Moving with the times

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 12:00am

Logistics is all about delivering the goods to a customer in a timely and cost-efficient way

Requirements: To work in logistics, you need a cheerful, outgoing personality. You should also have good communication skills. There are always new things to learn in logistics, so be ready to expand your horizons.

Qualifications: It's definitely an advantage to have a degree in logistics. It will be easier for people with such a background to understand the concepts of the industry.

Academic qualifications are important, but experience counts, too.

Average salary: Trainees usually make about HK$10,000 to HK$12,000 a month. After a year, they might get a monthly salary of up to HK$15,000. Logistics workers can earn more because there are plenty of opportunities for overtime.

Work prospects: There are four main departments in logistics - customer services, inventory control, operations and sales. Trainees are usually assigned to all the departments so they can gain a broader knowledge of the industry. After a year, they will be assigned to one department.

They have to co-ordinate with people at different levels to get a job done.

Just because someone has a university degree doesn't mean they can sit in the office and give instructions.

A person who is new to the industry should gain more experience by working at the front line.

Trainees have to pack goods, sort them out in the warehouse and go along with the delivery truck drivers. This is the best way to learn the business.

The knowledge cannot be learned from books or lessons.

The goal of a logistics worker is to get the goods to the clients on time. They have to deal with a lot of uncertainties during the process.

There could be a traffic accident, a vehicle breakdown or some other unexpected problem. Logistics personnel have to overcome all those obstacles and deliver the goods to their customers on time.

Long-term prospects: As trainees gain more experience, they might be asked to take up managerial duties. They may need to look at different aspects of the operation like cost control, resources allocation and efficiency.

There could be many people working under them. They have to communicate with their staff to solve their problems and make their job easier.

The front-line workers know the clients very well. So it is important for the management to hear what they have to say about the customers.

Such feedback can help the company implement policies which will boost its business. It is crucial to stay competitive in these tough times.

Where to apply: Logistics and shipping companies.

A day in the life of a logistics manager

I come into the office at nine in the morning. The first thing I do is go down to the warehouse to make sure the goods are arranged properly. Invoices from clients usually come in the afternoon. After I have collected the invoices, my staff load the goods onto the delivery trucks. My day usually ends at seven.