Cargo and Freight Agents

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Also known as:  Cargo Agent, Cargo Router, Freight Agent, Freight Shipping Agent, Ramp Service Agent

ABOUT CARGO OR FREIGHT AGENT CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Businesses need orders filled and shipments moved as quickly as possible. Cargo and freight agents are the people who help make that happen. Whatever the size, route, or nature of the shipment, these agents handle the details of getting cargo from the place of origination to destination swiftly and ...
efficiently.

Cargo and freight agents take orders from customers and arrange getting the freight to the loading platform. They plot the route and prepare all necessary documents, such as descriptions of the cargo, amount, type, weight, and dimensions. If the goods are being imported or exported, the agent also handles getting the required customs clearances.

Agents make sure the cargo is organized according to destination and calculate the cost of shipping. Upon arrival, they check for missing items and record damage, then arrange payment and pick-up by customers.

Although entry-level positions in this department usually require only a high school diploma, familiarity with computers will help you in this job. They're used for everything from processing orders placed over the internet to tracing shipments by barcode to completing insurance paperwork. Specialized software helps cargo and freight agents expedite the movement of shipments to meet the increasing demands for overnight delivery.

While part of the work day is spent in an office, these agents are also found in terminals and loading docks, where environment is rarely temperature-controlled. Evening and weekend hours are common. With additional training and experience, freight and cargo agents can forward their career prospects to better-paying supervisory positions. Cargo and freight are the lifeblood of commerce. This career is at the heart of the entire system.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS
Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and arrange for delivery.
Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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