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International Logistics Manager


Works closely with manufacturing, marketing, and purchasing to create timely, cost-effective import/export supply chains. Responsible for handling the technical details of international transportation—multiple modes, complex documentation, and varying customs regulations, developing distribution strategies, and building relationships with logistics intermediaries. Serves as a troubleshooter, dealing with problems inherent in moving freight long distances and holding inventory in multiple global locations.

Related Positions

Import/Export Manager, International Transportation Manager

Key Duties

  • Manages the performance of international carriers and logistics intermediaries
  • Ensures compliance with international and U.S. laws related to import/export activity
  • Evaluates trade-offs between transportation costs, inventory costs, and service levels
  • Works with packaging engineers to effectively protect import/export goods
  • Develops logistics strategies and processes for entering new markets on a global basis

Required Skills

Knowledge of international commerce—international banking issues, sales and payment terms, customs regulations, and international supply chain processes; detail-oriented; negotiating skills; effective communication skills; fluency in a foreign language recommended; able to handle multiple tasks; awareness and appreciation of different cultures; diplomatic.

Career Path

Individuals typically gain experience as import/export coordinators, international transportation planners, or domestic logistics managers, prior to being promoted to international logistics manager. Success in this position leads to director of international logistics, director of international transportation, or vice president.

In their own words…

“My position has given me the opportunity to travel and live abroad. This has helped me learn how the logistics and supply chain issues differ from country to country. You have to understand each nation’s import/export processes, regulations, and logistics infrastructure to make good decisions.”

“As my company expands its international operations and marketing efforts, my role has expanded in scope. I spend about 30% of my time assisting in production planning decisions for our overseas factories and 35-40% of my time figuring out how best to get the finished product distributed to our markets. The balance of my time is spent on administrative duties and working with our sales group on global business development opportunities.”

© 2011 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals