A transportation manager is employed by companies that require the coordination of different means of transportation. A transportation manager may work for a number of different companies. He may work for a bus company that provides tourist busing and tours and services. He may work for a school bus company that provides transportation to and from school for children. He may also work for a truck driving company that provides truck transporting of goods and materials for outside clients.
The duties of a transportation manager can vary depending on the company he works for. For example, a manager who works for an independent trucking company hired by clients may have to constantly be designing new routes depending on demand for transportation. Likewise, a transportation manager who works for a large moving company will have to design new routes depending on clients who call to move. This may involve finding a driver willing to drive that particular route, allocating a vehicle from the fleet to that route, setting a price for the route, mapping the route, and taking care of other contingencies associated with the route itself.
In other situations, the routes the trucks or vehicles take may be the same on a daily or weekly basis. For example, a school bus company generally takes the same route to and from school every day, picking up the same children. In such cases, the route planning done by the manager would be done at the beginning of the school year and modified only if new students come to the school or if other changes must be made. The transportation manager in this type of company would thus have a different set of responsibilities, such as ensuring all drivers comply with state and local laws for child safety and that all vehicles are properly maintained, registrations are up-to-date, and that safety standards and codes are met on the vehicles.
Often, managers involved in transportation learn many of the skills they need on the job, and must be very organized, have strong attention to detail and have good people skills to interact with both clients and drivers. A college degree may or may not be required, depending on the company and the extent of the fleet being managed. Transportation, hospitality or management degrees may all be sufficient education to get into the field of transportation management.