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Freight and Cargo Inspector

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Life As a Freight and Cargo Inspector

Position Description Inspect the handling, storage, and stowing of freight and cargoes.

Daily Life Of a Freight & Cargo Inspector

  • Determine types of licenses and safety equipment required, and compute applicable fees such as tolls and wharfage fees.
  • Time rolls of ships, using stopwatches.
  • Prepare and submit reports after completion of freight shipments.
  • Measure ships’ holds and depths of fuel and water in tanks, using sounding lines and tape measures.
  • Inspect loaded cargo, cargo lashed to decks or in storage facilities, and cargo handling devices to determine compliance with health and safety regulations and need for maintenance.
  • Observe loading of freight to ensure that crews comply with procedures.

Things a Freight & Cargo Inspector Should Know How to Do

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

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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.

  • Surveyor
  • Admeasurer
  • Heavy Check Inspector
  • Freight Car Inspector
  • Ship Surveyor

Is There Going to be Demand for Freight and Cargo Inspectors?

There were about 28,200 jobs for Freight and Cargo Inspector in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Freight and Cargo Inspector by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,900 yearly job openings in this field.

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

The states with the most job growth for Freight & Cargo Inspector are Alabama, Rhode Island, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Minnesota, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Freight and Cargo Inspectors Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Freight and Cargo Inspectors ranges between about $28,870 and $123,980 a year.

Salary Ranges for Freight and Cargo Inspectors

Freight and Cargo Inspectors who work in Maine, District of Columbia, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

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

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $105,850
Arizona $61,380
Arkansas $70,790
California $76,290
Colorado $77,660
Connecticut $82,870
District of Columbia $100,630
Florida $85,340
Georgia $70,850
Hawaii $79,490
Idaho $73,870
Illinois $84,420
Indiana $78,520
Iowa $77,250
Kansas $86,500
Kentucky $71,930
Louisiana $69,970
Maine $101,310
Maryland $65,710
Massachusetts $71,840
Michigan $79,170
Minnesota $83,180
Mississippi $85,700
Missouri $73,160
Montana $77,390
Nebraska $86,130
New Hampshire $72,500
New Jersey $74,010
New Mexico $58,510
North Carolina $79,680
North Dakota $87,030
Ohio $58,740
Oklahoma $76,600
Oregon $76,510
Pennsylvania $65,710
Rhode Island $53,090
South Carolina $72,160
South Dakota $57,780
Tennessee $78,120
Texas $84,250
Utah $55,360
Virginia $77,920
Washington $73,480
Wisconsin $86,990
Wyoming $70,470

Tools & Technologies Used by Freight and Cargo Inspectors

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat

How to Become a Freight & Cargo Inspector

Are there Freight and Cargo Inspectors education requirements?

Freight & Cargo Inspector Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Freight & Cargo Inspector Work Experience

Freight and Cargo Inspectors Sector

Freight & Cargo Inspector Sectors

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

Freight & Cargo Inspector Industries


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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