Morris goes as CILTA changes tack

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia CEO Hal Morris will step down in April as part of the peak body's change of direction

By Anna Game-Lopata | February 16, 2012

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA) CEO Hal Morris will step down in April as part of the peak body's change of direction.

Recently appointed National Chair Andrew Stewart says CILTA is looking to move away from ‘ambassador-style’ leadership to develop a greater focus on hard-nosed analytical and business skills.

While he won’t confirm who will replace Morris, Stewart says CILTA will combine an internal set of skills rather than appointing an outsider to one role.

Stewart, a veteran agribusiness manager and investor in Queensland, is a long-time CITLA executive.

Speaking with SCR today, he says members are demanding a more specific set of benefits including the ability to draw more from CILTA’s global connections to offer best practice professional development.

CILT UK for example has developed an extensive logistics curricula and has become a major supplier to China and Africa.

"When you see what countries like India, China, even Nigeria and Kenya are spending on professional development in the logistics sector, it becomes clear Australia isn’t doing enough in this area," Stewart says.

"Australia’s government training schemes have some benefits, but they are essentially last century. If professional development courses are good enough, members will pay.

"We need to better harness corporate support to offer best practice programs such as those already offered by CILT in the UK."

Stewart says the new leadership at CILTA needs to further knit together practical, hands-on IT and marketing skills with the analytical business experience required to attract both membership and corporate sponsorship.

While CILTA membership has increased 20 percent and corporate support has shot up eight times in the 30 months under Morris, the executive last year made the decision a CEO’s salary could not be sustained given forecasted expenditure and costs.

Stewart says the decision is part of a greater move by the organisation to fully address the industry’s failure to attract and retain talent.

"We lose too many smart young people to other industries because their career path isn't clear," Stewart says.

"Older professionals don’t value the ‘smarts’ the young people come in with and by the same token the younger people aren’t trained to recognise the value offered by those more experienced on the ground.

"Meanwhile we have a good flow of people from sectors like defence into the industry, but we need to up-skill them to take charge of technology, in particular the IT systems behind logistics which are highly competitive and changing rapidly."

Stewart says CILTA has identified the skills gap he believes it can fulfil.

"Most professionals from supervisory to general management roles just want to get day to day basics right," he says.

"Young people entering the industry don’t want to spend their time patching things up, they want to use their smarts to improve the system."

In addition, CILTA is planning to increase its participation in the global organisation's humanitarian and emergency logistics initiatives which Stewart says enjoy "plenty of corporate support".

Along with Stewart, who will step up his presence as the public face of CILTA, Executive Officer Hannah Lucas is a leading contender for an expanded role.

Lucas currently runs CILTA’s mentoring and professional development programs, as well as undertaking international marketing for the organisation.

Stewart also hints at another internal promotion but says the final details of titles and roles will be confirmed next week.

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