Truck Terminal Manager

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Truck Terminal Manager

Education and Training Some college education

Salary Median—$32.36 per hour

Employment Outlook Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Terminal managers are responsible for the smooth operation of trucking centers, which are buildings where freight is loaded or unloaded. They coordinate, direct, and supervise all activities in the terminals.

Managers plan and direct operations, including the weighing of freight and choosing the lifts and crates that will be used to move it. They closely supervise the loading and unloading of cargo to avoid damage—their precautions save money and help maintain good reputations. Managers are also responsible for keeping equipment in good order and for making sure that working conditions are safe.

Terminal managers must be able to work effectively with all types of people. They handle customer complaints as well as interact with truck drivers and other terminal staff.

Education and Training Requirements

Terminal managers should have high school diplomas or the equivalent; most companies prefer applicants who have had some college education. High school and college courses in science, business administration, and personnel relations are helpful. Some community and junior colleges offer classes in warehouse organization, materials handling, and production control. Many of these courses combine classroom study with on-the-job training.

Companies also offer on-the-job training. New managers learn the routines of the terminal before they are given full responsibility. Some start out as truck drivers or dispatchers and are promoted.

Getting the Job

Most terminal managers start as truck drivers or dispatchers. Job seekers can apply directly to trucking terminals. School placement offices, state employment services, newspaper classified ads, and Internet job sites may provide employment leads.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement depends on experience and education. Terminal managers who have some college training or degrees may have more opportunities than those with only high school diplomas, although experience is always a factor. Terminal managers can become company representatives or traffic managers.

Employment of terminal managers is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. As general economic growth increases the amount of freight that needs to be moved, the trucking industry should expand, creating demand for terminal managers. Openings also occur when experienced managers retire or leave the field.

Working Conditions

Terminal managers usually work forty-hour weeks, often in shifts. Overtime may be necessary, especially if business gets heavy or in emergencies. The job can be stressful, because freight can be time-sensitive or perishable. Road conditions may delay arrival and departure of trucks. Managers usually have offices, but they are often outside in all kinds of weather.

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary, depending on education, level of responsibility, and experience. In 2004 the median wage of terminal managers was $32.36 per hour.

Where to Go for More Information

American Society of Transportation and Logistics
1700 N. Moore St., Ste. 1900
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 524-5011

American Trucking Associations
2200 Mill Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22314-4677
(703) 838-1700

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
2805 Butterfield Rd., Ste. 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 574-0985

Benefits usually include paid vacations and holidays and health insurance. Some companies offer retirement plans.