5 Major Duties of an Excellent and Focused Shipping Manager

Posted On 23th February 2024

Why hire a shipping manager? If you do hire a Shipping Manager what is their Job Description?

The job of the modern-day shipping manager should be limited to the following duties:

  1. Ensuring every shipping unit (pallet) and boxes on the pallet are loaded efficiently. This means making the pallet as square or rectangular as possible, with no overhang over the edges of the skid, and loading the packages as high as possible without the top boxes crushing the bottom boxes assuming more than one layer. Also, the ideal is a skid that fits the freight – so no overhang but no wasted space on top of the skid also since you are paying for the LXWXH of the skid so you want to minimize the cubic volume.
  2. Ensuring that whatever is on the skid is bound to the skid in 2 directions with 2 to 4 straps, and shrunk wrap in such a way as to prevent moisture from getting in the skid from the sides OR top.
  3. Weighing the freight, and taking dimensions of the freight, taking pictures to prove it, saving to a file with Shipment’s BOL#. This will be decisive in any disputes with the Carriers. Note Shipper is legally liable for shipping incorrect weights and misdescribed freight.
  4. Carefully looking over the Bill of Lading – the legal document giving a particular Carrier temporary custody and responsibility and limited liability for the shipment while it is in transit to the Receiver. Make sure billing is correct. Also, make sure weights and dimensions and commodity descriptions are 100% accurate. Add verbiage if necessary. Make sure your client’s requirements for delivery are 100% “spelled out” in the bill of lading (ie Liftgate required, appointment required, etc). When a truck arrives inspect to make sure there are no holes in the sides or ceilings of the container or “van,” if a refrigerated van make sure the temperature is set correctly and the unit is working. Look at the Bill of Lading – what Trucking Company and DOT are specified on the Bill of Lading? Confirm that is the ACTUAL TRUCKER picking up the freight by checking the Door of the Truck for DOT# should be painted on permanently and that you are not dealing with a thief or double-brokered trucker who might not be aware they have been “double-brokered”. Take a copy of the Driver’s License and get his Cell Number written on all copies of the BOL. Load the truck with the driver out of the way but watching the loading – have him sign the Bill of Lading – if the truck needs to be Sealed – if it was booked for “exclusive use” seal the truck and note the Seal number on the BOL and also take a picture.
  5. Forward all pictures you took to your 3PL or Freight Broker of record.

What the Shipping Manager Should Not Be Doing:

The shipping manager should NOT be the Trucking Vendor Manager as such. It is more efficient to have actual Salespeople or Customer Service Agents book the outgoing freight on a 4PL platform like FreightRun.com where you get all the carriers you or the shipping manager want, at the price you need, at in fact a lower price than you can get directly, plus you have Freight Specialists at FreightRun.com to babysit the freight from your shipping dock to your clients.

Excellent and Focused Shipping Manager

The shipping manager also should NOT be the Purchasing Manager’s logistics assistant. For that again either the Purchasing Manager can manage the entire matrix of incoming freight from FreightRun.com online – or can collaborate with a Freight Specialist at FreightRun to be their Incoming Freight Specialist (or Assistant Purchasing Manager if you will) – and keep that entire matrix updated daily and this same Freight Specialist can coordinate with PM and your dock staff to coordinate deliveries so things don’t jam up your shipping dock or warehouse at inopportune times.

The shipping manager should not be daily putting out to a bunch of different Carriers and Brokers “Requests for Quotes”. What this does actually is drive your prices up as those Brokers and Carriers will all be posting internally and externally to seek out drivers/trucks for that one load and it will look like – to the trucking community out there – that there is more demand out there than there really is – this leads to all the Carriers increasing their price because they think there are 3 to 10 extra loads in that same lane when actually it is just one shipper with one load behind those postings.

Really again the duty should be with Customer Service or Sales on the outgoing freight as it is part of your client’s experience – and should be optimized for each client – and working with one Freight Specialist at FreightRun will get you the best result possible price and service wise.

You also have no need to pay up to hire a Logistics Director for your company if you are a small to midsize company – they will not add sufficient value at your scale they will only make you less lean and put an additional layer of bureaucracy between you and your client.

Move a few shipments with FreightRun and insist on working with different Freight Specialists until you settle on one, get them familiar with your requirements in or out or both, and they will be functionally like a free employee of your Company and a valuable resource.

Further, your Company Owner, CEO, Manager, or CFO can demand from FreightRun quarterly reports on the freight metrics they are interested most in so that they can control for $/lb, $/mile, $ of freight costs per $ of product shipped all of which can feed into the Company’s sales estimation and marketing processes.

The Company Leaders can highlight to the Freight Specialist certain logistics goals and FreightRun can customize programs to achieve your Company’s specific goals.

Contact FreightRun today!