£18,000 Starter - £30,000 Experienced
37 to 39 a week (9am to 5pm)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university course
working towards this role
specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could do a degree before applying to join an organisation's management training scheme. Most subjects are accepted but you may have an advantage if you study transport and distribution management, logistics and supply chain management, business and management or foreign languages with business studies. Choosing a degree with a year's industry placement or a summer internship could help you to get relevant skills and may be useful when you apply for jobs.
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or the equivalent.
You could do an international freight forwarding Level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship.
It'll take you about 18 months to complete as a mix of learning on the job and study.
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or the equivalent, including English and maths.
You could start as an office assistant in a freight forwarding or logistics department and work your way up through training and promotion.
You'll find it useful to have office experience and computer skills.
You're likely to need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Some employers may prefer you to have A-Levels or higher education qualifications.
You could take an introductory course, like the ones offered by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Institute of Export and International Trade. You'll find it useful to speak a foreign language if the company operates internationally.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of transport methods and costs and benefits
- knowledge of geography
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to work well with others
- administration skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
In your day-to-day duties you could:
- manage freight bookings using a computer system
- check that order, tax and customs documents are correct
- work closely with national and international suppliers and agents
- arrange freight deliveries and collections between ports, airports and warehouses
- handle invoices and payments
- keep clients up to date with progress
- deal with any problems or delays
You could work in a warehouse or in an office.
Career path and progression
You could become an import-export manager, a specialist in international trade law, or an overseas account manager.