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Transportation Manager


Directs the effectiveness of private, third party and contract carriage systems. Manages staff and operations to assure timely and cost efficient transportation of all incoming and outgoing shipments. Plans and assures adequate equipment for storage, loading, and delivery of goods. Responsible for scheduling, routing, budget administration, freight bill presentation, and contract negotiations. Works with international carriers and freight forwarders to streamline the flow of goods across international borders and through customs.

Related Positions

Transportation Coordinator, Traffic Manager

Key Duties

  • Ensures that operations are conducted safely and within the law
  • Manages fleet and drivers
  • Solicits, evaluates, and analyzes contractual bids
  • Negotiates and administers dedicated carrier agreements
  • Budgets and controls expenses
  • Determines economical traffic patterns and specifies routes

Required Skills

Working knowledge of carrier operation, shipment routing, and distribution methods; experience in industrial transportation operation, consolidator systems and techniques; must have understanding of the complexities of state and federal Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation; ability to formulate and implement contracts; expected to understand costing, performance measurement and inventory control; ability to work under pressure; strong management and computer skills.

Career Path

Transportation managers usually have experience as fleet supervisors, distribution center supervisors, or logistics analysts. Success leads to the position of corporate transportation manager, followed by director of transportation or vice president of logistics.

In their own words…

"This position requires a good mix of education and experience. You need to know about everything from computers to managing people. For example, I have developed some expertise in activity-based costing—even though I'm no accountant—because it helps me make better decisions."

"The thing that I like the most about my job is that I see tangible results each day. Each time one of my drivers delivers a load on schedule, another customer has been satisfied and we've done our job."

"Developing strong relationships with carriers is my primary role. I look for carriers that provide exceptional service levels and are totally committed to customer satisfaction. I work closely with them to develop mutual goals, monitor performance, and make adjustments as needed. We share responsibility for the end results."

© 2011 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals