Enterprise Shipping Decision Makers: Demographics
Enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US are an average age of 48 years old, predominately male, mostly white/Caucasian and have at least a college degree. Detailed explanations of our findings and how we came to these conclusions can be found below.
We first began by looking for any comprehensive research reports on enterprise shipping managers, or people with job titles like Head of Logistics, Head of Transportation, Shipment Facility Manager, Logistics Manager, Shipping Manager and so on. This brought up the extremely comprehensive A Portrait of a Supply Chain Manager, a survey report published by Supply Chain Management Review and APICS. The report gives detailed information about the gender, education, location and salary of 253 manager-level or above people working in supply chain roles.
While supply chain and logistics/transport are not exactly the same job role, there is often a great deal of overlap, and many (if not most) supply chain managers and executives also cover transport and logistics in their job functions. Therefore, we had to consider whether this report could serve a useful proxy for the demographics of enterprise shipping decision makers. Unfortunately, the APICS survey is also slightly outdated. We checked the official APICS website and that of the co-publisher, Supply Chain Management Review, but the survey has not repeated in more recent years. We could find nothing, though, to indicate the demographics of enterprise shipping managers has changed significantly in the past few years, so we decided the level of comprehensiveness of this report warranted its inclusion despite being from 2016.
To try to confirm the demographic data given for supply chain managers was similar to that of transportation and logistics managers, we continued our search to look for other demographic data specific to logistics and transportation. We looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has an employment category titled "Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers". Unfortunately, the only useful demographic data reported here was location and median income, which was not able to be compared to the information in the APICS survey. For gender and ethnicity data, BLS only offers this data on much broader employment categories. Therefore, while we were able to find the gender and racial breakdown for the "transportation and utilities" segment of American workers, this was so broad that it was deemed not useful for this request.
We then found a PricewaterhouseCoopers white paper on the future of the transportation and logistics industry through 2030. While it contained some general observations on demographics, the relevant information was so broad that it again was not particularly useful. We did learn that PwC predicts that the industry will be forced to diversify in the wake of an aging workforce.
We employed a plethora of search strategies to look for demographic data on enterprise shipping decision makers. We used several job titles to check for research or reports published on the demographics of this industry. As stated above, we checked statistical compilation databases like the Bureau for Labor Statistics, DataUSA and Statista for census-related data covering this job role. We did not even find any reports behind a paywall that would contain this information. As a final measure, we then attempted to triangulate some meaningful information by examining people actually working in these job roles. While not statistically significant within the scope of this request, we examined 20 people on LinkedIn with the job titles of Head of Logistics, Head of Transportation, Shipment Facility Manager, Logistics Manager or Shipping Manager. Obviously, this method can only gather information on age, location, gender and ethnicity. We used these findings to confirm that the data contained within the APICS report was relevant to enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US.
In order to give meaningful insights into the additional demographic categories of home ownership and family size, we also decided to use the average age of 48 from the APICS report to report broader US-wide information for this demographic. Overall, by piecing together data and information from several sources, we were able to paint a comprehensive picture of the demographics of enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US.
According to A Portrait of a Supply Chain Manager, the industry is heavily male-dominated, with 76% male, 24% female.
The average age of a manager is 48 years old, with 60% of respondents above the age of 45, 28% 35-44 years old and only 12% under age 35.
Forty-five percent of supply chain managers have a four-year college degree, with 38% having a further graduate degree. Eleven percent reported some college education, but no degree. Interestingly, only 19% actually held a degree related to logistics or supply chain management. The average level of experience was 15 years.
For location, 28% were from the Midwest, 15% Mid-Atlantic, 14% Southeast, 9% South, 10% West, and 5% New England. This does not add up to 100% as some survey respondents were outside the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also states that the top five states with the most number of transportation, storage and distribution managers are California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey.
The reported average income was $144,410. Thirty-three percent made $150,000+, 9% made $200,000-249,000, 6% made $250,000-499,999 and 2% earned more than $500,000 per annum.
As discussed above, finding information on race/ethnicity was much more difficult. DataUSA gives information on educational enrollment for degrees and courses related to logistics, materials and supply chain management. This data set is likely more diverse, as these persons have not yet worked up to managerial or executive level. Nevertheless, the data is: White 62.9%, Black 13.5%, Hispanic, 10.1%, Asian 6.4% and multiracial 2.3%. Zippia also has race/ethnicity information for a Logistics Director in the USA. They report this job role is 61.3% White, 16.3% Hispanic, 11.4% Black and 7.6% Asian.
The average age of an enterprise-level shipping decision maker in the US is 48. The home ownership rate for this age bracket is currently 69.7%. That, combined with the average income of a manager or executive-level decision maker, means they are highly likely to own their own home.
According to the average age of a shipping decision maker, they bridge two broadly-defined generations: Generation X and Baby Boomers. The average family size of a Gen X'er in the US is 3.2, whereas Baby Boomer family size is 2.1. However, this reduced figure is likely because most Baby Boomers have adult-aged children that are no longer part of the household. The overall American average household size is 3.14. Given all of this, it is inferred that shipping decision makers are usually married with children (some of whom may be adult children no longer at home).