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GSCW chat recap: Finding freight-forwarding talent amid box boom

‘The best candidate is probably the passive candidate — the one who’s not necessarily looking’

Ocean Audit's Steve Ferreira (left); Logitalent's Bill Paul (right)

This fireside chat recap is from Day 6 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 6 focuses on global maritime logistics.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The human talent side of “Containergeddon”

DETAILS: When COVID first struck, international freight forwarders pared staff and froze hiring. Now, with ocean shipping booming, these same freight forwarders are in major need of talent, from agents to executives.

SPEAKER: Bill Paul, founder and chairman, Logitalent, interviewed by Steve Ferreira, CEO of Ocean Audit

BIO: Paul started in freight forwarding in 1970 in Birmingham, England. He started his first freight-forwarding recruiting firm — Freight Match Services — in 1994. He launched Logitalent in 2015 and Logitalent Brokerage Resources in 2019. Logitalent recruits exclusively in the international freight-forwarding sector, while Logitalent Brokerage Resources recruits exclusively in the domestic truck brokerage business.


“You don’t have to buy a cow to get a pint of milk. We see companies making all sorts of acquisitions and there’s nothing wrong with that, but what they’re really buying is human capital. They don’t necessarily need the buildings and the leases. We do acquisitions on the very, very minor scale. We’re in talent acquisition. We’re delivering candidates that can make a difference to a particular company.”

“We are not necessarily focused on the candidates who are posting their resumes on job boards. I think the best candidate is probably the passive candidate — the one who’s not necessarily looking. That’s where our expertise comes in, and the fact that we stay very, very current on the market.”

“You’ve kind of got to predict the market a bit. Yeah, we were worried last year when COVID hit and companies were doing massive layoffs and hiring freezes. But we decided to be proactive. I gave the directive to our team to go out and find as many ocean import people as they possibly could, knowing that this business would come back and that many, many of our client companies would run lean because they didn’t know what the impact of COVID would be. And now we’re seeing a record number of imports from Asia and we have stockpiled all those candidates, interviewed them and found out where they might be the best fit.”