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Career Highlight: Transport and Logistics Management

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1. What is Transportation and Logistic Management?

The transport and logistics industry is about planning, implementing, and controlling procedures relating to the movement and storage of goods.

Modes of transport  include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The transport and logistic personnel is responsible for the complete reception and effective shipment of cargos for a trading company. They also deal with the safe and reliable transportation of passengers, as well as developing shipment relationships and partnerships. 

The working environment ranges from the office to the warehouse or shop floor, and dress standards reflect this. Hours of work may vary but you'll generally work around 60 hours per week. Companies that offer a 24-hour service may operate a shift system, which may involve weekend and evening work. Part-time work may be available and freelance work and self-employment on a consultancy basis is sometimes possible, once experience has been gained. This industry is fast moving and work may be stressful. The role occasionally involves travel away from home. In the early stages of training you may be expected to be mobile. For some, considerable overseas travel may be required.

Part of the duties can range from allocating  and manage staff resources according to changing needs, liaise and negotiate with customers and suppliers, develop business by gaining new contracts, analysing logistical problems and producing new solutions, understand, work with and possibly help to develop e-commerce, continually try to improve and develop business performance within the constraints of legislation, fuel costs and rising environmental pressures, implement health and safety procedures and plan and manage projects amongst many other things - depending on the job level.

2. What subjects do I need to take in high school?

Various institutions have their own requirements but most of them require that you have English as a subject in high school. Additional to this it is recommended, though not mandatory, to take Business Studies, Mathematics, Accounting, Economics, Information Technology or Computer Application Technology  as this will help you with some of the technical skills required towards becoming a Transportation and Logistic Manager. 

Amongst other things, you need to have problem solving skills, decision-making skills, the ability to manage a team, analytical skill, strategic planning skills and have effective communication skills.

3. What qualifications do I need to work in Transportation and Logistic Management?

Qualifications can be obtained at  a TVET College or an institution of Higher Education, such as a University or University of Technology


University/ University of Technology qualification 

One way to become a Transportation and Logistic Manager is to obtain a BCom/Diploma in Logistic management from an accredited University/ University of Technology, respectively. This is a three year course. To qualify towards this one will need a high school diploma or the equivalent that meet the various institutional requirements for the degree.

TVET College/ FET college qualification 

If you did not achieve the matric results necessary to apply to these institutions, then there are other paths and courses that are offered as a valuable alternative

There are a wide range of qualifications suited to the different needs of companies. There are Higher Education and Training (HET) programs, Further Education and Training (FET) programs 

Short courses 

There are also many  Short Learning (SLP) programs. The various options mean that you can develop your skills to suit whatever industry and skill level you are interested in.

4. What are some available funding opportunities available to fund studies towards these studies?

There are various avenues to explore when it comes to funding your studies towards the studies in Logistic Management.  You can obtain a bursary, sponsorship or financial aid from various sources. You can obtain funding from the government, such as NFAS - South Africa.. Or you can obtain it from various private facilities that specialise or are in the logistic and supply chain industry. Or can also apply for financial aid at the various aviation institutions or from banking institutions.

5. What career opportunities are there in Transportation and Logistic Management?

Graduating with a degree in transportation and logistics will leave you with no shortage of career paths. Not only are logistics utilized by a wide variety of institutions (everything from global corporations to city governments), the transportation and logistics industry is made up of many different parts that perform very different functions. Most graduates in this field start as a Management Trainee, Front Line Supervisor, and Analyst. You can find jobs in Shipping Companies, Construction Firms, Land and Air Transportation Providers, Information & Technology Industries and many others. Each path bears its own career opportunities.

The aviation logistic industry, for instance, has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy for the last four decades and plays a vital role in the economic development of a nation. Air cargo logistics means using aircraft and warehousing services for the transport of goods quickly from point of origin to point of consumption for satisfying the requirements of customers. One who wished to work in this industry can work for a business organization that moves people or cargo through the air, and those companies that support them. And this field may require further development specific to it.  An advancement in skills and qualification can lead to  advancement to management positions.

As you can see there are a few industries one can venture into but even in these, with a transportation and logistic management qualification, one can choose to be anything from an analyst, logistics engineer, consultant, inventory manager etc. 



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