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Logistics, transport and supply chain
how do I get a graduate job in logistics and transport?

How do I get a graduate job in logistics and transport?

Everything you need to know about graduate jobs in logistics, transport, supply and purchasing, from much you could expect to earn to the logistics and transport specialisms you could work in.

Logistics, transport and supply is all about moving people, goods and services around as efficiently and safely as possible. It can also include the sourcing, purchasing and procurement of services or materials. You could contribute to these areas in a number of different ways, from managing supply chains and operations to ensuring customers are satisfied with your company's service.

How can I get into logistics, transport and supply?

Most graduates enter logistics, transport and supply-related roles via a management training scheme with a large company such as DHL or Morrisons. 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.

What skills do I need to work in logistics, transport, supply or purchasing?

Some roles will require specific degree disciplines, such as engineering, but there are opportunities for graduates from all degree backgrounds. If you’re an able decision-maker, can handle a lot of responsibility early on and have excellent analytical, IT 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 really make an impact.

General skills:

  • Ability to solve problems, think on your feet and make good decisions quickly to keep things running.
  • Analytical skills and strategic planning so you can meet goals and prepare for the unexpected.
  • People management to get the best out of any staff you may oversee.
  • Project management skills, such as organisation, to make sure a project progresses according to plan.
  • Ability to communicate well with anyone, including the public and clients, senior management and staff on the factory floor.

Logistics skills:

  • Commercial acumen to fully assess the impact of certain actions on the business, and to be able to source goods and equipment. To keep costs down, financial management is a bonus.
  • Numeracy and the ability to use IT systems to keep track of the various stages of the process.
  • Marketing skills and persuasion so you can sell ideas to clients or superiors.

Transport skills:

  • Persuasion, so you can convince people to think about the way they use transport.
  • Understanding of the demand for transport and the ways it is supplied.
  • Consideration of the needs of various members of the community, such as disabled people and the elderly.
  • Technical knowledge so you understand the requirements for transport systems, equipment and infrastructure.

Do I need a postgraduate qualification?

Many universities offer courses in subjects such as logistics, supply chain management, transport planning and transport economics. But you don’t have to pursue a second degree immediately. Many employers will allow you to take a career break after a few years, or work and study part time.

As additional qualifications will make you a more valuable asset to the organisation, many employers will offer support through your studies. If your employer doesn’t make funds available, you might be able to get support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

What is the typical graduate pay in logistics, transport, supply and purchasing?

According to the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport, the starting salary for graduate trainees is £18,000 to £25,000. Many AGR members are big graduate recruiters that typically offer higher starting pay, so you may also come across roles that offer lower salaries.

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