Logistics Manager

Logistics is the detailed coordination of a large and complex operation. Logistics and distribution managers are responsible for creating and implementing procedures to ensure the smooth movement, that is, transport, storing and delivery of goods, in other words, to get the goods to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities.

Their key task, therefore, is to organise the safe and efficient storage and distribution of goods, and to ensure that orders are satisfied correctly. Their responsibilties include organising shipments, coordinating drivers, vehicles, loads and journeys, operating IT systems, negotiating and agreeing contracts, developing and confirming schedules, planning for and negotiating technical difficulties, preparing paperwork for regulatory bodies, liaising and managing staff and implementing health and safety standards.

Logistics managers control and coordinate the ordering and dispatching of goods. Other duties include developing new business for the company, analysing and solving any logistical problems within the company, forecasting stock levels, coordinating deliveries according to schedules and calculating transportation costs.

They also manage and oversee staff, and may be involved in the formulation of company policies that include health and safety procedures, training and recruiting. Another function of a logistics manager is to negotiate and liaise with customers and suppliers regarding product availability, delivery schedules and pricing.

Essentially, their tasks are to negotiate customer contracts, to reduce costs and achieve maximum efficiency, to calculate total supply chain costs in relation to proposed new products, and to determine, in consultation with colleagues, whether or not orders should be put to tender.

They manage, coordinate and control the order cycle and associated information systems, manage the distribution of staff and workforce, develop business plans and keep abreast of new developments likely to affect the future purchase and movement of goods and services.

Working hours can vary depending on the industry and the type of employer. Some jobs can require working evenings and weekends, and others involve shift-work and on-call duties.

Key skills are team-working, managerial skills, the ability to motivate others, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning, numeracy skills, IT skills and the ability to plan ahead and deal with unexpected changes.

Personal Requirements

  • be perceptive and objective
  • self-assured and confident
  • strong leadership and teamwork skills
  • ability to manage change in a busy environment
  • a practical, logical and systematic approach
  • excellent planning and organisational skills
  • creative problem-solving and analytical skills
  • excellent IT skills
  • pay close attention to detail and have the ability to sort and sift facts to identify inconsistencies

How to Enter

National Senior Certificate (matric), with a Bachelor’s Degree pass or Diploma pass
Each institution has its own entry requirements 
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics for degree
Recommended Subjects: Accounting, Business Science,Economics

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics for degree
Recommended subjects: EconomicsAccounting, Business Economics.

What to Study

Graduates of any discipline can work in this field, but a business, management or logistics degree would be the most useful.
Degree: BCom degree in Logistics or Management
Diploma: National Diploma in Logistics
Many graduates learn about logistics through in-company management training schemes, while others move into it from related areas of management.


  • commerce and industry
  • supply chain stores
  • retailers
  • government departments

Further Information

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILTSA)
Tel: (011) 789-7327
Email: info@ciltsa.org.za

Institute of Southern Africa Procurement Academy

Getting Started

  • do volunteer or part-time work as a helper to a logistics or distribution manager
  • speak to a logistics or distribution manager and ask permission to observe him at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

Damelin - Become a Logistics Manager

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