10 Careers in Logistics (With Salaries and Primary Duties)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 11, 2022
Published September 29, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Working in logistics may interest you if you have strong organizational skills and excellent time management. Logistics jobs involve acquiring, moving, storing, and delivering products, people, or even the vehicles that transport them. Understanding which jobs are available in logistics can help you find a position that suits your interests and skill set. In this article, we explain what careers in logistics are, describe why it's important, and provide a list of 10 careers you can pursue with salaries and duties.
What are careers in logistics?
People with careers in logistics plan, implement and control the transportation of products, people, or information within a supply chain. Those who work in logistics handle some or all of the links between the demand of clients and the suppliers. Logistics careers span from entry-level assistant roles to upper management and exist across a wide range of industries. Shipping, public transport, and distribution rely on logistics to function effectively. Some business functions that include logistics are:
Inbound and outbound transportation: This relates to managing goods or materials moving into or out of a company. These involve shipping and tracking items when they leave or recording and storing them when they arrive.
Warehousing: This is the handling of goods within a storage area or across many. Warehousing may relate to storing retail or food goods in cold storage before they get sent out on orders.
Fleet management: Fleet management refers to the coordination of private and commercial vehicles, including motor vehicles, aviation machinery, ships, and rail cars.
Inventory management: As part of warehousing, inventory management is essential for stocktaking, organizing, and balancing the goods in your supply. The goal is to have the materials available at the right time.
Demand planning and sales forecasting: Planning and forecasting are vital elements of production to predict how much stock to produce, reserve storage space when it's to be delivered and foresee changes in demand and market pricing.
Product portfolio management: Within a company, it's necessary to keep track of what products in your portfolio are selling more or less and deciding whether to introduce new products or discontinue inactive ones. This influences the rest of the supply chain.
Why logistics are important
Having a logistics system that is efficient, organized, and scalable is essential for the success of a business that trades a product or service. Logistics is necessary to ensure that all those products get from the point of origin to the point of consumption on time and in good condition. Some logistics roles focus on the storage of these goods, some focus on transportation, and others on receiving. Ideally, these various parts of the supply chain can work together seamlessly. If managed well, logistics can lower a company's expenses and improve customer service.
Logistics affect your profits
The best way to ensure that your products provide the highest profit is to maximize the effectiveness of the logistics in your supply chain. For instance, if your company pasteurizes and produces milk, there are various time and conditional factors that determine how much money you spend to deliver your product in the best condition. The milk must go from your facility to a conditioned distribution centre, then be temperature controlled during delivery to its final destination where a customer can purchase it. Each of these stages costs money, and the least costly way is to have effective logistics professionals in place.
Logistics and customer satisfaction
Increasingly, customers are shopping online or over the phone. Whether they're ordering for delivery to their home or organizing for a product to be available at a store, it's the logistics systems that ensure the product gets to that customer. Customer satisfaction leaves a customer happy and brings increased revenue into the business. Happy customers tell their friends and family, leave positive reviews, and feel loyal to the company, encouraging repeat business. Customers may not understand the stages that go into delivering the products they've requested, so delivering their order on time and in perfect condition ensures their satisfaction.
Jobs in logistics
If you have excellent time management, organizational, and communication skills, here are 10 promising jobs in logistics:
National average salary: $65,360 per year
Primary duties: A distribution manager often works closely with marketing and sales teams to ensure the distribution of their product suits the demand and supply. They also oversee the scheduling and dispatching of vehicles and goods. This can be a senior position and may involve managing staff or ensuring all vehicles comply with regulations.
Related: How to Become a Supply Chain Manager
National average salary: $51,484 per year
Primary duties: Logistics specialists are experts in coordinating with customs brokers, vendors, and delivery services. They maintain distribution centres to deliver and track accurately fulfilled orders that leave and arrive on time. Similarly, they're responsible for making sure all inbound deliveries arrive on time to fulfil orders and ensuring all paperwork or shipping documentation is correct and complete.
National average salary: $18.30 per hour
Primary duties: A logistics assistant is typically the employee who physically handles the daily receiving and sending of deliveries for a company. They may communicate with customs brokers and shipping companies to follow up on late deliveries, create packing slips, or sign off arrivals. This role rarely requires education in logistics and could be entry-level.
Related: Understanding Entry-Level Jobs
National average salary: $18.51 per hour
Primary duties: A logistics clerk is another entry-level role with similar responsibilities to a logistics assistant. This job also focuses on the practical tasks of printing, authorizing, and distributing packing slips and delivery documents. A logistics clerk also communicates with customers and receives enquiries or complaints. There may even be a record-keeping requirement to track incoming and outgoing orders.
National average salary: $51,952 per year
Primary duties: Logistics planners review, monitor, and analyze customer usage or consumption to plan the placement of distribution vehicles and personnel. It's a high-communication job that requires forward-thinking and planning skills. Planners need a comprehensive understanding of data analysis and sales statistics to align all stages of logistics.
National average salary: $66,720 per year
Primary duties: Fleet managers oversee the vehicles that deliver goods or people and the staff that drive them. They may manage fleets of company cars, agricultural vehicles, or public transport vehicles. A fleet manager needs great managerial skills and attention to detail when maintaining the compliance of all vehicles in their fleet.
7. Inventory manager
National average salary: $22.95 per hour
Primary duties: Inventory managers are essential members of warehouses, distribution centres, and even retailers. It's the responsibility of the inventory manager to take stock, organize stockrooms, and often receive incoming deliveries. Inventory managers ensure company stock systems show accurate records of stock that is available or out of stock.
National average salary: $22.95 per hour
Primary duties: Transportation logistics managers oversee the transportation elements of trucking companies and other logistics businesses. These companies specialize in transportation, and it's the logistics coordinator's duty to make sure the drivers in their fleet complete their deliveries on time. This means not only ensuring the vehicles satisfy regulations but managing the drivers as well.
National average salary: $17.09 per hour
Primary duties: A distribution centre associate is similar to a logistics assistant or logistics clerk, except they specifically manage the incoming and outgoing goods in distribution centres. Distribution centres are warehouses where companies store goods after they're purchased from the supplier but before they're sent out to the customers. Their duties may even include picking and packing orders or labelling goods. As with the logistics assistant and clerk, this is an entry-level role.
Related: 15 Entry-Level Jobs That Pay Well
National average salary: $16.45 per hour
Primary duties: Customer service representatives are the customer-facing logistics roles in most companies that deliver goods. They have excellent communication skills but also comprehensive knowledge of delivery services, the functions of their company's fleet if they have one, and the movement of stock in the business. They may work in call centres of suppliers or retailers and take orders to be fulfilled by the distribution centres or warehouses.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.
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