The logistics industry is a great option for anyone looking to start a rewarding new career. Among today’s highly globalized major economies, individuals with the skills necessary to move goods from one destination to another safely and in compliance with all of the necessary regulations will be key to the success of many companies.
One of the most common activities in the logistics industry is what’s known as freight forwarding. A freight forwarder doesn’t move goods themselves, but rather acts as an intermediary between a shipper and the various services they depend on to ship their goods. Given the highly complicated nature of navigating international trade routes, services, and regulations, freight forwarders play an essential role in the growing logistics industry.
Keep reading if you want to know more about this fascinating career, and how to get started in it with supply chain training.
What You’ll Do in Your Career as a Freight Forwarder
In the simplest terms, a freight forwarder assists and advises their clients on how to move their goods from one destination to another.
While that might sound relatively straightforward, the realities of international shipping are incredibly complex. This is why freight forwarders are needed. Freight forwarders use their extensive professional network and in-depth knowledge of shipping practices to ensure that their client’s goods travel efficiently, and arrive safely and on time, with the lowest possible cost.
Freight forwarders arrange for shipment by air, land, and sea
In order to achieve this, a freight forwarder will research and plan routes, taking into account the type of goods being shipped, the distance they need to travel, and the desired delivery date. They handle insurance, customs documentation, and various other regulatory requirements on behalf of their client. They will arrange pickup at intermediate destinations, and arrange storage for the goods as needed. Freight forwarders might also use technology and software applications to track goods in real time as they move through the shipping chain.
How to Know if a Career in Freight Forwarding Is Right for You
Freight forwarding is a great career option for anyone who enjoys fast-paced and varied work in a primarily office-based setting. While some larger companies might require non-standard work hours, individuals who develop experience in the industry have the option of finding specializations or niches within it, which can provide more flexibility and independence.
Freight forwarding is primarily office-based work
If you’re detail-oriented and good at multitasking, then you might be well suited to supply chain courses and the particular demands of being a freight forwarder. Building relationships with shippers and transporters can also be essential to the job, so those with good interpersonal skills will find themselves at an advantage. Other important qualities for freight forwarders include good communication skills and problem-solving abilities.
Supply Chain Courses Can Give You the Experience You Need
National Academy’s 46-week diploma program in supply chain training can equip you with the skills you need to begin a career as a freight forwarder. Not only do students learn about the supply chain, logistics, distribution, and business processes, but they also complete an internship in the sector, providing them with valuable contacts and real-world experience in the industry. Graduates of the program are also eligible to receive certification from the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association and membership to the Supply Chain Management Association, credentials that can set them apart from other job applicants and give them the best possible start to their career in freight forwarding.
Are you interested in starting a rewarding new career as a freight forwarder?
Whatever career you’re interested in, there’s bound to be lots of training programs available. What sets some apart are the credentials that graduates can walk out of school with. The supply chain and logistics industry is no different, and a valuable asset that budding young professionals may want is membership in the Supply Chain and Management Association (SCMA).
The SCMA is the leading Canadian voice for professionals in this field, and its roots reach back almost a century. The Association boasts 7,500 members, making it the largest for supply chain management professionals in the country. It’s also Canada’s only representative on the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management. Membership of the Association is therefore crucial for graduates, all of whom are eligible to enter if they complete the Supply Chain and Logistics diploma at NAHB. Let’s take a closer look at the background and benefits of the SCMA.
Online retail is now a firmly established reality in our daily lives. However, online grocery shopping has yet to become such an embedded reality for the Canadian consumer. This is set to change over the coming years, as industry observers predict a surge in high profile providers pushing us away from the check-out lane, and towards our digital devices. This transition will rely on well-trained supply chain and logistics professionals, who will help ensure this transformation of the grocery sector can take place.
What does this mean for recent graduates of supply chain and logistics programs? Here’s just a small taste.
An Expanding Market in Every Sense
Figures show that the Canadian buying public has not been tempted towards online grocery shopping thus far. In fact, online sales only take up $2 billion of this $100 billion market. However, industry observers have noted that big changes seemed to have started brewing in 2017. Sales are predicted to swell up to $4 billion over the next couple of years, and big industry players like Loblaw have announced plans to expand home delivery options.
Other developments south of the border might also creep their way north, either through expansion or simply by inspiring other businesses to follow suit. In particular, Amazon’s landmark purchase of the Whole Foods brand and launch of programs like Prime Pantry opens up its huge client base to the world of ‘one click shopping’. Industry observers have already pointed out that Whole Foods supermarkets already in operation in Ontario could act as the perfect springboard for that company’s online grocery campaign in Canada. Along with the rapid expansion of online grocery start-ups like Instacart across Ontario, and the prospect of lean European competition from the likes of Aldi putting a further squeeze traditional supermarkets, it seems like the future of groceries in Canada could soon get a lot more digital.
Food Expiration Challenges Underline Benefits of Comprehensive Logistics Courses
Groceries differ from other e-commerce products—such as clothes or electronics—in that the products sold often have restrictive expiration and refrigeration constraints. Even Amazon has encountered this as an issue, with customers still more likely to buy less-perishable items like coffee and candy than to opt for fresh veggies and fruits. Graduates of logistics courses will certainly find a rewarding challenge working in this sector!
To overcome this problem, highly efficient logistics efforts will be important. Ensuring that goods are properly stored in warehouses, and that products are quickly delivered in order to avoid spoilage will be essential. With the help of innovative supply chain professionals, customers will be able to order groceries online without fear of defrosted or spoilt products arriving.
The challenges of the grocery sector are tied to the unique logistic demands of food retail
‘Bricks and Clicks’ Combo Stresses the Importance of Finding Creative Solutions
While online retailers push forward, professionals withsupply chain and logistics training may note an interesting retail trend. Increasingly, online retailers are appreciating the benefits of brick and mortar supermarkets. These can continue to make sales in the traditional way, but can also act as well-positioned distribution points for online orders, with the likes of check-out employees being re-designated as order fillers.
This new kind of retail could offer an interesting solution to graduates who want to ensure that goods ordered online are properly stored before last-mile transport to the houses of customers. With the industry evolving, innovation and efficiency measures will be actively sought to ensure all purchasing avenues are being used effectively.
Do you want a rewarding career helping world-class businesses run smoothly?
We are proud to announce that we have signed another placement/co-op agreement for our Supply Chain & Logistics Diploma Students. Adding again to our list of career co-op providers who not only provide training to our students, but who also hire them long-term.
As one of Canada’s leading career colleges, recently voted best career college in Ontario by View magazine, we constantly strive to achieve the best results for our students. Securing high quality co-op experiences for our students not only guarantees a life-long learning experience, it very often results in life-long careers with the same organization.
Legacy Supply Chain Services specializes in full-service solutions designed to adapt quickly to the demands of any business and the ever-changing economic landscape. Legacy is supported by a team of 2,700 professionals with years of experience designing, building and implementing high-performing supply chain and logistics solutions.
Our Supply Chain & Logistics Diploma is offered at the following campuses:
If you can eat it, see it, use it, wear it or scare the living daylights out of someone with it – it came from somewhere. From the apples in your fridge to the zombie costume you ordered online. Getting virtually anything from point A to point B is all about supply chain management and logistics.
While the name of this career choice may seem a little uninspiring the reality is quite the opposite – this sector is headed for unprecedented growth and offers you incredible long-term career potential. In fact, with a median salary of $61K this is one of the few careers that doesn’t require a university degree to secure a position or to move up within the ranks of an organization.1
What interests you? Are you a die-hard believer in delivering organic produce with a minimal carbon footprint? Would figuring out how to transport the mass operational needs of urban planning projects quicken your pulse? How about swiftly assembling and delivering medical aid to disaster sites? Perhaps becoming a custom broker for individuals selling unique one-of-a-kind items feels like your niche? Whatever your desire supply chain training and logistics courses prepare you for a career that matches your interest. Very few industries can make this claim. And the biggest benefit: working in supply chain management and logistics gives you the advantage of being employable on any continent in any country in any sector around the world.
Unprecedented Career Growth and Opportunities2
As of 2012, there were over 800,000 Canadians employed in some aspect of supply chain occupations.
From 2012-2017, it is anticipated that there will be an additional 65,000 new and vacant supply chain positions each year for the next five years totaling over 350,000 positions.
From 2012-2017, it is expected that the number of supply chain employees will increase from a rate of 8.4% for tactical occupations to 14.9% for managerial occupations.
You already have Job Experience in this Sector.3 That’s right. If you already have experience in financial planning, forecasting, knowledge of international business practices, knowledge of laws and regulations, mechanical skills and general business management you’re already on your way to breaking into this ever-growing sector.And, there are sub-functions within the supply chain sector that will help you leverage your existing experience in warehousing, transportation, inventory management, purchasing, marketing, sales and customer service.
Almost every existing job function contributes to either a main or sub-function within the Logistics and Supply Chain Management – meaning you’re already bringing experience to the role… before you begin.
Industry Accreditation and Support4 Should you choose a career in this field you can easily add credibility to your resume and help build your career by joining the Supply Chain Management Association.
Membership is available to anyone with an interest in supply chain management and you’ll gain access to best practices and professional development courses, the latest research and trends within the industry as well as exposure to numerous career and networking opportunities. 4
Sources: 1http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Logistics_Manager/Salary 2The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council Human Resources Update Study 3http://www.womeninsupplychain.org/why-supply-chain/ 4http://www.sclcanada.org/en/join-scma
A transparent supply chain means that when customers get a product, they know exactly where it was made, what it’s made of, and how far it has travelled to reach them. In the past, looking up all that information would have been difficult for the average customer to do. But, today, that information can often be found right on company websites.
Why are companies making their supply chains more transparent? As it turns out, there are many advantages that come with a transparent supply chain. From boosting consumer confidence to ensuring product quality and safety, students enrolled in supply chain and logistics programs learn about the many advantages of a transparent supply chain.
If you are planning to enroll in supply chain courses, read on to learn why such courses promote supply chain transparency and why graduates from these programs can be a huge asset to any company.
1. Transparency in the Supply Chain Ensures Product Quality
Professionals working in logistics complete supply chain courses, where they learn to evaluate the cost and quality of goods. With their specialized training, they can help companies keep product quality high—which is an important part of keeping customers satisfied.
Companies that don’t carefully supervise their supply chains can sometimes run into problems with product quality. For example, in 2013, European consumers were shocked when product quality tests revealed that some burgers claiming to be beef also contained horsemeat. Many customers were upset, and stopped purchasing burgers affected by the scandal.
2. Transparency Promotes Product Safety
Supply chain and logistics professionals play an important role in product safety. With their expert training, they know what to look for when negotiating contracts with suppliers, and how to keep goods safe and secure while they’re being transported. They also help make that information accessible to consumers, and keep any potential dangers properly labelled.
These skills can help companies ensure that foods containing allergens like peanuts, for example, are properly labelled. Even when a product doesn’t contain nuts, logistics professionals know to carefully check the supply chain to make sure that no ingredients came into contact with allergens in factories, warehouses, or other potential points for contamination.
3. Logistics Courses Promote Ethics in the Supply Chain
As students completing their supply chain training will learn, many customers are willing to pay a premium for products that are ethically sourced. In fact, many companies that sell products like conflict-free diamonds and fair trade products will put information about their supply chain front and center in their ad campaigns and other promotional materials.
For these companies, their reputation often relies on their supply chains. With the help of trained professionals that have completed logistics courses, these companies keep their supply chains transparent so that customers can be sure they’re purchasing an ethically-sourced product.
Many students looking for a satisfying and in-demand career enroll in supply chain and logistics courses. That’s because supply chain professionals are in-demand, and graduates with cutting edge training can help companies looking to make big changes like going green.
Many customers are now pushing for greener products, and a transparent supply chain that demonstrates a small environmental footprint can boost sales.
To help make important changes in environmental impact, professionals in logistics search for local ingredients, find more efficient ways to transport goods, and make other modifications to the supply chain.
Are you interested in pursuing supply chain and logistics training?
Visit NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.
Once limited to military use, drone technology is reaching new heights in the commercial sector. Unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) are fast becoming the shiny new tool of the supply chain trade.
What does this mean for the business of supply chain management? From reducing costs and delivery time, to creating new industry policies and mapping the supply chain with 3D imagery, drones are set to reshape this field in a big way.
Drones Shrink Supply Delivery Time & Cost
The race for fastest delivery time is already intense, with eBay dispatching college students by foot to do the speedy groundwork that ensures “next-day delivery.” It might sound impossible, but drone technology could bring products from factories to doorsteps in just 30 minutes.
That’s the goal of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He says drones would reduce reliance on traditional shipping providers (like trains and trucks), significantly shrink delivery time and increase output, without straining resources. And their parts are significantly (90%!) cheaper than those we use for traditional delivery.
While risks associated with UAVs might bump up specific insurance premiums (ie: new insurance charges to account for product theft or weather damage), the overall impact is a cheaper link in the supply chain.
Amazon’s bid for delivery drones has hit several speedbumps along the way with the need for federal permissions and regulations.
These new rules involve geographic, speed, and weight restrictions. As of June 1 2015, the FAA has specified that delivery drones can only fly in good weather, not close to airports, and within visible site of the operator.
Some industry leaders are frustrated by these restrictions. “Drones seem to offer an affordable and flexible solution – but not if the FAA rules are in place,” says Guy Courtin of Constellation Research in an article on ZDNet.
Opinions like these may encourage companies to move even more elements of manufacturing abroad, to cheaper countries with more drone freedom.
Drones Allow Supply Chain Mapping
UAVs are equipped with wireless communications and data analysis software, allowing them to track the location of a person using data from their smartphone before completing the delivery.
Cameras and GPS capabilities are essential to UAVs, which makes 3d mapping possible. A drone can update its route in real-time, and film its trek from warehouse to doorstep, offering a visual map of the supply chain timeline.
Students in supply chain management logistics courses can now work with the data these new features provide.
Drones Will Do More Than Just Deliver
UAVs can also be used to perform maintenance checks and repairs, especially in remote, inclement, and hazardous conditions.
What’s more, UAV surveillance can continually monitor warehouses and inventory; becoming the eyes and ears of a building to monitor it in real-time. While a little Orwellian, that’s undoubtedly useful and cost-efficient.
There are both major gains and significant challenges to integrating drones in the workforce. If we keep on top of it, with innovative supply chain training and an ear on the industry, the future could truly be sky high.
Are you interested in training for a challenging career in supply chain management? Visit NAHB to explore our program and connect with an advisor.
In Canada, the supply chain sector is currently on an upward trajectory. The market is experiencing growth, and experts predict that there will be employment opportunities in this field in the coming years. Professionals who possess supply chain and logistics training can help companies manage goods around the world through acquisition, storage, inventory management and more. Training in this field will teach you skills like:
Forecasting & Purchasing
Evaluating Cost & Quality of Goods
International Trade & Customs
Technology in Supply Chain
And much more. If you’re looking a career that’s satisfying, challenging, fast-paced and well-remunerated, the supply chain sector could be just what you need. It will make good use of your logistic, planning and coordination skills, and you’ll get to join a dynamic industry that’s constantly evolving. There are literally hundreds of career paths in this sector, but here are a few of our favourites.
The Operation Manager plans, controls and directs the operations of a manufacturing establishment or distribution centre. They ensure that strategic operational plans are properly implemented and evaluate performance by reviewing data related to current stock, expected arrivals and more. The operations manager often works with numbers, but also with clients and other managers, meaning he or she must be a good communicator able to coordinate with others. Leadership skills and good judgement are also important for this type of position.
Inventory Auditors ensure the quality, accuracy and quantity of the physical inventory. When a shipment arrives, for example, they must evaluate its content to make sure nothing is missing, damaged or mislabelled. Moreover, they are also responsible for auditing and correcting internal inventory issues, such as, for example, when an item is missing. To be efficient as an inventory auditor, you must be vigilant and able to concentrate on your task without getting distracted. Though inventory auditing can sound simple, it’s actually a very important role within the supply chain industry.
A warehouse manager is responsible for an entire warehouse of stock. This means he or she must plan and direct the activities of the warehouse workers to ensure that the daily operations run on time. A warehouse, and by extension its manager, can be tasked with receiving, shipping or sorting out stock, assisting with an inventory audit and more. Lastly, the warehouse manager must be well-organized and a good team worker, as many of his or her duties will involve communicating and collaborating with others.
The procurement clerk is responsible for contacting suppliers to schedule deliveries and to resolve shortages, missed deliveries or any other problems that can occur. They work with numbers and logistics and often have to review requisition orders, process purchases, calculate costs and forward invoices to the appropriate accounts. Over time, some procurement clerks choose to pursue additional training, such as payroll training or accounting courses, to continue advancing in their careers.