Career Profile: Cargo and Freight Agent

Career Profile: Cargo and Freight Agent

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

When people send packages to each other or businesses move their goods from one place to another, someone needs to make sure that everything gets to the right place in good condition. Cargo and freight agents are an important part of the process. If you are organized, attentive to detail, and helpful, you might want to consider this field.

Sending a package or a larger shipment from one place to another can be a complicated process. The address on the label needs to be correct, the package must be properly wrapped, and the sender needs to pay the right amount of postage to send the package to its destination. Someone also must be available to receive the package at the destination. Cargo and freight agents are experts in this field.

Cargo and freight agents work in warehouses, stockrooms, shipping centres in factories, and other places where people send large packages. Some might even work for museums or universities. They might work for airlines, water transport centres, or shipping companies. They often check documents for importing or exporting goods, meet with clients to discuss prices and shipment options, and organize the goods that are supposed to be shipped.

Cargo and freight agents can help make the process of shipping easier. For example, they might work with manufacturers to combine different types of products into the same shipment to save space. They might examine different shipping routes to see which one is the most efficient and safest. For example, taking heavy goods over the Rocky Mountains by truck might be possible in summer but not in winter. Cargo and freight agents assess the options and help the client make the best choice.

Being able to keep track of shipments is very important in this field. Cargo and freight agents must be very organized and be able to solve problems. A good knowledge of geography is useful for making sure that shipments go to the right destination by the best possible route. English courses in high school are useful for giving people good reading skills, and mathematics courses help people in this career calculate weights and volumes. That way, they can calculate how much will fit onto a train or airplane without overloading it.

Salaries for cargo and freight agents begin at about $33,000 per year and can rise to more than $60,000 per year. Depending on the job, the work might be mainly in an office or involve actual lifting and moving, and cities are likely to have more jobs than small towns. Often, people in this job work with at least one or two other people. The hours can be long, and a certain level of stamina is important. However, the main qualities necessary for the job are good organizational and problem-solving skills.

Good communication skills are essential for the job. Often, people in this field work with a variety of companies or vendors to get the job done. For example, a company in Vancouver might want to ship to Winnipeg. The cargo and freight agent could then arrange one form of transportation to get the goods over the mountains and another to get across the prairies. Then someone would need to unload the goods and assess them for damage. Cargo and freight agents need to be able to work with all these segments of the job.

Working as a cargo and freight can be a good choice for people who are organized and able to deal with many different people to get a task done. It could be a good job for you.


Career Explorer. “Cargo and Freight Agent.” https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/cargo-and-freight-agent/.

Indeed. “How to Become a Freight Broker in Canada (With FAQs).” https://ca.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-become-freight-broker-in-canada.

Indeed. “What Is a Cargo Agent? (With Career Steps and Salary).” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/what-is-cargo-agent.

Job Bank. “Airline Cargo Agent in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/occupation/6304/ca.

Talent.com. “Cargo Agent Average Salary in Canada, 2024.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=cargo+agent.

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