reducing costs, improving performance and increasing the ability of organisations to focus
on their core business (Zacharia et al., 2011; Langley, 2017).
The increasing role of 3PL providers in a firm’s business requires managers that can link
processes, manage crucial relationship s and engage in decision making ( Langley, 2017).
Specifically, skilledemployees in the logisticsindustry can redesign theprocess and contribute
greatly toa firm’s success and growth (Ellinger and Ellinger, 2014). However, rapid c hanges in
the business environment have resulted in a shortage of skilled logistics professionals
(Langley, 2013; Rahman and Qing, 2014; Sinha et al., 2016). This shortage has arisen from
firms’focusing on cost reduction and improving relationships with customers and suppliers
rather than on developing employees to achieve supply-chain objectives (Sweeney, 2013;
Flöthmann, Hoberg and Gammelgaard, 2018). Therefore, talent management will be the
principal driver of a company’s success in the future (Hohenstein et al., 2014; Langley, 2017).
The Indonesian logistics industry is facing challenges related to a shortage of skilled
labour. The efficiency of Indonesia’s logistics industry, as measured through the Logistics
Performance Index (LPI), indicates that Indonesia (which has an aggregated rank of 51) can
improve the quality of its logistics services (World Bank, 2018). Research finds that
governments play an important role in ensuring the quality of logistics services through
developing policies (McKinnon et al., 2017). For example, the Indonesian Government’s 2012
Blueprint for the Development of a National Logistics System (Cetak Biru Pengembangan
Sistem Logistik Nasional) highlights establishing national competency standards for the
logistics industry. Regardless of its efficiency issues, the Indonesian logistics industry has
been growing by 11.8 per cent on an average for the past 10 years (McKinnon et al., 2017).
Given the growth potential, if challenges related to the availability of skilled and competent
managers in the logistics industry are addressed promptly, Indonesia could become the
largest market for the logistics industry in Asia.
Despite the importance given by practitioners and policymakers globally to talent
management in the logistics industry, research has rarely focused on the crucial process of
developing talented managers (Ellinger and Ellinger, 2014). Most prior studies on logistics
managers’skills and competencies are limited to the context of developed countries such as the
USA (e.g. Keolanui and Wood, 1975; Murphy and Poist, 1991a, b, 2006; Gammelgaard
and Larson, 2001) and Europe (Larson and Gammelgaard, 2001; Flöthmann, Hoberg and
Gammelgaard, 2018). More recently, researchers have begun to investigate the skills and
competencies of logistics managers in the context of developing countries such as China
(e.g. Rahman and Yang, 2012; Thai and Yeo, 2015). Despite the shift in research focus to
developing countries, the research output remains very limited to the largest world economies.
The limited research on the skills and competencies of logistics managers in the context of
developing countries has highlighted the need for research to identify critical skills for 3PL
managers in the context of developing economies (Hohenstein et al., 2014). Therefore, the
objective of the study is to identify and prioritise the competencies required by 3PL managers in
the context of Indonesia.
This research contributes to the literature in two ways. First, this is the first study to
investigate 3PL managerial skills and competencies in the Indonesian context. The
identified skills and competencies will assist government and policymakers in Indonesia to
develop policies for the future development of human resources in the Indonesian logistics
industry. Second, the study provides a comparison of the perspectives of multinational
corporations (MNCs) and local 3PL providers operating in the Indonesian business context
on the skills and competencies important for 3PL managers. It is crucial to understand the
differences between the perspectives of MNCs and local 3PL providers because both the
categories of logistics providers have access to different resources.
The remainder of this paper is organised as follows. Section 2 presents a brief discussion
of the importance of Indonesian 3PL service providers. Section 3 presents the competency