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How to Become a Logistics Manager

Do you like managing numbers and have a keen eye for detail? Do you have the skill and desire to lead a team in an ever-evolving environment? If so, a position as a logistics manager might be an excellent fit for you. 

Logistics managers oversee the supply chain of an organization, and determine how to purchase, store, and distribute products. This role’s broad nature means that a logistics manager needs strong organization and multitasking skills, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to manage in ever-changing situations.

Sample job description

The logistics manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s logistics operations. This includes ensuring that goods are efficiently and cost-effectively transported to and from suppliers and customers, as well as maintaining inventory levels and tracking shipping costs. The logistics manager also develops and oversees procedures for receiving, storing, and shipping goods. In addition, this position will oversee warehouse staff and ensure that all operations are conducted according to company standards. The ideal candidate for this job should have a degree in supply chain management or a related field and 10+ years of experience managing and developing procedures for an organization’s logistics department. The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, as well as excellent communication skills, are also essential to success in this role.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Manage and maintain accurate inventory in warehouses
  • Nurture relationships with clients and product suppliers
  • Negotiate shipping rates and arrangements with product carriers
  • Create and maintain schedules for inbound and outbound shipments
  • Direct the flow of an organization’s materials and products
  • Manage and mentor team members
  • Collaborate with other departments to implement logistical improvements

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business management, logistics, or another related field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Organizational and communication skills
  • Aptitude for counting and inventory management
  • Managerial and business management skills
  • Excellent adaptability and leadership skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Ability to build trustworthy relationships with customers at all levels 
  • Experience in business process review and analysis, managing departmental and project budgets
  • Experience in leading a group of team members with effective leadership
  • 10+ years of managing a team

Typical work environment

Typically, logistics managers work in an office setting. Their schedules are typically Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM, but this may vary depending on the hours of their warehouse staff. Some travel is involved for this position.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a logistics manager are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in a warehouse setting. With materials often shipping around the clock, overtime or weekend hours may be necessary. 

Available certifications

There are many certifications that can be beneficial to being a logistics manager. Here are a few to check out:

  • International Certificate in Logistics and Transport (CILT). This course is designed to support professionals moving into, or who are already within supervisory or team leader roles, but require training and development.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). Demonstrate knowledge of the essential technology, concepts, and strategies of supply chain management and enterprise resource planning.

Career path

The path to becoming a logistics manager begins with a bachelor’s degree in business management, logistics, or another related field. After several years of on-the-job warehouse experience, candidates will be in line to advance to a management position. Earning certification from The International Society of Logistics or The American Production and Inventory Control Society can help boost advancement opportunities.  

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1081

2020 Employment191,000
Projected Employment in 2030247,300
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 30% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift56,400 increase

The increased use of technology, including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and hand-held devices that read barcodes automatically, is expected to allow fewer warehouse and logistics workers to do the same amount of work. That said, the need for effective warehousing and logistics remains, as does the need for qualified managers.