Freight & Shipping

Shipping and freight can span several modes of transportation, from air and rail to the all-important shipping routes. Because of that there are a huge number of jobs within the industry. Whether you’re just starting out in a career in shipping or you’ve got years of experience, browse our job listings below or contact our freight recruitment team for the most recent roles.

Latest Jobs in Freight & Shipping

Without Freight and Shipping, our supermarkets would have far less food on the shelves and ordering your favourite products online from businesses based abroad would be far more difficult. Here we’ll explain how the industry works, and what it’s like to work at the heart of it. 

The first important point to make is that Freight and Shipping do not exclusively refer to transportation of goods by sea. Goods can also be transported by land or air. Freight refers to large orders of goods, usually sold commercially between businesses who need to purchase products in bulk at low cost. If transported by sea, the products are usually carried in huge cargo containers. 

Shipping refers to the transportation of far smaller quantities of goods. These goods are usually consumer products ordered for personal use, such as those books you ordered from Amazon last week. These smaller deliveries make shipping more expensive than freight. However, you probably wouldn’t want a freight order of books; unless you read about 500 a week. 

Despite this important difference, Freight and Shipping are interrelated and freight and shipping recruiters will usually look for candidates who have expertise in both, at least until you have gained a few years of experience and can specialise in one or the other. Working in international Freight and Shipping is an excellent career move, because orders that need to be transported over long distances cost more, meaning that the companies who provide the logistics for their transportation make some of the industry’s largest profits and pay some of its largest salaries. 

Freight Forwarders make managing the logistics involved in Freight & Shipping convenient and cost-effective for a range of businesses. These businesses are then able to spend more time making great products and building fantastic relationships with retailers and customers overseas, rather than having to dedicate a huge amount of time to ensure that their shipments actually reach their destinations. 

Customs Brokers play a crucial role in Freight and Shipping. They often work closely with Freight Forwarders or are employed by them. These brokers are experts on customs laws and advise manufacturers on how to avoid delays at the border by ensuring that all regulatory boxes have been checked and any applicable taxes and duties have been paid when products arrive at their import destination. As each country has slightly different customs laws, an expert in local legislation can be key to avoiding delays and consequent damage to the quality of both shipments and client services. 

3PLs (Third-party logistics providers) can also provide full-service Freight Forwarding services. They take care of the entire import/export process and manage the packing and warehousing of goods as well as arranging their transportation. If your goods need to be stored in between various stages of their journey, a Freight Forwarder won’t manage this for you.  European or global 3PLs are perfect for businesses who export to Europe but don’t have time to research available warehouse space in the French countryside and monitor the condition of their goods while they are in storage. If any product is damaged while in storage, a 3PL will fix the situation. This makes the whole process of exporting easy for manufacturers. 

EMCs (Export management companies) combine the services that you would expect from a 3PL with other local services in the country whose market a manufacturer would like to enter. From arranging marketing and legal support to finding dealers and distributors, or placing you in direct contact with clients, EMCs make the whole process of exporting easy for manufacturers who make great products but lack the local knowledge to successfully compete with local manufacturers. 

ETCs (Export Trading Company) - An ETC finds gaps in the market in foreign countries and then finds manufacturers based domestically who can take advantage of these opportunities. If EMCs are on the ‘sell’ side, then ETCs are on the ‘buy’ side of the process. ETCs can significantly reduce the risk for manufacturers by ensuring that there is a healthy enough market for their product(s) to make the costs involved in exporting worth it for them. 

Import/Export Merchants buy products (usually in bulk) from foreign or domestic manufacturers and then take care of the whole transportation, packaging, sale and storage process themselves. This is great for manufacturers because they sell to a buyer in their home country and don’t have to worry about exporting. However, if manufacturers use one of these merchants then they wouldn’t be entitled to a percentage of the profits made from sales of their product(s) abroad. On the other hand, they are protected from suffering huge losses if their goods fail to sell in foreign markets. 

Customs Administrators play a pivotal role in the entire process. If a manufacturer’s shipment doesn’t arrive with the submission of the appropriate paperwork to customs authorities, it won’t get through customs. Often open 24/7, these administrators can clear shipments whenever they arrive so that port delays are minimised and goods arrive at their destinations on time and in perfect condition.

  • Clearing Shipments through customs (monitor FedEx/UPS clearances) 
  • Review of Broker requirements 
  • Commercial Invoices 
  • Clear offline shipment invoices 
  • Prepare KPI Broker Reports 
  • Record keeping of import documents for FedEx and UPS 
  • Building relationships with existing clients through phone and email.
  • Creating relationships with new clients in the same way. 
  •  Using an excellent understanding of deep-sea import & export to add exceptional value to clients. 
  • Using an excellent understanding of the paperwork required by customs to clear shipments as efficiently as possible. 
  • Working seamlessly within your team.
  • Managing job bookings around the world
  • Managing paperwork and raising new files 
  • Invoicing jobs on completion 
  • Extensive client liaison to maximise business 
  • Extensive supplier negotiation to minimise costs 
  • Processing jobs through a freight software system 
  • Populating internal analysis and key statistics 
  • Managing jobs from start to finish, offering exceptional client service at every stage

The variety of roles available in this industry is phenomenal. From logistics to law, whatever you love to do, you can find the perfect job for you in Freight and Shipping. As your career progresses you can either find a senior job in one of the industry’s leading companies, use your experience to start your own business or move to a similar role in a different sector, such as a marketing manager for a food manufacturer or as a leading commercial negotiator and dealmaker. Some of the key skills required to progress through a variety of roles in the industry are: 

  • Organisation - Paperwork has to been in order at all times and submitted on time. The slightest mistake could cost thousands of pounds in lost business. All successful businesses across the industry rely on exceptionally organised staff to ensure that operations are running smoothly at all times. 

  • IT expertise - If clients phone up and enquire about their order, sales personnel will need to find the information that these clients are asking for immediately. Quality IT systems are essential to pull up this information on the computer screen within moments, in order to offer clients phenomenal service at all times. 

  • Language skills - Many of the most lucrative opportunities in the industry involve international commerce, making an ability to speak and write fluently in a number of foreign languages a crucial asset. Being able to speak to a German client in their own language, rather than expecting them to learn English before speaking to you, will make an excellent first impression and could help your company to clinch vital deals. 

  • Time management - You may well have to manage multiple shipments, using several different methods of transportation in several different countries, simultaneously. Clients expect you to give all of their shipments equal attention. If you spend all of your time concentrating on a deep-sea freight cargo and forget to monitor a truck shipment, you will spend hours and hours working but still have to deal with an unhappy client the next day. On the other hand, if you obsessively call everybody involved every five minutes, you’ll also end up with unhappy clients. Finding ways to give everyone the perfect amount of attention, while still having enough time in your day to complete other tasks will be crucial to ensuring both their happiness and your own personal wellbeing. Good time management also helps people to stop thinking about work when they go home, as they know that they did everything possible to create fantastic client experiences during the day, and will come back tomorrow do the same again. 

  • Negotiation - Agreeing on delivery of the right quantity of goods, at the right time, at the right price is essential for success in this industry. Small differences in the price could make huge differences to a company’s profit margins. Negotiators who can remain calm under pressure and make sure that even the tensest negotiations result in contracts slanted in their favour are invaluable assets for any business, particularly in the Freight and Shipping industry. 

  • Problem-solving - Thinking outside the box under pressure can solve some of the toughest problems, and provide innovations that your competitors haven’t considered attempting yet. 

  • Numeracy - Understanding quickly how transactions will impact a business’s cash flow is a vitally important skill in this highly competitive industry. 

  • Teamwork - You’ll have to liaise with multiple people, possible across several different countries. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and then letting people work on the projects that they are best suited to is key to any team’s success. 

  • Cultural Sensitivity - Appreciating that people in different countries do things slightly differently, and then adjusting to their styles of working will win you many friends (and customers) in the Freight and Shipping industry. Good geographical knowledge is also important. 

  • Communication - Did you want fifteen pallets of fifty? Lack of clarity in communication will cause major problems in this industry. 

  • Planning - Logistics and planning are a bit like houseplants and pots. If you have one without the other, you’ll create a huge mess. 

Localnational and international business make the Freight and Shipping industry as competitive as it is. TLP Recruitment is immensely proud of our strong relationships with some of the industry’s biggest names. Here are just a few of them:

MSC is a world leader in global container shipping and a company offering global service with local knowledge. MSC also provides an integrated network of road, rail and sea transport resources which stretches across the globe. 

DHL offers ocean, air, rail and road freight products for cargo transportation. Customers can ship palletised, non-palletised and out-of-gauge cargo.

Port Xpress 
For fifteen years, the Port Express team have provided a range of innovative UK-based container transport services to some of the largest companies in the world, while remaining efficient and cost-effective at all times. They operate from the UK cities which are closest to the country’s main trade entry-points to ensure that delays at ports are kept to an absolute minimum. They then transport goods to their destinations using the very latest technology, including a series of next-generation container trucks with refrigerated trailers. These trailers ensure that products that are best served chilled reach their destinations in immaculate condition. They are so special because of their underslung gensets, which can remain attached to the trailer for multiple journeys. Only the container needs to be changed after each journey, saving a huge amount of time and significantly increasing the number of deliveries that can be carried out on behalf of Port Express’s clients each day.

TLP works closely with Port Express to source talented staff, who have the expertise, creativity and passion required to lead the UK’s container transport industry for years to come. 

Hutchison Ports 
Hutchison Ports own some of the most significant ports around the world. With multiple presences across the Americas, Europe, The Middle East, Asia and Australasia, the Group looks to bring different talents from around the world together to develop efficient, technologically advanced ports that serve their local communities as well as they serve the global businesses whose goods pass through them every day. 
Founded in Hong Kong as the Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock Company in 1866, Hutchison Ports have matched their global growth with a truly inspiring global CSR programme. A flagship aspect of this corporate social responsibility, the Hutchison Ports Dock School programme has financed the construction of two school libraries and a brand-new science pond in Felixstowe alone. Across the Group’s global locations, children’s lives are being changed by access to fantastic educational opportunities. If you want to be a part of a Group that is innovating the way that the world trades, whilst making sure that its wealth is passed on to the next generation, then Hutchison Ports may well have a team that you would fit into perfectly. Thanks to its global presence, the Group can offer international opportunities everywhere from Belgium to Brisbane. 

Work is mostly office-based and can be stressful. You will probably spend a lot of time on the phone to clients and suppliers, as well as regularly communicating with them by email. It is important to create strategies for working under pressure so that the tight deadlines that are an unshakeable part of the industry don’t stress you out. You’ll often be working in small teams, so it’s vitally important to build great relationships with the people who you’re working alongside. As well as increasing the team’s productivity as a whole, these relationships will allow you all to get through tense periods together and come out of them stronger. High-pressure deals can put you in a very lonely place if you don’t have colleagues who you can have a laugh with while talking about something completed unrelated to work, while you’re on a break. 

Introducing our Freight and Shipping Recruitment Team

Our freight recruitment team specialise in shipping and freight forwarding jobs so you can be assured that they can help find the perfect candidate or role for you. Contact us today if you want more information. 

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