Shipping and Logistics Jobs in South Africa
Shipping and logistics careers offer plenty of variety and great opportunities. A job in this line of work does not mean that you’re going to spend all your time surrounded by crates and pallets, or that you’re going drive a truck your entire life. There are so many different and exciting career options in this industry.
What skills do I need for a job in shipping and logistics?
Different skills are required for different jobs within the shipping and logistics industry. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between the required skills of a junior warehouse assistant and an operations manager, for example:
|Junior warehouse assistant||Operations manager|
|An eye for detail||An ability to solve problems|
|Ability to work in a team||Ability to motivate team members/employees|
|Effective communication skills||Effective communication skills|
|Ability to follow orders and to take initiative where required||Critical thinking skills and the ability to think on one’s feet|
|Ability to meet deadlines||Excellent time management skills|
|Good work ethic||Good work ethic|
Here are a few of the main skills you need to do any type of shipping and logistics job:
- Financial skills: So that you understand the cost implications of every decision, and so that you can contribute to keeping the costs down.
- Commercial acumen: So that you can assess the needs of the business.
- Relationship-building and negotiation skills: So that you can source goods and services at good prices.
- Numeracy skills: so that you can keep track of the costs of various transactions.
Why should I study toward a career in shipping and logistics in South Africa?
There are many reasons why people would want to study shipping and logistics in South Africa. According to PWC, “South Africa has the largest economy in Africa and is the most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa with the most advanced transport infrastructure”. This shows that there is potential for a career in the shipping and logistics industry in this country.
Here are some more reasons why you might want to consider studying toward a career in shipping and logistics:
- There are numerous entry-level opportunities available, as well as plenty of scope for career growth.
- Logistics is an essential element of almost any organisation, and jobs in this field are therefore available in many different types of companies.
- Many of the skills that you learn when you study a logistics course are transferable (i.e. you can use them in other environments as well). Examples of such transferable skills include:
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
- Planning and organisational skills
- General management skills
- Financial skills
There are also many different types of job opportunities available in this industry: you could choose a career in anything from warehouse management to customs administration, freight management, or logistics management. If you’re not quite sure where your skills and interests lie, you could always do some job shadowing or apply for an internship while you study your supply chain and logistics course on a part-time basis from home.