There are around 1,500,000 people working in transport planning in the UK

Supply Chain Recruitment Agencies Transport & Distribution

Transport Planner / Operator

Working as a transport planner can be a demanding job, with requirements to be on call out of hours and on weekends in case any urgent matter arises, but it is, however, a rewarding job in a fast-paced environment.

The role of a transport planner & progressing into transport management can be greatly fulfilling, providing experience of a high-pressured environment with an array of varied tasks and duties from people management to ensuring the maintenance of vehicles and transport legislation.

What does a Transport Planner’s job description include?

  • A transport planner is responsible for getting the correct quantities of products to their required location within the given time limit and as a result must effectively organise and manage a team of drivers and vehicles. Very often in the freight industry, this is the movement of import containers from the Port to the final destination / RDC and of course vice versa, from the warehouse, factory to the Port for containers that are going to be exported.
  • As a transport planner, you will be responsible for monitoring the progress and being the first point of contact should a problem arise making communication skills vital. These communication skills are also vital in the development of customer relationships, managing questions and complaints calmly and decisively.
  • You may also be responsible for organising and overseeing all health and safety checks and routine vehicle checks and adhering to both company and statutory requirements.
  • You must also be aware of all transport legislation and procedures to ensure company compliance.

Key skills and qualifications of a transport professional:

  • You may be required to hold relevant qualifications relevant to Transportation Management, including a National CPC.
  • A Transport Manager requires knowledge and understanding of all areas of the supply chain, budgets and financial controls, legislation and relevant fleet controls.
  • You must be able to efficiently work within a high-volume transport operation.
  • A Transport Manager requires strong communication and people management skills being able to cultivate strong business relationships on multiple levels.
  • You must have a sound understanding of basic accountancy and be numeric as this position requires involvement in managing budgets and the calculation weights and measures.
  • Due to the high level of machinery and the importance of time constraints, a Transport Manager must also be safety conscious with a full knowledge of the transport operations and maintenance and be detail conscious with regards to the vehicles themselves and route planning.

Salary (as a guide only)

  • Starting salaries are in the region of £16,000 to £18,000. With experience this can progress from £22,000 to £35,000.
  • At a middle management level, transport professionals can earn £35,000 to £45,000, with this increasing to £48,000 to £55,000 at senior management level.

Working hours

Working hours are typically 40 hours+ per week. Normally Monday to Friday, typically starting at 7am or 8am and working through to 6pm.

What to expect

  • The work is mainly office based.
  • The dress code is normally smart casual.
  • The working environment can be stressful, as much of the work is aimed at meeting tight delivery deadlines.
  • Some out of office hours and on call duties maybe required, including some weekend work

For more information on the industry, you can visit the Freight Transport Association (FTA) website here –