How to become a logistics manager

Logistic managers play a vital role in many companies. They’re the people in charge of efficiently and effectively managing supply chain processes. Which means the tasks and duties that logistics managers perform are generally diverse and can be complex.

Businesses who aim high and are succeeding through continuous growth will generally have logistics and supply chain managers within their teams. If you work well under pressure and are wanting a career in a fast-paced environment, a career as a logistics manager could be for you.

What is a logistics manager?

Logistics managers are there to oversee distribution facilities and ensure everything is running on time and on budget. To do so, they have to make sure certain products leave the facility at the planned time.

They must also be sure that the right amount of product is being shipped to the right destination and in the most economical way.

Tasks and duties of a logistics manager

Logistics managers have a broad range of tasks that they undertake in their day-to-day work life. With the number of duties at hand and the level of responsibility they hold, logistics managers are often under a lot of pressure.

Many of the tasks of a logistics manager are related to supply chain management. This is because the two roles are interconnected, and different companies will have different expectations of what their logistics managers duties are. Which is why if you wish to be a logistics manager you will need to be prepared to undertake tasks that are associated with supply chain management.

In a logistic managers role you may handle all of or some of the following tasks and duties:

  • Creating budgets
  • Tracking shipments of cargo
  • Managing costs of operations
  • Managing distribution operations
  • Managing facilities
  • Managing international logistics and operation
  • Stock management
  • Preparing invoices and securing payment
  • Analysing logistics
  • Optimising logistics processes
  • Managing material flow
  • Managing operations
  • Tracking performance
  • Overseeing forklifts, trucks and shipping equipment
  • Finding the best shipping routes
  • Managing records
  • Conducting equipment and warehouse inspections

Responsibilities of a logistics manager

As part of the role, logistic managers have a wide variety of responsibilities. Ensuring products arrive on time and stored correctly is just one of many. They must also ensure all materials leaving their facility are undamaged and will often be in communication with transport companies to discuss terms, and review customs documents and bills.

When issues arise with staff, suppliers, transport companies or customers, it’s the logistics manager who’s expected to get to the bottom of it and find a resolution. They are responsible for ensuring that their business is managing its work safely and that it’s abiding by all environmental rules and regulations.

What education and experience do I need to become a logistics manager?

To become a logistics manager, you don’t necessarily need to have any qualifications, however, completing some form of qualification will help you in your career.

Getting a relevant education in logistics will help to make you more employable and will also help you to move up the ranks faster. Studying a Diploma of Logistics will provide you with the skill and knowledge you’ll need to enter into the logistics workforce.

An education will get you through the first hurdle of starting your career in logistics, but to become a logistics manager you will first need experience working in the logistics field. Different companies will have different requirements of how many years’ experience you will need.

It doesn’t matter what level you’re at in the logistics industry, it’s important you continue your education to learn, grow and keep up with the times. Software is constantly evolving and there’s always a pressure to increase profits and reduce costs.

How much can I earn as a logistics manager

The salaries of logistics managers in Australia will vary depending on what state they live in and their level of experience. The following statistics are averages based on logistic managers salaries across Australia.

According to PayScale a logistics manager with less than one year of experience will earn a total average earnings of $63,447 (based on 13 salaries across Australia). While someone with between 1 and 4 years experience can expect to earn a total yearly compensation of $72,181 (based on 162 salaries).

Based on 105 salaries, a logistics manager who is in the mid-career stage with between 5 and 9 years of experience can expect to earn an average annual total compensation of $80,237.

While experienced logistics managers who have between 10 and 9 years of experience will earn an average total yearly income of $91,218 (based on 128 salaries). Logistics managers with more than 20 years of experience can earn over $100,000 each year.

These total income brackets include bonuses, overtime pay and tips and are all in Australian dollars.

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Skills you will need to be an effective logistics manager

To be a successful logistics manager you will need to acquire a specific set of skills and traits. Some of these skills may not come naturally to you but you can learn any skill. The trick is to start learning these skills as early as possible because you will need them to be effective in your role.

Communication skills

Having strong communication skills are essential for logistics managers. You will need both verbal and written communication skills to effectively talk to, call or email people. Communication is important because in this role you will need to be constantly communicating with your staff, suppliers, customers, transportation companies and the people above you.

Leadership skills

Being the logistics manager means you’re the one running the show. Having an effective leadership style is vital. It’s your job to respect and earn the respect of your staff so that your directives will be listened to and followed. You must lead by example and show your team what a good work ethic looks like.

Problem solving

When working in logistics it’s common for problems to arise. To be a good logistics manager you must be a good problem solver. This involves keeping calm and finding the best possible solution to the problem. With problems comes a lot of pressure. So making sure you can cope with being under the pump when the going gets tough is also crucial to being successful in your role.

Interpersonal skills

Working as a logistics manager you will need to have interpersonal skills to help you effectively communicate with a range of people. Interpersonal skills will help you to clearly state your expectations of people while maintaining healthy professional relationships.

The ability to delegate

It will be your responsibility to delegate tasks to your staff. Being able to effectively delegate work doesn’t just mean to assign tasks. You must also make sure everyone knows what they are doing and what your expectations are of how and when the task should be done.

To be a good delegator and manager you
must open yourself up to questions from your staff. Allowing them to come to you if they’re unsure of something about the task at hand.

Project management

Often when working as a logistic manager you will have more than one project on the go at once. So it’s crucial you have good project management skills. This involves ensuring everything is running to plan and having it all under control. You will need to make sure your team understands what is expected of them and if any issues arise you will need to help find solutions.

Organisation

You are the person managing the logistics of numerous operations. If you’re unorganised you risk the entire operation going wrong. You need to be organised to make your job easier but also to make life easier for your staff, suppliers, transport companies and your customers. It is your responsibility to be organised and ensure every operation runs smoothly.

Appropriately utilising staff

If you want to be a great manager then it’s important you take time to get to know your team. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and use this knowledge when assigning tasks. It will help ensure tasks run smoothly and will help keep your staff happy. Giving them a sense of achievement and making them feel like a valued member of the team.

Work environments for logistic managers

Your working environment will largely depend on the industry you choose to work in and the size of the business you’re working for. Working for a smaller company can often mean the operations are smaller and you will have less operations on the go at once. You will also have less people depending on you.

If you work for a larger company it will likely come with bigger operations, more pressure and many more people depending on you. It all comes down to what type of working environment you would prefer to work in.

Working hours

Logistics managers generally work full-time and have regular business day work hours. Although, there can be times where some managers will be required to work overtime. This can include in the evening, weekends or even a public holiday. This will usually only happen if the company is undergoing significant changes or is extremely busy.

Job opportunities

Logistics managers play a key role in the success of most businesses which is why there are positions for logistics managers across many industries. Any industry from hospitality and retail to insurance, construction and healthcare.

There are logistics managers who work for the government and others who work for independent organisations. Ultimately any company will benefit from the knowledge and skills of an accomplished logistics manager.

This all means that logistics managers are in demand. Giving you a good chance of securing a job once you have reached management level. The constantly changing consumer expectations is likely to lead to an even higher demand for logistics professionals.

If you’re interested in becoming a logistics manager, now is the perfect time to pursue this career path. Start your career in logistics with Monarch Institute.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in logistics? Check out our Diploma of Logistics at Monarch Institute. All classes are available online and can be studied from anywhere in Australia and across the world so it’s an ideal option for independent learners ready to take the next step.

The flexible, 100% online delivery is a great option if you’re balancing existing work commitments or family. Check out the course page and chat with a Course Consultant about your study options today on 1300 738 955.