what is a logistics manager?

As a logistics manager, you help your employer maintain their inventory levels and ensure they have enough raw materials for production activities. The responsibility for overseeing the purchase and distribution of items in a supply chain looks simple but involves complex processes. For instance, if you work in a manufacturing plant for shoes, you source the raw materials, including cloth, rubber and plastic. These come from various suppliers and should be ordered on precise schedules to avoid production delays. Apart from raw materials, you also source packaging items like boxes and labels.

what does a logistics manager do?

In logistics, you have to find a balance between costs and benefits. For instance, if you order excess raw materials to minimise transportation expenses, you incur warehouse costs. Your role as a logistics manager is to optimise the supply chain to ensure your employer has what they need in the right amounts and at the appropriate time to keep the costs low. Due to the broad scope of the role, a logistics manager should have exceptional multitasking skills to juggle various tasks and ensure the supply chain functions are accomplished.

Would working as a logistics manager suit your organisational skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a logistics manager role.

logistics manager jobs

logistics manager salary

According to ONS, the average salary of a logistics manager in the UK is £33,606 per year. When you are starting your career with less than a year of experience, your median salary is £24,000 per year. The compensation package increases as your gain experience. When you have up to 4 years of experience, your earnings start at £29,861 annually. Logistics managers with advanced training and years of experience earn over £47,000 per year.

Unlike other professions with commissions, logistics managers rely on overtime hours and annual bonuses to increase their compensation package. They also receive medical insurance, allowances and non-monetary benefits like paid holidays.

what factors affect the salary of a logistics manager?

Many companies are willing to pay more for experienced logistics managers due to their value to an organisation. Supply chain management usually involves developing or applying complex strategies that require expertise. You can demand a higher compensation package when you have over five years of experience in supply chain roles. Your educational qualifications also determine earning potential since most employers prefer degree holders. Having postgraduate qualifications scales your salary. As you improve your academic qualifications, your skills improve, boosting your earnings.

The industry sector and company size also influence your pay. For instance, you are likely to earn more in manufacturing firms since the role involves inbound and outbound logistics functions. However, in the retail business, logistics functions are often inbound. A company with unlimited resources is also likely to pay more than medium-sized businesses with few logistics functions.


Male and female operator working together. Smiling. Caucasian man and Asian woman. Tech environment. Factory. Primary color white. Secondary color blue.
Male and female operator working together. Smiling. Caucasian man and Asian woman. Tech environment. Factory. Primary color white. Secondary color blue.

types of logistics managers

The main types of logistics managers include:

  • inbound logistics managers: as a logistics manager, your sole focus can be on the incoming flow of resources needed to produce products or services. Your responsibilities in inbound logistics are to manage suppliers' inventories and ensure transportation schedules are aligned with production schedules to prevent delays.
  • outbound logistics managers: as an outbound logistics manager, you focus on delivering products on time to consumers. For instance, you ensure the finished products are packaged and dispatched on time to meet customers' delivery schedules. You also maintain inventory in warehouses.


working as a logistics manager

Logistics managers are responsible for organising the delivery and storage of various commodities in a company. You also manage the inventory, negotiate contracts with suppliers and ensure you stick to purchase budgets.


education and skills

Logistics managers need the following academic qualifications:

  • university: a logistics manager requires a bachelor's degree or a foundation degree from an institution approved by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). You can pursue a course in supply chain management, business management or logistics. After the degree programme, you should join internships or explore further training to become a manager.
  • apprenticeship: you can work on a supply chain practitioner or logistics advanced apprenticeship and build your career steadily to a logistics manager position. Apprenticeships usually require at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, including maths and English.

skills and competencies

A logistics manager will find the following skills valuable:

  • problem-solving skills: as the head of the logistics team, you deal with multiple challenges, from daily delivery details to shipping restrictions and shortage of storage space. Exceptional problem-solving skills will help you balance time limitations and ensure problems are resolved before affecting the entire supply chain. 
  • organisational skills: as a logistics manager, you need organisational skills to keep up with delivery schedules and inventory records. Having detailed records and reports documenting warehouse activities makes your job manageable since you can use the records as reference points.
  • flexibility: sometimes logistics activities fall off schedule, and your job is to ensure the delay doesn't affect other logistic events. Flexibility helps you adapt to the changing situations and rework your plans.
  • leadership skills: as a logistics manager, you are a leader, and you need to inspire and motivate your team. It is also crucial to understand the value of each worker to ensure you utilise their skills appropriately.



FAQs about working as a logistics manager

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