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Cargo And Freight Agent Careers

Career Description

Cargo and Freight Agents expedite and route movement of incoming and outgoing cargo and freight shipments in airline,  train, and trucking terminals, and shipping docks. Take orders from customers and arrange pickup of freight and cargo for delivery to loading platform.  Prepare and examine bills of lading to determine shipping charges and tariffs.

Common Work Tasks

  • Arrange for and track incoming and outgoing shipments in airline, train, or trucking terminals or on shipping docks
  • Expedite shipments by determining the route that shipments will take and by preparing all necessary documents
  • Take orders from customers and arrange for the pickup of freight or cargo and its delivery to loading platforms
  • Keep records of the cargo, including its amount,  type, weight, dimensions, destination, and time of shipment
  • Keep a tally of missing items and record the condition of damaged items
  • Determine any shipping rates and other charges that usually apply to freight
  • Verify that the proper customs paperwork is in order for imported and exported freight
  • track shipments electronically, using bar codes,  and answer customers’ questions about the status of their shipments

Other Job Titles

Cargo and Freight Agents are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Postal Workers
  • Postal Service Clerks
  • Mail Delivery Person
  • Shipping Agents

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Many jobs are entry level and require only a high school diploma. Cargo and freight agents undergo informal on-the-job training. They start out by checking items to be shipped, attaching labels to them, and making sure that addresses are correct. As this occupation becomes more automated, workers may need longer periods of training to master the use of equipment.

Employers prefer to hire people who can use computers. Typing, filing, recordkeeping, and other clerical skills also are important.


The median annual salary for a Cargo and Freight Agent is $37,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $57,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $22,000. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of cargo and freight agents are:

  • Freight Transportation Arrangement- $39,680
  • Scheduled Air Transportation - $36,830
  • Couriers- $38,370
  • General Freight Trucking- $37,260
  • Support Activities for Air Transportation- $27,260

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  16%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 14,000
  • Employment 2006 : 86,000
  • Employment 2016:  100,000
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