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Details for Cargo and Freight Agents


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.


  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and arrange for delivery.
  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Prepare manifests showing baggage, mail, and freight weights, and number of passengers on airplanes, and transmit data to destinations.
  • Determine method of shipment, and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Check import/export documentation to determine cargo contents, and classify goods into different fee or tariff groups, using a tariff coding system.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates, and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by using 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 marshalling 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 in order 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 in order 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.
  • Contact vendors and/or claims adjustment departments in order to resolve problems with shipments, or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, handtrucks, or other equipment.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles.
  • Obtain flight numbers, airplane numbers, and names of crew members from dispatchers, and record data on airplane flight papers.
  • Send samples of merchandise to quality control units for inspection.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • 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.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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