Career summary

Details for Cargo and Freight Agents


Description

Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.

Tasks

  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Track delivery progress of shipments.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
  • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items, such as machines or vehicles.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
  • Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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