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Marine Cargo and Freight Agents


Tasks and Duties

Job Requirements



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c/o MATE Center
Monterey Peninsula College
980 Fremont Street
Monterey, CA 93940


Marine Cargo and Freight Agents

Tasks and Duties

  • Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
  • Check import/export documentation to determine cargo contents, and classify goods into different fee or tariff groups, using a tariff coding system.
  • Contact vendors and/or claims adjustment departments in order to resolve problems with shipments, or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
  • Determine method of shipment, and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
  • Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshalling areas, and help load and unload goods safely.
  • Direct or participate in cargo loading in order to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
  • Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by using a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
  • Estimate freight or postal rates, and record shipment costs and weights.
  • Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
  • Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
  • Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
  • Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and arrange for delivery.
  • Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
  • Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, handtrucks, or other equipment.
  • Assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles.
  • Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
  • Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
  • Inspect trucks and vans to ensure cleanliness when shipping such items as grain, flour, and milk.
  • Install straps, braces, and padding to loads in order to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
  • Maintain a supply of packing materials.
  • Obtain flight numbers, airplane numbers, and names of crew members from dispatchers, and record data on airplane flight papers.
  • Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
  • Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
  • Position ramps for loading of airplanes.
  • Prepare manifests showing baggage, mail, and freight weights, and number of passengers on airplanes, and transmit data to destinations.
  • Remove ramps after airplane loading is complete, and signal pilots that personnel and equipment are clear of plane.
  • Shovel loose materials into machine hoppers or into vehicles and containers.
  • Force conditioned air into interiors of planes prior to departure, using mobile aircraft-air-conditioning-units.
  • Send samples of merchandise to quality control units for inspection.



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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.