Cargo and Freight Agents
SOC: 43-5011.00


Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
78,800 employed

Projected (2024):
84,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Air Export Coordinator
  • Assistant Import Manager
  • Booking Clerk
  • Cargo Agent
  • Cargo Operations Agent
  • Cargo Router
  • Container Coordinator
  • Department-Traffic-Freight Router
  • Director Surface Transportation
  • Documentation Clerk
  • Drop Shipment Clerk
  • Export Coordinator
  • Export Specialist
  • Export Traffic Department Manager
  • Fleet Manager/Dispatch
  • Freight Agent
  • Freight Booker
  • Freight Broker
  • Freight Coordinator
  • Freight Receiver
  • Freight Representative
  • Freight Router
  • Freight Shipping Agent
  • Head Shipper
  • Import Customer Service Manager
  • Import Customs Clearing Agent
  • Import Dispatcher
  • Import Manager
  • Import/Export Specialist
  • Independent Freight Agent
  • Intermodal Customer Service
  • Intermodal Dispatcher
  • International Coordinator
  • Interstate Planner
  • Lead Ramp Agent
  • Lead Ramp Service Man
  • Load Planner
  • Logistics Clerk
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Logistics Service Representative
  • Logistics Technician
  • Ocean Export Account Manager
  • Ocean Freight Agent (Both Import and Export)
  • Ocean Import Representative
  • Operation Agent
  • Operations Agent
  • Operations Clerk
  • Operations Manager
  • Operations Manager Assistant
  • Operations Manager/Coordinator
  • Operations/Dispatch
  • Ramp Service Agent
  • Ramp Service Man
  • Route Agent
  • Route Clerk
  • Shipper Receiver
  • Shipping Agent
  • Shipping Coordinator
  • Shipping Processor
  • Traffic Agent
  • Traffic Clerk
  • Transportation Agent
  • Transportation Broker
  • Transportation Clerk
  • Transportation Solutions Manager
  • Yardmaster/Customer Service/Crew Dispatching

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
  • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
  • Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles.
  • Track delivery progress of shipments.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
  • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
  • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Crow bars
  • Desktop computers
  • Electrical power unit
  • Forklifts
  • Hammers
  • Hand trucks
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Laser printers
  • Mobile air-conditioning units
  • Radio frequency identification RFID scanners
  • Staple guns
  • Steel cutters
  • Straight trucks
  • Strapping machines
  • Tow tractors
  • Two way radios
  • Wheel chocks
  • Brokerage software
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Database software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Posting software
  • SAP software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Transportation management software
  • Web browser software
  • Web-based dispatch software
  • Word processing software

  • office and administrative support

    industry stats

    SOC: 43-0000

    Total Employed: 21,846,420

    Average Annual Salary: $36,330