Distribution Manager

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Distribution Manager plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operations of transportation companies. As the search term "Distribution Manager job description" suggests, this job involves overseeing the distribution and delivery of products, services or goods to various locations. This manager is responsible for the organization, coordination, and execution of forwarding activities, ensuring that items reach their destinations on time, and in good condition.

Responsibilities for this job include overseeing transportation activities, loading and unloading goods, coordinating with suppliers, shippers, and customers, as well as planning delivery routes. Additionally, Distribution Managers play a crucial role in analyzing and streamlining logistics processes, handling communication efforts, and securing the necessary permits and licenses for moving goods.

Strong leadership and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and excellent communication are important for success in this job. A bachelor's degree in logistics or a related field is typically required, along with experience in distribution management or similar fields.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Planning and organizing the movement of goods and materials from one location to another.
  • Developing and implementing strategies to improve distribution efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Overseeing the coordination of logistics operations, including inventory management, transportation, and warehouse activities.
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance in all aspects of distribution, including safety regulations and customs requirements.
  • Collaborating with internal stakeholders such as sales, procurement, and production to meet customer demand in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Managing budgets, forecasting demand, and analyzing performance metrics to identify areas of improvement and cost-saving opportunities.
  • Leading and supervising a team of logistics professionals, including dispatchers, drivers, and warehouse personnel.
  • Building relationships with carriers and suppliers to negotiate favorable rates and service agreements.
  • Staying up-to-date with industry trends and technologies to continually enhance the distribution process.

Experience and Education Requirements

To get a job as a Distribution Manager in the Transportation industry, you'll typically need a combination of education and experience. First, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually required, with some companies preferring candidates who have completed college coursework in relevant areas like logistics or supply chain management. Next, experience in the transportation industry is key, often in roles like warehouse manager, shipping coordinator, or transportation supervisor. The ability to manage people and resources, strong communication and problem-solving skills, and knowledge of regulations and safety procedures are all important for success in this role. Many employers also prefer candidates with certifications like the Certified Logistics Professional (CLP) designation.

Salary Range

The average salary range for a Distribution Manager in the Transportation industry in the United States is approximately $70,000 to $130,000 per year. The salary range depends on the size of the company, the level of experience, and the location of the position. For example, a Distribution Manager in California may have a higher salary range due to the high cost of living in the state.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers in the United States was $94,560 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,980, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $167,930.

In the United Kingdom, the salary range for a Distribution Manager in the Transportation industry is approximately £30,000 to £60,000 per year, according to Reed.co.uk.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm)
  • Reed.co.uk (https://www.reed.co.uk/salary/distribution-manager/transport-logistics)

Career Outlook

Distribution managers play a crucial role in the transportation industry. They are responsible for ensuring that goods are transported from one place to another in an efficient and timely manner. So, what does the future hold for distribution managers over the next five years? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for transportation, storage, and distribution managers are expected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for transportation services and the need for efficient supply chain management. As e-commerce continues to boom, distribution managers are likely to see continued growth in their career outlook.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Distribution Manager? 

A: A Distribution Manager is responsible for organizing and overseeing the movement of goods from suppliers to customers, ensuring that everything is delivered on time, and optimizing the distribution process to make it as efficient as possible. 

Q: What does a typical day look like for a Distribution Manager? 

A: A Distribution Manager's day might involve coordinating shipments, negotiating contracts with suppliers, analyzing delivery routes to minimize expenses, and managing a team of warehouse workers and delivery drivers. 

Q: What skills are necessary for the role of Distribution Manager? 

A: Successful Distribution Managers need to have excellent communication and leadership skills, as well as proficiency in logistics and supply chain management, problem-solving, customer service, and budgeting. 

Q: What kind of education or experience do I need to become a Distribution Manager? 

A: A bachelor's degree in business, logistics, or a related field is often required, along with several years of experience in distribution or transportation management. Some companies may also require additional certifications or training in areas such as safety regulations, hazardous materials handling, or inventory management. 

Q: What industries typically employ Distribution Managers? 

A: Distribution Managers can work in a wide variety of industries, including retail, manufacturing, food service, healthcare, and e-commerce. Any company that needs to move products from one place to another can benefit from having a skilled Distribution Manager on staff.

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