If a career in logistics interests you, then you may dream of one day being in charge of running a company’s logistics functions. Logistics managers oversee this area of work, and their jobs are essential for the overall success of the companies they work for. Let’s give you a sneak peek into this career.
What do logistics managers do?
Logistics managers are tasked with ensuring that logistics operations (such as import and export, transportation, and customer engagement) run smoothly and efficiently.
Here are some of the tasks they may be expected to fulfil:
- Handling technical details related to transportation, such as documentation and compliance with customs regulations and legal requirements.
- Working out costs and budgets for transportation, storage, and assets (for example delivery vehicles).
- Supervising the work of other logistics staff, including planners, schedulers, or dispatchers.
- Streamlining the logistics operations and systems of clients.
- Building relationships with clients and ensuring efficient service.
- Monitoring safety performance, quality control and effectiveness.
Ultimately, the logistics manager shoulders most of the responsibility for ensuring that valuable goods arrive at their destination safely. The important and specialised nature of the job means that these professionals are in high demand across a variety of industries. They can be found working in specialised logistics companies, retail companies, mining companies and engineering companies, often earning very good salaries.
Similar to other management positions, you will normally need to have several years of experience in the logistics industry before being considered for this job, so be prepared to work your way up!
A day in the life of a logistics manager
- You meet with your logistics staff to discuss schedules for several deliveries of products that have to be transported on behalf of clients.
- You make a phone call to a potential new client, to discuss how your company’s logistics solutions can benefit them.
- You start working on your monthly cost analysis, which has to be submitted to the financial manager.
- You meet with upper management to provide your opinions on a new fleet of trucks that the company is considering investing in.
- You call a client to propose some new ideas that will streamline their logistics operations.
- One of your delivery vehicles has been involved in an accident in which some goods were damaged. You call the client to inform them and discuss reimbursement for the damage.
- You end the day by meeting with your logistics scheduler to ensure that all other deliveries are on track.
Required skills and knowledge
To do their day-to-day tasks effectively, logistics managers need:
- Strong organisational skills
- Good communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- The ability to prioritise tasks
- Time management skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Knowledge of import and export laws (if working internationally)
- Some knowledge of financial management