Logistics sector: All the hoo-hah, but salary so low?


Why salaries maintain a low level for workers from the logistics sector when logistics has contributed so much to S’pore’s economy? Does the hoo-hah really work under such kind of situation?

I refer to the article “Leg-up for logistics with skills framework” (Sunday Times, Sep 24).

It states that “A national skills framework that identifies jobs, career pathways and emerging skills required for the logistics sector was launched yesterday.

The joint effort by the Economic Development Board, Spring Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore, unions and employers, gives workers and firms information on industry trends, statistics and training programmes.

A guide – Skills Framework For Logistics – has been produced.

“Logistics is an important and promising sector for Singapore. We have a well-connected airport and sea ports that enable logistics companies to serve the whole region efficiently from Singapore, notwithstanding the higher land and labour cost.”

… urged firms to invest in people, embrace new technologies, adapt and innovate.”

Since I worked in the logistics sector in the 1970s – I was curious as to what is the salary now. So, I went to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) web site’s Occupational Wages Benchmarking Tool.

The monthly median basic salary of a cargo handler is $1,050.

So, what’s the point of all the hoo-hah about the logistics sector – when the salary is still so low.

Is this what we call “to invest in people”, “higher land and labour cost”, “Skills Framework For Logistics”?

Just like the Progressive Wage Model for Cleaners – the monthly median basic salary of a Cleaner (Food and Beverage Establishment Cleaner (e.g. restaurants, food courts, hawker centres)) is still only $1,000.

As to “Last year, logistics contributed more than 7 per cent to Singapore’s gross domestic product, and employed more than 200,000 workers” – what is the breakdown of the basic salaries in the logistics sector into how many of the 200,000 workers are getting more than $1,200, $1,500, $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 and so on?

By the way, what is the breakdown of the 200,000 workers into Singaporeans, permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.