Summary Report for:
43-5011.00 - Cargo and Freight Agents
Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.
Sample of reported job titles: Cargo Agent, Documentation Clerk, Drop Shipment Clerk, Freight Broker, Intermodal Dispatcher, International Coordinator, Load Planner, Logistics Coordinator, Logistics Service Representative
Also see: Freight Forwarders
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
- Track delivery progress of shipments.
- Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
- Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
- Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
- Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
- Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
- Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
- Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
- Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
- Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
- Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
- Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
- Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
- Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
- Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
- Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
- Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
- Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
- Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
- Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Inventory management software — Posting software
- Mobile location based services software — Transportation management software; Web-based dispatch software
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Procurement software — Brokerage software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft OneNote; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Air conditioners — Mobile air-conditioning units
- Aircraft pushback or tow tractors — Tow tractors
- Cargo trucks — Straight trucks
- Desktop computers
- Ground power units for aircraft — Electrical power unit
- Hand trucks or accessories — Hand trucks
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Laser printers
- Metal cutters — Steel cutters
- Pry bars — Crow bars
- Radio frequency scanners — Radio frequency identification RFID scanners
- Staple guns
- Two way radios
- Wheel chocks
- Wrapping machinery — Strapping machines
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Detailed Work Activities
- Calculate shipping costs.
- Record shipping information.
- Enter information into databases or software programs.
- Verify shipping documentation.
- Maintain operational records.
- Coordinate operational activities.
- Negotiate financial arrangements.
- Recommend packing or shipping methods.
- Track goods or materials.
- Provide notifications to customers or patrons.
- Package objects for shipping.
- Load materials or equipment.
- Arrange insurance coverage.
- Manage clerical or administrative activities.
- Analyze shipping information to make routing decisions.
- Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
- Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
- Unload materials or equipment.
- Coordinate shipping activities with external parties.
- Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
- Inspect items for damage or defects.
- Inspect shipments to ensure correct order fulfillment.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 85% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Very important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 47% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 56% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 49% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 48% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Level of Competition — 58% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 50% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 31% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: CER Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$21.04 hourly, $43,770 annual|
|Employment (2019)||97,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Faster than average (5% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||9,100|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.