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Cargo or Freight Agent

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What Do Cargo or Freight Agent Do?

Job Description & Duties 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.

A Day in the Life of a Cargo or Freight Agent

  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.

Cargo or Freight Agent Needed Skills

These are the skills Cargo and Freight Agents say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

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.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

  • Ocean Freight Agent (Both Import and Export)
  • Air Export Coordinator
  • Container Coordinator
  • Drop Shipment Clerk
  • Load Planner

Job Demand for Cargo and Freight Agents

There were about 89,800 jobs for Cargo or Freight Agent in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,300 new jobs for Cargo or Freight Agent by 2026. There will be an estimated 8,600 positions for Cargo or Freight Agent per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Cargo and Freight Agents in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Cargo or Freight Agent are Utah, Georgia, and New Jersey. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Tennessee, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Cargo or Freight Agent Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Cargo and Freight Agents is somewhere between $25,970 and $66,920.

Salary Ranges for Cargo and Freight Agents

Cargo and Freight Agents who work in New Jersey, South Dakota, or New Hampshire, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Cargo and Freight Agents in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $51,330
Alaska $39,620
Arizona $43,420
Arkansas $53,310
California $45,830
Colorado $47,350
Delaware $42,790
Florida $40,810
Georgia $44,560
Hawaii $39,920
Idaho $49,710
Illinois $44,760
Indiana $43,210
Iowa $42,470
Kansas $45,880
Kentucky $42,390
Louisiana $42,950
Maine $49,190
Maryland $42,820
Massachusetts $44,840
Michigan $45,460
Minnesota $50,120
Mississippi $43,340
Missouri $47,000
Montana $46,230
Nebraska $52,610
Nevada $41,400
New Hampshire $50,220
New Jersey $56,470
New Mexico $49,740
New York $45,310
North Carolina $45,060
North Dakota $41,100
Ohio $43,890
Oklahoma $46,040
Oregon $53,400
Pennsylvania $46,150
South Carolina $44,170
South Dakota $52,230
Tennessee $43,530
Texas $45,890
Utah $42,470
Vermont $38,040
Virginia $48,660
Washington $54,600
West Virginia $37,750
Wisconsin $39,710
Wyoming $44,340

What Tools & Technology do Cargo and Freight Agents Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Cargo and Freight Agents may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Transportation management software

Becoming a Cargo or Freight Agent

What kind of Cargo or Freight Agent requirements are there?

Cargo or Freight Agent Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Cargo or Freight Agent Work Experience

Cargo and Freight Agents Sector

Cargo or Freight Agent Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Cargo and Freight Agents work:

Cargo or Freight Agent Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Cargo or Freight Agent may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Cargo or Freight Agent sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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