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Cargo and Freight Agents

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What Do Cargo and Freight Agents Do?

Occupation 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.

Life As a Cargo or Freight Agent

  • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items, such as machines or vehicles.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.

Things a Cargo or Freight Agent Should Know How to Do

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.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Types of Cargo and Freight Agents

  • Freight Shipping Agent
  • Import Manager
  • International Coordinator
  • Independent Freight Agent
  • Fleet Manager/Dispatch

Job Outlook for Cargo and Freight Agents

There were about 89,800 jobs for Cargo and Freight Agents in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.4% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,300 new jobs for Cargo and Freight Agents by 2026. The BLS estimates 8,600 yearly job openings in this field per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Cargo and Freight Agents are California, Texas, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Cargo or Freight Agent Salary

The salary for Cargo and Freight Agents ranges between about $25,970 and $66,920 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $43,210.

Salary Ranges for Cargo and Freight Agents

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New Jersey

$56,470

Washington

$54,600

Oregon

$53,400

Arkansas

$53,310

Nebraska

$52,610

South Dakota

$52,230

Alabama

$51,330

New Hampshire

$50,220

Minnesota

$50,120

New Mexico

$49,740

Idaho

$49,710

Maine

$49,190

Virginia

$48,660

Colorado

$47,350

Missouri

$47,000

Montana

$46,230

Pennsylvania

$46,150

Oklahoma

$46,040

Texas

$45,890

Kansas

$45,880

California

$45,830

Michigan

$45,460

New York

$45,310

North Carolina

$45,060

Massachusetts

$44,840

Illinois

$44,760

Georgia

$44,560

Wyoming

$44,340

South Carolina

$44,170

Ohio

$43,890

Tennessee

$43,530

Arizona

$43,420

Mississippi

$43,340

Indiana

$43,210

Louisiana

$42,950

Maryland

$42,820

Delaware

$42,790

Utah

$42,470

Iowa

$42,470

Kentucky

$42,390

Nevada

$41,400

North Dakota

$41,100

Florida

$40,810

Hawaii

$39,920

Wisconsin

$39,710

Alaska

$39,620

Vermont

$38,040

West Virginia

$37,750

Tools & Technologies Used by Cargo and Freight Agents

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Cargo and Freight Agents:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • SAP
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word

How to Become a Cargo or Freight Agent

What education or degrees do I need to become a Cargo or Freight Agent?

Cargo or Freight Agent Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Cargo or Freight Agent?

Cargo or Freight Agent Work Experience

Where Cargo and Freight Agents Work

Cargo or Freight Agent Sectors

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

  • Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks
  • Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance
  • Statement Clerks

Those who work as Cargo and Freight Agents sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Insurance Policy Processing Clerks

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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