For those just starting their career and looking for an entry-level job that entitles vertical mobility to management level in the shipping industry, a Shipping Manager position is the perfect answer.
Shipping managers specialise in managing the organisation’s shipping and receiving operations. Simply put, they handle the daily shipping and distribution operations, ensuring that items get from point A to point B, in a cost-effective, timely, accurate and secure manner. Shipping managers must juggle multiple responsibilities aptly by overseeing packaging, verifying the contents of the cargo, ordering supplies and leading and managing crew members. The responsibilities of Shipping Managers are multifaceted, including human resource management, supply chain management, cost negotiations, trend analysis, and implementing policies and guidelines.
These expert multi-taskers arrange the secure transport of cargo by working with carriers to negotiate rates, track shipments, and resolve issues that arise during the shipping operation while also verifying that shipments comply with the laws of various countries. They also manage human resources by training the staff on shipping and receiving procedures, safety protocols, and other relevant topics.
Shipping Managers act as intermediaries between company management, carriers, and shipping customers who negotiate the best price, to guarantee that all shipping operations remain within budget without compromising security, speed and efficiency. It is a job that requires excellent communication skills, as they must also liaise with human resource departments to hire, train and supervise shipping staff.
This includes being an active part of the hiring process starting from creating job announcements, recruitment interviews and choosing the most fitting employees for the jobs since these employees will be part of the team who supports the Shipping Managers themselves. Additionally, Shipping Managers liaise with customers, carriers, logistics and other stakeholders to increase eciency and build lasting relationships to secure a smooth shipping operation. They are the ones responsible for creating an efficient work environment and managing the team to produce positive results.
Shipping Managers are seen as keen analysts who review not only employee productivity but industry trends. This includes macro and micro analyses of relevant data to produce reports for stakeholders. They analyse carrier performance, supply chain data, and logistics to turn the operation into a well-oiled machine.
While those interested in pursuing a career in Shipping Management may start at the entry level as Shipping Associates and climb up the ladder, interested candidates need to develop the skill set required for Shipping Managers. Experience in the field is vital, as is comprehensive knowledge of industry regulations and legal procedures of all relevant countries, states and cities that the company ships to and from. Their expertise is essential in creating policies and procedures within the company and ensuring that they comply with shipping industry regulations.
Academically speaking, a bachelor’s degree in logistics, business administration, or a related field will pave the way to Shipping Management with proficiency in business mathematics and shipping-related software is a bonus for those interested in this career path. Analytical thinking, problem-solving, firm decision-making, time management, multi-tasking, team management. and interpersonal skills are skills that those who wish to make it in Shipping Management can hone through effort and experience.
Shipping Manager jobs are not only available in large companies like FedEx, DHL, MSS and Maldives Post, but also in smaller companies and startups that provide shipping services.