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A Logistics Supervisor essentially oversees the shipping and delivery of materials and warehouse personnel. They mainly work in warehouse settings and for retailers and wholesalers and are involved in managing the loading of trucks, setting up delivery routes and unloading of material. Logistic Supervisors also manage inventory and maintain communications with carriers, suppliers, warehouses, custom brokers and others involved in the shipping and delivery of merchandise.
In addition to private companies, Logistics Supervisors can also work for federal, state or local government organizations. According to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of logisticians, which would include Logistics Supervisors, is expected to grow by 2 percent through 2024. A growing global economy and the need to move goods in the most efficient and cost-effective manner are factors that will fuel this growth.
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Logistics Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities
Logistics Supervisors must attend to many tasks to ensure that goods are shipped and delivered in a timely manner and that inventory levels are sufficiently maintained. We reviewed several job listings and found the following among the core Logistics Supervisor duties and responsibilities.
Schedule Shipments and Deliveries
A main responsibility of a Logistics Supervisor is to oversee the transportation of products from one location to another, such as from loading docks to warehouses or warehouses to stores. To do so, they will arrange product pickups and deliveries with transportation companies and route drivers accordingly. A Logistics Supervisor will typically conduct a cost analysis of several transportation companies in order to select one that is cost-efficient and able to handle the shipment loads.
Build Relationships with Vendors
It is up to the Logistics Supervisor to communicate with trucking companies, warehouse supervisors, customs brokers, sales forces and customers. They must ensure that all parties are working together to guarantee that shipments are packed, sent and delivered in a timely manner. This responsibility includes contacting various transportation companies to get shipping quotes and deciding on the best carriers based on cost, availability and reliability.
Maintain Warehouse Inventory
A Logistics Supervisor will study client or customer needs and manage inventory based on these needs. This often includes analyzing product orders to research the need for keeping certain items in stock. They are responsible for re-ordering product as needed to maintain sufficient inventory levels.
Logistics Supervisor Skills
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Logistics Supervisors with these core skills. If you want to work as a Logistics Supervisor, focus on the following.
- Understanding planning, shipping, warehouse management and inventory systems
- Managing daily routes/schedules of shipments and deliveries
- Tracking the progress of shipments
- Knowing all aspects of warehouse operations
- Reviewing inventory needs and keeping adequate stock
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Logistics Supervisor toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Have a Class A drivers license
- Possess forklift certification and able to train others on forklift operations
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and PowerPoint
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Logistics Supervisor Resources
It is beneficial to research additional information if you are considering a career as a Logistics Supervisor that can give you insight into the challenges and responsibilities of this position. Below, we have provided links to online and print resources about this career.
On the Web
Logistics Management Blog
Hosted by Logistics Management Magazine, this blog provides news about current trends as well as professional tips and strategies for Logistics Supervisors.
A daily blog providing insight into logistics news, processes and strategies, written by professionals with more than 25 years of experience in the field.
Supply Chains Rock Blog
Titled "Who Said Supply Chains are Boring?", this blog provide professional tips and articles focusing on the daily life of those working in logistics.
Supply Chain Brain
A digital resource covering industry trends, technologies, videos, forums and articles to support those working as Logistics Supervisors or in any capacity within this field.
The Association for Operations Management (APICS)
Recently merged with the American Society of Transportation & Logistics (AST&L), APICS provides educational and certification to those in the logistics field through conferences, training, online publications and webinars.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
Online courses, seminars and an annual conference are a few ways this organization provides support and training for Logistics Supervisors.
The International Society of Logistics (SOLE)
Spanning more than 50 countries, SOLE has been providing certification information and sponsoring technical meetings for logistics professionals since 1966.
Logistics Management, Second Edition
A comprehensive guide to various aspects of logistics supervision, such as forecasting, procurement and inventory management.
Warehouse Management: A Complete Guide to Improving Efficiency and Minimizing Costs in the Modern Warehouse, 2nd Edition
An indepth study of using current technologies, outsourcing and cost management to run an efficient warehouse.
Essentials of Supply Chain Management, Third Edition
An extensive look at the managerial duties and responsibilities of supply chain managers through examples and case studies. Covers managerial tools and practices.
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