Intermodal Operations Manager

Last Updated:
January 20, 2024

Job Description Overview

An Intermodal Operations Manager job description includes overseeing and optimizing the transportation of goods over multiple modes of transport like rail, road, and air. They work to ensure safe and reliable delivery of goods while keeping costs low. This job requires someone who is detail-oriented and capable of handling a fast-paced work environment.

Intermodal Operations Managers act as the primary liaison between transportation carriers and their clients. They negotiate with transportation providers to ensure efficiency and push for best-in-class service levels. To do this job, you must have excellent communication skills and a deep knowledge of logistics.

Moreover, a typical day may include preparing documentation, arranging scheduling, and meeting with clients. Intermodal Operations Managers may also have to troubleshoot any issues that arise during transportation, including supply chain disruptions or delivery delays.

If you're interested in a career in the transportation industry, an Intermodal Operations Manager role could be an excellent match for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan and coordinate operations for moving cargo between different modes of transportation, like ships, trains, and trucks.
  • Ensure efficient use of resources, including personnel, equipment, and facilities, to meet customer demands and achieve business goals.
  • Monitor and analyze performance metrics, like delivery times, costs, and safety records, to identify areas for improvement and develop action plans.
  • Communicate with customers, vendors, and internal stakeholders to understand their needs and preferences, and provide timely updates on delivery status and issues.
  • Manage operational budget, including expenses for labor, equipment, maintenance, and fuel, and control costs through effective scheduling and workload management.
  • Ensure compliance with regulations and policies related to transportation, safety, and security, and implement corrective actions as needed to maintain standards.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key customers and suppliers, and seek opportunities for new partnerships and business growth.
  • Lead and mentor a team of operations staff, including training, coaching, and performance management, to build a high-performing and engaged workforce.
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, and encourage feedback and ideas from employees and other stakeholders to enhance operations and customer experience.
  • Participate in strategic planning and decision-making processes, and provide input on industry trends, market demand, and emerging technologies to support long-term growth and competitive advantage.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an Intermodal Operations Manager in the Transportation industry, you generally need to have a combination of education and experience. This job requires at least a high school diploma, although many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in logistics, supply chain management or a related field. 

In addition to education, you’ll need to have relevant work experience, usually around 5-7 years, in the transportation or logistics industry, typically as a supervisor, planner, or coordinator. It’s essential that you have good communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills, as well as proficiency in using transportation software and tracking systems. 

You should be able to manage your time effectively, prioritize tasks, and be comfortable with handling large amounts of data. A keen attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure is also important. Some companies may even require certifications in transportation management, such as the Certified Transportation Professional (CTP).

Salary Range

An Intermodal Operations Manager supervises the movement of cargo between different transportation modes such as rail, truck, and ship. If you're wondering about Intermodal Operations Manager salary range, in the United States, the average yearly compensation is around $76k to $110k, according to Glassdoor. The same position in Canada earns between CAD 60k to CAD 93k, based on Neuvoo's data. Meanwhile, PayScale states that managers in the United Kingdom earn roughly £35,944 to £59,352 per year. The salary range for this job title can differ due to factors such as level of experience, the size of the company, and the candidate's relevant skills. 


Career Outlook

An Intermodal Operations Manager in the transportation industry is a position that involves supervising the flow of goods between multiple modes of transportation, such as trucks, ships, and trains. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of transportation, storage, and distribution managers, which includes Intermodal Operations Managers, is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for goods and the need for efficient transportation and distribution systems. Thus, the career outlook for Intermodal Operations Managers over the next five years is positive, with opportunities for growth and advancement in the transportation industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an Intermodal Operations Manager do?

A: An Intermodal Operations Manager coordinates the transportation of goods using different modes of transportation, such as trucks and trains.

Q: What kind of education is required for this job?

A: To become an Intermodal Operations Manager, you typically need a bachelor's degree in logistics, transportation, or a related field. Relevant work experience in the transportation industry is also valuable.

Q: What are some of the day-to-day responsibilities of an Intermodal Operations Manager?

A: Day-to-day responsibilities can include negotiating shipping rates, managing budgets, overseeing logistics coordinators, and ensuring that freight is transported safely and on time.

Q: Does an Intermodal Operations Manager work in an office or outdoors?

A: The job typically involves working in an office, but there may be some travel to shipping and receiving sites to oversee operations in person.

Q: What qualities are important for someone who wants to become an Intermodal Operations Manager?

A: Strong communication skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to work under pressure are all important qualities for this job. Additionally, it's important to be organized and have the ability to manage multiple tasks at once.

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