While leadership capabilities are important in all business disciplines, the unique challenges in the logistics arena make them a critical in order to achieve results. Logistics leadership is crucial for companies wanting to establish a competitive advantage through supply chain and logistics management.

Impact and credibility

The logistics industry is changing constantly and many are resistant to change. An effective logistics leader, will be able cultivate buy-in from their teams as change takes place. The right logistics candidate will have the ability to impact the team and to persuade them to adopt different processes and ways of working. Logistics is an ever-changing environment, currently with more emphasis than ever on cost, customer service and growth areas such as e-commerce. The pace of change is only going to get faster. A candidate needs to exude a lot of credibility with the workforce in order to guide them through the changes.

Track record of achievement

Securing a logistics candidate who can demonstrate tangible achievements in areas such as site implementations, contract implementations, cost reduction, productivity improvements, site/personnel rationalisation, significant KPI improvements, e-commerce/reverse logistics start-ups and 3PL/4PL/carrier improvements is always a good idea. You want to hire a logistics professional who can ‘add value’ rather than just maintain the status quo.

Commitment to people engagement and development

Effective leaders empower their employees. Logistics is a rapidly evolving sector which is leaning towards engaging, coaching, mentoring styles of leadership rather than the “tell and do” approach of the past. Candidates who show an ability and willingness to develop the talent within their teams, put in succession planning, engage their teams and allow their staff to take ownership of business improvements (large and small) are crucial. The best candidates can demonstrate a track record of maximising existing talent and bringing in external talent to supplement the talent they have in the business.


There is huge demand in the logistics market for candidates who have good qualifications, both educational and vocational. There is a distinct shortage of degree qualified candidates in the logistics sector and also great demand for candidates with qualifications such as Six Sigma & Prince2. Although, experience is just as important as a degree in logistics, additional qualifications can demonstrate a candidate’s ability and ambition and normally these leaders will pass on this training to their teams.

Understanding of the impact of logistics on the business

Within businesses, there has been a growing awareness of the impact logistics on the business. Candidates who clearly understand how their departments and divisions fit into the wider business and can engage their teams to think this way are very valuable. The best logistics leaders focus on how their teams are performing and are mindful of how this relates to the company’s overall strategy. 

Three most important interview questions to ask in a logistics interview

A) What will you be remembered for/what will your legacy be in your current role?
B) What was the most difficult scenario you have been in and how did you deal with it? What was the overall outcome?
C) What team achievements did you generate? What did you do differently? And how did you ensure success? 
To see how we can help you recruit skilled and talented professionals, contact Steve Eston, business manager at Michael Page Logistics.
T: +44 1159 349 611