What a novice logistician needs to know. Introduction to the profession

We tell you what knowledge will be useful to the logistician in his work, and how to assess the level of training of a specialist in five minutes, without arranging “interrogation with bias”.

The logistician is one of the most popular and in demand professions at the present day. Recruiting portals have published thousands of job ads for logisticians, and the positions may be called differently (logistician, logistics manager, cargo manager, and so on), and the salary level varies from a few tens to several hundred thousand rubles.

What do logisticians do and what do you need to know to start a job and make a career in this industry? Answering these questions won’t be easy, because there are a huge number of specializations for logisticians. The work of the dispatcher, distributing cargo GAZelle on orders in a million-strong city has nothing to do with the work of a specialist of foreign economic activity, which deals with sea freight and customs clearance. But both of these specialists have every right to call themselves logisticians.

What do logisticians do?
According to Wikipedia, logistics is a system for organizing the delivery of any material objects from one point to another along the optimal route. This is what logisticians do. They are responsible for organizing the transportation of goods from point A to point B and all the actions associated with it: finding the necessary transport, the correct accounting and customs clearance of transportation, taking measures to ensure its safety.

In addition, logisticians often act as sales managers for logistics services. They have to look not only for carriers, but also for shippers, i.e. to provide work for themselves.
Therefore, logistician’s salary is usually piecework: its size directly depends on the volume of sales.

What specializations are there for logisticians?
– Profession logistician is divided into many specializations, depending on the type of transport that carries the entrusted specialists cargo – says Eugene, a logistician with 20 years experience in road freight transport. – Transportation is also broken down by type of cargo: food, raw materials, industrial goods, inert and tank-cargo – all these different areas, each of which has its own specifics.

Different types of transport – rail, sea, and air – also have their own specifics. Special attention must be paid to logisticians engaged in international transport, because they have to deal with foreign partners and customs, which requires additional qualifications.

There are other specializations that do not involve the organization of transport “turnkey” in the interests of the customer. In the services of express delivery logisticians are often called dispatchers, controlling the work of couriers. Employee of the warehouse, which controls the shipment and loading of goods, is also often called a logistician. And even a company that sends nothing anywhere (for example, in a business center or at a sports facility) may employ a supply logistician, who will provide his company with the necessary goods.

What does a logistician need to know?
Absolutely all logisticians need to:

Know the basics of office administration and document management.

Know how to work with office programs (MS Office, 1C and other CRM).

Have an idea of the area in which they work. Understand the peculiarities of cargo and transport, as well as the legislation regulating the relevant branch of transportation.

Have a good knowledge of the geography of their home country (and in the case of international transportation, also of foreign countries).
For logisticians engaged in international transportation and FEA, knowledge of foreign languages is necessary, at least English at the Intermediate level and above. In addition, knowledge of international legislation in the field of cargo transportation is required.

As we have already said, most logisticians are not only engaged in the organization of transportation, but also the sale of their own services. Find a good job experienced logist help own database of customers and carriers, and a beginner it will have to build up from scratch. This requires communication skills: the ability to conduct business negotiations and find common ground with potential clients.

Last summer, Kamil Baimukhametov, a logistics business coach, told us about the personal qualities every logistician needs. These are:

Responsibility. The logistician is responsible for the arrival of the machine and is responsible to the customer for all stages of transportation. The logistician needs to be in touch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: problems can happen at any moment.

Charisma. A logistician should have the skills of a psychologist to be able to negotiate with customers, to calm them down in difficult situations.

Concentration and diligence – these qualities are important not only for logisticians, they do not hurt almost any specialist.

Higher education in the vast majority of cases is not required for logisticians, but it would not be superfluous either. Logistics is changing very quickly, and the knowledge taught to students in logistics departments often turns out to be useless when the graduates get their first job.

The logisticians with whom we were able to talk, believe: the specifics of the profession is such that higher education cannot be considered as a serious advantage in employment.
The exception may be vacancies related to customs clearance of goods. Customs legislation is also changing, but its changes are not so rapid. Therefore, certified customs specialists in the search for jobs related to international logistics may have priority over other applicants – and it will be somewhat easier for them to master the profession.

And also logisticians must be prepared for the fact that the concept of “working day” in their work is almost non-existent. Of course, most logisticians leave the office in the evening – but that does not mean that in the middle of the night they do not get a call from a driver or manager of a foreign company, whose working day is in full swing.

– At two o’clock in the morning I got a call from a driver who didn’t speak English well, saying he wasn’t allowed on the ferry. I had to call the crossing employee to find out what the problem was. If I had not solved it, the car would have stayed in Sweden for a day, the delivery would have been delayed and we would have had to pay a large fine, – says Evgeniya, explaining that such situations do not happen every day, but quite often.

Specifics of logistics in road freight transport
Logisticians who work in road transportation, first of all, need to understand the specifics of this indus

try. What types of semi-trailers are there? How many euro-pallets can one semi-trailer haul? What is the maximum capacity of a road train with a truck tractor? A logistician needs to know the answers to these questions in order to understand which vehicle is needed for each specific shipment.

Logisticians also need to know:

How drivers work. Rules of work and rest mode for drivers are regulated by 424 order of the Ministry of Transport. Sometimes these rules are violated, but in any case, the logistician must understand how long the driver can work and what distances to cover in one work shift.

Where to look for freight and transport. The main sources of applications are regular customers and sites on the Internet, for example, the freight exchange ATI.SU.

Current freight rates and pricing mechanisms. Trucking tariffs are not always obvious laws, and the logistician must understand them well, so as not to undercut the price – or scare away the customer, saying the price is inadequately high.

What restrictions are in force and are periodically imposed on roads. In springtime in many regions of Russia, because of the spring thaw, the passage of large trucks is restricted, and the delivery of goods on regional roads can become difficult.

What are the generally accepted rules of transport organization in the industry. Beginner logisticians will become familiar with them in the first weeks of their work. They will learn about how to check counterparties, deferred payments, and other aspects of work that they will have to deal with in the future.

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