Insights What does a freight forwarder do? Find out what a job in freight involves
13 December 2018

What does a freight forwarder do? Find out what a job in freight involves

Freight apprentice at a port

If you are looking for an exciting and diverse career with prospects of travelling the world, a career in freight forwarding could be for you.  

We hear from a former apprentice on her experiences of working in freight and where her apprenticeship has taken her.

Name:

Job Title:

Company:

Sara Collett

Overseas Support Delegate

Davies Turner

What does your current role entail on a day-to-day basis?

I’m currently based in Istanbul working for Davies Turner and our partner Freight Forwarder - Ekol Logistics. My day-to-day role involves liaising between Davies Turner and Ekol regarding the UK-Turkey trade lane, communicating with their operations teams, fleet management, warehouse teams, clients and suppliers on a regular basis.

I also spend time visiting suppliers to establish good working relationships, discuss business needs and gain potential sales leads. Occasionally I accompany UK retailers’ visits to Istanbul, which requires putting an itinerary together and setting up meetings with suppliers on their behalf. As issues and queries can arise outside of working hours, my role is not a 9-5 position!

How did you get into the industry?

I began my career working for Davies Turner on a Trainee Apprenticeship.

Could you describe your career journey?

I graduated from university with a 2:1 in International Politics and joined Davies Turner on a trainee apprenticeship, which was open to both graduates and none graduates.

During my apprenticeship, I moved around departments undertaking 3-4-month placements in each role to gain a good understanding of different aspects of the supply chain. Towards the end of my apprenticeship I found I enjoyed the ocean export and joined this team in a permanent role as Export Co-ordinator, supporting our Far East cargo planning - before eventually heading up the Middle East and South African cargo planning.

As Export Coordinator, I really enjoyed being able to make decisions that were cost effective for the operation of the service and establishing a good relationship with our overseas partners.  Taking the role to be a Support Delegate in Turkey seemed a natural next step in my career journey.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Being accepted for the Turkish delegate role. I am working towards becoming a Trade Lane Manager and this new position is enabling me to develop the skills I need for my future role. Heading the Middle East and South African Ocean Export Service was another highlight as I felt the most confident in my contribution to the trade lane for the company at that time.

Looking back, how valuable was your early part of your career?

My trainee apprenticeship provided me with experience in European Road Freight, Domestic Transport and Logistics, Ocean Import and Export, and also gave me the opportunity to attend supply chain based workshop/courses.  This enabled me to develop a wellrounded understanding of the supply chain and I was lucky to be given responsibility in each role early on which has proven to be extremely valuable.

How important is support from colleagues?

Support from your colleagues will always be important. I think it is best to establish good working relationships from the start as you often find that in this industry, you regularly come across the same people in different roles and even working for different companies. 

Why should someone consider a career in Freight Forwarding?

It’s a global industry which will always develop with the times. No two days are ever the same – in this industry you could
find yourself dealing with a variety of different issues, every single day!

Interested in a career in freight forwarding?

Seetec delivers the Supply Chain apprenticeship with a freight pathway qualification for young people aged between 16 and 24 years in Northern Ireland.  Contact 028 9030 3998 for more information or register online.

We also deliver the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship in England for people of all ages through Outsource Training.  Contact 08455 199 455 or email apprenticeships@outsourcetraining.org