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Career and Education Opportunities for Freight Representatives in Fort Smith, Arkansas

For those living in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, there are many career and education opportunities for freight representatives. There are currently 880 working freight representatives in Arkansas; this should grow 39% to 1,220 working freight representatives in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for freight representatives are expected to grow by about 23.9%. In general, freight representatives expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks.

Freight representatives earn about $18 per hour or $37,500 per year on average in Arkansas and about $17 per hour or $37,270 annually on average nationally. Freight representatives earn more than people working in the category of Dispatching and Logistics generally in Arkansas and more than people in the Dispatching and Logistics category nationally.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Fort Smith area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree to start your career as a freight representative. The most common level of education for freight representatives is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a freight representative if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Freight Representative

Freight Representative video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, freight representatives expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline, train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. They also take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform.

Every day, freight representatives are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for freight representatives to notify consignees or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and manage delivery. They are often called upon to advise clients on transportation and payment methods. They also negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies. They are sometimes expected to pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers and hammers. Somewhat less frequently, freight representatives are also expected to direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshalling areas, and help load and unload goods safely.

Freight representatives sometimes are asked to send samples of products to quality control units for inspection. They also have to be able to keep archives of all goods shipped and stored and assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles. And finally, they sometimes have to retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as needed.

Like many other jobs, freight representatives must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Mail Carrier and Clerk. Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
  • Shipping and Receiving Clerk. Verify and keep records on incoming and outgoing shipments. Prepare items for shipment. Duties include assembling, addressing, and shipping merchandise or material; receiving, unpacking, verifying and recording incoming merchandise or material; and arranging for the transportation of products.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Freight Representative Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management : Due to an overwhelming request for an entry level industry certification, the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L) now offers the Professional Designation in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (PLS) to professionals seeking an understanding of the key strategies for improving customer service and increasing the efficiency of their logistics and supply chain operations.

For more information, see the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.