As a VP of transportation, Blair Ewell understands the ins and outs of the management position. For the qualified individual, a career in transportation management is satisfying and often financially rewarding. However, not everyone is cut out for the fast-paced, critical-thinking position. To begin a career in transportation management, you first need to know what it takes.
Career in Transportation Management
As an operations professional, a transportation manager coordinates all transportation-related tasks. They liaise between contractors and the company, ensuring all logistical duties finish on time and without issue.
Transportation managers are responsible for planning the logistics for the entire supply chain. Their primary responsibilities include setting realistic timeframes and managing transportation costs.
Are you transportation management material? Ewell explains there are several requirements candidates must complete and skills they must demonstrate.
As the manager of a complex system, a transportation manager must have a formal education. At a minimum, these professionals should have a bachelor’s degree in logistics, business, supply chain management, or another related field. Also, an employer will probably want future candidates to focus on courses in:
- Systems engineering
- Database management
- Process engineering
- Financial management
- Global trade
Blair Ewell also explains that transportation managers must possess a mix of hard and soft skills. As a manager, you will need to focus on communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution at a minimum. Transportation managers should also demonstrate comprehensive data analysis, planning, organization, and general leadership knowledge.
Transportation management is challenging, but it is rewarding for those who are ready. There is no reason to rush your education. Take your time and develop the skills you need to become an effective leader.
Before earning a managerial role, you need to learn the ropes in operational and logistical positions. Most companies will not hire someone straight out of college into an administrative role; they will first expect candidates to start in an entry-level position to learn fundamental industry practices. Starting at the bottom and working your way up will give you perspective when you reach a managerial role.
Depending on where you live, certifications may not be a requirement for a managerial role, but employers may still expect you to hold one or two relevant ones. A few relevant certifications include:
- The Transportation Safety Leadership Certificate
- The Highway Safety Professional Certificate
- The Transit Safety and Security Program Certificate
Are You Ready for a Career as a Transportation Manager?
Blair Ewell has spent years in transportation management and argues that no one is ever 100% ready for the position. You may have the qualifications, but you will never know what the job is like until you get it. If you have the right qualifications, trust your abilities and go for the job you want.