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How Do I Become a Logistics Coordinator?

Training programs are usually designed so a logistics trainee spends an equal amount of time in all departments making up the logistics chain.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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In order to become a logistics coordinator, it is important to understand what the job requires, career advancement opportunities, and potential employers. There are multiple career paths to this career, but the primary responsibility of a logistics coordinator is to manage the movement of materials. Logistics is a term used to describe the movement of goods from originating source to consumer.

Although there are community and career college programs to teach a person how to work as a logistics coordinator, they are not required. Programs are typically two to three years long and covers the supply chain, industry best practices, international shipment management, and related topics. Most employers will accept a business diploma or completion of a bachelor of arts (BA) degree as sufficient training to become a logistics coordinator.

Work experience in logistics is very important in this role. This experience is typically obtained through a position as a shipping clerk, package movement technician, courier, driver, or related position. Many people work on the front lines of the courier industry plan to advance into this role as part of their long-term career plan.

Customer service is a large part of the skill set required for this job. These skills can be learned in a wide range of positions, from telephone customer service to retail sales. The ability to listen, communicate clearly, and work with others are all very important.

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Written and oral communication skills are critical in this position. The coordinator is responsible for providing valuable information to all the appropriate people so that they can make the best possible decisions. The range of people he or she must communicate with on a regular basis includes drivers, customs officers, package receivers, lead hands, and clients.

Career advancement opportunities in this field are widely available, although many management positions require a minimum degree or diploma in business, logistics, or a related field. Senior management positions typically have a combination of master's degree requirement and significant work experience. Look for employers that offer tuition assistance programs, and take the time to complete your degree, if you can. The combination of education and experience are central to increasing salary and career opportunities.

The role of logistics coordinator has evolved to require the use of computer software. This type of tool requires training, support, and an ongoing dedication to learning. The logistics industry is being transformed with the implementation of technology, making continuing education a requirement.

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anon317071
Post 5

Anyone know what type of companies/manufacturers are the best to target as potential new clients?

MrMoody
Post 4

@hamje32 - You mentioned IT experience, and I think that’s a good point. After all, what is an IT job, really?

It’s not necessarily someone who spends all day coding, although it would include that. IT is about the flow of information, and I think this ties in perfectly with what a logistics coordinator does, coordinating the flow of information about things like supplies and stuff.

I believe that people who work in IT would better serve their careers by targeting a specialty like logistics, rather than strictly focusing on learning about databases and new languages.

hamje32
Post 3

@Mammmood - I believe that the logistics coordinator job description nowadays would have to include sufficient experience with software programs like SAP, in my opinion.

This is because only software like SAP (and others like it) can deal with the massively complex activities involved in coordinating the movement of shipments within a company.

No person can do this on their own; I guess in the old days it was done by hand, but now you need something like a supply chain management system that can be retooled to handle logistics, in my opinion.

That’s why some IT positions have logistics as part of their duties.

Mammmood
Post 2

@BambooForest - I have a friend who recently got a job working for a cola bottling plant. As part of her duties, she has to become familiar with all of the plant’s operations, from bottling, to shipping to distribution.

I don’t know if I would classify her as a logistics co-ordinator per se, but she definitely needed to understand all of the logistics of the plant operation. She is going to work as a manager over sales personnel covering different territories, so she needed to understand the whole process.

I can see how if you understood the big picture of everything that was going on in a company, you could position yourself to moving up the corporate latter. She has hinted that she may be able to do that in the near future, depending on how well she does in her current position.

BambooForest
Post 1

I have known a few people who worked in logistics in their businesses, and it seems like this sort of position varies a lot based on the company. A small business might need only one person in logistics, while a corporation has several all doing different tasks. It also seemed like the amount of prior training required varied quite a bit, too.

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