A logistics agent works in a warehouse and handles a company’s shipping, receiving and overall distribution. He also maintains a warehouse, making sure merchandise is ready for delivery and packages are properly handled. He often must operate equipment that assists with distribution by making the process of loading and unloading semi-trucks and delivery vans easier.
Logistics agents are employed by a wide variety of industries. Some handle strictly shipping, some strictly receiving, but most handle both. They have to take great care in handling items, avoiding potential damage or misplacement. Logistics agents also typically keep track of invoices and work with manufacturers and delivery drivers on distribution needs. The majority spend a large portion of their workdays on their feet, receiving, sorting through and arranging packages, preparing them to either be displayed in a store or sent to another location.
Logistics agents must be highly organized with thorough knowledge of how to operate the equipment used for moving merchandise. That equipment includes forklifts and moving dollies. They must know their warehouses inside and out and possess strong communication skills to relay information about distribution to co-workers, manufacturers and supervisors. Many also need to clean their warehouses, so they should know how to mop floors and stack boxes. On top of those things, logistics agents need the strength to move packages and operate heavy equipment.
Practically anyone can become a logistics agent with the right work ethic. In most cases, only a high school diploma or GED equivalent is required. Other than that, a logistics agent needs to work well alone or as a member of a team, a positive approach toward the job and an ability to follow instructions.
Logistics agents belong to a warehousing industry that is expected to grow steadily for the foreseeable future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of warehouse workers is expected to increase by 11 percent through 2018, which is about the average growth rate for all occupations during the same span.
Since logistics agents work in such a wide-ranging field, their salaries are likely to differ considerably. Much depends on their experience and overall duties. According to PayScale.com, distribution clerks made anywhere from nearly $23,500 to more than $36,000 per year in May 2010.