cargo freight agent

What does a Cargo Freight Agent do?

A cargo freight agent helps get products from a storing location to a purchaser. These jobs can be found at airports, shipyards, warehouses, and trucking terminals. They take orders and start the process of logistically planning how to get that order to the intended destination. This job may require both manual and administrative duties.

Watch a video to learn what a cargo freight agent does.

How to Become a Cargo Freight Agent

According to O*Net OnLine, most cargo freight agents have a high school diploma and a higher education is not needed. Those that may want to make their way up to leadership positions may want to take college classes in business and logistics.

Job Description of a Cargo Freight Agent

Cargo agents advise clients on the transportation method and timeline of the delivery. They also provide tracking options for their products to ensure deadlines and expectations are met. These agents must also consider the best method of delivery based on the client’s needs, whether they require an expedited shipment or if their main concern is saving money.

A cargo freight agent must also fill out the necessary documentation needed to ship their products, such as custom forms. This requires the person to have great attention to detail as an error in the form, or using the wrong form, could delay the shipment. Forces outside of the agent’s control, such as weather delays, can also add stress to the job. It’s important that these individuals handle stress well, communicate any delay in the shipment, and collaborate with their peers when last-minute decisions must be made because of these factors. They will also use a computer daily to access transportation management software and office programs such as Outlook, Word, and Excel.

Other titles cargo freight agents may hold include documentation clerk, drop shipment clerk, freight broker, load planner, logistics coordinator, and logistics service representative.

Cargo Freight Agent Career Video Transcript

Businesses need to fill orders and move shipments as quickly as possible. Cargo and freight agents help make that happen. Whatever the size, route, or nature of the shipment, these agents organize the details of getting cargo from the place of origin to its destination swiftly and efficiently.

Cargo and freight agents take orders from customers and arrange transportation of the freight to the loading platform. They prepare all necessary documents, such as insurance forms and descriptions of the cargo: amount, type, weight, and dimensions. If the goods are being imported or exported, the agent arranges the required clearances to navigate through customs.

Agents make sure the cargo is placed in shipping containers incorrect order for unloading at its destination, and they calculate shipping costs. Expedited delivery requests may require making multiple arrangements for the same cargo load. Upon cargo arrival, freight agents check for missing items, record any damage that has occurred, then arrange payment and pick-up by customers. While part of their work day is spent in an office, these agents also work in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and at shipping docks. Evening and weekend hours are common. A high school diploma is the typical entry-level requirement.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Cargo and Freight Agents.

National Center for O*NET Development. 43-5011.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is Public Domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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