By Ben Simmons

The war for talent, recruiting and retaining baby busters, rising energy costs and the gloomy global economic horizon are among the key areas of concern for CEOs in the transportation and logistics industry, according to a PwC report.

In the Transportation & Logistics (T&L) summary of PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, 98 CEOs from 36 countries voted on the industry issues that most concerned them and their businesses. Alongside talent and the economy, 63% of T&L industry leaders said rising energy costs was a top concern for them, compared to 46% of the total respondents that took part in the survey.

"Transportation and logistics companies need to improve their brand as an employer, introduce cutting-edge recruiting practices and offer attractive career and development opportunities to the younger workforce,” said PwC’s global T&L leader, Klaus-Dieter Ruske. “If CEOs don't take a more strategic view of talent management they won't be able to achieve their long-term goals for growth and expansion or their innovation objectives.”

Confidence among CEOs is fragile, says the report, with just 13% expecting an upswing in the economy. Last year 60% were very confident of revenue growth, but this year that dropped to just 36%. Many, over two thirds, are also planning on launching cost-cutting schemes this year which may include headcount reductions and streamlining IT operations.

Talent this year, like last, continues to be a top concern for CEOs across all industries, and in the T&L summary 72% of CEOs are seeking to change how they manage talent and 45% see competing for scarce human resources as a major threat. In addition, more than a quarter of T&L CEOs said they found young workers the most difficult to hire and keep.

Dennis M. Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, speaking at Davos, where the main report was launched, added: "It's ironic that as the economy struggles, shortages of key personnel are having an impact on the way companies do business. CEOs say they are having difficulty finding and retaining skilled people in their industries and turnover in emerging markets is high. The problem is expected to become more acute as global demographic patterns change."

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