Logistics Coordinator Job Description - Requirements, Duties, Skills, Career
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What Does a Logistics Coordinator Do?
A logistics coordinator is responsible for warehouse management and the handling of goods, as well as for ensuring that information regarding the condition and availability of goods in stock is kept up-to-date. Logistics coordinators are essential for ensuring a company’s operations run smoothly, because they work to ensure that goods leaving and entering a warehouse are always available in as short a time as possible. They work in a wide variety of sectors, but especially in distribution and transport companies, whose principal activity is taking care of logistics on behalf of other businesses.
Logistics coordinators manage and work to optimize warehouse management processes. They ensure the availability of goods, manage information flows and record goods entering and leaving the warehouse, as well as their condition and position. They may also be responsible for the internal transfer of goods from the warehouse to production, for deliveries to customers and for dealing with goods arriving from suppliers. Other tasks may include stock and inventory control to ensure the warehouse always has sufficient stock. In some companies, logistics coordinators also act as warehouse workers, loading and unloading goods using a forklift truck, preparing pallets and shipments and ensuring the warehouse is kept clean and tidy.
Logistics coordinators collaborate with warehouse workers, pickers packers, freight forwarders, suppliers, logistics managers and with commercial departments. Depending on the size of a company and the policies it applies, the procedures a logistics coordinator is required to follow may be more or less complex and/or rigid.
Logistics coordinator is usually a full-time position with standard working hours (although they may occasionally be required to work overtime) or shifts. The work may at times prove hectic, with issues that need resolving very rapidly in order to avoid delays that may have serious repercussions for the entire business.
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Logistics Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
The usual daily tasks of a logistics coordinator include:
- Managing goods entering and leaving the warehouse
- Recording every single movement of goods
- Checking waybills, codes and shipping documents for goods
- Performing warehouse administration tasks
- Ensuring the integrity and proper storage of goods in the warehouse
- Preparing all goods movement documents
- Performing inventories of goods in stock
- Monitoring warehouse stockage operations
How to Become a Logistics Coordinator: Training and Requirements
There are not usually any specific entry requirements to become a logistics coordinator, although attending a course in logistics and warehouse management may help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed for planning and organizing a warehouse. These include warehouse handling, receiving and checking goods, goods storage and space management, stock picking, stock transfers, procurement and supplier management, inventory management and records management. Usually, such courses also include modules on subjects such as workplace safety and health.
Logistics coordinators are often required to have a knowledge of ERP applications for managing goods flows and stock, creating vendor and client master records, and generating orders, transport documents and invoices.
The ability to use the most common materials handling vehicles and possession of a forklift operator license also represent an advantage.
Logistics is a complex sector, so some prior experience in the field - for example as a warehouse worker - is a significant advantage. For some job vacancies for logistics coordinators, previous experience in the role may even be an essential requirement.
What Skills Are Needed to Work as a Logistics Coordinator?
A good logistics coordinator needs to have the following skills:
- Organizational and logistics skills: warehouse organization, receiving and checking goods
- Knowledge of logistics processes and procedures
- Quality control skills
- Knowledge of IT tools and software needed for handling information flows
- Commercial acumen - for managing orders and suppliers
- Communication skills
- Attention to detail
Career Path and What to Expect
Logistics coordinators have a wide range of career opportunities. Logistics is a sector in which there is a tendency to train up internal staff and gradually assign them greater responsibilities and duties, rather than hiring new people from the outside.
Depending on one’s personal abilities and skills at optimizing logistics processes, the career path for a logistics coordinator may involve becoming a logistics manager at branch, geographical area, country, or even international level.
Alternative career opportunities include moving into purchasing or procurement as a buyer or purchasing manager (i.e. the person responsible for planning and optimizing purchases) or else into production and supply chain management.
Top Reasons to Work as a Logistics Coordinator
As logistics is a sector experiencing significant growth, there is a great demand for personnel, making it a popular career choice. Companies in all sectors (food, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals etc) need logistics coordinators, meaning there are a large number of job vacancies all around the country. Entry requirements are relatively low, with no specific qualifications or degrees needed.
Another interesting aspect of the job of logistics coordinator is the possibility to acquire cross-cutting skills (e.g. management, organizational and IT skills) that are easily transferable into other related sectors, such as supply chain management, purchasing or transport and shipping.