Amazon. UPS. FedEx.
These companies all have many things in common.
They all sell customers goods or services, usually at a lower cost than other companies. They each have hubs, located in specific cities through the United States. And they are all part of a global transit system, where goods are transported from municipality to municipality around the world.
In 2012, the global aviation industry shipped over $6.4 trillion worth in cargo.
According to Boeing, a plane manufacturer, cargo only aircraft handled 60% of global freight shipments.
According to IBIS World research, the air cargo industry generated an estimated $75.4 billion in revenue by the end of 2013.
And likely, that number grew by a large margin. Over the past several years, the global transit system has increased to include countries that were experiencing less travel than before.
Part of that is likely due to the increased presence of the Internet in directing both travel and the shipment of goods. Companies like Amazon continue to allow the purchase of goods from across the United States, shipped to individuals all around the world.
This has changed the landscape when it comes to acquiring, shipping, and delivering goods.
That leads to the air cargo industry.
The air cargo industry represents an estimated 30% of the total worldwide shipping value. Air cargo refers to any property transported by air craft. There are many opportunities for this. Passenger aircraft can transport materials in spaces that are not being used for customer luggage or in the passenger area of the plane. A cargo plane uses their space for transporting materials and a “combi” plane combines the two.
There are many important points about cargo transport:
- Air freight services have tighter control over their shipping processes because the services are extremely time sensitive.
- Point-to-point transportation reduces the amount of time needed to transport the goods.
- Using direct cargo transportation will allow the goods to be transported in more environmentally friendly ways because of the lessened time of travel.
Environmentally important shipping can be a selling point for manufacturers. Eco-friendly transportation can include using recycled boxes or bags to ship goods. It is also important for perishable foods, which need to be shipped in a combination of insulated packaging and dry ice to preserve the food for 24 to 48 hours.
Door to door selling is another way companies are trying to separate themselves from the competition. Door to door movers, door to door transport, and door to door delivery, all are services that provide customers and companies looking to distribute the opportunity to significantly lessen costs while providing the best route from company to customer.
And the job responsibilities of purchasing agents has become more diversified as well. A purchasing agent has a particular role: To purchase goods or services from a company or individual in order to further the goals of an enterprise. This means a purchasing agent in a medium sized business that needs new specialized software can search and approach an individual or another company to buy.
Purchasing agent job responsibilities include search for particular goods and services, approaching the company that has those particular goods and services, and then purchasing them.
Many purchasing agents begin their purchasing agent careers by gaining a procurement certification. A procurement certification generally involves research and education. A person must have a certain level of education–usually a bachelor’s degree–and provide verification they have learned the material, as in the case of an exam.
Gaining a procurement certification means going through any number of organizations, such as the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council, which is specifically designed for those procurement agents who work for the government. There are others as well within the private sector.