How to Become a Logistics Manager

Logistics Manager

A logistics manager deals with the storage and distribution of particular goods for a company. They organise the movement of products and have an active role in organising the supply chain.

A logistics manager has the role of organising and administering the storage and distribution of products and goods in the retail industry. They are in charge of ensuring that items are where they need to be at the right time and organise the costs and available personnel to make this happen. It is crucial that logistics managers have an awareness of the entire supply chain. Their job is collaborative; they must negotiate with other professionals, including raw material providers, consumers, retailers, and manufacturers. They are also expected to manage and supervise employees in the logistics team. 

The primary duties of a logistics manager will include: 

  • Managing levels of stock, times, and costs of deliveries. They will generally use IT systems to streamline these. 
  • Coordinating and controlling the order cycle of their deliveries and ensuring that they are in the place where they need to be at the right time. 
  • Evaluating the quality of the performance of previous deliveries and assessing how they can be improved. 
  • Managing resources in the supply chain, evaluating whether they are effective, and coming up with solutions if needed. 
  • Negotiating with customers and suppliers, by both expressing their needs in terms of the supply chain and dealing with any issues. 
  • Working with e-commerce, sometimes having an active part of developing it.

To become a logistics manager, most candidates will need a degree – and a growing number of applicants are also obtaining postgraduate qualifications. Relevant subjects include business, economics, and management, although some companies only consider applicants with a degree or masters in logistics or distribution management. 

Some companies offer graduate schemes for candidates who have just finished their degree, whereas some smaller businesses advertise graduate logistics vacancies with universities. 

Another route into this career is vocational – candidates could work in retail management or purchasing and learn about the supply chain this way. A few companies will accept applications from non-graduates, but it is increasingly competitive to get a job in this field with no degree. 

Candidates will benefit from obtaining relevant work experience. This could be shadowing a professional already in this position, working in a warehouse, or taking on an administration role. Previous experience of retail work will also strengthen an application. 

Logistics managers must work systematically and have excellent time management skills, as well as a positive, problem-solving mindset. Their duties will require them to work on different tasks at once and face problems analytically. They should have strong numeracy skills and be IT literate, as they will have to frequently use technology.

Interpersonal skills are also essential. Candidates need to work as part of a team and negotiate with others in the supply industry. They also need management skills and should be comfortable being in charge of a small team.

Logistics managers typically work more hours than average, and, if they are working for a company who offers 24 hour service, they may need to work shifts. They may have to travel around the country a lot, as part of their job is visiting warehouses and stores. They are typically provided with a company car.

A logistics manager career path will typically progress from goods distribution and management of storage centres, to being a general manager of larger units. In the most senior positions, logistics managers organise business development. Logistics managers will enjoy an increased salary as they move up the career ladder, as well as the opportunity to incur bonuses. 


What degree is most commonly held by a Logistics Manager ?

  • BA Political Science and Government
  • MA Foundations of Business
  • BA International Economics
  • BA Business Administration
  • BA Supply Chain Analytics

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
There is plenty of scope for overseas work when being a logistics manager. This is often temporary, but larger businesses with warehouses and offices abroad may allow employees to work overseas on a semi-permanent basis. Alternatively, experienced logistics managers could seek out vacancies abroad and, with the right knowledge and vocational background, could be successful when applying.

What is the Salary of a Logistics Manager ?

Experience Average salary | year
Logistics Manager 1-3 yrs $40,000 £40,000 $34,551
Logistics Manager 3-5 yrs $54,098 £50,000 $58,737
Logistics Manager 5-10 yrs $78,000 £58,000 $64,099

What skills are needed to become a Logistics Manager ?

  • Management
  • Logistics Management
  • Logistics
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Customer Service
  • Supply Chain
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Inventory Management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Project Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Procurement
  • Team Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Strategic Planning
  • Process Improvement
  • Transportation Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Project Planning
  • Purchasing

Logistics Manager Courses

Logistics managers should have a solid academic background. Therefore, taking supplementary courses will be immensely beneficial to strengthen an application to become a logistics manager. At FutureLearn, we have courses including introduction to international logistics and omni-channel retailing and supply chains.

  • Introduction to International Logistics

    Increase your understanding of the stages involved in international logistics management with this online logistics course

  • Principles of Global Logistics Management

    Discover the key concepts of a global distribution network including the physical characteristics of goods

  • Sustainability and Green Logistics: An Introduction

    Explore the principles of sustainability and understand how to create more sustainable logistics and procurement practices

  • Introduction to Humanitarian Logistics

    Understand the fundamentals of humanitarian logistics and discover supply chain management in a humanitarian context

  • Simulation for Logistics: An Introduction

    Discover logistics business simulation and explore the behaviour of logistics operations to identify problems in processes

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