Career Development

What Does a Shipping Manager Do?

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

Shipping managers are responsible for overseeing the shipping operations of their company. They ensure that products are shipped on time and in a cost-effective manner, while also managing relationships with third-party carriers or logistics providers.

Shipping managers may be tasked with developing new shipping procedures or protocols to improve efficiency or reduce costs. They may also be responsible for training employees on proper safety procedures when handling cargo or other materials.

Shipping Manager Job Duties

A shipping manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reviewing inventory levels in storage and at retail locations to ensure that there are enough products available to meet demand
  • Negotiating contracts with shipping companies and labor unions to secure the best rates and services
  • Reviewing documentation provided by carriers regarding delivery performance, resolution of issues, etc.
  • Monitoring and adjusting freight rates, carrier rates, and insurance costs to ensure optimal pricing
  • Analyzing data related to shipping operations to identify trends and make recommendations for improvement
  • Overseeing the selection and hiring of new employees as well as the training of existing staff members
  • Conducting audits of shipping companies to ensure compliance with federal regulations
  • Ensuring that all shipping materials are in good condition before they are used on shipments
  • Identifying transportation problems before they occur and implementing solutions

Shipping Manager Salary & Outlook

The salary of a shipping manager can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $50,207 ($24.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $84,000 ($40.38/hour)

The employment of shipping managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for shipping services will depend on the overall health of the economy and the demand for products shipped across the country. As e-commerce continues to grow, more online retailers will need to hire shipping managers to ensure that their shipments arrive on time.

Related: Shipping Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Shipping Manager Job Requirements

The following are some of the requirements to become a shipping manager:

Education: Employers typically require shipping managers to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in logistics, supply chain management or another related field.

Training & Experience: Most shipping companies will provide on-the-job training for new employees. This training will typically include instruction on the company’s specific software and procedures. Training may also include instruction on how to load and unload shipments, how to use equipment like forklifts and how to safely handle hazardous materials.

Certifications & Licenses: Certification for shipping managers is optional, but highly recommended as it can demonstrate your dedication to your role and help you stand out from other candidates.

Shipping Manager Skills

Shipping managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication skills can help shipping managers convey information to their team and customers. You can use communication skills to send emails, make phone calls and write letters to suppliers and customers. You can also use communication skills to give presentations to your team and explain shipping processes.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and ensure that your shipments are completed on time. You can use your leadership skills to help your team work together to complete large shipments. You can also use leadership skills to help your team develop and grow their shipping skills.

Problem-solving: Shipping companies often have a variety of shipping methods and routes to consider when planning a shipment. Having excellent problem-solving skills can help you find the most efficient and cost-effective shipping methods. You can also use problem-solving skills to identify and resolve any issues that may arise during a shipment, such as delays or damage to goods.

Inventory management: Inventory management is the ability to track and manage the supply of products. Shipping managers often use inventory management skills to track the amount of products in stock and the amount of products shipped. This is important because shipping companies need to have the right amount of products in stock to ensure customers are satisfied.

Data analysis: Data analysis is the ability to interpret and understand information. Shipping managers use data analysis to review shipment data, including tracking information, to ensure shipments are on time and within budget. They also use data analysis to review customer feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Shipping Manager Work Environment

The shipping manager works in an office environment and is responsible for the coordination and management of all shipping activities. He or she works closely with other managers, such as the production manager, to ensure that products are shipped in a timely and efficient manner. The shipping manager also works with the sales and marketing departments to develop shipping strategies that will meet customer demands. In addition, the shipping manager is responsible for the safety and security of all shipments, as well as the compliance with all government regulations. The shipping manager typically works a standard 40-hour week, but may be required to work overtime during busy periods.

Shipping Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how shipping managers work. Shipping managers 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 eCommerce

The growth of eCommerce is a trend that is having a major impact on the shipping industry. As more and more people shop online, shipping managers will need to find ways to ensure that their products are delivered quickly and safely.

This trend also means that shipping managers will need to be familiar with new technologies and methods for shipping goods. They will need to be able to utilize tools such as drones and robots to help them deliver products faster and more efficiently.

More Focus on Sustainability

As businesses become more environmentally conscious, they are beginning to focus on sustainability as a core value. This means that shipping managers will need to be aware of ways to reduce their company’s carbon footprint.

One way to do this is by using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines. Another is by recycling materials and reducing waste. By implementing these practices, shipping managers can help their companies to be more sustainable and save money in the process.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the shipping industry. This is due to the fact that technology allows shipping managers to track and manage shipments more effectively.

As technology becomes even more prevalent, shipping managers will need to learn how to use it to their advantage. This includes learning how to use software to track shipments, communicate with customers, and manage inventory.

How to Become a Shipping Manager

A career as a shipping manager can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, and to see the world from a unique perspective. You’ll also have the chance to make a real difference in the lives of others by helping them get their goods where they need to go.

To become a successful shipping manager, it’s important to have a strong understanding of the industry and its processes. This includes knowing how to navigate the complex regulations that govern international shipping, as well as how to best utilize the latest technologies to optimize efficiency.

It’s also important to have a good working knowledge of the various types of cargo ships and their capabilities. This will help you better understand the needs of your customers and find the most suitable transportation solution for their goods.

Advancement Prospects

Shipping managers typically start out as shipping clerks or assistants. With experience, they may move up to shipping supervisor or coordinator positions. With additional experience and training, they may advance to shipping manager positions. Some shipping managers may eventually move into upper-level management positions, such as operations manager or general manager.

Shipping Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for an experienced shipping manager to lead and oversee our shipping department. The shipping manager is responsible for the coordination and management of all shipping activities, including inbound and outbound shipments, domestic and international shipments, and the coordination of all shipping resources and personnel. The shipping manager will also be responsible for developing and implementing shipping policies and procedures, and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The ideal candidate will have experience in shipping and logistics, as well as strong leadership and management skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain shipping schedules and coordinate with production, sales, and customer service to ensure timely delivery of goods
  • Arrange transportation and oversee storage of finished products and raw materials
  • Supervise the work of shipping clerks and other staff
  • Keep track of inventory levels and order new supplies as needed
  • Ensure that all shipments comply with legal regulations and safety standards
  • Prepare reports on the department’s activities
  • Negotiate shipping rates with vendors and customers
  • Resolve issues with damaged or lost shipments
  • Train new employees on shipping procedures
  • Develop and implement strategies to improve efficiency and reduce costs
  • Stay up-to-date on industry developments and trends
  • Handle customer inquiries and complaints in a professional manner

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, logistics, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in shipping, receiving, or warehouse management
  • Proven ability to develop and implement efficient shipping and receiving processes
  • Working knowledge of transportation management software (TMS) systems
  • Strong leadership and team-building skills
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • 10+ years experience in shipping, receiving, or warehouse management
  • Experience with multiple TMS systems
  • In-depth knowledge of import/export regulations
  • Familiarity with Six Sigma or Lean methodologies


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