How The Strong Inventory Relates to a Career as a Cargo and Freight Agent

The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is a tool that assesses a person’s interests and preferences in various professional fields and is used for career counseling and development. It is based on the theory that proposes that people’s career choices and satisfaction are influenced by their personality traits and preferences. The Conventional Theme code in the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment is one of the six interest themes. The Conventional Theme Code is associated with people who are organized, detail-oriented, and enjoy working with data and information in structured and predictable environments. Individuals categorized in this theme code may be drawn to careers in fields such as accounting, data analysis, and administrative support. Cargo and freight agents are individuals who work in the transportation industry and are responsible for coordinating and arranging the shipment of goods by air, sea, or land. According to the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment, these individuals are classified under the Conventional theme code, indicating that they enjoy working with detailed information, a structured environment, and deciphering data.

What Does a Cargo and Freight Agent Do?

A cargo and freight agent are a professional who coordinates and manages the transportation and shipment of goods and materials across various modes of transportation. Their primary duty is to ensure that goods are shipped safely, efficiently, and on time. Cargo and freight agents typically work in transportation companies, shipping agencies, and port facilities. They interact with customers, carriers, and other transportation and logistics professionals to ensure that shipments are delivered on time, within budget, and according to the specified requirements of each shipment.

A Cargo and Freight Agent’s Day-to-Day Tasks and Tools

A cargo and freight agent’s daily tasks involve preparing shipping documents, negotiating rates and services with carriers, tracking shipments, and resolving any issues that arise during transit. Cargo and freight agents may specialize in handling specific types of cargo, such as hazardous materials or perishable goods, or handling shipments to and from specific regions or countries. Some cargo and freight agents may also specialize in arranging transportation for oversized or overweight loads, which require specialized equipment and handling.

As stated by The Dept’ of Labor, The Following Work Tasks are Most Often Completed by Cargo and Freight Agents:

  • Manage operational activities.
  • Convey financial arrangements.
  • Check shipping information to make routing decisions.
  • Make an inventory of goods or materials.
  • Keep operational records.
  • Suggest packing or shipping procedures.
  • Coordinate insurance coverage.
  • Package objects for delivery.
  • Estimate shipping expenditures.
  • Send out notifications to customers or clients.
  • Document shipping details.
  • Manage clerical or administrative employees.

(Retrieved from O’ Cargo and Freight Agents Career. Career Code: 43-5011.00 Detailed Work Activities)

Core Activities for Cargo and Freight Agent:

  • Convey and organize transport of goods and products with shipping or freight companies.
  • Establish the method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Trace delivery updates of shipments.
  • Inform clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Evaluate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Maintain records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Inform consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Recover stored items and trace lost shipments as needed.
  • Input shipping data into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Organize manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transferring data to destinations.
  • Coordinate insurance coverage for goods.
  • Instate straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.

(Retrieved from O’ Cargo and Freight Agents Career. Career Code: 43-5011.00 Tasks-Core-Category)

Their tools of the trade may include computer systems to manage shipping schedules and track shipments, software programs to manage inventory and pricing, and communication devices to stay in touch with clients, carriers, and other personnel. Additionally, they may also use specialized tools and machinery related to the packaging and handling of goods, such as pallet jacks, hand trucks, and loading docks. They may also use tools to inspect and measure the size and weight of items, as well as to prepare and secure cargo for transportation. The use of these tools and technologies is essential to the efficient and effective operation of the cargo and freight industry and helps cargo and freight agents to ensure that shipments are delivered on time and in good condition.

Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) Conventional Theme Code Cargo and Freight Agents Careers

Learn all about a career as a Cargo and Freight Agent, including career stats such as median salary, daily tasks, required education, employment growth, and more!

Experience and Education

In terms of education, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually the minimum requirement for becoming a cargo and freight agent. However, many employers prefer agents with some college education or relevant experience in the transportation industry.

On-the-job training is common in this field, and it can last several weeks to several months, depending on the employer and the complexity of the job. During this time, trainees learn about the procedures and protocols for handling freight and cargo, as well as the company’s specific policies and procedures. They also learn about the industry, including customs regulations, shipping laws, and documentation requirements. The trainee may also be taught how to use various tools, technologies, and software programs used in the cargo and freight industry, such as freight management systems, cargo tracking systems, and communication tools. Some employers may provide additional training programs to help agents grow and advance in their careers.

Additionally, agents may also choose to seek certifications from professional organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to the industry.

Salary and wages

On average, the median salary for a cargo and freight agent is around $45,000 per year in the United States. This can range from $30,000 to $70,000 or more. To increase their salary, cargo, and freight agents can consider working for a larger company or moving to a city with a higher cost of living, which usually has higher salaries for similar positions. Additionally, some companies may offer bonuses or commissions based on the number of shipments they handle or the volume of cargo they transport, which can increase their overall earnings.

Below are some employment trends for Cargo and Freight Agents:

  •     Median Salary:     $22.55 hourly, $46,910 annual
  •     Employment:     88,600 employees
  •     Projected growth (2021-2031): Faster than average (8% to 10%)
  •     Projected job openings (2021-2031): 11,200
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections