In the past two years, the fragility of the global supply chain has been brought to people’s attention in more ways than one. The pandemic meant that trade routes were significantly delayed, while the grounding of the Ever Given ship in the Suez Canal showed how important it is to keep shipping lanes open at all times.
Even as the pandemic is receding, the world is still experiencing serious delays in its delivery systems, which is why more professionals are needed in the shipping and logistics field. And it’s good news: getting into the lucrative and fascinating world of shipping and logistics isn’t as difficult as you might think – you just need to find the right entry point for you and start from there. So, if you’re interested in this rewarding career, read on to learn how you can get a job at a stage in the supply chain.
If you’re looking for casual work that you can add to your lifestyle to earn a little extra cash, you should consider becoming a last-mile delivery driver. As you’d expect, this is all about getting packages and parcels from a local depot to the front door of the home of the person who ordered those packages.
It’s a job where you can choose your own shifts, which means that you’ll be able to work flexibly to suit your schedule. It’s also an in-demand role, which means that the salary package is increasing at present.
To get a job as a last-mile delivery driver, you’ll need to sign up with a company that facilitates this delivery. You could choose to go with one of the big e-commerce retailers, or you might decide to partner with an independent delivery firm to which other retailers outsource. Either way, you’ll be offered shifts you can take at a moment’s notice to get out in your vehicle and begin earning cash.
All shipping requires significant coordination in order to reach its destination by the required deadline. At any time, hundreds of thousands of shipping containers are crossing the seas, being loaded and unloaded at ports, being carried into the country’s center by train or truck, and then picked apart to ensure that their contents reach their destination.
As you’d expect, this requires a huge amount of high-level planning – and this is something that thousands of individuals are doing each day to attempt to keep supply chains running as smoothly as possible.
You need to have two key skills in order to make the most of this type of career. The first is to be a good organizer. It’s imperative that professionals in this field know how to keep a tight ship and how to connect the dots to get deliveries to and from locations on time.
The second is problem-solving. Most supply chains are disrupted at present, which means they’re not operating as normal. If you can find quick fixes to these issues that get your containers and packages delivered sooner, you’ll become a popular coordinator and you’ll find more clients or experience more promotions.
As well as coordinators, who usually sit in-house in some of the larger shipping firms, there are also brokers in the field of shipping and logistics. These professionals work to link shipping companies with the containers they’ll load onto their boats. They’re also a crucial part of the supply chain, and they can work independently or as part of a larger logistics firm.
This is a popular role for those who already have experience – and, importantly, contacts – in the shipping profession. Still, you can join this as a fresh-faced and enthusiastic newcomer to the industry. Read this step-by-step guide to learn how you can become a broker and earn cash by linking ships with the containers they carry.
Overall, this is a role that requires high levels of coordination skills, as there are always several moving parts and clients to speak with at all times in the process. You’ll be asked to keep track of where certain products are on the supply chain, and you’ll always be the first port of call when a client is looking to get products urgently onto a ship.
As well as on ships, containers and products are carried on thousands upon thousands of trucks. These will zig-zag countries across the world constantly, getting products to retailers and wholesalers as soon as possible as part of the last-minute supply chain. A job as a trucker can be incredibly rewarding, and with the current shortage of truckers, this is a career that promises to offer higher pay and better benefits to those who choose to train up as a trucker.
The truck driver training itself can take over a month and may cost you some cash to undertake. You might be able to get sponsored, either by a government scheme or a haulage firm in order to take the course for free. Either way, once you’re qualified, you can set out to make money immediately, as the shortage of truckers means that there are plenty of vacant positions at many of the world’s haulage firms. As you develop your career, you’ll also be able to go freelance, which means owning your own truck and only taking on the trips that you’d like to do.
Of all the companies currently looking for staff, retailers are, in particular, having to shift their business models to incorporate logistics as a key part of their process. This is because many people are shopping online in the post-pandemic world, which means that retailers have to significantly increase their capacity to deliver products from their stores and warehouses into homes across the country. This means that they’re building out logistics arms as quickly as they can.
You can jump on board with this development by searching for some of the world’s largest retailers online and seeing which job postings they’re currently advertising. They’ll be looking for all of the roles listed above, and many will offer specialist work that will help them manage their deliveries in-house.