IT is an integral part of absolutely anything we do, and the transport and logistics section is no exception. Coordinating the shipping of products requires a lot of organization, after all: every single part needs to be in place at the right time. The products need to be delivered to the port via rail or road, and from there the products need to be loaded onto the correct ship or aircraft, then distributed in their new location and arrive at warehouses on time for orders made by consumers to then be sent out on time. This network of moving parts requires a lot of planning and organization for which many softwares and systems have been developed, in order to facilitate, ease and perfect the entire process from start to finish.
IT in logistics can take many forms, as it ranges from logistics and task specific softwares to more general applications and use cases. There are many common aspects between business requirements, as such you will find typical HR, finance and marketing softwares also in logistics companies, as these are also a vital aspect of the running of logistics companies. As such, the barrier to entering a logistics company while focusing on IT can be quite low, as many logistics companies also use common softwares, such as SAP, Salesforce, EXACT or a multitude of other systems.
However, there are also many specific tools which are geared toward the industry, in order to facilitate inventory control, warehouse and transportation management, and support the import and export of goods. While these tools can also be learned by technically skilled people, oftentimes an understanding of the processes involved in the transport and logistics sector will be of vital importance, in order to not only understand the system, but also the processes which it represents.
A career in IT can take many different paths, and is open to people who enter into it from both a logistics and a technical background. One option for example is to study or complete an apprenticeship in the transport and logistics sector and gain initial work experience as a freight forwarding clerk. In this entry level position you will quickly become acquainted with the different softwares your company is using. If you discover that this is where your passion lies, you can choose to develop in this area, become a Key User for the software and extend your skills from merely using it, to also modifying it. Here additional courses or teaching may come handy, especially if specific technical knowledge is required. From there you can become a Process Manager, implement changes in the system, develop specific teachings to train colleagues on how to interact with the system and the changes. This will allow you to either further specialize in the software and dive deep into the technical aspects such as developing and coding, or you can choose to develop into a more managerial role, and analyse the processes and oversee the implementation of changes.
Contrarily, you could also focus on IT in your studies or apprenticeship and enter the logistics sector later in your career. Many accounting, CRM and risk assessment tools will also be used by logistics companies, therefore you can easily enter the sector through a software you are already familiar with and get further acquainted with the logistics processes through this. As such, you can enter the logistics industry at any point in your career, and even get to know new softwares and expand your knowledge.