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Careers for law graduates in transport and logistics

Jaymes Carr

The transport and logistics sector contributes about ten percent of Australia’s GDP.

What do professionals in the transport and logistics sector do?

The transport and logistics sector contributes about ten percent of Australia’s GDP. Together, they work for various types of businesses, including freight companies, which manage the transportation required to shift goods around; distribution companies, which help businesses move their goods from the site of manufacture to the marketplace; and supply chain and logistics companies, which take a holistic view of the process whereby products are connected with consumers, and look for ways to make it more efficient, profitable and manageable.

This sector is particularly important in Australia, which, isolated as it is from key international markets, must maintain efficient domestic supply chains if it is to compete on a global scale and insulate local suppliers from the impact of imported goods.

Where do they work?

The transport and logistics sector is geographically dispersed in a way that reflects the often immense distances between Australian importers, manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers, businesses, and consumers. Road freight accounts for around 75% of the goods transported inside Australia, with logistics companies relying on a network of road and rail routes supported by various warehouses.

Given the globalised nature of many supply chains, this is a sector in which many employees can expect to travel regularly and work unusual hours (especially when liaising with stakeholders in different time zones).

Some of the largest employers in this sector include Toll Holdings, Linfox Australia, Star Track Express, Swire, and DHL Supply Chain.

How can I take advantage of my law degree?

Employers in the transport and logistics sector tend not to select graduates from any particular discipline (the exception would be for graduates who have completed one of the relatively uncommon Bachelor of Supply Management/Logistics degrees).

As a result, your completion of a law degree is likely to give you an edge when applying for positions. This is because it shows that you’ve acquired the same attributes often considered to be invaluable in the transport and logistics sector: that is, attributes such as the ability to manage stakeholders, think creatively, and understand complex processes. Bear in mind that some larger transport and logistics companies will also employ in-house counsels, offering you a more specialised career path if you decide to practice as a lawyer.

What is the average salary?

In Australia, the average graduate entry-level salary for transport and logistics graduates is $55,000 to $60,000. They work an average of 47 hours per week.