Skills to Develop Before Pivoting
to the Shipping Industry

See also: Intercultural Awareness

It sometimes surprises people who have no idea about the shipping industry that individuals looking to secure seafarer jobs must possess quality soft skills. These skills include a great work ethic, persistence, emotional intelligence, and meticulousness. While it is true that employers in other industries also require these soft skills, they are particularly important in the shipping industry.

Working in the shipping industry entails working in restricted spaces and spending several weeks at sea with people from various backgrounds. Essentially, having an extraordinary workspace requires maritime workers to build a unique personality.

The maritime industry is experiencing growth as the demand for logistics managers increases. A publication by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the demand for logisticians will increase by 4% per annum until 2029. Since logisticians also earn almost $80,000 yearly, jobs in the maritime industry seem very enticing.

This increase is largely due to the increase in the use of the internet in recent years. For one, there’s a lot more shipping going on. As a consumer, you can locate the nearest UPS location here to ship both heavy-duty and small-sized goods.

Like in other sectors, the success of your career will be determined by the skills you’ve developed over the years.

This article will highlight the most important skills you need to grow before shifting to the shipping industry.

Ship in container port.

Necessary Skills to Propel your Career in the Shipping Industry

Tactical Reasoning

Tactical reasoning plays a crucial role in the maritime industry. It involves a company’s plans that allow them to stand out when transporting commodities and services to consumers.

To create a plan for the firm, you need tactical reasoning to perform research, risk analysis, and comparative analysis. This is highly needed for allocating resources available to the company. As a logistician, if you can perform in-depth thinking, you’ll be able to determine which services of the logistics firm can be outsourced. The same applies for all the employees in the industry, no matter if they’re dealing with overseas shipments or working in a UPS post office.

This way, tactical reasoning boosts the level of thinking while allowing you to produce much-needed results for your firm. These soft skills are what is required of any high-level logistician.

Problem-Solving Skills

When you’re an expert in the shipping industry, you’ll be required to solve the problems that come your way. There’ll be many of these problems, and a high percentage of them will be out of your control. Hence the need for you to possess great problem-solving skills and make crucial decisions promptly.

Problem-solving skills also go beyond trying to find quick solutions to emergencies. You have to have a macro-view of the industry by discovering issues in the supply chain, staying ahead of the curve by categorizing industry trends and using them, and leveraging the power of tech to crush industry-based obstacles.

As a logistician, you must also store and collect data to make business-intelligent decisions and liaise with other logisticians to create solutions. When creating a solution to a supply chain issue, you might have to modify your logistics framework. A great example of this is UPS, as they’ve made numerous UPS locations available to their customers.

Since customers can sometimes become impatient about their deliveries, they use this to find the nearest USPS post office. If you’re implementing this change, you’ll need to have courage and self-confidence that what you’re doing is the right thing. This way, you’ll be able to shake off stress and maintain a cool personality during troubling situations.

Understanding and Conversing in Foreign Languages

One of the biggest skills expert logisticians have in their pockets is being great at holding conversations. The best way to converse with many different individuals during work is to understand different languages.

You’ll often have to converse with suppliers from non-English speaking countries. You might also need to handle documents that are written in another language. That’s why every UPS location ensures that their employees are well-versed in at least a couple of foreign languages.

This is why learning a foreign language is super-helpful if you aim to progress as a logistician. You can begin by learning how to converse in Spanish since the language is highly spoken in the shipping industry, as well as from English. You might not have to learn the language in-depth: simply understanding the most commonly used Spanish phrases can help you hold conversations with suppliers from Spanish-speaking countries.

When you view foreign language skills from a macro view, they present many more advantages than simply starting conversations. While learning the culture, you will be less prone to culture shocks. This way, you get to understand where the locals are coming from after developing broad-mindedness.

Organizational Skills

It is tough to picture an expert in the shipping industry with lax organizational skills. No matter if you’re working in a UPS location or in the maritime industry, everything needs to be accurate and precise, with errors kept to the bare minimum. The loss of a single document, that’s either sent to the wrong port or lost in transit, could spell disaster for a firm.

The company could lose its reputation, and the business could move to their competitors. Hence, if you wish to work in a setting such as a UPS post office, you need to imbibe certain organizational skills, including time management, team management, arrangement, and teamwork.

You shouldn’t just imbibe these skills for the sake of work - they need to become part of your very nature. The future of the organization you work for relies on how stellar your organizational skills are.

Negotiation Skills

Another soft skill that a shipping industry expert needs to develop is driving great negotiation. During the course of your work, you’ll have to meet up with several key officials from various firms and decide terms on various deals.

Not everybody will have your patience, emotional intelligence, and soft skills, so they might be difficult to work with. When this occurs, you’ll need great negotiation skills to make them see things from your perspective.

As a logistics expert, you need to develop negotiation skills like listening to people, written communication, managing conflicts, and building an understanding conversation. Just like the organizational skills, these negotiation skills need to be imbibed into your everyday life.

Final Thoughts

Although new people in the shipping industry find it astonishing that soft skills are needed to further one’s career in the sector, they are highly crucial. As a logistician, you need to have organizational skills, negotiation skills, be a problem solver, and understand the most common foreign languages in the maritime industry.

While these required skills seem too many, expert logisticians weren’t born with them. With training and time, these skills were developed. Nevertheless, the faster you get to developing these skills, the better.