The logistics officer in a clearing and freight company is the “go-to person” who knows the pulse of the transportation industry, the rates, how to get or make the best deals, what route a shipment must take for both maximum profit and minimum worry, and whether the shipment should go by air, land, sea or rail, or some combination of two or more, becoming an intermodal shipment. Freight Coordination The logistics officer makes sure the company gets the best deal from carriers and the most money from the individual shipper. This requires using the most appropriate carrier for the service requested, whether the carrier is a railroad, a trucking firm, a ship management agency or air freight. It also requires selecting the most advantageous route — it may be the shortest or it may be the cheapest — to stay within the constraints of the company budget while satisfying the customer’s needs. Carrier Contract Negotiation When a customer wants freight moved, the logistics officer not only plans the movement, but negotiates with potential carriers to obtain the best freight rate for his company, to maximize the company’s profit. Each carrier, whether rail, ship, trucking firm or air freight service, charges the most that it can for its services. The logistics officer is charged with the responsibility of staying informed as to those rates, keeping company management informed and using only the best and least expensive carriers. Coordination Between Agents and Officials If the movement of the freight doesn’t coincide with the flow of paperwork between the customs agent who prepares it for the shipper and reconciles it with the shipment received for the receiver, and the officials of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol who regulate the movement of the freight into the country, the freight’s journey to its destination will be interrupted. By providing timely information to both the customs agent and government officials, the logistics officer keeps the freight moving freely. Paperwork and Other Obstacles The logistics officer processes regulatory permits ranging from oversize load movements by truck and hazardous materials movements by any method of transport. The logistics officer also verifies the bills that the agent processes, so the company is paid in a timely manner and protected against difficulties with government officials, shippers and transportation companies, ensuring that government officials receive the correct paperwork in a timely manner and that every stakeholder in a movement is paid the right amount at the right time.
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