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Cargo and Freight Agents - 43-5011.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Cargo Agent
  • Documentation Clerk
  • Drop Shipment Clerk
  • Freight Broker
  • Intermodal Dispatcher
  • International Coordinator
  • Load Planner
  • Logistics Coordinator
  • Logistics Service Representative

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items, such as machines or vehicles.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Check import or export documentation to determine cargo contents and use tariff coding system to classify goods according to fee or tariff group.
  • Contact vendors or claims adjustment departments to resolve shipment problems or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
  • Determine method of shipment and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshaling areas and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Direct or participate in cargo loading to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
  • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of freight or baggage arrival and arrange for delivery.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Prepare manifests showing numbers of airplane passengers and baggage, mail, and freight weights, transmitting data to destinations.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, hand trucks, or other equipment.
  • Track delivery progress of shipments.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze shipping information to make routing decisions.
  • Arrange insurance coverage.
  • Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
  • Calculate shipping costs.
  • Coordinate operational activities.
  • Coordinate shipping activities with external parties.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs.
  • Inspect items for damage or defects.
  • Inspect shipments to ensure correct order fulfillment.
  • Load materials or equipment.
  • Maintain operational records.
  • Manage clerical or administrative activities.
  • Negotiate financial arrangements.
  • Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
  • Package objects for shipping.
  • Provide notifications to customers or patrons.
  • Recommend packing or shipping methods.
  • Record shipping information.
  • Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
  • Track goods or materials.
  • Unload materials or equipment.
  • Verify shipping documentation.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Air Transportation (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Air Transportation Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Airborne and Air Delivery Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Aircraft Handling (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Operations Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Aviation Supply Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Basic Logistics Marine (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Cargo Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Distribution Management Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Expeditionary Firefighting and Rescue (EFR) Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Expeditionary Logistics Instructor (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Inventory Management Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Landing Support Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Logistics/Embarkation Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Logistics/Mobility Chief (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Mobility Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Motor Transport Operator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Preservation, Packaging, Packing, and Marking Specialist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • RL - Special Duty Officer - Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Traffic Management (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Traffic Management Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Traffic Management Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Traffic Management Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Traffic Management Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Traffic Management Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Transportation Management Coordinator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Transportation, General (Army - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Transportation Clerk (Transportation Management Coordinator)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Cargo Agent
  • Transportation Agent
  • Transportation Clerk