The world of shipping has gotten a great deal more sophisticated over the last few years. This change has been driven largely by an explosion in online shopping and communication and data analytics improvements.
Logistics is a name for the science of moving things from one place to another. This is the field that ensures that goods arrive as quickly as possible and that supply chains are resilient and run smoothly.
While this industry was once considered low-skilled, the reality is that today, effective logistics can require creativity and problem-solving skills to manage the business internationally. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys analysing and improving systems, then a logistics career might well appeal. But what does such a career actually involve?
What do I need to work in logistics?
While it’s possible to progress through the industry, you can give yourself a head-start by pursuing a degree – preferably a specialised degree in logistics and supply chain management to build better supplier relations. Look for courses which are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
What to expect from a career in logistics?
The first thing to consider is the sheer size of the industry. Logistics is hugely consequential to the functioning of the modern economy in the B2B market, with billions of tons of goods being moved from one place to another every year.
Given this, the people at the top can expect to find themselves in high demand – which means big wages but also plenty of pressure. The decisions you make will matter, and you’ll sometimes be expected to deal with tricky situations. Just think of the effect that the Covid-19 pandemic had on international supply chains.
Another feature of a career in logistics is that you’ll need to be mobile. You can’t expect to make effective decisions about supply chains unless you have actually visited the warehouses, depots, sorting facilities and roads you’ll be making decisions about. The industry is tremendously varied, with workers operating in a range of settings. This variety makes it easy to find a niche that suits you.
If you’re running a warehouse or even just visiting one, then you’ll need to make sure that you have the right equipment for a job – this means, among other things, investing in the right high-vis workwear.
What are the typical working hours and salary?
In the UK, the average entry-level salary for a logistics manager in the UK is around £50,000. At this level, you’ll be working full-time and probably find yourself working overtime, too. As you work your way up the industry, you can push up into six figures – but the opportunities tend to be concentrated in certain parts of the country. The industry tends to favour places with strong transport links for obvious reasons.