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Port management

Road transport manager

Road transport managers make sure goods and passengers reach their destinations safely, on time and in the most cost-effective way.

Annual Salary

£23,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 44 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 5% more Road transport manager jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • work with suppliers and customers, plan routes and schedule delivery times
  • manage a team of supervisors, administration staff and drivers
  • make sure the operation meets its targets
  • co-ordinate staff training
  • make sure drivers follow company and industry regulations
  • put together performance reports for directors
  • arrange vehicle maintenance, MOTs and tax payments
  • organise vehicle replacements
  • manage contracts and develop new business

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

Transport manager roles are open to all graduates. A foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in the following subjects may give you an advantage:

  • logistics
  • supply chain management
  • transport management
  • business management

You can also do a postgraduate course if you have a relevant degree.

After you finish your studies, you can apply for a place on a graduate transport management trainee scheme.

You'll find transport manager roles in both the private and public sector and in many industries, from retail to engineering and passenger transport.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You may be able to do a passenger transport operations manager higher apprenticeship if you're working for a passenger transport company.

You could also start out by doing a supply chain practitioner advanced apprenticeship. This will give you some of the skills and knowledge needed to work as assistant transport manager in areas like fast moving consumer goods, for example food and drink, or retail.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could develop your transport skills as a driver, team leader or administrator. With training and experience you could then apply for a road transport manager's job.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You'll be expected to have experience and qualifications in road transport.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You may need to get a Certificate of Professional Competence - a Driver CPC - if you're the operator of a haulage or transport business.

More information

Career tips

Having a good knowledge of the road network and an understanding of transport rules and regulations will give you an advantage.

Experience of using specialist transport management software can also help.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and United Kingdom Warehousing Association for professional recognition and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a transport manager from:The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport; United Kingdom Warehousing Association; Transport Planning Society

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With experience, you could specialise in other types of transport like rail, sea or air.

You could also move into transport planning and consultancy.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • business management skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • leadership skills
  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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