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Freight Operations Supervisor: Duties, Outlook and Salary

Freight operations supervisors require some formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties, and salary expectations to see if this is the right career for you.

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Freight operations supervisors typically need a college degree and work experience to fulfill professional job duties. The projected job growth and annual salary specifically highlights information relevant to supervisor and operator positions. Knowing all of this information can help you make a well-informed decision on pursuing this career field.

Essential Information

Freight operations supervisors manage the process and delivery of cargo transported by trucks, tractor-trailers, planes, ships, and trains. This position generally requires a bachelor's degree and experience in the transportation industry. These professionals monitor the employees who load and unload cargo and process shipments, and they make sure goods arrive and depart in good condition. Some administrative duties are required as well.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in a relevant field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators*
Median Salary (2015) $55,860 for first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators*

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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Duties of Freight Operations Supervisors

Freight operations supervisors monitor freight conditions, delivery status, and customer concerns. They strive to meet production goals by planning employee schedules, managing payroll, and taking care of other administrative functions.

To ensure the safety of workers, freight operations supervisors must be knowledgeable about all laws, regulations, and policies that pertain to the trucking industry. These include regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and Motor Carrier Safety and Improvement Act of 1999. They must also follow and enforce company procedures.

Freight operations supervisors interface with customers, drivers, and other employees on a daily basis, so they must be able to maintain good interpersonal relationships. Although not a frequent occurrence, their jobs may also require them to be able to lift up to 50 pounds.

Freight Operations Supervisor Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that between 2014 and 2024, jobs for first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators would increase by 3% (www.bls.gov). As the demand for trucking grows, so will the demand for all associated occupations, such as freight operations supervisors. However, during an economic downturn, the truck transportation industry is among the first to decline, and orders and shipments decrease as a result of low demand.

Salary Expectations for Freight Operations Supervisors

According to the BLS, first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers earned a median salary of $55,860 in May 2015. The BLS also reported that management occupations in the general freight-trucking industry had an estimated mean annual salary of $100,770.

The typical freight operations supervisor is skilled in administrative duties, safety regulations, and customer service. Having a bachelor's degree can lead to earning the salary of a first-line operations supervisor or a freight-trucking manager. Job availability is expected to grow for this profession, so this could be the right career path for you.

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