What Do Cargo and Freight Agents Do?
A cargo and freight agent has to route the movement of incoming and outgoing cargo via airlines, trains, truck and ships. Someone in this type of position also has to take orders from customers, arrange pickup of freight and get it ready for delivery. A cargo and freight agents also prepares and examines the bills of lading to make sure that they are aware of all shipping charges and tariffs beforehand.In the United States, this type of position is expected to have a 15% growth. This could translate to about 3,300 job positions annually.
Cargo and Freight Agents Skills and Abilities
In order to be able to perform the duties of a cargo and freight agent, you have to be able to communicate effectively. You also have to be able to monitor the work of yourself and others. It’s helpful to have a service orientation as well because the cargo and freight industry is service oriented. You should have knowledge of transportation, customer service, geography, public safety and the English language. You should also be able to work well with others, solve problems and keep accurate records.
Cargo and Freight Agents Duties
With these skills and abilities, you would be expected to:
- Counsel clients on transportation and payment methods.
- Track the delivery progress from start to finish.
- Determine the best method of shipment and then prepare bills of lading, invoices and other essential shipping documents.
- Keep accurate records of all goods that have been shipped, received and stored.
- Estimate the cost of freight or postal shipment.
- Check documentation whether it is import or export to determine cargo contents.
- Know tariff coding system to classify goods correctly.
- Prepare accurate manifests and transmit data to destinations.
- Arrange insurance coverage of materials and goods being shipped.
- Manage and direct activities of workers who pack and ship merchandise.
- Contact vendors or other appropriate parties to resolve shipment problems.
- Pack goods for shipping.
These are just a few duties that a cargo and freight agent may have to do.
Cargo and Freight Agents Tools and Technology
In order to do these duties efficiently, you have to be able to use the appropriate tools and technology:
- Strapping Machines
- Hand Trucks
- Tow Tractors
- Straight Trucks
- Database Software
- Transportation Management Software or Other Mobile Location Based Services Software
- Microsoft Excel or Other Spreadsheet Software
- SAP Software or Other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
- CargoWise ediEnterprise or Other Materials Requirements Planning Logistics and Supply Chain SoftwareHaving skills with
These tools and technologies will ensure that you can do the job well.
Education and Training for Cargo and Freight Agents
In order to become a cargo and freight agent, you have to have your high school diploma. It could be useful to have your Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. This type of job also requires some on the job training. You could take courses like:
- General Office Occupations and Clerical Services
- Traffic, Customs and Transportation Clerk
The education and training is mostly done on the job.
Cargo and Freight Agents Salary
Because this position doesn’t require a college degree, the lower 10% normally make around $23,800 a year. The average cargo and freight agent in the United States makes about $41,400. The upper 10% make about $65,900. You level of education, prior experience and location all affect the salary that you make.
Cargo and Freight Agents Jobs by Geography
Per capita, Florida, California and New York have the highest number of cargo and freight agent positions. However, the areas that are likely to see the highest growth in this industry are North Dakota, Utah and Guam. There are many states whose average cargo and freight agent makes more than the average of the nation. The highest average salaries are in Connecticut, West Virginia and Alabama. When you start considering your career, you have to think about location, institutions and the education that you plan on pursuing.