Transportation, Storage & Distribution Manager: Duties, Outlook & Salary

Oct 20, 2021

The safe and efficient storage, transport and distribution of goods and products is vital to the national well being. While higher education is generally not mandated, management positions in this industry call for some years of appropriate work experience.

Essential Information

Transportation, storage and distribution managers are in charge of allocating and shipping merchandise in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This group of managers consists of three primary job classifications: transportation managers, storage and distribution managers and logistics managers. These professionals typically require a high school diploma and at least five years of experience working in a related field.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements At least 5 years of experience in related field
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 4%
Median Salary (2020)* $96,390

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Transportation, Storage and Distribution Duties

Some duties are common among the three types of transportation, storage and distribution managers. They're all responsible for analyzing costs, developing budgets and complying with government regulations. They must negotiate with equipment dealers, transportation service workers and end-users to find optimal service while keeping costs within budget constraints.

Transportation, storage and distribution managers also hire and train personnel. They design policies and procedures that improve safety and efficiency. However, the three subdivisions of this management group each have specific responsibilities in addition to these common duties.

Transportation Managers

Transportation managers focus on the movement of merchandise. They oversee the determination of optimal shipping methods, routes and schedules needed to meet organizational needs. They also resolve shipment errors and handle customer or vendor concerns. When accidents related to shipments occur, transportation managers work with government agents to find causes and develop safer shipping methods. Transportation managers ensure that shipping documentation is in compliance with transportation and commerce regulations, which requires keeping up with interstate and international shipping directives.

Storage and Distribution Managers

Storage and distribution managers work in warehouses or distribution centers and are in charge of designing or locating warehouses or storage accommodations that best fit an organization's needs. They use sales or production information to predict warehouse volume changes or transportation requirements. Storage and distribution managers direct worker assignments that involve processing shipments in or out of the facility, storing material safely and securely, coordinating shipments based on purchase orders and preparing shipment-related documentation.

Logistics Managers

Logistics managers oversee supply chain functions that keep products and associated data moving in both directions from the supplier, through the organization and to the customer. Responsibilities can include material planning, supply management, shipping and receiving coordination, inventory control and order fulfillment. This manager is in charge of efficiently distributing materials, supplies and finished goods into and out of the facility, as well as within the organization.

Job Outlook Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 132,210 transportation, storage and distribution managers working across the country in 2020. From 2019-2029, the field was projected to grow by 4%, which is as fast as average for all jobs.


The BLS reported in May 2020 that distribution, transportation and storage managers earned $96,390 as a median annual wage. The lowest-paid workers earned $56,970 or less annually, and the highest-paid workers earned $164,140 or more yearly in 2020.

A high school education can get your foot in the door of the storage, transportation and distribution business. However, to land a management position, you'll need at least five years of industry-appropriate work experience. The projected growth rate for management positions is expected to be about as fast as the national average rate for all occupations.

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