution design, sourcing, and management.  This logistics skill set involves studying, designing, and optimizing current distribution networks.  


Additionally, benchmarking best practices for managing a warehouse was necessary for this logistical expertise. Our Warehouse Operations Assessment was created to assist you with this problem.


This warehouse operations assessment tool also:


  • Promotes employee responsibility and participation in advancing warehouse efficiency.
  • Inspires employees to consider their part in and contribute to the crucial warehouse procedures.
  • Enables employees to view and consider how their peers have evaluated their contributions.
  • Emphasizes the improvement of employees’ decision-making abilities


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Warehouse Audit Tool


Skills Required:


  • Creates guidelines for warehouse management systems suitable for various industries.
  • Establishes a network and distribution center in cooperation with partners in distribution.
  • Creates business procedures in collaboration with distributors that support the SIOP procedure.
  • Provides distribution-oriented analytical support for projects and new business opportunities and proposals.
  • Maintains adequate inventory levels in distribution channels.


2. Global Trade Compliance


Global Trade Compliance is the understanding of how items are physically moved and how they enter and exit a country in accordance with all laws and regulations to manage and reduce the risks of doing business internationally. The competency comprises a fundamental comprehension of the roles and responsibilities associated with import/export for an organization as well as the government’s involvement in enforcing trade compliance.


Skills Required:


  • Cooperates closely to maintain international trade compliance with internal teams, outside logistics service providers, brokers, freight forwarders, and trade advisory consultants.
  • Improves the efficiency of the logistics network to create a controlled flow of commodities.
  • Determines how the right duties, tariffs, and country of origin should be applied.
  • Examines the effects of security requirements and regulatory trade compliance on the flow of goods around the world and on operational expenses.

Of the six logistics competences, in my opinion, this one is the most challenging to master. Due to the fact that this criterion varies per country and according to political conditions!


3. Sourcing and Supplier Selection/Management


Sourcing and Supplier Selection/Management is the knowledge of commercial purchasing practices including foreign currency fluctuations, duties and tariffs, quality standards, legal/regulatory requirements, and cultural differences that affect the commodity purchase transaction. This skill involves the capacity to efficiently source supplier goods and services and to oversee the operation of the chosen provider. 


Skills Required:


  • Exhibits knowledge of the critical variables and forces that have an impact on supplier management and sourcing operations.
  • Is aware of and makes use of the procedures and controls for supplier management during the sourcing process.
  •  Interacts with important clients, both internal and external, to comprehend their needs as they relate to sourcing efforts.
  • Creates strategies for cost-savings and sourcing.
  • Outlines the key characteristics of particular supply marketplaces and channels.


4. Supply Chain Continuity Planning


Supply Chain Continuity Planning is a systematic and collaborative approach that aims to improve supply chain strategy, operations, people, technology, and knowledge. Supply Chain Continuity Planning regulates, analyses, and assesses supply chain risk, protecting against any new uncertainties that could have an impact on profitability.


Skills Required: 


  • Evaluates the risk of supplier continuity in the standard source product development and production processes, together with additional risks and mitigation options.
  • Creates plans for mitigating risks associated with high-risk commodities, goods, components, and supplier processes.
  • Recognizes the parts, products, or events that are at high risk.
  • When an event occurs that has an impact on ongoing operations, leads and coordinates supply chain actions based on mitigation measures.


5. Transportation Sourcing & Management


The knowledge and skills required for transportation sourcing and management include choosing timely, cost-effective modes of transportation for all incoming and outgoing shipments as well as for storage of goods.


Skills Required:


  • Exhibits a highly accomplished level of grasp of the factors and major influences affecting transportation sourcing activities.
  • Interacts with important clients, both internal and external, to comprehend their needs as they relate to sourcing efforts.
  • Keeps track of carriers’ and logistics service providers’ adherence to contracts.
  • To develop cooperative transportation solutions that are successful and efficient, trade-offs between transportation costs, inventory costs, and service levels are assessed.
  • Offers analytical support for initiatives, new business possibilities, and proposals that is focused on transportation.


6. Contract Management


Contract management refers to the understanding of a sound and consistent framework for supply chain contracts and agreements, including their terms, timelines, and legal terminology.  It entails having the capacity to design intricate business plans and oversee significant corporate purchasing agreements. 


Skills Required:


  • Resolves the majority of contractual issues and is thoroughly versed in the terms and conditions of businesses.
  • Creates complex, high-value contracts for important national and international suppliers.
  • Executes and oversees local, regional, or national contracts in accordance with the firm’s ethics policy.
  • Completes responsibilities in collaboration with the supply chain liaison or the law department.


Along with the aforementioned Logistics Competencies and Skills, we advise you to enroll in Paul Denneman’s course on Modern Warehousing & Distribution Centres.


Modern Warehousing Course


Mastering Warehousing and Distribution: What You’ll Gain from the Course


  • History of the Industrial Revolution
  • eCommerce’s impact on warehousing and distribution
  • Material Handling: Tools for Running an Effective Warehouse, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Drones & Robots
  • Future of Fulfilment are just a few of the topics covered.


You will find our blog on How To Create  A Logistics Resume – Tips & Examples useful if you are updating your CV in preparation for promotion.




Supply chain professionals aren’t expected to be experts in all of these logistical abilities and talents, like most other things in life. These skills can, of course, be misused, just like everything else. Those that overuse it run the risk of concentrating solely on the logistics components, failing to grasp the complete supply chain picture, and perhaps unintentionally demoralizing their workers. As a result, while concentrating on certain logistical competencies, you must make sure that additional supply chain competencies are gradually developed.


The other qualities of focusing on action and results, as well as motivating others, balance out the importance of generating the new and different. For Supply Chain Professionals who are expected to do more and contribute more, not only in terms of the supply chain agenda but also to drive change throughout the organization, these abilities are essential. 


FAQS related to Logistics Competencies


Q. What are logistics competencies and why are they important?


Logistics competencies are the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively manage and coordinate the movement of goods, materials, and information within the supply chain. They are important because they ensure efficient operations, minimize costs, improve customer satisfaction, and drive overall business success.


Q. What are the key skills required for a successful career in logistics? 


Key skills for a successful career in logistics include distribution design and management, global trade compliance, sourcing and supplier selection/management, supply chain continuity planning, transportation sourcing and management, and contract management.


Q. How can I develop and improve my logistics competencies?


You can develop and improve your logistics competencies by pursuing relevant education and training programs, gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level positions, staying updated on industry trends and best practices, seeking mentorship from experienced professionals, and actively participating in continuous learning and professional development opportunities.


Q. What are the emerging trends and technologies impacting logistics competencies? 


Examples of logistics competencies in different areas of the industry include distribution design and management, global trade compliance, sourcing and supplier selection/management, supply chain continuity planning, transportation sourcing and management, and contract management.


Q. How can I showcase my logistics competencies and skills on a resume or during a job interview?


You will find our blog on How To Create A Logistics Resume – Tips & Examples useful if you are updating your CV in preparation for promotion.




John F. Crowell. Report of the Industrial Commission on the Distribution of Farm Products, vol. 6 (Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1901)

Additional Supply Chain Best Practice Content for Your SCM Playbook:


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About the Author- Dr Muddassir Ahmed

Dr MuddassirAhmed is the Founder & CEO of SCMDOJO. He is a global speakervlogger and supply chain industry expert with 17 years of experience in the Manufacturing Industry in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia in various Supply Chain leadership roles.  Dr. Muddassir has received a PhD in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School. Muddassir is a Six Sigma black belt and founded the leading supply chain platform SCMDOJO to enable supply chain professionals and teams to thrive by providing best-in-class knowledge content, tools and access to experts.

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