There are a number of misconceptions about what jobs in the haulage, transport and logistics industries are likely to entail. Yes, there are roles that might involve long-distance haulage driving, and others that might entail driving a forklift vehicle around a massive warehouse all day. However, the reality of the logistics industry is that it is a complicated and interconnected business with a massive variety of different roles available to graduates and jobseekers at all levels. Here, we look at some of the careers available within the logistics and transport sector.
Logistics is all about the movement of goods and parts, and fulfilling the challenging demands of complex supply chains around the world. It can mean transporting everything from small mechanical parts to completed vehicles, from livestock to temperature-sensitive vaccines and medicines.
Many roles in the field of logistics tend by their nature to be detail-intensive and collaborative. There is a requirement to be focused and flexible, and to understand the importance of adhering to national and international laws and regulations that cover the transportation of various types of goods.
Essential to the smooth running of freight and logistics services are operational roles that are to do with the management of supply and demand, procurement and distribution operations. Roles including supply chain management, procurement, freight forwarding and distribution management require a good head for the strategies and processes that get things efficiently from point A to point B, as well as thorough and up-to-date knowledge of applicable regulations for the transport of different types of goods, which may include hazardous materials.
Another integral part of the process of moving goods and parts is storage. Therefore, roles such as warehouse management, storage and inventory management are essential to the smooth running of any logistics business. The drivers and other people who actually deal with the transportation of freight are utterly reliant on warehouse and inventory staff – at all levels – for the efficient and effective organisation of stored goods.
Arguably some of the most important roles in logistics lie in the fields of transport management and planning. This side of logistics is equally vital whether you are sending goods from one end of the country to the other by road, or planning sea freight routes months in advance.
The logistics industry also relies on qualified transport engineers and technicians, responsible for the upkeep not just of vehicles, but also machinery and transportation infrastructure. The sector as a whole needs vehicles and infrastructure to be in good working order to facilitate the transportation of goods.
Last but by no means least in terms of logistics careers are the people who physically move the goods – the HGV drivers, train drivers and other delivery people. While warehousing, planning and other roles are vital to success, it’s no exaggeration to say that the drivers are the beating heart of the logistics industry. And, far from being a one-dimensional job that only involves moving goods from A to B, drivers also carry out important record-keeping tasks, and are vital customer service ambassadors to our customers and clients.
One of the advantages of careers in logistics is that there are various routes into the industry, from entry-level jobs for school leavers, to management positions suitable for university graduates.
If you’re looking to get into the logistics industry straight out of school, the good news is that there are various opportunities available including entry-level jobs, apprenticeships and sponsored degree schemes. Such programmes can be an excellent way of gaining additional education and qualifications, such as an NVQ or degree, while at the same time acquiring valuable on-the-job experience. Gaining the right driving qualifications can be a route into the driving side of logistics, while entry-level office positions in customer service and similar roles may also be available.
If you are undertaking a relevant degree course, then you may want to aim for an internship or industrial placement with a logistics business. This can give you valuable, real-life experience to support your studies and can aid you when it comes to applying for jobs after you graduate. Relevant degrees that could facilitate placements in logistics businesses include engineering, finance, sales and marketing, as well as more directly relevant studies such as supply chain management.
Employers in the logistics sector are always on the lookout for talented graduates for a wide variety of roles, from transport planning and management roles to vital supply chain management positions. Depending on the position, a degree directly relevant to the role will be particularly advantageous, such as a finance-related qualification, or a degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Here at Transmode we specialise in providing flexible haulage solutions for a wide range of customers, from international shipping lines and freight forwarders to retailers and their distribution centres – and to do that, we need the best team possible. Contact us today to discuss career opportunities at Transmode, or to enquire about joining our network of UK haulage subcontractors.