Logistics/distribution manager: job description

Logistics/distribution manager: job description

Logistics managers or distribution managers are responsible for coordinating the storage, transportation and delivery of goods.
They oversee and liaise with colleagues to ensured stock is maintained and moved efficiently.

What does a logistics or distribution manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Their key task is to organise the safe and efficient storage and distribution of goods, and to ensure that orders are satisfied correctly.

Other responsibilities include:

  • organising shipments
  • coordinating drivers, vehicles, loads and journeys
  • operating IT systems
  • negotiating and agreeing contracts
  • developing and confirming schedules
  • planning for and negotiating technical difficulties
  • preparing paperwork for regulatory bodies
  • liaising and managing staff
  • implementing health and safety standards

Working hours can vary depending on the industry and the type of employer. Some jobs can require working evenings and weekends, and others involve shift-work and on-call duties.

Typical employers of logistics and distribution managers

  • Specialist distribution companies
  • Consultancies
  • Manufacturers
  • The armed forces
  • Major commercial organisations
  • Retailers

Vacancies are advertised by TARGETjobs, careers services and occasionally recruitment agencies, or in national newspapers and specialist publications such as Logistics and Transport Focus and Logistics, Transport Appointments Bulletin and their respective websites.

Qualifications and training required

Employers prefer graduates with a relevant qualification in distribution, logistics or transportation. Relevant experience is not expected, but any gained during placements or vacations can be useful – particularly when working in a team or to tight deadlines. Some employers may value additional management qualifications, but these are not essential.

Key skills for logistics and distribution managers

  • Teamworking skills
  • Managerial skills
  • The ability to motivate others
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Logical reasoning
  • Numeracy skills
  • IT skills
  • The ability to plan ahead and deal with unexpected changes

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