New Year is traditionally a time to take stock, re-evaluate and set goals for the coming 12 months. For many, this means contemplating a career progression or even a completely new change of professional direction. If you're already in transport and logistics and looking to spread your wings, or considering starting a career in this wide-ranging industry, there are plenty of options to set you on the path to a very rewarding and profitable future. |
HGV, Truck or Van Driver
Becoming a driver is probably the most common way of getting a foothold in the industry and, for many, it's the ideal job. Whether you go it alone and set up operations as an owner-driver, or take up full-time employment with one of the larger haulage companies, for those who like a high degree of independence and a life spent on the road it can be very enjoyable. Within the parameters of the title "driver" you could be driving a car, bus, van, LGV (large goods vehicle) or HGV (heavy goods vehicle). If you take on work as a courier you'll be working locally, while for those who work as truck owner-drivers or are employed by haulage companies you'll be driving across country and, in some cases, internationally.
Skills required: You'll need to have the appropriate licenses and a clean driving record. Apart from that you'll need to have patience as a virtue (for driving in traffic) and it's a good idea to upskill regularly with defensive (or related) driving courses.
Logistics/Supply Chain Workers
Logistics is a broad term and the career opportunities within the field are many and varied. Generally speaking, the jobs entail handling and distribution of goods/cargo and, at a managerial or co-ordinator level, planning and facilitating that process – commonly known as the "supply chain".
Skills required: Organisation, organisation, organisation! The key prerequisite for a job in logistics (at any level) is being a good planner. You'll need to be a big picture thinker, with good analytical and problem solving skills. You'll also need to be able to make quick, effective decisions under pressure.
There are myriad opportunities to work at the coalface of the transport and logistics industry in a warehouse. While the job is invariably physical, there's plenty of scope to move into a supervisory or managerial position quite quickly if you work for one of the larger haulage companies. You'll be expected to undertake a variety of tasks including loading and moving goods, inventory, taking deliveries, packing, picking and organising goods.
Skills required: This will depend on the size and type of the company, but you may require special licenses/tickets for particular machinery like forklifts or hoists. You'll definitely need to be in fairly good physical shape, a quick learner, able to take direction and be able to think on your feet. New Year, New Career!
For those looking for a career with longevity and plenty of opportunities, getting into the transport and logistics industry can yield a very rewarding and lucrative career. So if your New Year's resolution was to move on and move up professionally, all you need to do is…get moving!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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