Transport and logistics is one of the largest industries in the world, offering a broad range of employment and career options. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be out on the road, or the sky or the sea to be in the transport and logistics field. There are plenty of behind the scenes office jobs involved in moving goods around the country and indeed, the world. The United States has a thriving transport and shipping industry, meaning there are plenty of opportunities available. You may want to work with your hands, develop your skills in sales or be part of a team planning for operations to move smoothly, amongst many other things.
Doing your research on your potential future employers will always help with work interviews, but research does not always give you the whole story. What kind of personal skills do you need to be a transport manager, sales manager, HGV vehicle operator or something else in the transport world?
It does not matter what job role you go into, if you are planning on working in logistics and transport, you need to have excellent communication skills. Even if you are riding in your cab solo 90 percent of the time, you will need to communicate with the people that you are picking up from or dropping off to, and the people back in the office.
If you are in a leadership role, you need to be able to talk to your team and mentor them, and build up trust between you – and the main channel for doing this is communicating with them openly and honestly.
You also need to be transparent – if there are any problems, how will you go about talking to the other parties involved while remaining calm and professional? You may have to be involved in drug and alcohol testing, which requires sensitivity. DOT Reasonable Suspicion Training For Supervisors is a good, legal way of making sure that you have the necessary training to handle it properly, safely and sensitively.
Self-belief is all about having confidence in your abilities to do something, to learn from your mistakes and to take a chance at tying something new. Self-belief is a must in the transport and logistics sector – perhaps you need to try new routes or drive a different vehicle to the one that you are used to. Having self – belief means realising that you are more than capable of doing it, even if you find it challenging.
Problem solving skills
Good problem skills are helpful in most jobs, but it is vital when it comes to working in the transport and logistics field. If you are a driver out on the road, you may have to suddenly change route, or work out what to do if you break down in the middle of nowhere. Being able to analyze the facts, read the situation and arrive at a logical and workable solution is crucial.
This is closely linked to both the problem solving and self-belief skills, because it can be hard to make difficult decisions without either of those two skills. It involves rapid appraisal of the data that you hold, empathy and judgement. If you are in a management role, a failure to make clear decisions can be very problematic.
Team building skills
Team building and team management skill are particularly important if you are planning to be in management of transport and logistics. You are leading a team, so you need to make sure that you know how to build a team and get them working together to achieve the desired result. You need to ensure they can communicate with you and with one another, delegate as appropriate, participate in all aspects of workplace life and know how to access help and guidance should they need it.
Information technology plays a vital role in supply chain management and is an equally important tool to those involved in transport management and transport planning. As a result, technology-related skills are essential to all managers.
Transport and logistics are so much more than driving a truck from A to B. There are a wide range and roles needed for a supply chain to run effectively, and every person within it has an important part to play. Do your research, find out if you are suitable for any of the roles and be involved in a role that is both rewarding and satisfying.