Career Development

16 Import Manager Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Import Manager skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Import managers are responsible for overseeing the importation of goods into a company or country. They must have a strong understanding of customs regulations and laws, as well as the ability to manage people and projects. If you’re interested in becoming an import manager, learning about the skills that are essential for this position can help you determine if it’s the right career path for you.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As an import manager, you may need to solve problems that arise during production or shipping processes. You also use problem-solving skills when determining how to handle customer complaints about products. For example, if a shipment of goods arrives late, you might find ways to compensate your customers for their inconvenience.

Customer Service

Customer service skills are important for import managers because they often interact with customers and clients who have questions about the products their company imports. It’s important to be able to answer these questions clearly and thoroughly so that you can help your customers make informed decisions. Customer service also includes ensuring that your employees are providing excellent customer service as well.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is the process of tracking and monitoring supply levels to ensure you have enough materials for production. As an import manager, you may be responsible for managing inventory for a large company with multiple departments or divisions. You need to know how much raw material your company has on hand and when it’s time to reorder supplies. This ensures that production continues smoothly and minimizes any disruptions in workflow.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As an import manager, you may need to shift your priorities and alter your schedule as necessary. You also need flexibility when it comes to working with suppliers from other countries. For example, if a supplier needs to change their shipping date or location, you need to be flexible enough to accommodate them.

Transportation Logistics

Transportation logistics is the process of moving goods from one location to another. As an import manager, you might be responsible for planning and coordinating transportation logistics. This includes working with shipping companies to arrange delivery dates, routes and methods. You also need to ensure that your company has the necessary permits and licenses to move products between countries.

Hazardous Materials Handling

Hazardous materials are substances that can be dangerous to the environment or human health. Import managers who have knowledge of hazardous materials handling and regulations may be able to ensure their company is following all necessary protocols when importing goods. This skill set also allows import managers to assess potential risks associated with certain products, which can help them make informed decisions about sourcing new inventory.

Packaging & Crating

Packaging and crating is the process of preparing products for shipping. This includes ensuring that each product has the correct packaging, labeling it correctly and securing it in a way that ensures safe delivery to its destination. As an import manager, you may be responsible for managing this process for your company’s suppliers. Having knowledge of proper packaging and crating techniques can help ensure that your shipments arrive safely.

Import/Export Documentation

Import managers often work with other departments to ensure that the company receives all of the necessary paperwork for importing goods. They also need to understand how customs regulations affect their shipments and what documentation they need to provide to customs officials. Having strong organizational skills is important for an import manager because they often have to track large amounts of data, including shipment information, invoices and customs forms.


Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and responsibilities. As an import manager, you may be responsible for overseeing a large team that requires regular communication and feedback. Having strong organizational skills can help you delegate work effectively and ensure everyone on your team has what they need to do their job well. You also likely have many different types of files related to your company’s operations, so having good organizational skills can help you find information quickly when needed.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is the process of managing a company’s supply and demand. It involves identifying what materials are needed, where they’re coming from and how to get them there. This skill can be useful for an import manager because it allows them to plan ahead and ensure their company has the resources it needs to operate efficiently.

Decision Making

As an import manager, you need to make decisions about the products you purchase and how much of each product you should order. You also need to decide which suppliers offer the best prices and quality. This requires strong decision-making skills so that you can choose the right options for your company’s needs.

You also use decision-making skills when deciding what to do with excess inventory or if a shipment is delayed. For example, you might decide to sell the excess inventory at a discount to clear out space in your warehouse or wait until the original supplier delivers their shipment.

Customs Regulations

Customs regulations are the laws that govern how goods enter and exit a country. Customs managers must be knowledgeable about customs procedures, tariffs and duties to ensure compliance with all necessary regulations. Customs regulations can vary by industry, so it’s important for import managers to stay up-to-date on any changes in customs law. Customs regulations also dictate which paperwork is required when importing goods, so customs managers should have a thorough understanding of these documents as well.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. As an import manager, you may need to communicate with employees in other departments or suppliers from overseas. Strong communication skills can help you relay instructions, answer questions and resolve issues quickly. You can also use your communication skills to draft emails, letters and reports that are clear and easy to understand.

Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding is the process of managing shipments from their origin to their destination. This includes tracking and monitoring incoming shipments, preparing outgoing shipments and ensuring that all paperwork is in order. Import managers often have to perform freight forwarding duties as part of their job, so it’s important for them to be knowledgeable about this aspect of logistics.

Project Management

Project management skills are important for import managers because they help you plan and execute large projects. You might use project management skills to manage the process of importing goods, which can include tasks like creating a budget, scheduling shipments, managing employees and ensuring that all necessary paperwork is completed.


Planning is an important skill for import managers because it allows them to prepare for the future and ensure they have all the resources necessary to complete their tasks. Planning also helps them determine what materials they need to order, how much of each material they should order and when they should place orders. This can help them save money by ordering only what they need and ensuring they always have enough inventory.

How Can I Learn These Import Manager Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become an Import Manager. Many of these skills are learned through on-the-job experience, so working in a related field or in customer service can be a good way to start. There are also many online resources and courses available that can teach you the basics of import/export documentation, customs regulations, and supply chain management. Finally, it is important to be an effective communicator and have good problem-solving skills in order to be successful in this role.


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