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Career and Education Opportunities for Freight Representatives in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for freight representatives. The national trend for freight representatives sees this job pool growing by about 23.9% over the next eight years. 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 $16 hourly or $34,920 yearly on average in South Carolina and about $17 hourly or $37,270 per year on average nationally. Incomes for freight representatives are better than in the overall category of Dispatching and Logistics in South Carolina, and better than the overall Dispatching and Logistics category nationally.

The Columbia area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree 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 training to become 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 Columbia include:

  • Mail Carrier and Clerk. Sort mail for delivery. Deliver mail on established route by vehicle or on foot.
  • Order Filler. Fill customers' mail and telephone orders from stored merchandise in accordance with specifications on sales slips or order forms. Duties include computing prices of items, completing order receipts, keeping records of out-going orders, and requisitioning additional materials, supplies, and equipment.
  • 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

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated ten 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: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.