Logistics is an increasingly prevalent term in business. It’s about getting the product to the customer in the most efficient, timely and cost effective manner. Transport and logistics managers play a key role in fulfilling manufacturers’ promises to their customers and in meeting those customers’ expectations. They are responsible for managing the execution, direction, and coordination of all transportation matters within the organisation. This includes managing budgets, organising schedules & routes, ensuring that vehicles are safe and meet legal requirements, and making sure that drivers are aware of their duties.
Logistics embraces purchasing and supplier management, materials management and manufacturing, inventory management and warehousing, distribution and transport, and customer service. While the role covers a range of functions, each with its own challenges and skills, they are all interdependent and practitioners must work together and understand the impact on the whole supply chain to deliver results.
Logistics links all the processes involved, from obtaining the raw materials through to delivering the finished goods to the customer. The management of this supply chain is now recognised as one of the most important factors in making companies efficient and competitive in today’s global economy.
- Planning routes and load scheduling for multi-drop deliveries.
- Booking in deliveries and liaising with customers.
- Allocating and recording resources and movements on the transport planning system.
- Ensuring all partners in the supply chain are working effectively and efficiently to ensure smooth operations.
- Communicating effectively with clients and responding to their requirements.
- Booking sub-contractors and ensuring they deliver within agreed terms.
- Directing all transportation activities.
- Developing transportation relationships.
- Monitoring transport costs.
- Negotiating and bargaining transportation prices.
- Dealing with the effects of congestion.
- Confronting climate change issues by implementing transport strategies and monitoring an organisation’s carbon footprint.
Travel: occasionally required, though not a regular feature of the working day.
Working hours: flexibility is required to meet the needs of the business as working hours vary, with long hours and possibly shifts including weekends common.
Location: mainly in towns or cities throughout the country.
Opportunities for self-employment: possible to run own transport business.
- Logistics companies
- Supply chain consultants
- Freight and shipping companies
- Transport consultancies
- Passenger transport providers (rail, bus, sea and air companies)
- Local, regional and central government.
Promotion into general management roles of larger units or more specialised roles are possible.
Vary greatly depending on employer and level of responsibility.
Specific degree subjects required
Open to non-graduates and graduates of any discipline.
To attain membership of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Ireland you need to have a specific combination of qualifications and experience, including 2 years at senior level.
Other relevant degree subjects
- Information technology
- Social science
A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not a requirement.
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Ireland acts as the examining body for the sector. They also offer certificate and diploma courses in transport and logistics, as well as specialised courses in specific transport areas.
Tips for applications
Gain relevant industry knowledge; positions are rarely granted to those without this.
Skills and qualities
- Ability to appraise and use IT packages and electronic communication methods.
- Tact, diplomacy and calmness, especially when dealing with tired drivers and disgruntled customers.
- An analytic mind and good numeracy skills.
- Excellent geographical knowledge.
- Good people management and coordination skills.
- Excellent financial acumen.
- Excellent negotiation and communication skills.
- Extensive knowledge of the transportation industry.
- Good intuition to make crucial judgment calls.