How do I get a graduate job in logistics and transport?
There are loads of different graduate roles available but the competition can be fierce. Among a group of graduate employers surveyed in summer 2018, transport and logistics companies received on average 46 applications per graduate vacancy, a higher number than law firms, IT and telecommunications employers, or accountancy or professional services firms.
The survey was carried out by the Institute of Student Employers, which tends to include the larger, better-known graduate recruiters among its members, so these figures are not representative of all transport and logistics employers but give some idea of the level of interest in graduate schemes in this area.
After reading this article you may also want to:
- get the basics on logistics and supply chain careers
- find out what graduate careers in transport involve
Who employs graduates in logistics, transport and supply chain?
Most graduates enter logistics, transport and supply chain-related roles via a management training scheme with large companies such as DHL and Morrisons.
Employers tend to fall into three broad categories: third-party logistics companies; other employers with supply chain or logistics functions such as supermarkets; and transport planning employers.
At the end of your training you will be given the opportunity to express your preferred area of work – this could be in warehouse or transport management or within procurement and supply chain, for example. Your career progression will be enhanced if you remain as flexible as possible, particularly with regards to working location. Being willing to put in the extra hours can help too, as logistics is a 24-hour operation.
Where can I find a job?
Your careers service may also be advertising vacancies and you should check employer websites to find out when they open applications to graduates.
What type of university degree will employers in logistics, transport and supply chain accept?
For supply chain and logistics roles, some positions will be open to applicants from all degree backgrounds, although some employers may favour business-related degrees. In transport planning, an engineering company may ask for candidates with a civil engineering degree.
You can get into logistics, transport and supply chain with a 2.2, though there are fewer opportunities than if you have a 2.1. Graduate schemes normally require a 2.1, especially in transport planning, though there are exceptions. For individual graduate jobs you are more likely to be able to apply with a 2.2.
What skills do I need to work in logistics, transport or supply chain?
If you’re an able decision-maker, can handle a lot of responsibility early on and have excellent analytical and people skills, a career in this field could be right up your street. If you are interested in the environment and sustainability, you could make a positive impact in these areas.
How do I apply?
For big employers in logistics, transport and supply chain, the application process will probably involve an online application form and may include a round of psychometric tests.
If you are successful, you will be invited to an interview or, most likely, an assessment day with other candidates.
When do I apply?
Graduate schemes usually open in August or September and close in November or December. Individual graduate jobs will often follow this schedule, although they will have more openings outside of these dates and some will recruit all year round. You should aim to apply between August and November in your penultimate year at university.
What is the typical graduate pay in logistics, transport and supply chain?
According to the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport, the starting salary for graduate trainees is typically £18,000. You may come across higher starting salaries with big graduate recruiters. Royal Mail’s graduate programmes in logistics and operations offer a starting salary of £27,000, for example.