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Do I Need a Transport Manager for My Business?

by Jill Quijano,
Feb 21, 2024

Table of Contents

Transportation is critical to any business. A well-executed transportation strategy positively impacts your operations, leading to customer satisfaction and boosting your bottom line.  

However, transportation management isn’t a walk in the park. You must navigate regulatory compliance, optimise routes and schedules, and manage a diverse fleet while ensuring timely delivery.  

This is why employing a transport manager is vital.  

This article outlines the key responsibilities of a transport manager and how to qualify the best ones for your business.  

Understanding Transportation Management

We did a detailed guide to transport management in a previous article. You’ll get a comprehensive look at its processes, challenges, and opportunities.

It’s importance to any business

In a nutshell, transport management involves overseeing the movement of goods from one location to another. It encompasses tasks such as route planning, scheduling, and compliance.  

It’s up to an entire team to ensure that the process remains efficient, safe, and cost-effective.  

The Key Duties of a Transport Manager

1. Compliance and Risk Management  

Compliance and risk management are perhaps the most indispensable responsibilities of a transport manager.  

From maintaining safety standards to state mandates and fuel taxes, there’s a laundry list of laws that transport managers need to be aware of.  

Not to mention, they’ll need to keep track of your driver’s working hours, licences, and permits – tasks that free you up for other aspects of your business.  

2. Operational Efficiency 

Efficiency is at the heart of any effective transport strategy. A transport manager achieves operational efficiency by measuring and optimising aspects of the logistics process.  

There are several ways to go about this, including: 

  • Route optimisation: Together with your team, a transport manager should aim to minimize unnecessary mileage. One key strategy in doing so is route optimisation. By leveraging routing software and data analytics, you can identify the most efficient routes for each delivery run.
  • Resource allocation: Transport managers oversee resource distribution, including vehicle loads and driver schedules.
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and improvement: Operational efficiency is an ongoing process. You need to constantly track, monitor, and modify existing transport metrics to improve over time. 

In summary, a transport manager is key to boosting operational efficiency. They need to optimise routes, allocate resources wisely, and bring the team together to stay proactive to changes and market demands.  

3. People Management 

Transport managers might be above various aspects of transport operations, but they got to keep an eye on their teams as well.  

Transport managers tend to oversee several personnel – from drivers to logistics coordinators.  

To maximise the potential of each employee, they must have good people management skills. They will need to work with HR on recruitment as well to provide training and performance to their members.  

4. Customer Satisfaction 

At the end of the day, any business should strive to make their customers happy.  It’s the building blocks for maintaining brand loyalty and a positive reputation.  

One of the best ways transport managers boost customer satisfaction is by allowing you to plan and anticipate possible bottlenecks.  

They’re also proactive in dealing with existing issues. Along with support staff, your transport manager must have the knowledge and skills to respond to inquiries. They should also be aware of policies and standards, and consistently uphold them.  

What Makes a Good Transport Manager?

Qualities of an Efficient Transport Manager 

There is no one-size-fits-all requirement for transport managers. Licences, certifications, and experience vary per industry or country.  

However, you might want to be on lookout for the following qualities when sourcing a reputable transport manager for your business: 

Hard Skills: 

  • Develops and oversees transportation policies and procedures to ensure safety and efficiency 
  • Understands state and federal regulations related to transport, including driver qualification and fleet maintenance 
  • Ability to monitor transportation costs and identify savings opportunities 
  • Deep understanding of transportation-related documentation and metrics 
  • Able to manage, monitor, and optimise transportation performance metrics and reports 

Soft Skills: 

  • Leadership skills 
  • Strong communication and customer service skills 
  • Problem-solving abilities 
  • Adaptable and able to adjust to evolving regulations, technologies, and market conditions 
  • Meticulous and good attention to detail 

Assess candidates based on these qualities (feel free to add more that’s relevant to your needs!) to find a well-suited manager that excels in their role.  

Do I Need a Transport Manager?

The short answer is Yes!

Let’s circle back to our title: Do you need a transport manager? The short answer is yes – especially when running a mid-scale to large operation.  

If your business frequently transports goods, a dedicated transport manager helps oversee operations, leaving you to focus on other business functions like marketing or sales. Remember, transport management is a pressing task, so you’ll need all the help you can get!  

You can outsource or hire a full-time manager for your business, depending on your needs.  

You also need a platform to assist you in optimising your processes

Consider investing in transportation management software as well. These savvy platforms reduce operating costs through automation and analytics. 

At TransVirtual, we can help set up your transport teams for success. Talk to an expert today to learn more.