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Career and Education Opportunities for Freight Representatives in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for freight representatives in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. About 2,490 people are currently employed as freight representatives in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 33% to 3,320 people employed. This is better than the national trend for freight representatives, which 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.

A person working as a freight representative can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $37,940 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $17 per hour or $37,270 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for freight representatives are better than earnings in the general category of Dispatching and Logistics in Tennessee and better than general Dispatching and Logistics category earnings nationally.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Chattanooga area, including two within twenty-five miles of Chattanooga where you can get a degree to start your career as a freight representative. Given that the most common education level 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 Chattanooga 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

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Dalton State College - Dalton, GA

Dalton State College, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720-3797. Dalton State College is a small college located in Dalton, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,892 students. Dalton State College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated four students in 2008.


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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.