Cargo Agents

Freight and cargo agents prepare, arrange, and track outgoing and incoming shipments in train, airline, shipping docks, and trucking terminals. They speed up shipments by deciding the route that shipments will take. The major work of these agents is to prepare all necessary documents.

Job Prospect
The work of cargo and freight is to take orders from customers. Subsequently, they organize for pickup of cargo or freight and arrange its delivery to loading platforms. Freight and cargo agents may keep and maintain records of the cargo comprising of its weight, amount type, destination, dimensions, and time of shipment. They record of missing commodities and tally the condition of damaged items.

Freight and cargo agents organize cargo as per its destination. Their work also involves determining shipping rates and order charges, which generally apply to freight. For exported or imported freight, they examine that the appropriate customs paperwork is in the right order. Freight and cargo track shipments electronically using bar codes. They are responsible to answer customers' questions related to shipments.

Work Environment
Freight and cargo agents work in a broad variety institutions, businesses, and industries. Some agents work stockrooms, warehouses, receiving and shipping rooms that may not be temperature controlled. Some agents spend their time in cold storage rooms. Freight and cargo agents may need to carry out the work by standing, walking, bending, and stretching. Most of the times, freight and cargo agents lift and carry out small items. However, automated devices have minimized the physical demands of this profession. Sometimes, the work can be exhausting in spite of automated devices are used to lift and carry out heavy items. Generally, the working days are five from Monday to Friday. Nonetheless, weekend and evening hours are common in jobs that incorporate large shipments.

Educational Qualification
Freight and cargo agents need to have completed a high school diploma. They learn other duties and enhance skills on the job. Most cargo and freight agents have started their career by working as helpers. They started work by attaching labels, checking items, and ensuring that addresses are correct. Some employers offer special training to their workers in handling advanced equipments.

Candidates who wish to get into this field need to have computer knowledge. This knowledge may include filing, recordkeeping, typing, and other clerical skills. Usually, opportunities for freight and cargo agents are limited. However, expert professionals working in this field may get into another business where they utilize their clerical experience. These freight and cargo agents may have to deal with the following responsibilities.


Freight and cargo agents have to route received goods to the available flight and proper storage areas or departments using hand-trucks, forklifts, and other required equipments. These agents assemble containers and transport items such as vehicles and machines. They need to attach labels, shipping instructions to containers, and identification codes.

Cargo and freight agents also need to supervise and coordinate activities of workers such as shipping merchandise and packing. They examine vans and trucks to make sure cleanliness while shipping items like flour, milk, and grain. They install braces, straps, and paddling to loads to prevent damage at the time of shipment.

Employment Opportunity
Freight and cargo agents held approximately 86, 000 jobs in 2006. Most cargo and freight agents were hired in transportation. Approximately forty-four percent worked in organizations related to support activities for the transportation industry. Some agents worked in air transportation industry, courier businesses, and truck transportation industry.

Employment is expected to grow in freight and cargo industry by 16 percent during the 2006 to 2016 decade. The increasing number of agents shall be required to deal with shipments. Generally, annual earnings of freight and cargo agents in May 2006 were $37, 110. Therefore, candidates wishing to get into this field have good future.

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