Job description

Freight forwarders are responsible for the transport of goods from one point to another. They will determine the best method and mode of transport, whether by road, rail, air and sea. Freight forwarders also decide on the most appropriate route of transport, ensuring it safely reaches its destination in as little time as possible. These professionals determine the most affordable rates when moving volumes of freight.


    • Determine weight and volume of goods to be transported
    • Calculate costs and timeframes for goods to be moved
    • Evaluate best mode and method of freight transportation
    • Determine route of freight transportation
    • Communicate shipping options, timelines, prices and regulations of freight movement
    • Prepare shipping documentations and keep record of goods imported and exported
    • Notify of shipping status to exporters, consignees or insurers
    • Ensure the accurate packaging and labelling of shipped goods

Skills and qualities

Geographical knowledge
Time management

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2018 to 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 5%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2018 and 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

Freight forwarders have the prospect of advancing to higher positions such as senior freight forwarder, senior export administrator, export office manager or shipping manager. They might even be interested in pursuing a work as a freelance freight forwarder. Those working in large organisations have the opportunity to expand their career by working overseas.

Working conditions

Average hours

40h/ week

Typical schedule

Shift Work

Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally

Freight forwarders generally work in offices of transport centres such as ports, airports and rail terminals. They spend a great deal of time communicating with shippers and transport companies through email and telephone.

The working environment of a freight forwarder can be stressful, especially when dealing with tight deadlines for cargo delivery.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

High school


Study time

3 months

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed to land the role as freight forwarder. However, it will be deemed beneficial by hiring managers if you also have a degree in logistics, supply chain management, transport planning, business management, economics or another related topic.

Training is provided on the job, while some positions require licensing, such as those obtained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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