Studies & Degrees in Transportation and Logistics Management
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Logistics is concerned with managing the flow of material goods between people and places, and transportation management is closely linked to that. The logistics manager takes responsibility for coordinating the movement of goods from one location to another, and this also involves the management of personnel and processes in order to complete these tasks efficiently. Large companies largely rely on logistics and transportation managers for their operations to run smoothly and effectively. Transportation and logistics managers are the ones who also monitor transportation costs, direct all transportation activities, and work with brokers and agencies to facilitate all these. They train employees and need to even have basic mileage calculating skills. As an example, a transportation manager working for a large moving company has to decide on the most appropriate route for a client; then they have to find a driver willing to drive that particular route, and finally allocate a vehicle from the fleet as well as set a price while mapping the route.
Transportation and logistics managers often face stressful situations and a clear mind, combined with a good amount of self-confidence, would be suitable for this profession. Further qualities are:
- Excellent bargaining skills
- Very good communication and interpersonal skills
- Analytical and problem-solving qualities
- Able to make decisions fast
- Good at maths
- Able to work under pressure
- Prepared to work long hours
In order to go into the area of transportation and logistics management, you definitely need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree in business, management, or transportation and logistics management itself. You could also decide to do a postgraduate study in logistics if you have already completed a more general degree like business, for example. In any case, the type of tasks you will be required to do later in your career require a lot of experience in the field, and you should be looking at an institution which has a good ranking and reputation in the field. Such an institution is most likely to have formed some relationships with large fleet companies, where internships may be offered. Moreover, you should check whether the institution you choose would be able to provide you with good simulation and practice of the planning and tasks you would be required to perform.
Transportation and Logistics management as a profession gives a wide array of career opportunities – you could either work at a large corporation who needs to specifically manage their transportation and logistics; at a transportation company; form your own independent consultancy; work for a government agency, or teach. The choice growing in popularity in recent years is the independent agency one, where you can provide support to a broad range of firms and government agencies. Still, to embark on this road, you need at least five years of experience as a transportation and logistics manager, combined with some sound business contacts. You could always start as an intern at a transportation company and climb yourself up in the hierarchy to pursue the management roles you strive for.