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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.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
    • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
    • Track delivery progress of shipments.
    • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
    • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
    • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
    • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
    • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
    • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
    • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
    • Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
    • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
    • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
    • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
    • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
    • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
    • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
    • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
    • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items, such as machines or vehicles.
    • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
    • Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
    • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
    • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
    • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.


    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

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


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Written Comprehension

      The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.


    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • 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.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop


    • Ohio Annual Salary 41620/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 20.01/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 3,370
    • Yearly Projected Openings 340

    Typical Education


    Conventional: People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    • Dependability
    • Independence
    • Achievement/Effort


    • Forklifts
    • Desktop computers
    • Cargo trucks
    • Aircraft pushback or tow tractors
    • Air conditioners


    • Word processing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Office suite software
    • Mobile location based services software
    • Data base user interface and query software


    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.

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    Workforce Supply Tool

    Workforce Supply Tool

    The Workforce Supply Tool provides statistics for the occupations in highest demand throughout Ohio.

    You can view statewide statistics as well as more region specific information.

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