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Freight forwarder Shipping clerk, import clerk, export clerk

Freight forwarders organise the transportation of goods and cargo around the UK and overseas.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Many employers will expect you to have:

  • 4 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English and maths, or equivalent
  • experience in office administration or transport

Good computer skills and ability in a foreign language will also be helpful.

You may be able to start on a graduate training scheme with a larger company if you have a degree in a relevant subject like transport and distribution or language and business.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • spoken and written communication skills
  • maths skills
  • excellent organisational and planning skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • arranging routes and schedules, and confirming details with carriers
  • booking cargo space with carriers
  • negotiating rates and arranging insurance
  • calculating weight, volume and cost of goods to be moved
  • preparing quotations and invoices
  • clearing goods through customs and arranging for duties or taxes to be paid
  • preparing contracts such as Letters of Credit
  • tracking freight and keeping customers up to date with progress

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to 28,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You could work standard office hours, shifts, or flexible hours if you regularly deal with countries in different time zones.

You'll be office-based.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and training, you could become a senior freight account manager, business development officer or specialise in a particular type of work like sea freight.

You may also have the opportunity to work abroad, shipping freight back to the UK.

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Last updated: 21 August 2017