Freight forwarding agents provide a link between manufacturers and shipping companies to organise the movement of goods within the UK and internationally by rail, road, sea and air freight. They provide employment opportunities for candidates who are numerate and with good computer skills. Freight forwarders and their recruitment agencies often seek staff with knowledge of geography, good planning abilities and attention to detail.
There are more than 20 large freight forwarders in the UK. Because they do not physically move freight, agents are based all over the country.
There is no shortage of skills in the freight forwarding sector but companies hiring staff need GCSE passes (especially Maths) and ideally some IT skills. Job applications should also stress any previous office experience and foreign languages. Employers may also demand A-levels. Some forwarding agents offer apprenticeships while larger companies run graduate training schemes for recruits with degrees or BTEC qualifications.
Forwarding agent, traffic office or shipping clerk roles are office-based. Job duties include assessing quantities of goods to be moved, booking space, negotiating rates, agreeing schedules, arranging insurance and inputting details to computer.
Salaries range from £15,000 to £25,000 (depending on location and experience. Managers can earn up to £40,000 annually.