Covid has destroyed thousands of jobs in transport and logistics

Par ediallo - 3 August, 2021 - 07:17

The impact of the health crisis in 2020 and e-commerce on salaried jobs in transport and logistics is beginning to be known. On the one hand, 3,000 to 3,500 jobs would have been destroyed last year. On the other hand, activities related to e-commerce would be more resilient and are transforming the profile of companies, especially in the road transport of goods.

Although still provisional, the figures from the payroll outsourcing company ADP, URSSAF and the Observatoire prospectif des métiers et des qualifications de la branche (OPTL) converge.

The Covid health crisis is estimated to have destroyed between 3,000 and 3,500 jobs in transport and logistics by 2020.

According to ADP data, 4% of salaried job losses in the private sector, excluding agriculture, were in this sector. This is "a break after several years of growth" according to the president of the OPTL Michel Chalot, citing the 2.6% growth in 2019 and 3.5% in 2018.

"The health crisis has disrupted this dynamic," he confirms. Of the 744,360 employees counted in the branch in 2019, including 70% in road transport of goods and logistics, the decline is estimated at 0.5% by the Observatory (- 0.6% according to URSSAF).

However, not all professions are on the same level, since "goods" and logistics activities seem to have held up better than passenger transport, for example, particularly those serving multi-channel networks, e-commerce and food (supermarkets).

E-commerce is changing the game

The second lesson of the OPTL's 2020 report, presented on January 27 in Boulogne-Billancourt, is the impact of e-commerce on road transport in particular and last-mile delivery in particular.

To do this, the Observatory correlated the increase in the number of companies in this sector under self-employed status and their geographical location.

"The number of self-employed with a single employee has been multiplied by 1.5 in 2019 and the number of establishments without employees has been multiplied by 8.4 in three years."

The Ile-de-France region, including Paris, but also all the major urban areas are seeing these increases in varying proportions. In warehouses, positions related to order preparation are maintained despite the mechanization of sites.

As it stands, the OPTL considers that the mechanization of warehouses is not destroying jobs because of the strong growth in volumes that consumes manpower.

Although logistics seems to be less affected by the ageing of its workforce, within the sector as a whole, 37% of its employees are over 50, compared to 27% in other sectors of the economy.

ERICK DEMANGEON