Transport & Logistics
The transport and logistics sector is a major employer in the UK, without it most businesses would come to a standstill. This sector includes sourcing and purchasing of goods and services, from merchandising and transport to supply chain and procurement, there are plenty of roles within this sector to pick from. Moreover increasing investment in the transport network and the growing importance of logistics make this sector a great place to search for your ideal graduate career.
Where do I start?
Within the transport and logistics sector you could be looking at a wide range of occupations. Prospects has a useful list of job profiles each containing relevant information about key responsibilities, skill requirements, starting salaries, entry requirements, career prospects with links to major employers and current graduate vacancies.
Jobs roles in this sector include:
- Air cabin crew
- Air traffic controller
- Airline pilot
- Freight forwarder
- IT consultant
- Logistics and distribution manager
- Maintenance engineer
- Marketing executive
- Merchant navy officer
- Passenger transport manager
- Transport planner
As part of your job-hunting strategy you will need to keep up to date on developments in this sector and keep track of any vacancies that are coming up. Below are some key resources to help you research opportunities available. The knowledge gained through your research may help you to target your applications and will help when preparing for interviews:
- British International Freight Association - The trade association for UK-registered companies engaged in international movement of freight by all modes of transport - air, road, rail and sea.
- Logistics Manager - Online resource bringing supply chain professionals the latest industry news and features, case studies and forthcoming events.
- Transportinfo - This website aims to bring together all the daily news stories relating to transport policy in the UK including stories from the BBC, newspapers and other online news sites.
- International Freight News - A freight and logistics news service.
Undertaking work experience is invaluable in all-important transferrable skills, which will help you demonstrate your motivation and commitment to this area of work. The key skills required in this sector include: commercial awareness, organisational skills, analytical and problem solving skils, good communication, and people and project management experience. Formal internship programmes are limited, DHL, for example, offers one. Think about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who may well not advertise formal work experience placements, it is worth considering a speculative approach to enquire about possible opportunities to gain experience.
Finding experience will take time and effort; employers receive many CVs every week so you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. You can find out more about how to create a targeted CV through the Purple Door website. The key to success is to prepare thoroughly, do your research and organise your experience in good time.
It is also worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience; Purple Door offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located in the Purple Door careers centre.
If you wish to instigate voluntary work experince during the vacation periods please refer the 'External sites' on the voluntary work experience section of our website.
Tips to build experience:
- Do your research to identify large companies and organisations that offer work experience placements.
- Think broadly and creatively about how you might develop relevant transferable skills, for example, volunteering in the organisation of an event for a University society will give you the opportunity to practice many relevant transferable skills.
- Consider all roles that might give you some real-life related work experience: a manual job in a warehouse for example will give you an understanding of the process of getting goods from A to B, and give you some exposure to the management challenges this involves.
- Be proactive and make direct contact with organisations that interest you and apply speculatively; send a targeted CV and a covering letter focused on why you are interested in them and why they should be interested in you.
- Create a LinkedIn profile to network with sector employers - see our Networking and Social Media section for further guidance.
Finding a job
Roles in this sector are numerous and varied: from transport planners and transport managers, to management roles in operations, HR, finance and IT. Employer sectors include logistics companies who supply or distribute on behalf of clients such as supermarkets or hospitals and are sometimes referred to as third-party logistics companies; supply chain companies who are selling directly to consumers, these are predominantly retailers; logistics consultancies who advise clients on how to improve business logistics efficiency; engineering companies; architect/design practices and consultants; local government; and transport providers.
The range of employers who recruit in these areas includes:
DHL - International postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL. Graduates can be fast-tracked into a logistics management position after completing its 24-month operations programme. The programme consists of two 12-month placements in different areas of the business.
Morrisons - Food and grocery retailer, offers two-year graduate scheme. Applications for the 2016 programmes open in September for graduates with a 2.1 in any degree discipline and 280 UCAS points.
Unipart - Logistics, supply chain, manufacturing and consultancy company, has headquarters in Oxford. It runs a two-year graduate programme with a range of different streams. The broader leadership development programme is a blend of consultancy, operations, management and commercial experience and training. There are also specialised paths in IT and engineering. Applications open in autumn.
Damco - Freight forwarding and supply chain management provider. It runs an international graduate programme that lasts two years.
Network Rail - Operates and own Britain’s rail infrastructure. It runs, develops and maintains rail tracks, signalling, bridges, tunnels, level crossings and viaducts.
Unilever- Consumer goods company behind brands such as Persil, Dove, Magnum and Flora. Its two-year supply chain management programme includes four rotations and offers graduates the opportunity to work internationally. The application process includes an online application form, online test, telephone interview and selection day.
Tesco -Grocery and general merchandise retailer, runs a distribution graduate programme that lasts 1–2 years and has a 2.1 entry requirement.
Kerry Group - Provides ingredients and solutions for the food, drink and pharmaceuticals industries. It runs a two-year graduate programme in supply-chain.
Mott Macdonald - Management, engineering and development consultancy, runs a transport graduate programme. They typically recruit graduates with a 2.1 or above in geography, mathematics, transport planning, town planning and some other related disciplines.
Arup - Firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists with 15 offices throughout the UK. It recruits graduates with relevant degrees for transport or town planning roles.
Transport for London- Responsible for the day-to-day operation of London’s public transport network. It runs a two-year transport planning graduate scheme for those with a 2.1 in one of the specified subjects. Graduates on the scheme complete four placements which could cover areas including bus network development, capital projects and traffic design engineering
Below is a further list of useful websites to help you start your job search
- Civil Aviation Authority Careers - Here you will find details of the wide range of opportunities the Civil Aviation Authority offer. You can search and apply for live vacancies or register your interest in key roles
- Jobs in Transport - A recruitment website for all transport professionals including transportation planning roles.
- Royal Aeronautical Society - The Royal Aeronautical Society job site includes the latest vacancies and also a members’ directory.
- Careers At Sea - Merchant Navy career opportunities.
- Logistics Manager - The latest logistics jobs for supply chain professionals including distribution, logistics, warehouse and transport positions.
- Careers in Logistics - A Jobsite for logistics & supply chain jobs including aviation, freight forwarding, transport management and warehousing.
Tips for finding a job
- Keep up to date with transport and logistics news and trends by following the professional bodies on twitter, this information might help you identify opportunities to network and tap into the hidden job market.
- Keep your on line job search flexible as some employers might use different titles to describe the same job role.
- If you are keen to focus on a specific sector within environment check out the specialist websites for these areas for current vacancies.
- Most companies have a Twitter and/or Facebook account, register with them as this is often a place where new opportunities are posted, and where you can keep in touch with their current activities .
Need more help and information?
How can Purple Door help you?
Purple Door offers support to students throughout their studies and provision for graduates up to five years after graduation, with advice and guidance on:
- Career options
- Further study
- CV and Covering Letters
- Application forms
- Job search
- And more......
Please visit services for you for more details about our support and services.
Purple Door has an online Jobsboard advertising a variety of graduate jobs across different sectors and locations. We also have a dedicated in-house Recruitment Consultancy team that delivers a personalised matching job service.
Remember if you are not on campus you can still access our services via telephone or skype booked appointments, please contact us to discuss your needs.
If you need more information why not check out some of the resources below to help you to research a sector in more depth.
- Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport - The independent professional body for individuals associated with logistics, supply chains and all transport throughout their careers.
- Department for Transport - Works on all areas of transport and delivers up-to-date information on policies and legislation.
- Freight Transport Association - Represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. This website contains the latest news, key issues and careers information.
- NATS - Give you an idea of what it’s like to work for NATS including working environment, where you will fit in, career paths and vacancies.
- Transport Planning Society - Here you can find out more about what the Transport Planning Society do, read the latest transport planning news, find details of upcoming events and discover which professional qualifications and training are available to you.