Transportation Manager: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Oct 20, 2021

Transportation managers ensure goods are shipped and delivered safely and efficiently. Though job growth for this position isn't expected to be very high, these professionals earn a higher-than-average salary for the work they do.

Essential Information

Transportation managers are also known as traffic managers, fleet managers, or freight coordinators. Employers of transportation managers include freight companies, manufacturers, warehousing organizations, and government agencies. Most transportation managers have bachelor's degrees. Transportation managers utilize their communication, problem-solving, and time management skills to deliver products according to customer requirements.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; most have bachelor's degrees
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 4%
Average Salary (2020)* $105,100 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

A transportation manager ensures that shipments into or out of an organization are handled quickly, safely, and within budget constraints. This might include oversight of transportation equipment and personnel operated by an organization. These professionals might also coordinate with outside companies that provide freight services. Familiarity with shipment options, legal issues, government regulations, and safety procedures is required, as is knowledge of geography, mathematics, and computer applications.


Policies and procedures for transportation operations are developed and implemented by transportation managers. These professionals are in charge of personnel activities and schedules, and they oversee shipment coordination and routing. This includes researching the fastest and cheapest shipping methods and securing contracts with customers or transportation providers based on that research. Transportation managers are also responsible for preparing budgets and developing safety procedures, as well as making sure that shipping documents are properly prepared.

Transportation managers ensure that customer problems are researched and corrected. They're responsible for staying current with various regulations including those related to hazardous shipments, employee safety, and freight classifications. Maintenance, repair, and replacement of shipping equipment or vehicles are also directed by the transportation manager.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) transportation managers are included in the broader occupation category of transportation, storage, and distribution managers ( In May 2020, the BLS reported that this classification of managers in the 90th percentile or higher earned $164,140 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $56,970 or less per year. In California, the state that employed the highest number of transportation, storage, and distribution managers, the average annual salary was $111,560. The metropolitan area employing the highest number of these managers was the Los Angeles area, where workers earned an average of $108,900 per year.

Since transportation managers must be able to recognize and fix any issues involved with the shipping process, they must primarily have strong problem-solving and communication skills. It's also essential that they have a thorough understanding of shipping logistics and time management skills.

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