What is a Logistics Assistant?
A Logistics Assistant works in the area of shipping and receiving and supports the logistics manager in all aspects of warehouse operations. They ensure that all incoming shipments are intact and accurate, prepare outgoing shipments, review shipment documentation such as invoices and packing lists, and maintain inventory of shipping supplies. In addition, Logistics Assistant work with shipping vendors, coordinate returns of merchandise and manage electronic shipping files.
Many types of organizations employ Logistics Assistants, ranging from manufacturing to the military. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 2 percent growth through 2024 for logistics workers. The ongoing importance of this supply chain process is noted as the main reason behind this projection.
Logistics Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
To meet the demands of this positions, Logistics Assistants are responsible for ensuring the completion of many tasks. Based on our analysis of several job postings for this occupation, we discovered that many employers note the following duties and responsibilities connected with Logistics Assistants.
Arrange Outgoing Shipments
From preparing packing lists to physically packaging outgoing material, a Logistics Assistant is involved throughout the shipping process. They review and compare transportation costs from different vendors, ensure that the outgoing shipment is accurate and well packaged, track shipments and ensure delivery.
Process Incoming Shipments
Another main responsibility of a Logistics Assistant is to receive incoming materials. In this role, Logistics Assistants compare what has been shipped with the shipment order, ensure that the materials are in good condition, stock the materials in the warehouse and file all corresponding documentation.
Manage Warehouse Inventory
It is crucial that warehouses maintain an adequate supply of shipping materials and this duty falls to the Logistics Assistant. He/she conducts a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly inventory of supplies and places orders with vendors as needed.
Logistics Assistant Skills
Due to the high frequency of interaction between Logistics Assistants and logistics managers, warehouse staff, trucking companies, vendors and others in the supply chain process, it is imperative that those in this occupation possess strong verbal and written communication skills. They should be detailed-oriented problem solvers who work well in a team environment while at the same time possessing the skill to work independently as needed. Above-average organizational, troubleshooting and basic computer skills are also essential to this role. Potential employers of Logistics Assistants might also take a closer look at candidates who demonstrate the following skills:
Overseeing shipment of materials: Keeping track of shipment packing, transportation mode, cost of shipment, arrival time and other important factors in the shipping process
Maintaining supply inventory: Processing reports addressing inventory levels and needs on a regular basis
Managing paper and electronic files: Generating and maintaining files of orders, invoices, packing lists, returns and other important shipping and receiving documentation
Logistics Assistant Salary
According to online sources, the salary of Logistics Assistant ranges from $23,354 – $51,759 based on experience, bonuses and overtime. Those in this career about 5-10 years earn about $34,000 per year, with the higher end of this scale seen by those who work in this field for at least 20 years.
Logistics Assistant Q & A
To help you gain an ever better insight into this career, we spoke with Cindie King, the owner of Black Dog Logistics, about what it’s like being a Logistics Assistant. She spoke about this “vast” field and the role Logistics Assistants play in it. The result of our question-and-answer session with King appears below.
What are some of the core duties performed by a Logistics Assistant?
The core duties of a Logistics Assistant include:
- Getting pricing and negotiating pricing for their company from the logistics providers. Much of their time is spent on getting freight quotes for their sales department, or customers.
- Tracking shipments, handling any issues that might arise (lost shipments, damaged shipments, etc.)
- Researching freight classes to make sure that the documentation of their shipments are correct, (to avoid overcharge claims) Also possibly researching vendor’s geographic ship from advantages (some areas are very expensive to get freight from such as Chicago or CA).
- Building relationships with their logistics providers, discerning the ‘honest, trustworthy” ones from the run of the mill average ones. Who is there when you call after hours? Who helps you resolve issues, and who hides from them?
What challenges does a Logistics Assistant face?
The challenges are many. The position requires that you satisfy your sales team by providing the most cost effective method to move goods from your vendors to your customers, while also satisfying your purchasing department’s budget as well as the customers themselves. Every day is different with its own unique challenges, so it is usually interesting. Sometimes in logistics the pressure is on for you to jump through hoops to get shipments out on time, after other departments have created delays.
What skills do Logistics Assistants use most?
The skills most required are common sense, a desire to learn, and the ability to keep your head cool and not get upset when things don’t work out as planned. Being able to adapt, improvise and overcome is the best attitude, and will ensure success.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about being a Logistics Assistant?
The rewards are gaining knowledge and experience in a very demanding environment, while hopefully building lasting relationships within your organization and with your logistic providers and customers. The logistics world is vast and always looking for good people!
Additional Logistics Assistant Resources
We have added more resources we feel would be helpful as you research a career as a Logistics Assistant. Below, you will find links to professional organizations, blogs and podcasts that reveal the true nature of working in logistics and what you might need to be familiar with when working as a Logistics Assistant.
On the Web
PLS Logistics Services Blog – Hosted by a logistics company, this blog offers tips and strategies that are relevant for Logistics Assistants and others working in the supply chain field.
Trinity Logistics Blog – Offered by another logistics company, this blog provides articles about best practices and explain key terms used in the industry.
Logistics Portal – A blog and community forum covering such topics as negotiation strategies, global trade news and more.
The Association for Operations Management (APICS) – APICS, which recently merged with the American Society of Transportation & Logistics (AST&L), offers logistics professionals access to training opportunities, webinars, conferences and online articles and publications.
The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) – With chapters in 50 countries, SOLE offers conferences and certification programs for Logistics Assistants, managers and others in this field.
Talking Logistics – From technological advances to global practices, this podcast provides discussions about various topics impacting the field of logistics.
Straight Talk With Supply Chain Insights – Get insight into working in the logistics field by listening to talks with industry leaders addressing forecasting, analytics, new technologies and more.
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