Logistics is a complex industry, and that complexity is reflected in the working life of a logistician. Logistics professionals carry out a diverse range of activities and shoulder a great deal of responsibility. Responsibility is a critical part of the job. Logistics is essential for almost all companies that bring products to market. Any logistics failures quickly become expensive and cause major problems. If you are keen to take on responsible roles and deal with constantly changing situations, logistics is the ideal career. But what is a logistician exactly? And what do logistician jobs involve? Find out more in this blog post.
What does a logistician do in today’s economy? There’s a lot to say but first, we need a basic logistician definition. At root, logistics is always concerned with ensuring that the flow of goods is planned, executed and controlled. A logistician coordinates this flow, ensuring that the required products are in the right place at the right time. For this purpose, logistics is divided into the following areas:
The logistician therefore works in a diverse field of activity and has a great deal of responsibility. Core tasks vary, depending on where they work. For instance, a logistics professional could be responsible for ensuring that goods or components get from A to B on time and safely. Or logistician jobs might include taking responsibility for ensuring that enough components reach production lines. An error in logistics often has far-reaching consequences and not infrequently causes high costs in the form of contractual penalties.
The task of the logisticians is therefore to make sure that supply chains run smoothly, and that all processes are perfected and optimised. The logistician ensures that the materials and components necessary for production are procured and in stock, but they also take care of transporting these components from the supplier or warehouse to the production site. After production, the logistician is responsible for interim storage. Here they must ensure that sufficient storage space is available. They must ensure that the finished products are delivered on time to the customer and the intermediaries, or to the company's own branches. And they have to manage the logistics of returns processes, picking up damaged or bad products, and disposing of leftovers from production.
All of this entails great responsibility. As mentioned above, errors in logistics not only quickly lead to delays that carry high penalties, but also create entirely different problems. For example, if the necessary raw materials are not available, then production comes to a standstill and the company loses money. If perishable food arrives too late, then the goods are inedible and must be disposed of. We now know the answer to the question of what does a logistician do? Logisticians take responsibility for supply chains and manage a diverse range of tasks to achieve this.
As you have already learned above, the logistics sector is a wide-ranging profession with many different activities and a high level of responsibility. In most companies, it is impossible for one person alone to handle all of these tasks. In practice, logistics is therefore divided into different departments and areas. Each area is handled by different professions. So if you want to get into logistician jobs, you usually have to choose one of these areas. let’s explore what they are, and the activities they involve.
The Logistics Manager is a leadership position. Here you will be responsible for several different areas at the same time. It is therefore vital to be familiar with many of the topics that you will be confronted with as a logistics manager. Tasks range from marketing and business administration to communication and sales management. Furthermore, as a logistics manager you often also take care of human resources and take responsibility for the training and qualifications of employees assigned to you. Depending on how big your company is, as a logistics manager you could be responsible for a larger number of people. You might lead a team, a department or division, a branch, or even an entire business.
Control, planning and optimisation of operational processes
Personnel responsibility, further training and qualification
Regional order and quotation costing
Control tasks and audit activities
Creation of marketing and sales strategies
CBS offers several study programmes that enable you to pursue a career as a logistics manager. For example, these include the dual course of study to become a logistics manager, business studies with a focus on logistics or a course of study in supply chain management. This way you will be well equipped for the profession of a logistician.
The supply chain manager is not only responsible for one element of logistics, but for the entire supply chain. Here, your job will be to ensure that the entire supply chain functions smoothly and without interruption. Many factors play an important role in this. After all, it is not only about technical and material resources or finances, but also about the human component. You will be in contact with suppliers, subcontractors and, of course, your own team, with whom you have to discuss and optimize processes. The supply chain manager is therefore a logistician who is responsible for the big picture and does not just have to take care of one sub-area.
Monitoring and control of the supply chain as a whole
Contact with customers, subcontractors and suppliers
Contact with your own team to optimize processes
Management of material and technical resources
CBS offers several logistics degree programmes that will help you get started as a logistics specialist. The Master's programme in Global Supply Chain Management or the Master's programme in Logistics and Supply Chain Management are particularly recommended. However, it is also possible to start with a business administration or logistics management degree. That is a good route if you already have professional experience as a logistics specialist.
In the areas of materials management and logistics, the dispatcher not only has an overview, but above all a vision. In your work as a dispatcher, you will be significantly involved in the profitability of your company. As a dispatcher in a freight forwarding company, for example, you would be responsible for coordinating trucks and transports. This would require planning to ensure that all trucks are optimally utilised. But you may also need to schedule other transport methods, such as by sea, rail and air. You will be responsible for ensuring that goods are collected on the right day and at the right time and delivered to the customer on time. If you make a mistake, the customer will receive their goods too late or, in the worst case, not at all. When that happens, your company will have to pay a lot of money as a contractual penalty.
Planning the timely collection of freight and goods
Planning the timely delivery of freight and goods
Planning of air, sea and rail transports
Management of all trucks and their classification
Coordination of the various transports, stopovers, etc.
If you are planning a career in logistics as a dispatcher, then you will find several suitable degree programmes at CBS that will enable you to start your career. Our logistics management degree programme is particularly recommended here, but a business administration degree with a focus on management and logistics is also welcome. Alternatively, a Master's degree in supply chain management is also an option.
After completing a logistics degree, you have numerous job opportunities. Wherever logistics takes place, i.e. where goods have to be transported, managed and scheduled, logisticians are needed. The field of application ranges from retail to haulage companies to suppliers of car parts. In this section you will learn about some of the places where you could work as a logistician.
Logisticians are commonly found in forwarding agencies and warehouses. In these settings, they are responsible for managing the warehouse and taking care of order processing. They ensure that the various goods of the freight forwarder are at the customer's premises on time and undamaged. And they check that there is sufficient storage space and that any bottlenecks are identified and compensated for at an early stage. Logisticians are also needed in all companies that produce something. The automotive industry is a classic example, but logistics is crucial in general manufacturing as well. As a logistician, you have to make sure that production goes ahead and that all necessary parts and materials are available or ordered, and delivered on time. In this context, logistics employees often work at suppliers, for example in the automotive industry or in the energy sector. Especially in the latter, you have an enormous responsibility, as you sometimes have to ensure the energy supply not only regionally, but also supraregionally or even globally.
As you can see, there are many logistician jobs with various activities. As a logistics specialist, you may only work in one area or for a single company that operates regionally or within Germany. However, you may also be responsible for logistics in Europe or even worldwide. Logisticians who are usually not only active in one area of the supply chain but take care of the entire supply are also called supply chain managers. Managing supply chains is a huge task, with a lot of responsibility.
We have already answered the question of what a logistician does. But what does a logistician actually earn? After all, logisticians have great responsibility and carry out important tasks. In this section, we answer this question and briefly discuss the salary of a logistician.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine the exact salary you will receive as a logistician. Many influences and factors that can affect your earnings. However, it’s safe to assume that you will have no financial worries in this profession. Depending on your qualifications and degree, you can earn quite a lot. You can generally expect an average salary of around 3000 euros per month.
Here you can find out exactly how the salary of a logistician is determined, which factors influence salaries, and how you can maximize your earnings. Check out our page about logistician salaries, which deals specifically and intensively with this question.
Hopefully you now know a basic logistician definition and you are more familiar with what logistics experts actually do on a daily basis. We’ve also covered where logisticians work, and what roles there are to choose from within the profession. Overall, it’s important to remember that logistics is a wide-ranging profession that not only requires all your knowledge, but also gives you a great deal of responsibility and excellent earning potential. If you are looking for an exciting career where no two days are the same and you can actively contribute to the success of your company, then a career in logistics is an excellent choice.
Have we sparked your interest in a logistics career? At CBS, you have a choice of several relevant degree programmes with which you can start your career as a logistician. Find out more about our Logistics & Supply Chain Management degree programmes and the prerequisites and course requirements on the Logistics Studies Pillar page.
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