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What does an Airfreight & Seafreight Operations Executive do

14/09/2016

An Airfreight & Seafreight Operations Executive manages and organises activities relating to air freight and sea freight. In this role you would be developing and maintaining robust processes and systems to ensure goods are shipped seamlessly. Working very closely with customs, this type of role often involves looking after both import and export shipments – goods coming in and out of the country. The goods you will be responsible for shipping may originate from countries as far away as China and India, depending on where they have been manufactured or produced, and other countries may have very different regulations and restrictions to the UK or the EU.

One of the most interesting aspects of this role is being responsible for the shipping of a vast variety of goods from across the globe, enabling you to build international relationships with partners, suppliers and various authorities.

As a result, not only do you need both air freight and sea freight experience, but an in-depth knowledge of freight forwarding will give you a very strong advantage. Due to being an operational role, you would be ‘joining the dots’ between international locations – for example, checking whether an air or sea shipment has the necessary clearance and paperwork when entering or leaving a country.

You would also be using the mandatory National Export System (NES) computer-based export declarations system. The NES must be used by exporters to declare to customs your intention to export goods to non-EU countries. Therefore, being familiar with this system would be a real bonus too.

What’s more, an Airfreight & Seafreight Operations Executive would be expected to ensure a very high standard of support is given to sales and operations functions and the department. This ensures any issues or concerns can be quickly and effectively dealt with, which reduces any potential impact on forthcoming shipments.

To be an Airfreight & Seafreight Operations Executive some of your key skills would include:-

  • Import and Export – you’ll need to be thoroughly aware of the complexities of custom requirements for goods being delivered via air or sea. As you will be responsible for clearing goods through customs on UK and international shores and airports, it is vital you understand the different categories and restrictions placed on goods.
  • Commercial awareness – a thorough understanding of the different types of commercial pressures placed upon the business including margins and supplier contracts. You’ll need to be able to pursue strategies to develop existing or new commercial services, which can either benefit the day-to-day operations or the business as a whole. What’s more, you will be continually encouraged to focus on streamlining operations to be more cost-effective and efficient.
  • Communication skills – you’ll be fully focused on building strong relationships with air and shipping companies, authorities, customs, freight forwarders, and other suppliers to avoid any disruption to goods being imported or exported. Therefore, you’ll need to be able to communicate clearly, both written and verbally, and act assertively (when required) in order to make sure goods are shipped in and out of locations as smoothly as possible. Plus, you’ll need to be able to effectively support your team and department with the challenges they may be facing in getting goods from A to B.

Are you interested in becoming an Airfreight & Seafreight Operations Executive? Find out more by speaking to one of our team.

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