SAFC has previously attributed the transport and logistics ‘Hire and Reward’ sector as making up 6.9% of South Australia’s Gross State Product. It should be noted that in 2007 the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) estimated the total contribution of transport and logistics to the South Australian economy at 17.1% of Gross State Product. This estimate, however, includes ancillary economic sectors providing internal transport services (e.g. the fleet operations of food manufacturers). Just as the transport and logistics sector includes, for example, accounting and administrative staff in its estimates of economic contribution, these ancillary sectors include their transport staff in their own respective estimates. Inclusion of such cross sector activity leads to double counting of economic contribution. It is likely however that the true value is somewhere in the middle between 6.9% and 17.1%.

The industry is in the fortunate position to be experiencing strong demand and growth, which translates into increased job opportunities. The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council has forecasted 151,000 job openings for the period 2013-17, with a corresponding employment growth rate of 1.8 per cent a year. This is higher than the all industries rate of 1.4 per cent.

New job opportunities are being created from increased demand in various sectors and new occupations are evolving from advances in technology. The retirement of existing workers is also increasing job opportunities. The transport and logistics industry has a considerably higher percent of workers aged 55 or over than the rest of industries, which itself is likely to create future issues as these workers approach retirement (BITRE, 2014). Meeting the ongoing labour demand will require a shift in strategies and practices used by employers to attract and retain a skilled and engaged workforce.