6 Careers in Transportation and Logistics
Although it’s sometimes an industry that goes unnoticed, the transportation and logistics business is fundamental to the way that our world works. Products are constantly being traded, purchased, and delivered across the globe, and without this intricate network of companies, manufacturers, and employees, our lives would be vastly different. Whether you’ve considered a career in logistics or not, you may be interested to learn more about some of the most popular and important jobs within the industry to explore your own career potential. While there are many more jobs available in transportation and logistics, here are some of the top options.
With any type of business, the people who run the administration offices are an integral part of the larger industry because they are the ones who are organizing and tracking day-to-day activities. These types of positions are available in a wide variety of job titles, including administrative assistant and logistics or warehouse administrator. Although these titles may not seem very descriptive, each of these jobs includes an array of duties that are vital, such as recording inventory, taking shipments, assisting with shipments to customers or corporations, and helping to maintain transportation vehicles needed to make deliveries.
You may also play a role in bringing about new changes, such as implementing eco-friendly packaging or altering a specific method for shipping. If you’re interested in an administrative role within the transportation and logistics industry, you’ll find plenty of opportunities. This position works in a more behind-the-scenes type of way but is still absolutely necessary to a well-run organization.
The role of a dispatcher is to act as the middleman of communication between logistics companies and delivery companies. Dispatchers work closely with businesses that supply trucks with drivers and other means of transporting goods. When a dispatcher knows that a mode of transportation is available, they will also work with a logistics company to coordinate a deal between the shipment that the logistics company needs to be delivered and the trucking company that is able to pick up the goods and deliver them to their destination. If you enjoy talking with people, this might be a good position to consider, as you’ll spend much of your time speaking with both parties to coordinate a deal that works for everyone. Dispatchers also respond to calls from either side when they require additional information about deliveries or when a situation has occurred that may delay or impact the delivery in some way.
As with other engineering jobs, a logistics engineer must think about the bigger picture. This job entails a lot of strategic planning in terms of how and when a delivery will arrive at its intended destination. Typically, if you want to get into this career, you start off as an analyst, which is a role dedicated to analyzing the entire supply chain process. The analyst’s role is vital because this person is reviewing the way each part of the supply chain works and identifying potential areas for improvement to help make the process more efficient and cost-effective. Once you are promoted to a logistics engineer, you continue to analyze the production cycle, but you spend more time considering and implementing in-depth solutions to some of the issues identified during the process. Essentially, the main difference is that analysts are determining potential issues and making suggestions while engineers are carrying out the solutions.
Working within any sector in the logistics industry could mean that you report to a number of different companies, but as an account executive, you’re working directly for a logistics firm. The role of a logistics company is to work with clients who have products or items that need to be delivered and locate the right transportation company to handle the job. Account executives are typically in communication with dispatchers to find out about truck drivers looking for loads to carry to their destination. But, account executives are also handling the sales side of logistics, which means they are reaching out to companies that may need products moved and trying to broker a deal between them and a trucking supplier that the account executive works with. Anyone who enjoys sales and considers themselves a self-motivated person will excel in this role.
Supply Chain Manager
The role of a supply chain manager is similar to that of a logistics engineer because both roles are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the supply chain. However, supply chain managers must consider each step in the process—purchasing, warehousing, inventory, production, and distribution. Logistics engineers analyze the entire process but tend to focus on the distribution segment because they are working out solutions for how to get each production from each location and to its next destination. Supply chain managers, on the other hand, are considering ways to improve the overall supply chain, which often deals with issues outside of just logistics and transportation–such as ensuring that companies are using quality shipping materials.
Roughly 90 percent of all trade is done via cargo ships, which means there’s a huge demand for these vessels and people who are qualified to work on them. Within the shipping industry itself, which is a part of the logistics and transportation sector, there are dozens of specific careers, from cargo mate to engineer. Many men and women who work in the shipping industry enjoy their position and the chance to travel, but these jobs do have a very different schedule than most standard jobs because you are often being called away to work for weeks or even months at a time. If you’re intrigued by this type of lifestyle, you should explore the different types of shipping opportunities that are available.
Find Your Place in the World of Transportation and Logistics
Working in the transportation and logistics industry can be an exciting career decision with the potential to move up in your field. Whether you’re interested in helping with the actual transporting of goods via cargo ships or trucks or you’re looking to become more involved with the supply chain process, there is a career for you. Based on your level of expertise and the type of lifestyle you’re seeking, these jobs can be a fulfilling way to become a part of one of the largest sectors in the world.
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