Do you want to work in logistics in the future? Then there are a few things you should know and be aware of. First of all, you should ask what logistics is and what everything is related to it. As you have surely already suspected, logistics has something to do with the movement of goods. However, logistics are not only part of the transport of goods, but also storage, transshipment, and order picking, as well as sorting, packaging, and distribution.
Behind the logistics are both planning processes and processes to be carried out, in which several departments in a company can be involved. In most companies, logistics is the linchpin of well-thought-out and well-planned corporate governance. As soon as a product leaves the production hall in a company, the area of logistics begins.
In this context, most companies have to work with freight forwarders, railways, or ferry companies if they do not have their vehicles. But logistics must also be ensured internally in the production department. Namely not only to get the finished goods out but also to provide material for the production process. One also speaks here of the material flow.
What tasks do logisticians have?
If you want to become a logistician, you should have organizational skills. Because the logistical mandate consists of the fact that the right quantity of the logistics objects (that can be goods, people, but also information and energy) are available in the right place at the right time and in the right quality and at moderate costs. This means that the logistics or logistics tasks are the provisions, procurement and distribution of goods, people or money, information or energy, transshipment and storage, and transport.
Logistics is divided into many sub-logistics areas, such as procurement logistics, production logistics, distribution logistics, and disposal logistics. Logistics is not just the transport of goods etc., from the starting point to the destination! For this reason, you cannot simply complete an apprenticeship as a logistician. Rather, there are several courses or professions – that is, specialist disciplines in logistics. These are then also or less in demand in companies and depend on the type and efficiency of the company infrastructure, i.e., the size and resources available there and the needs there.
If you want to work in distribution logistics, your tasks include planning the timetables for buses, trains, etc., in good time. Based on the general traffic regulations and prohibitions. However, it would help if you also took into account weekends and public holidays and time restrictions, for example driving bans through certain streets at certain times and speed limits.
You would also have to cope with these tasks if you had to organize the transport of goods. Because on public holidays and weekends, for example, there is a truck driving ban that must be considered when planning. And then there are the many exceptional situations where escort vehicles have to be on-site – for example, in heavy transports. The correct attachment of danger signs to the vehicles is also part of their area of responsibility and the customs regulations that have to be taken into account when importing or exporting goods to other countries.
As a logistician or dispatcher, you also decide whether, for example, piggyback transport is possible, sensible, and economical and which transport route (by land, sea, or air) is chosen for transport.
Logistics is a professional field for commercial and industrial professions. Engineers and business administrators also work in this area or can specialize in it. The latter usually work as dispatchers, forwarding agents, buyers, logistics planners, logistics controllers, or supply chain management specialists. Forklift drivers, warehouse workers, and truck drivers belong to the lower level of logistics. If you want to take on a management position in middle or upper management, you need an academic degree.
What does a degree in logistics look like?
Some universities offer bachelor’s or master’s programs specializing in logistics and supply chain management in Germany. A high proportion of logistics in the curriculum can be found, for example, in the industrial engineering course. The bachelor’s degree in logistics management is practically an all-around study course in the field of logistics. The Supply Chain Management course is more specific.
Everything here revolves around the value chain. The information logistics course is also useful and informative for other areas. This is a logistics degree with an IT focus. There is also a degree with a focus on transport logistics, shipping and sea transport, logistics and trade, logistics and purchasing, logistics and production, and business administration and logistics.
The bachelor’s degree in logistics management is about learning how to bring tea and coffee from distant countries, clothes from China, and tulips from the Netherlands to Germany cheaply and quickly. You will be introduced to the complex logistical processes and procedures. You will also learn how to organize them exactly.
The main focus of the Supply Chain Management degree is that you get to know and understand the holistic view of value networks and supply chains. After completing your studies, you should be able to ensure the smooth flow of global flows of goods and information or organize them.
The Information Logistics course enables you to have excellent knowledge of how goods get from A to B in e-commerce, i.e., from the manufacturer to the supplier and from the supplier to the customer via the online shop. Logistics without IT knowledge is impossible today.
A degree in transport logistics will enable you to obtain raw materials required to manufacture products from distant countries and export products to distant countries. With their logistics work, they ensure that the goods that have come a long way are transported gently and finally end up in the shops. The focus of a degree in logistics in shipping and sea transport is on transporting goods by ship.
The other courses of study focus on trade, purchasing and production, and business administration.
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What do the jobs in logistics look like?
The logistics industry is a job engine in Germany. Around 2.7 million people are employed in this industry in Germany alone. You are most likely to find a job in transportation. But also warehouse management and transshipment and inventory management and order processing and logistics planning offer lots of jobs.
After completing your studies, typical employers can be freight forwarders, railway companies, freight centers, and port and airport operating companies.
However, the logistics-related industry, such as the manufacturers of products required for logistical processes, can also be potential employers. These include, above all, manufacturers of packaging and means of transport. Jobs can also be found in companies that offer logistics-related services.
What salary can you expect in logistics?
There are large and small companies in the logistics industry. If you are well trained as a logistician, you can also earn well there. However, the earnings as a logistician depend on several factors.
This includes degree, professional experience, the company’s size and the company headquarters, and the scope of the tasks and responsibilities. University graduates can expect an initial gross salary of 36,000 to 40,000 euros per year.
Dispatchers earn a little less. Logistics managers can earn up to 60,000 euros or more a year. The size of the company and the opportunities for further advancement play an important role in salary development. Expertise in many areas can therefore always be very beneficial to you in terms of the amount of your salary or your career opportunities.