Freight Coordinator Job Description

Freight coordinators are administrative professionals that support companies in transportation, shipping, and logistics. They track shipping product information and work with companies to keep supply chain shipments on schedule by helping with inventory, pickups, phone calls, and more. Guaranteeing that cargo entrusted to them reaches the right destination on time and on budget is their main responsibility. The most successful freight coordinators are hands-on team players with a positive attitude and outgoing personality. They work in fast-paced environments including shipping yards, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and customer service centers. Freight coordinators normally work full-time and have a schedule that may include mornings, evenings, and weekends.


Freight Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities

Although a freight coordinator’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of many job listings, common duties include:

Facilitate Quick Communication

Freight coordinators route incoming and outgoing communication regarding transportation needs and freight shipments for their organizations. They answer phones and provide support to executives by transferring calls to the appropriate party, relaying messages and quickly responding to emails.

Shipment Records Management

Every day, freight coordinators track, trace, and update the status of shipments using company systems.  They comb through work orders and invoices to decipher the total amount of shipments due, both outbound and inbound. Freight coordinators enter data into spreadsheets and electronic databases to process the reports they receive.
Great freight coordinators go the extra mile to ensure that carriers deliver cargo in a timely fashion, and keep up-to-date shipping records.

Monitor Billing and Shipping Costs

Evaluating overall financial performance and pricing costs is a key responsibility of freight coordinators. Their job is to keep an eye on the budget as they approve invoices and check freight vendor pricing . Freight coordinators monitor reports, analyze quotes, and administer billing documents according to company policies and procedures.

Communicate with Suppliers

Freight coordinators maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with vendors by being a liaison.  They communicate with suppliers daily to make sure that shipments are accurate and delivered on time.  Freight coordinators also correspond with international companies via email. When needed, freight coordinators negotiate better rates with the carriers.

Coordinate Staff Schedules

Since freight coordinators oversee logistics operations, they often coordinate personnel to help achieve the most effective transport of the goods in their care. Senior level freight coordinators plan, schedule, and manage the work of company staff to keep costs down and distribution high. Additionally, they collaborate with other managers to implement policy changes for transportation services.


Freight Coordinator Skills and Qualifications

Freight coordinators should be highly organized and have a knack for multi-tasking and working well under pressure. Employers typically look for candidates with a high school diploma and previous administrative experience. They also prefer candidates who possess the following skills:

  • Supply chain management – freight coordinators must have good coordinating skills to handle multiple logistics responsibilities
  • Data Entry – freight coordinators constantly input data to update shipping orders and inventory control information
  • Record-keeping – successful freight coordinators have great record-keeping aptitude and use attention to detail in order to report any damages, discrepancies, or needed reimbursements
  • Basic math skills – counting incoming parcels is a key duty for coordinators
  • Negotiation – freight coordinators negotiate with carriers, vendors, and suppliers to effectively grow cost-effective partnerships
  • Writing skills – preparing labels and necessary documentation for shipments is an important part of a freight coordinator’s job
  • Customer service skills – to successfully complete their job, freight coordinators must interface with a variety of people non-stop and provide excellent customer serve


Tools of the Trade

Freight coordinators work in an office environment and are comfortable using the following software and equipment in a typical workday:

  • Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook and Access)
  • Inventory control software
  • Specialized shipping and logistics software


Freight Coordinator Education and Training

A high school diploma or GED equivalent is the basic educational requirement for a freight coordinator. Previous administrative experience or office training is also attractive. Any vocational courses in computer technology, bookkeeping, or project management are a major plus. Many employers are willing to offer on the job training to the right candidate.


Freight Coordinator Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual salary for material recording clerks, their categorization of freight coordinators, as $27,600. The lowest ten percent of earners make less than $19,510. The highest ten percent of earners make more than $49,600.

The industry job growth rate through 2026 for freight coordinators is predicted to be 0% according to the BLS.  This zero change is slower than average, but is due to increasing automation in the logistics industry.


Helpful Resources

There are many helpful resources out there for those interested in becoming a freight coordinator. Check out these links that are full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) – get certifications to help advance your career in logistics with the resources from this organization with 45,000 people

Material Handling Industry of America – learn about the latest industry tools, software, and tech for the material handling, logistics, and supply chain industry

Intermodal Association of North America – this professional organization will help connect you with other members of the freight industry to advance your career

6 Important Tips For Effective Logistics Management – learn some important tips to manage logistics more effectively

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate – learn the secrets of the shipping industry in this tell-all guide

Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation – this exciting read uses interviews to explore the complex shipping system first-hand


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