Career Development

What Does a Logistician Do?

Find out what a logistician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a logistician.

Logisticians are responsible for the planning, execution, and management of supply chains. They’re often tasked with ensuring that products get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. This may include managing inventory, arranging shipping schedules, negotiating deals with vendors, etc.

Logisticians work in a variety of industries—from retail to manufacturing to transportation—and their duties can vary greatly depending on where they’re working. Regardless of industry or job description, however, logisticians all have one thing in common: they’re responsible for making sure that things run smoothly when it comes to getting goods from one place to another.

Logistician Job Duties

Logisticians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing shipping documents such as bills of lading to ensure that they accurately reflect shipment details
  • Developing strategies for improving warehouse efficiency and performance based on calculations of space requirements and inventory turnover rates
  • Estimating costs of new facilities, equipment purchases, labor hours required for projects, and other business expenses
  • Conducting studies on the best ways to transport goods or services across land or water, including developing new technologies for transport methods
  • Recommending improvements in shipping methods to reduce costs or increase efficiency
  • Conducting surveys to determine customer satisfaction with products or services provided by an organization, including analyzing survey results and identifying areas for improvement
  • Reviewing and approving invoices from vendors to ensure all charges are accurate and appropriate for the services rendered by the vendor
  • Assisting in planning and managing company events such as trade shows or conventions
  • Evaluating the adequacy of physical facilities such as warehouses, storage facilities, and docks to ensure they meet legal requirements and industry standards

Logistician Salary & Outlook

Logisticians’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $121,000 ($58.17/hour)

The employment of logisticians is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for logisticians is expected to increase as companies continue to outsource logistics functions, such as transportation and warehousing, to save money and improve efficiency. Logistics will also be increasingly important as e-commerce continues to grow.

Logistician Job Requirements

A logistician typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for a logistician. A bachelor’s degree in logistics, supply chain management, operations management or a related field is preferred by employers. Some of the coursework you can expect to complete includes business, mathematics, statistics, operations management, economics, accounting, finance, management, marketing, engineering, information technology and computer science.

Training & Experience: Most of a logistician’s training will take place while they are completing their education. Students will learn the basics of logistics while completing coursework and will receive more in-depth training while working in internships. Students can also receive on-the-job training while working in entry-level logistics positions.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications prove an individual’s qualifications to current and prospective employers. Logisticians can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Logistician Skills

Logisticians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Mathematics: Mathematics is the ability to perform calculations and interpret numerical data. It’s important for logistics professionals to have strong math skills because they often work with numbers to determine the most efficient way to transport goods. For example, they may need to calculate the weight of a shipment to determine the appropriate size of a truck.

Data analysis: Data analysis is the ability to interpret data and use it to make informed decisions. Logisticians use data analysis to determine the most efficient way to complete a task, such as shipping a large amount of products. They also use data analysis to determine the best routes for delivery trucks and the most efficient way to organize inventory.

Problem-solving: Logisticians use their problem-solving skills to find solutions to challenges that arise during the planning and execution of a supply chain. For example, if a supplier is unable to deliver a shipment on time, a logistics manager may need to find an alternative supplier or develop a contingency plan to ensure the company has the resources it needs to continue operating.

Inventory management: Inventory management is the ability to track and organize the supply of materials and products. A logistics manager oversees the flow of goods and materials, so inventory management is an important skill for this position. You may also use inventory management to track the location of shipments and the status of orders.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information through speech, writing or other methods. As a logistics specialist, you may be required to communicate with suppliers, customers and other logistics professionals. Having strong communication skills can help you convey your ideas clearly and understand the ideas of others.

Logistician Work Environment

Logisticians typically work in offices, but they may spend time at warehouses, plants, or other locations, depending on the employer. They may work for companies that provide logistics services, such as transportation or warehousing, or they may work in the logistics department of manufacturing or retail companies. Many logisticians have a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, or supply chain management. Some have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in logistics. Logisticians typically work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines.

Logistician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how logisticians work. Logisticians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the eCommerce Industry

The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly, and this is having a significant impact on the logistics industry. As more and more businesses move towards an online-only model, the need for logisticians will continue to grow.

Logisticians can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in eCommerce shipping methods. They should also be familiar with the latest trends in order to stay ahead of the competition.

More Focus on Sustainability

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, businesses are beginning to focus on ways to reduce their environmental impact. This is leading to increased demand for logisticians who have expertise in sustainable practices.

Logisticians can capitalize on this trend by learning how to implement sustainable practices within their company. They can also become advocates for sustainability within their industry, and they can help to promote best practices that other companies can follow.

Greater Attention to Supply Chain Management

As businesses become more complex, the need for professionals who specialize in supply chain management has grown. Logisticians are in high demand as they are responsible for planning and executing the movement of goods and materials throughout a company’s supply chain.

In order to be successful in this field, logisticians must be able to understand the needs of all stakeholders involved in the supply chain and be able to plan and execute solutions that meet those needs. They must also be able to manage resources effectively and be able to adapt to changes quickly.

How to Become a Logistician

A career as a logistician can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, and to help them get their goods where they need to go. You’ll also have the chance to learn about different industries and how they operate.

To become a successful logistician, you’ll need to have strong organizational skills, be able to think critically, and be able to problem-solve effectively. You should also be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of logistics. One of the best is to get further education, which can lead to positions that are not otherwise open to those without an advanced degree. For example, a logistics professional with a bachelor’s degree may wish to get a master’s in business administration with a concentration in logistics, which would enable him or her to apply for management positions. Alternatively, a logistics professional with a strong interest in technology may wish to get a degree in engineering, which would open up positions in logistics engineering.

Another way to advance in logistics is to gain experience and expertise in a particular area. For example, a logistics professional who starts out working in transportation might eventually become a transportation manager. Or, a logistics professional who starts out working in customer service might eventually become a customer service manager. Those who demonstrate leadership ability may be promoted to positions of greater responsibility, such as director of logistics or vice president of logistics.

Logistician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are in the business of making things happen. Our logisticians are the ones who make it all possible, ensuring the smooth and efficient flow of goods and materials. We are looking for an experienced and highly-skilled logistician to join our team and help us maintain our reputation for excellence. The ideal candidate will have experience in supply chain management, transportation, warehousing, and distribution. He or she will be responsible for developing and implementing logistics plans that support the company’s business objectives.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all logistics-related inquiries, issues, and requests
  • Oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of the logistics department, including but not limited to: transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and customer service
  • Develop and implement efficient and cost-effective logistics plans and solutions in alignment with company goals and objectives
  • Coordinate with internal and external stakeholders to ensure timely and accurate execution of logistics activities
  • Monitor and track shipments to ensure timely delivery and receipt of goods
  • Investigate and resolve any discrepancies or delays in shipments
  • Maintain updated records of all logistics-related data and information
  • Generate reports on logistics activity and performance metrics
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement and make recommendations to management
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments
  • Adhere to all relevant laws, regulations, and company policies
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, logistics, or a related field
  • 5+ years experience in logistics, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven track record of successful project management
  • Strong negotiation skills and ability to build relationships with vendors
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and warehouse management software

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • Certification in project management (PMP) or supply chain management (SCM)
  • Experience working in a global environment
  • Fluency in another language

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