Cargo and Freight Agents

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Yardmaster/Customer Service/Crew Dispatching
  • Transportation Solutions Manager
  • Transportation Clerk
  • Transportation Broker
  • Transportation Agent
  • Traffic Clerk
  • Traffic Agent
  • Shipping Processor
  • Shipping Coordinator
  • Shipping Agent
View All

What They Do

  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: CER.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Conventional interests, but also prefer Enterprising and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $48,930 with most people making between $31,020 and $68,340

Outlook

1.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 3,200 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 3,520 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 32 openings due to growth and about 108 replacement openings for approximately 140 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education