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November 1, 2023

As uncertainty grows, so do careers in supply chain

You can’t turn on the news these days without hearing about labor shortages, inflation and consumer spending.

It would be easy to assume that overall sales are down due to higher prices for consumer goods or that companies are going under due to labor shortages. In the material handling industry, we’re experiencing the opposite.

What we learned during and post-Covid is that The Amazon Effect is real. Consumers want their products and services delivered quickly, no matter where they’re purchased. Amazon has forced that into the supply chain.

The economy is holding strong despite inflationary pressure and when people spend money, products need to move. While consumers are returning to stores to purchase goods, e-commerce sales have not slowed down, with U.S. business logistics exceeding $2.3 trillion in 2022, or 9.1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

At Carolina Handling, our focus is helping customers optimize their manufacturing, picking, packing and shipping operations and create higher levels of service for their end users. We consult with companies on how they can maximize operational capabilities and what equipment they can use to do that. And we identify inefficiencies and process gaps to help them create standards that remove waste.

As labor shortages continue, companies are turning to automation equipment and systems to optimize operations, eliminate wasteful steps and allocate the resources they have correctly. When our customers seek to automate a process, 99 percent of the time it is not to eliminate a role. Oftentimes it creates a unique role within the facility.

Another huge indicator of a positive supply chain forecast is private warehouse construction. For every warehouse that goes under construction, it pushes products and services sold and supported by the material handling industry.

Private warehouse construction in the U.S. has grown from $7.05 billion in 2012 to $61.5 billion in 2022. Construction is expected to slow slightly in early 2024, followed by a rebound in 2025.

Presently in our market—North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida’s panhandle— there is 110 million square feet of warehouse space being developed, with 370 million more proposed. And e-commerce is driving a ton of that development.

U.S. e-commerce sales in the quarter ending June 30, 2023, represented 15.4 percent of all U.S. retail sales. The continuing rise in online sales has dictated a change in the way retailers do business. For example, many of our customers now are shipping individual cases versus pallet quantities. Volumes are similar, but the labor and space required to ship in smaller units has changed drastically.

As a consultative partner, Carolina Handling offers products and integrated systems that are designed to move materials more effectively and efficiently.

With 8,000 customers in a variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, automotive manufacturing, food and beverage and e-commerce, Carolina Handling has evolved from a forklift company into an intralogistics solutions provider.

As we continue to grow our team, we’re looking for those with analytical skills and a mindset around problem solving. With open positions ranging from sales and accounting to project managers and service technicians, job titles and career paths in material handling continue to grow.

The need to move goods can only be impacted so much by a downturn. People are still going to eat and have a need to purchase certain goods and services. While we’re not recession proof, we’re fairly resistant to it.

Go HERE to view all open positions at Carolina Handling.