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Freight managers need strong negotiation and persuasive skills

Transporting goods is an unpredictable business. Bad weather and unfortunate accidents may prevent items from arriving on time at the correct location, and in good condition.

Freight managers are the ones responsible for the smooth flow of goods from port of loading to port of discharge. They work closely with the operation team to get the goods delivered.

Margaret Lee, regional freight manager of Qantas Airways, says: "Most of our business comes from freight forwarders, express companies, air mail centres or clients overloaded with luggage.

"Besides general cargo, sometimes there may be stuff like human remains, dangerous goods, valuable goods, odd-sized cargo or pets Whatever they may be, we try our best to get them on the plane and have them delivered," she says. 

Space planning is one of the main duties of freight managers.

They also find the best possible methods to deliver goods. They make sure that all freights are checked, weighed and measured, and comply with the airline's safety and security standards.

In the event of any scheduling changes, freight space shortages or customer requests must not escape the freight managers' notice. They should be aware of the goods' whereabouts at all times.

They also need to monitor the sale of cargo space and meet up with clients.

"We are looking for people with sales experience in the air freight industry. At least four to five years of experience is ideal," Lee says.

"A freight manager also has to be a team player with strong leadership, good negotiation and persuasive skills. He has to be self-motivated," she says. The job is demanding as he often must work on a tight schedule. One must be driven, organised and resourceful.

Lee says: "Overtime work is common. One should be prepared to work long hours and be willing to take on challenges."

Candidates must have at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, logistics or any related field.