A freight agent’s job is to oversee the loading and unloading of various shipments at their location. They’re employed by all types of shipping companies – air, land and sea – and the job is mostly similar in all of these cases when looking at its basic duties. The freight agent must ensure that all shipments arrive in an orderly fashion and are distributed to their appropriate spots throughout the loading area, and ensure the smooth dispatch of outgoing shipments. Freight agents must frequently adjust their schedule on the fly when shipments are delayed or arrive earlier, to prevent congestion and minimize the risk of incidents related to conflicting directions.
A high school degree is enough to become a freight agent at most companies, as most of the skills required for the job are learned in the course of employment. Some companies may require newcomers to the position to be taught by more experienced workers for several weeks before being allowed to work by themselves.
Freight agents tend to earn rather low salaries given the effort involved in the job – with an average annual pay of $28,000 – $45,000, most freight agents find themselves dissatisfied with their working conditions. The primary issue most have with the job is the very high workload that’s present most of the time, and the job can even be stressful very frequently. This makes it a rather unattractive choice for most, and has lead to a poorly-populated job market.