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Cargo or Freight Agent

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What Does it Take to Be a Cargo or Freight Agent?

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.

Cargo or Freight Agent Responsibilities

  • Track delivery progress of shipments.
  • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • 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.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.

Skills Needed to be a Cargo or Freight Agent

When polled, Cargo and Freight Agents say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Types of Cargo or Freight Agent Jobs

  • Import Dispatcher
  • Operations Manager/Coordinator
  • Route Agent
  • Operation Agent
  • Traffic Agent

Job Demand for Cargo and Freight Agents

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 89,800 jobs in the United States for Cargo or Freight Agent. 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. The BLS estimates 8,600 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Do Cargo and Freight Agents Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Cargo and Freight Agents ranges between about $25,970 and $66,920 a year.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Cargo and Freight Agents

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

How do I Become a Cargo or Freight Agent?

Individuals working as a Cargo or Freight Agent have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Cargo and Freight Agents Work

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The table below shows the approximate number of Cargo and Freight Agents employed by various industries.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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

Are you already one of the many Cargo or Freight Agent in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Jace Armstrong via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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