Transportation managers plan, direct and coordinate logistics related to transporting people or goods. They oversee staff responsible for dispatching, routing and tracking transportation vehicles such as trucks, trains or aircraft.
Transportation managers set operations policies and procedures, and ensure staff complies with all government and safety regulations. They address complaints, investigate shipping accidents and coordinate environmental cleanup.
- Direct and coordinate staff responsible for dispatching, routing and tracking transport vehicles
- Serve as main contact for workers in all assigned territories
- Consult with other managers and staff to develop goals, schedules, policies and procedures
- Evaluate and implement efficiency, cost-saving and energy-saving changes to transportation services
- Attend company safety meetings, conduct safety audits and instruct individuals on safety protocols
- Evaluate vehicles and equipment for purchase, and authorise capital expenditures for acquisitions
- Monitor spending, tariff classifications, billing, budgets and other financial issues
- Investigate and resolve customer or shipper complaints
- Cooperate with government agencies to investigate shipping accidents, and coordinate cleanup activities
- Oversee staff performing maintenance and repair of equipment, vehicles and facilities
- Negotiate or authorise contracts with equipment, transportation or materials suppliers
- Lead employee training, including orientation, hazardous material handling and quality improvement
- Identify and acquire improved transportation and communications system technologies
Skills and qualities
Transportation managers typically begin in other roles in logistics and transportation, such as logistics clerk or dispatcher. A combination of experience, continuing education and certification can help you progress to a management role.
Gaining knowledge and experience in a specific industry can help if you transition from transportation manager to another role within. Related jobs include management positions in logistics, purchasing and supply chain.
Nights and weekends possible
Most transportation managers work full time in an office.
You may spend time in outdoor or warehouse environments, doing safety and maintenance inspections or investigating shipping issues.
Many managers work more than 40 hours a week. Evening and weekend hours are possible, and you may be on call for emergencies.
Transportation managers have many responsibilities, including safety concerns, which some may find stressful. You may also have to deal with noisy environments, pollution and hazardous materials.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Qualifications and training
Specialist training and certification
Though many jobs only require a high school diploma, most transportation managers have a bachelor's degree, typically in operations management. Advanced transportation manager positions may prefer candidates to have an MS in supply chain management or an MBA.
Community colleges, associations, vocational and online schools also offer training and certification programmes. One of the most popular is the Certification in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) through the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM).
SourcesOxford Martin School Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) Bureau of Labor Statistics O*NET OnLine
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022