Freight management is a multifaceted job, especially in larger companies that handle international shipping. The person in this position (sometimes referred to as a logistics manager) is responsible for the smooth and continuous flow of products from the supplier to the end user, and consequently must have an ability to think on his feet and solve problems that frequently occur in the supply chain. The freight manager job description requires organisation, accuracy, and above average customer service skills.
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Freight managers must be knowledgeable of all available modes of delivery including trucking, rail companies, and airlines. They deal with the movement of their company’s goods from the base of operations to the delivery point, which requires the freight manager to stay informed about all current trucking options and rail and air routes along with a daily check of any changes that can throw the scheduling off. They also interface directly with other departments in the company, such as sales and production, to trade any updated information about product availability, shortages, back orders, or special customer requests.
Logistics, a popular term for scheduling, is the primary concern of freight managers. They must know exactly what shipments are scheduled for the day, piece counts and methods of delivery, and where transfers will occur when overnight warehousing is necessary for international shipping. Part of the freight manager’s responsibility is assuring compliance with all carrier costs including weight charges, storage fees, and international shipping tariffs. Additionally, they will be involved in implementing any necessary changes in the supply chain to improve the company’s performance in delivering the goods to the customer. Average earnings for this job, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2009, are around £59,800 annually.
The challenges of shipping goods overseas by ship make an ocean freight manager job uniquely difficult. The freight manager must be experienced and knowledgeable not only in domestic delivery systems but in the movement of freight across shipping docks. A bachelor’s degree is sometimes required for this job, and supervisory experience in logistics, warehousing, or even customer service is an asset. Salary ranges are between £28,600 and £47,450 per year, according to statistics from the National Occupations Code (0713).
The freight manager involved with air transportation is also required to have knowledge of international and domestic carriers. They are often expected to negotiate with air carriers for the best possible rates, and to find ways to continually improve the overall cost of airway shipping. Most air freight managers are required to oversee all accounts related to warehousing and freight forwarding, and are responsible for record keeping and reporting to general managers to improve budgetary expenditures for these services.
The increase in global commerce has created a growth in positions in other countries for freight managers. This type of job will naturally require becoming familiar with the local carriers as well as currency exchange rates and any duties and customs that need to be allowed for. Additionally, a willingness to learn another language is necessary in order to interface with company staff and to negotiate with local freight forwarders and carriers. Many overseas employers require a related degree in logistics or business management, and any existing international contacts in shipping networks is also an asset.
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