What does a Cargo and Freight Agent do?

Expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform. Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.

Jobs Roles

  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
  • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
  • Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles.
  • Track delivery progress of shipments.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
  • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
  • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
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