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What does a Freight Broker do?

When a company or individual wants to transport a large quantity of goods across the country or internationally, they usually call upon a freight broker to arrange the shipment on their behalf.

freight broker

A typical job description for a freight broker

Freight brokers work as intermediaries between freight carriers and customers who want to transport cargo, internationally or domestically, by airline, train, truck or ship. They do not normally handle the freight or cargo. Instead, they determine the needs of the customer and connect them with a carrier who can meet those needs at a price that is acceptable to the customer. They may then arrange for the freight or cargo to be collected from the customer and delivered to the location from which it is to be transported; or the carrier may collect the shipment directly from the customer.

Some freight brokers work within a brokerage firm, while many others work for themselves. It is relatively easy to be self-employed, provided you have the necessary licenses and knowledge.

Education and licensure requirements

A freight broker’s license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a requirement. No specific level of education is required; but to get your license, you need formal training that will help you gain a full understanding of the industry, its regulations and terminology, and how to handle logistics.

Earnings and employment statistics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people working in the freight transportation arrangement industry have a relatively high level of income, but constitute a small proportion of the total number of transportation, storage and distribution managers in the U.S.

logistics coordinator

What does a Logistics Coordinator do?

A logistics coordinator is an office administrative position that is responsible for a variety of roles. They are mainly in charge of handling the flow of goods from the manufacturer to the consumer. However, no matter what type of business, they are also responsible for handling most day-to-day operations. Tasks may include:

  • Tracking inventory
  • Receiving inventory stock from the manufacturer
  • Managing projects
  • Creating daily and weekly reports to send out to coworkers
  • Collecting relevant information via telephone, mail services, email and websites
  • Handling coworker and guest’s traveling arrangements

logistics coordinator

Some positions require little education and experience. For smaller companies, logistics coordinators are hired entry-level to handle an office’s miscellaneous tasks. However, some employers require a highly specialized skill set and ample experience. These positions can hold great responsibility and offer a lucrative salary.

Educational requirements of a logistics coordinator

Office administrative positions, such as logistics coordinators, used to only require a high school diploma and little knowledge or experience with office operations. However, employers are increasingly looking for applicants with extensive computer knowledge and software applications, such as spreadsheets, project management, desktop publishing and specialized ordering and tracking programs.

Someone who is interested in pursing a career as a logistics coordinator can acquire these skills in a number of ways. High school vocational programs have been implementing these lessons into daily coursework. Another option is a one- or two-year office administrative program that teaches specific coursework focused on the necessary skills for a logistics coordinator.

Career paths of a logistics coordinator

A logistics coordinator can work in a wide range of fields. Any business that handles a flow of materials from one point to another may hire a logistics coordinator. A possible employer may be a small start-up company that needs someone to handle multiple tasks around an office. It could also be a very large company that demands very specific skill sets, such as a freight and transportation company or a healthcare department. The more specified the field, the more likely they will require work-related experience in specific software, transportation and inventory.

Job outlook of a logistics coordinator

Office administrative jobs are projected to grow about as fast as the national average. Since many of the positions are entry level, employers tend to eventually move up or go elsewhere. Therefore, there are typically a large amount of positions available at any given time.

Recently, there has been an increased amount of positions lost and replaced with new technology and automation software. However, many duties of a logistics coordinator are interactive and therefore not easily automated.

Industries that have the highest concentration of positions include business support services and depository credit intermediation.

What does a Procurement Specialist do?

Are you a smart shopper? Sometimes, there’s more to it than meets the eye. You need to research alternatives, weigh the trade-off between quality and price, and negotiate with vendors. If those are things you think you can do well, then you should consider a career as a procurement specialist.

A procurement specialist is a person who is responsible for obtaining the goods and services an organization needs to function. This can include everything from office supplies to inventory. Obtaining things on time and at a competitive price can have a direct impact on an organization’s profitability and performance. This is why becoming a procurement specialist can be a rewarding career.

procurement specialist

Job requirements for procurement specialists

There are several job titles for people who have the responsibility to obtain goods and services for an organization’s use. They may be known as procurement specialists, purchasing agents, or purchasing managers, among other things. Just as the title may vary, so may the particular prerequisites for the job, depending on the organization. You are likely to need at least a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree can enhance your chances at advancement or getting a procurement job with a larger organization.

Courses of study that can help prepare you for a career as a procurement specialist include general business classes, budgeting, accounting, logistics and negotiation. It is extremely helpful if you can gain some experience related to procurement, such as in a support role, before seeking lead responsibility for procurement.

Another way to enhance your career credentials is by obtaining certification from the American Purchasing Society. This organization offers designations for Certified Purchasing Professionals (CPP), Certified Professional Purchasing Managers (CPPM), and Certified Professional Purchasing Consultants (CPPC).

Career opportunities

Procurement specialists, purchasing managers or purchasing agents can be found in organizations of all sorts, including businesses, schools and government agencies. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that the greatest concentration of these jobs can be found in the Washington, DC area, but because of the wide variety of organizations that need this function, you should be able to find career opportunities in most parts of the country. These opportunities remain widespread despite the fact that the decline in U.S. manufacturing and the emergence of the Internet could stunt employment growth in this field in the years ahead.

You may already know that smart shopping can save you money. If you pursue a career as a procurement specialist, you might also find that smart shopping can make you money as well.