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Is There Still a Tech Skills Shortage in 2021?

The shortage of tech workers isn’t new, but it has been slowly creeping up on companies in recent years. For the better part of a decade, companies have been competing for a shrinking pool of tech talent, especially in niche industries where developers need specialized skills to execute tasks. Now it’s turning into a critical issue for companies in the shipping and logistics industry.

Is there still a tech skills shortage? Yes — and the rapid rate of digitization due to the pandemic has severely exacerbated an already-concerning skills shortage that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. What should shippers, carriers, and other supply chain companies know in order to compete in this hiring landscape?

The reality of the tech skill shortage

Finding skilled developers and IT professionals prior to COVID-19 shutdowns was difficult enough, but as countless non-digital businesses scrambled to incorporate new touchless online fulfillment capabilities into their workflows, the crunch for talent became even more severe. 

40% of companies hired tech staff during the pandemic, and 66% of companies plan to hire more. Over 60% of hiring managers surveyed said that adding developers to their team will be their biggest challenge in 2021. Everyone is looking to fill technology positions, and developers have a lot of freedom to choose what projects they’ll work on. 

The market is even tighter for experienced tech workers. IT positions that require at least two years of experience are 40% more difficult to fill than entry-level positions. This reduces productivity and is reflected in the overall performance of the company. 

High demand for quick and high-quality hires in most industries means that experienced tech workers can command a higher wage and more flexible working conditions. They can also hold out for a project they’ll be passionate about. 

There’s a skill gap shortage

There is a developer shortage and a substantive skill gap across the entire supply chain. 

Many graduates join the workforce with a disconnect between what they learned in school and what their employers need. To overcome this challenge, employers need to invest in their junior employees and build a senior-level team that can show them the ropes. But the average senior developer probably won’t walk in the door with the specialized knowledge required to build the logistics and freight software you need, either — and that’s an industry-wide challenge. 

Another major challenge for IT directors isn’t technical as much as it is human. The biggest priorities include securing and investing in skilled junior talent, retaining developers and IT pros as they upskill and grow into the role, and training experienced workers to educate new hires the right way. On top of that, more than 40% of companies are planning to upskill or reskill their non-IT workforce for a more tech-savvy workplace, so competition for skilled workers is fierce.

As another result of the pandemic, there will be fewer CIS graduates this year, thanks to shuttered schools. Demand for young tech professionals to replace those who retire or leave the industry increases by the year. Soon, it will be even more challenging to find tech talent at all skill levels.

You can still get the team you need 

The good news is, there’s another way. Instead of spending time, energy, and money upskilling and reskilling workers, get the help you need right now by hiring a third-party team. What are the benefits of outsourcing your IT team?

  • Continue innovating — Your outsourced IT team continues to innovate while keeping associated expenses external to your bottom line. All the while, they’ll be building new skill sets to keep pace with a changing freight and logistics tech landscape. 
  • Lower your overhead and protect your margins — A third-party provider will be tasked with developing new employees or retaining and replacing highly qualified team members. The amount you invest doesn’t change when a new senior-level developer needs to be hired. 
  • Get flexibility with your team — Third-party IT providers allow businesses to scale up or down when needed. This lets companies plan for growth or build out a team for one specific project without worrying about the cost of hiring or managing freelance contractors.
  • Get team members with the skills you need right away — Your team comes with the specialty skills they need. You can ensure the people you're bringing onto the team have the experience and knowledge about freight and logistics software from the start. That way, you don't have to wait to teach new employees and fill skill gaps yourself.


The tech skill shortage isn’t going anywhere soon. With CIS pros in high demand, growing your team can be a challenge — but it doesn’t have to be. Partnering with a trusted IT outsourcing provider in the freight and logistics industry, like DDC FPO, helps to streamline processes and preserve your bottom line in an uncertain marketplace.

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