Logistics Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're looking for a job in logistics or hoping to advance in the field, refining and expanding your skill set could help you add value to an organisation. A varied series of skills can help you interpret information, make informed decisions and oversee efficient manufacturing and shipping operations. Understanding what skills to focus on and how to develop and showcase them could help you grow your career in logistics.

In this article, we define logistics skills, list some examples, explain how to improve them, discuss how these skills can be useful in the workplace and share advice for highlighting them during your job search.

What are logistics skills?

Logistics skills are hard skills, like software competency and technical knowledge, and soft skills, like personality traits, that might enable you to succeed in a logistics role. Logistics is a subfield within a business focused on supply chain, inventory management and the transportation of goods. Skills that allow you to review and analyse complex information objectively, work efficiently within a team and develop organised, comprehensive plans may be beneficial in this field.

Related: A Detailed Guide to Careers in Logistics: 7 Types to Explore

Examples of logistics skills

A combination of hard and soft skills could help you present yourself as a dynamic candidate who can exceed expectations in a variety of situations. Below are some examples of skills that can be valuable for logistics professionals to develop:

Problem-solving

Logistics can involve unforeseen problems due to weather, transportation issues and market changes. Individuals who can anticipate issues, brainstorm creative solutions and acquire the resources necessary to enact solutions may excel in this profession. Logistics professionals may coordinate with representatives from shipping providers, warehouses and suppliers, so it's important that they're able to coordinate with others to solve complex problems too.

Read more: Problem-Solving Skills Examples (With Steps to Develop Them)

Organisation

Manufacturing and shipping can be an expansive process that requires an organised individual to manage it and keep all relevant parties updated. Logistics professionals use organisation skills to maintain strict schedules, create thorough plans and minimise costs for their teams and clients. Meeting deadlines, managing your time effectively and keeping detailed records could help you stay in control of the variety of products you might oversee.

Computer skills

Logistics companies might use digital tools to track their products, analyse data and make predictions. Individuals who have a long list of software competencies and can learn new programs quickly may appeal to employers. Basic computer skills like sending emails, typing and spreadsheet expertise can be valuable, but learning popular logistics and supply chain programs may help you present yourself as a competent candidate.

Adaptability

Successful logistic professionals can typically adjust their plans quickly in response to unexpected changes. It may benefit you to show employers you can create contingency plans, give instructions to teammates and solve unexpected challenges. Logistics can be a fast-paced industry so the ability to manage stress and stay focused under pressure could be valuable too.

How to improve logistics skills

Here are steps you could follow if you want to strengthen your logistics competencies:

1. Study the industry

Logistics professionals typically have in-depth industry knowledge. Market conditions can change quickly, so staying updated on current industry trends affecting supply chains could help you remain competitive. It may help to research logistics companies and learn about their approaches and standards. You could also pursue certifications to get a complex and current education about important industry topics.

Related: What Is Logistics Management and How's the Work Environment

2. Learn new software programs

It's important to be knowledgeable about popular technology in the logistics industry, as many employers prefer to hire candidates who can start using their infrastructure immediately upon hire. Learning how to use a transportation management system (TMS) to build contracts, coordinate with customers and track shipments could strengthen your candidacy. Data analysis tools could be valuable too, as logistics professionals often collect and interpret data to inform their decisions.

3. Review your metrics

Objective data about your performance can be a vital part of any improvement plan. If you have access to internal metrics that track your efficiency, accuracy and customer service skills, denote your current metrics. Referring regularly to these numbers could help you motivate yourself, identify techniques that work and keep a record of your progress. If your workplace keeps metrics private, create a personal system that offers you numerical data. For example, you could time yourself when handling an unexpected problem with a client and set a goal to solve problems faster.

Related: How to Assess Yourself With Self-Evaluation Examples

4. Observe experienced team members

If you're new to logistics, you could learn from your peers and supervisors who have more experience in the field. Watch how senior team members respond to changes, make decisions and communicate with others. If a team member is leading a project you're unfamiliar with, you could offer to shadow them or assist them to gain exposure to a new task and learn more about the industry.

Logistics skills in the workplace

Here are some ways you could use your logistics expertise in the workplace:

  • Finding areas of improvement: Supply chain management professionals may use logistics skills to identify areas of improvement within their workplace's manufacturing processes. These skills can help you identify the causes and solutions for issues.

  • Making decisions: Professionals may use their expertise in logistics to help them make informed decisions about the supply chain process. You may decide to modify specific procedures or policies to help manufacturing have higher productivity and efficiency.

  • Keeping records: Keeping detailed documentation could help you develop your organisation skills. Try to keep comprehensive notes and spreadsheets regarding details like timelines and supplies.

  • Leading projects: If you're overseeing a project or team, you could practise your leadership and teamwork skills. It may also be helpful to gain experience in setting and meeting deadlines, delegating tasks and identifying important resources.

  • Implementing feedback: Logistics professionals might use their ability to adapt and remain calm under pressure to respond to feedback. Improving your plans while still meeting goals and minimising expenses could strengthen your skills.

How to highlight logistics proficiencies

Learning how to discuss your technical skills, character traits and software competencies in your application materials could help you get an interview. In an interview, it's essential to demonstrate your skills in greater detail by sharing anecdotal evidence of some relevant competencies. Here's how to showcase your logistics expertise at each stage of the hiring process:

Logistics skills for a resume

Resumes are often a hiring manager's first impression of you, so be sure to highlight important logistics proficiencies throughout your document. In the work experience section, you may provide duties you completed in previous positions where you used your logistics expertise. You may also include a section on your resume that contains a bulleted list of these skills. Here's an example of a section that you can include on your resume to highlight these skills:

Skills
Adaptability | Logistics software | Supply chain knowledge | Analytical thinking | Organisation

Logistics skills for a cover letter

Your cover letter provides further insight into your logistics qualifications. It's useful to provide one to two stories about when you used your logistics expertise so that hiring managers can have a better idea of your background. You may also explain how you strengthened your logistics competencies, like through educational courses, internships or work experience. Here's an example of how you can provide an example of your expertise in your cover letter:

In my previous manufacturing position, I frequently used logistics skills while leading my team and ensuring operations were efficient. One day, a piece of manufacturing equipment broke in the manufacturing facility, disrupting the rest of the supply chain unexpectedly. Using my background in logistics, I found it best to focus on the amount of product that we were able to produce without the machine, which was significantly lower than our goal number. I decided to pause production on other products so that we could use machines to produce our priority products and meet our client's most urgent needs.

Logistics skills for a job interview

Job interviews allow you to have a conversation with a hiring manager where you can provide in-depth information about your qualifications, along with detailed examples. Provide specific examples to the interviewer of times that you used your logistics proficiencies in the workplace. For example, you may provide an example of when you used decision-making and problem-solving techniques to help a supply chain operate more productively. Be sure to provide context for the example and explain what the situation taught you. Here's a potential interview response that highlights logistics expertise:

'I use my expertise in logistics to notice trends so I can anticipate challenges and think of solutions. For example, in my last position, I created a weekly report about our shipping times, noting patterns that may influence our operations in the coming weeks. I noticed our ground transportation slowed drastically between two weeks. Upon investigation, we learnt there was a mechanical issue slowing down the trucks that could have caused accidents had it continued. We solved it by ordering preventative maintenance on the entire fleet, saving the company money, reducing the risk of an incident and increasing efficiency.'

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