What does a logistics manager do?
Logistics is the process of planning, organizing, and executing the movement of goods. This can involve anything from the storage and retrieval of supplies to transport to the site of production. The role of logistics management is typically seen as a mid-management position in large organizations that need a high degree of control over their logistics, including cost control and inventory management. The most common tasks performed by logistic managers are planning, forecasting, and coordinating transport.
Logistics managers oversee the supply chain of an organization. They determine how an organization should purchase products and how they should distribute them. The broad nature of this role means that logistics managers need strong organization and multitasking skills. Some common duties for a logistic manager include:
Managing and maintaining an accurate inventory of product storage warehouses
Facilitating business relationships with clients and product suppliers
Discussing and negotiating shipping rates with product carriers
Setting up and maintaining schedules for inbound and outbound shipments
Directing the flow of an organization’s materials and products
Working with other departments in the organization to implement logistical improvements
Supervising the work of the rest of the logistics team
Overseeing the importing and exporting process of a product
Logistics Manager Salary
Logistics managers are in high demand as they play a key role in managing the flow of goods to meet customer demands. As such, they receive a competitive salary. This article looks at the typical logistics manager salary and what aspiring logistics managers can expect to earn if they work hard and keep up with current trends.
A logistics manager’s duties include planning the route, scheduling the transportation, organizing shipments for delivery, and ensuring that resources are allocated appropriately. The type of company and industry will also affect how much a logistics manager is paid. The median salary of logistics managers is around $87,000 each year according to Payscale.com; however, this can vary considerably depending on location and other factors.
Most industries require logistics managers to supervise product distribution. Logistics managers may work as either members of a logistics department within a company, or they can work with a separate firm that outsources logistical work to other companies. A logistics manager’s salary will vary based on factors such as their location, industry and level of professional experience.
Common salary in the U.S.: $60,972 per year
Some salaries range from $14,000 to $139,000 per year.
Logistics manager requirements
A logistics manager’s qualifications often come from experience in the field as a general logistician, but employers will typically also require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. Some logistics managers can get their positions with an associate’s degree if they have sufficient professional experience working in logistics or relevant industrial certifications.
Some employers will accept significant professional experience in place of a degree, but most candidates will need at least a bachelor’s degree. A degree in a discipline such as supply chain management, business administration or logistics will provide a logistics manager with the fundamental skills and field knowledge necessary for their career.
Aspiring logistics managers can start gaining experience by completing an internship while earning their degree. Those in this position may also pursue a training program outside of traditional university courses. If a logistics manager begins their career as a general logistician, they may receive on-the-job training to prepare them for a promotion to a managerial role.
Certifications are not a requirement to become a logistics manager. However, a logistician searching for advancement in their field can earn a certification in logistics or supply chain management to improve their earning capacity and make them more competitive job candidates. Some common certifications for this field include:
International Society of Logistics (SOLE) Certifications
SOLE offers three distinct levels of logistics certifications to recognize the professional merit of logistics managers. Certification starts with a logistics manager earning recognition through the Demonstrated Logistician Program. After completing this program, a logistics manager may seek certification as a Certified Master Logistician (CML) or Certified Professional Logistician (CPL). Each additional certification increases a logistics manager’s earning capacity.
American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) Certifications
APICS offers a broad range of useful certifications in supply chain management. The CLTD program (Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution) is a demonstration of a logistics manager’s expertise working with supply chain logistics.
Logistics managers play a variety of roles and responsibilities in their position. Some beneficial skills for a logistics manager include:
Logistics managers will be tasked with a wide variety of challenges as the head of the logistics team. Balancing employee time limitations, storage space and shipping restrictions require a logistics manager to effectively develop and implement plans and solutions daily.
A logistics manager’s primary duties are to manage the inventory of a warehouse and maintain large schedules of deliveries and shipments. Keeping detailed records of every aspect of your role and having them readily available to reference will make the daily problem-solving process more manageable.
When a daily event falls off schedule, a logistics manager needs to minimize any delay it may cause to other scheduled events. Because of this, a logistics manager should be able to constantly adapt and rework their schedules to fit within their established timeframes.
A logistics manager is a leader in their work environment. Understanding the value every employee brings to the team will help a manager appropriately delegate responsibilities based on each team member’s talents and strengths. When interacting with other departments, business partners and clients, the logistics manager will also act as the representative for their team.
A logistics manager will need to regularly communicate with business representatives, product vendors, product carriers, clients, other departments and members of the logistics team. An effective manager should be able to keep in close contact with each of these connections to best optimize the operations of the supply chain.
Logistics manager work environment
The working environment for logistics managers differs depending on which industry they work in. It’s common for logistics managers to work in warehouses, but they will also regularly spend time off-site visiting with clients and maintaining business relationships. Logistics managers work full-time schedules during business hours, but they may sometimes need to work extra hours in the evenings to ensure that they have completed all necessary scheduling and met all timelines for shipping and receiving.
How to become a logistics manager
You can follow these general steps to become a logistics manager:
1. Earn your degree
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management, Logistics Management or Business will make you a more competitive candidate when looking for a job as a logistics manager. A degree in one of these fields will also provide you with most of the fundamental skills you need to start your career.
2. Get an internship
Look for opportunities to get experience while you are still a student. It will give make you a more attractive candidate after you graduate.
3. Start your career in the logistics field
Spending time as a logistician or as a supply chain specialist will help you develop relevant skills and knowledge in the logistics industry. Logistics managers often have between two and five years of professional experience when they start their positions.
4. Earn certifications
Studying for and earning logistics certifications will provide you with a stronger resume and vital skills for advancing to this position. Certifications aren’t necessary, but they will make you a more competitive candidate when looking for promotions or other opportunities.
5. Try to earn a promotion
While you’re employed in the logistics and supply chain field, speak with your employer about the possibility of a promotion to a logistics manager. Your employer may offer you the opportunity for advancement without having to search for a position elsewhere.
Logistics manager job description example
BoxCrate Productions is looking for a highly organized problem-solver to take the role of Logistics Manager in our warehouse to help overhaul and maintain our supply chain infrastructure. The ideal candidate will have natural leadership skills and be comfortable managing a diverse set of responsibilities The Logistics Manager needs to be capable of managing our warehouse inventory, scheduling inbound and outbound deliveries, effectively assigning tasks to the logistics team and maintaining business relationships with important clients and carriers.
The optimal candidate for this role has a rich background in logistics (APICS CLTD certification is preferred) and has strong organizational and business communication skills. A Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management and four years of professional logistics experience are required.