CILT(UK) > Careers > Online Careers Service > Career Pathways > Logistics Management

Careers in Logistics Management

What is logistics?

Logistics is regional, national and global – it is everywhere and without the wheels of industry and ultimately the UK economy would simply grind to a halt.

Logistics is defined as the time-related positioning of resource.  It is also described as the “five rights”.  Essentially, it is the process of ensuring that goods or a service is:

  • In the right place
  • At the right time
  • In the right quantity
  • At the right quality
  • At the right price

What skills and personal qualities are required?

  • Good people and communications skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • IT skills – spreadsheets, database, word processing and specialist business software
  • Language skills
  • Report writing and presentation skills
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility – you need to be prepared to work in a 24/7 environment and may need to work at various UK locations and possibly overseas

What type of organisations employ logistics managers?

  • Third party logistics companies
  • Specialist freight transport companies
  • Manufacturing and retail companies
  • Utilities companies
  • Humanitarian aid agencies
  • Armed services
  • National and international government agencies
  • Specialist consultancies

What types of opportunities exist for logistics managers?

  • Purchasing
  • Supply chain management
  • Warehousing
  • Inventory management
  • Transport and distribution
  • Information technology
  • Production planning and control
  • Customer services

What’s the starting salary?

For graduate trainees the starting salary would be £18,000-25,000 dependent on type of organisation, location and role.  There are non-graduate opportunities but these salaries are more difficult to gauge and would vary according to type of role, age, experience, qualifications, company size and location.

There are apprenticeship opportunities in logistics-related occupations, so it is worth visiting the Apprenticeship websites to see what is available (there are separate sites for each of the four nations):


What qualifications are required?

  • Good GCSEs, followed by A Levels (or Standards and Highers in Scotland) in numerical or analytical subjects (maths, sciences, geography, history, English) and modern languages.
  • There are direct entry opportunities into the sector with good GCSEs and/or A Levels, for example, apprenticeships or other opportunities with on-the-job training
  • Good quality degree – there are specialist transport-related degrees and some roles may require an engineering degree but for general roles then any degree is acceptable to recruiters
  • Many organisations encourage employees to study for professional qualifications to support their career progression.  Professional and post-graduate qualifications are available at a number of colleges and universities and can be studied full-time, part-time or on a distance/online learning basis.  The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport ( offers a range of qualifications up to an online MSc programme in international logistics and supply chain management.

Some Useful Websites

For more information on working in transport management visit the following websites:

  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the leading professional association for those involved in all aspects of logistics and transport.
  • careers leaflet from British International Freight Association.
  • careers information for graduates from The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.
  • this links to the pages on logistics careers, forming part of a more general careers website aimed at 16-24 year olds.
  • this links to videos profiling people working in transport.
  • this links to the pages on logistics careers – the site covers general careers information for graduates.


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