What Does an International Logistics Manager Do?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2019
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An international logistics manager handles the distribution, shipping, and storage of goods. They keep these goods moving through the supply chain while working with suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Those working in this field typically have a college degree and previous employment with proven success in international logistics. Those working as an international logistics manager must have experience with customs brokers, international freight companies, and other third party logistics providers. The duties of an international logistics manager may also include ensuring compliance with local, national, and international trade policies.

Most international logistics managers have an extensive knowledge of the modes of transportation, location specific export regulations, and supply chain management. This knowledge may be acquired through several years of experience in logistics or through a formal education. Some managers working in this position have earned a bachelor's degree in logistics management, international business operations, supply chain, or other related fields of study. International logistics managers must be able to do long-term strategic planning and have strong management skills. Other essential skills for this position include the ability to multitask and maintain flexibility in a sometimes high-pressure, quickly changing work environment.


Previous experience with the many complex aspects international logistics is important for anyone working in this position. An international logistics manager must have experience working closely with freight forwarding companies, managed trade services, and customs brokers. Managers also provide operational support to help resolve issues with freight payment service providers and freight billing issues. In the US, they work closely with NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) lead logistics analysts in identifying specific areas and projects that will provide the greatest strategic value. Knowledge of how to apply for and renew export licenses is also one of the duties of an international logistics manager.

Ensuring that import and export operations comply with all local and international laws regarding trade, shipping and storage of inventory is another important function of an international logistics manager. One of the ways a manager may do this is to conduct regular trade risk assessment audits of all the decisions in a company or organization. International logistics managers may also create and implement procedures for closing or minimizing gaps in trade compliance. Ongoing training in domestic and foreign customs regulations and international commerce is essential to successfully function in this job. An international logistics manager requires an understanding of the processes of international trade and commerce in order to respond to potential problems that might affect worldwide logistics operations.


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