How To Earn a Transportation and Logistics Certification

Transportation and logistics industry careers are projected to grow up to 30%. Learn how to earn certification for career advancement and a raise.
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  • There is high demand for certified transportation and logistics professionals.
  • There are more than seven specific certifications and specializations you can earn in the field.
  • Earning one or more transportation and logistics certifications can lead to career growth.
  • Professionals can transfer skills learned through these certifications across industries.

According to Statista.com, the global transport and logistics market was worth about $8 trillion in 2020. As of 2021, North America is one of the largest regions for logistics, with about $2 trillion in market share.

Getting a transportation and logistics certification can open new careers within transportation and logistics. Earning a certification can enhance career advancement, leading to a higher salary, or a more senior position. There are both general and niche transportation and logistics certifications.

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Newly certified professionals are in high demand in transportation and logistics. Indeed.com has over 140,000 logistics jobs listed as of June 2022.

What Are the Requirements for a Transportation and Logistics Certification?

Requirements vary by transportation and logistics certification. Here are the requirements for some of the top certifications.

Certified Supply Chain Professional(CSCP):

Applicants must meet one of three criteria:

  • At least three years of experience in the supply chain industry
  • A relevant bachelor's degree or international equivalent
  • An active designation of CPIM, CPIM-F, CIRM, SCOR-P, CPM, CPSM, CTL, CLTD, CLTD-F, or CSM

Once qualified, applicants need to earn a passing CSCP exam score of at least 300 to earn certification.


Certificate in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD):

Applicants must meet one of three criteria:

  • Three years of experience in the supply chain industry
  • A relevant bachelor's degree or international equivalent
  • An active designation of CSCP, CPIM, CPIM-F, CIRM, SCOR-P, CPM, CPSM, CTL, C.P.M., or CSM

After qualifying, applicants need to earn a passing CLTD exam score of at least 300 for successful certification.


Certified Professional Logistician (CPL):

Applicants must meet one of the eligibility requirements below:

  • Nine years of logistics work experience, with two years of experience in two different logistics fields
  • Bachelor's degree and five years of experience, or master's degree and four years of experience, or doctorate and three years of experience

Learners must achieve a passing score on the exam given by the Certified Professional Logistician Qualification Review Board.


Certificate in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM):

  • Two or more years in a supply chain career
  • No bachelor's degree required

Applicants must receive a passing score of 300 points on the CPIM exam. Each part of the two-part exam must be taken within three years of each other.


CPSM Certification for Supply Management:

  • An accredited bachelor's degree and three years of full-time supply chain management experience, or five years of full-time supply chain experience
  • A passing score on three CPSM exams

Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM):

  • An accredited bachelor's degree or international equivalent
  • Five years of work experience in a contract management related field
  • 120 hours of continuing professional education
  • A passing score on the CPCM exam

What Skills Will I Learn With a Transportation and Logistics Certification?

With a transportation and logistics certification, professionals build valuable management skills that they can apply to various careers. Transportation and logistics careers require quick thinking, the ability to see the big picture, and adaptability.

Here are a few of the transferable skills gained through a certification in transport and logistics:

  • Looking at the Big Picture: Those earning certification in transportation and logistics learn how to step back and visualize a supply chain process from start to finish. Taking in the big picture is essential to many careers, especially management positions.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Earning a certification in transportation and logistics teaches real-world problem-solving that's valuable to any career.
  • Adaptability and Calm Under Pressure: Transportation and logistics certifications help professionals learn how to adapt to constant changes. Adaptability, and the ability to stay calm under pressure, are useful skills.

Is a Transportation and Logistics Certification Worth It?

According to the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) 2022 report, people with at least one supply chain certification earn a median salary of $94,000 annually, about 25% higher than people without one. And the more certifications a person earns, the higher their median annual pay may go. Those with at least one certification earn about 17% more than the median annual salary of those without a credential. Professionals with two certifications make 46% more.

A transportation and logistics certification can open the door to higher pay or help make candidates more competitive in the job market. In addition, because transportation and logistics is a large, rapidly growing industry, there is the potential for rapid career advancement.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Transportation and Logistics Certification?

Management Analyst

U.S. Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $93,000
U.S. Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 14%

Management analysts look at ways to improve an organization's efficiency. This can include supply chain efficiency, transportation delivery times, or overall efficiency. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required. A transportation and logistics certification can help management analysts stand out.


Logistician

U.S. Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $77,030
U.S. Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 30%

Logisticians organize a company's supply chain. This includes the process from purchasing raw materials to on-time delivery of the final product. There is a demand for logisticians in nearly every field. Professionals need at least a bachelor's degree. A certificate in transportation or logistics can help candidates stand out in this fast-growing field.


Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

U.S. Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $98,230
U.S. Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 8%

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers coordinate transportation and plan storage according to government and company regulations. They also oversee the distribution of products. These managers increase company efficiency for increased profit. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree. One or more transportation and logistics certifications can lead to greater opportunities.


Delivery Truck Driver

U.S. Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $36,660
U.S. Projected Job Growth (2020-2030): 12%

Delivery truck drivers work on short-haul routes to deliver packages and other goods. Delivery truck driving is often a physically demanding job. The minimum education requirement is a high school diploma. A transportation or logistics certification can prepare workers for high-paying management positions in distribution and trucking.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Transportation and Logistics Certification?

Depending on the career, the median salary in transportation and logistics careers ranges from $36,660-$98,230. According to ASCM 2022 report, the median salary for supply chain professionals is $94,000.

The best-paying jobs in transportation and logistics are often senior management positions that are essential to a company. Earning one or more transportation and logistic certifications can lead to faster career advancement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Transportation and Logistics Certification

What's the difference between transportation and logistics?

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Transportation pertains to the movement of people or products from one location to another. Logistics is the organization and delivery of goods to the end user. Logistics focuses on planning and management to ensure on-time delivery in sufficient quantity.

Transportation encompasses short- and long-haul delivery vehicles and transportation of people by air, bus, boat, or train. Transportation takes into account transportation networks and structures. The most common modes of transportation are by air, road, water, railroad, and pipeline.

Logistics deals with supply chain management. Logistics involves transportation and obtaining, producing, and distributing materials to the end user.

How do I start a small logistics company?

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Starting a logistics company requires planning and certification. Earning one or more logistics and supply chain certifications can help to demonstrate expertise. Hiring experts whose certifications complement your strengths can ensure all aspects of the business are covered.

You'll also need to take the steps required for any small business. These include:

  • Research the competition and opportunities within the market.
  • Select a business location.
  • Create a business entity such as an LLC or corporation.
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Create a business plan.

Small business owners also need to consider if a small business loan or financing is needed to build up the business.

Which certificate is best for logistics?

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There are several certifications highly respected for logistics. The most directly related to logistics would be a Certified Professional Logistician (CPL). This can be obtained through the International Society of Logistics. There are several other top certifications to consider.

The Association for Supply Chain Management offers three certifications:

The Institute For Supply Management (ISM) offers two certifications:

Other possible certifications include:

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