Road transport managers coordinate freight and transport operations on the UK's road network.

What does a road transport manager do?

Road transport managers plan and coordinate road haulage, distribution and passenger transport operations, including routes and schedules. They make sure that goods and passengers reach their destinations safely, on time and in the most cost-effective way.

The main duties of this role could include:

  • working with suppliers and customers, planning routes and scheduling delivery times
  • managing a team of supervisors, administration staff and drivers
  • making sure the operation meets its targets
  • coordinating staff training
  • putting together performance reports for directors
  • arranging vehicle maintenance, MOTs and tax payments
  • organising vehicle replacements
  • managing contracts and developing new business

You would also make sure that all operations are carried out in line with UK and EU laws and regulations. These govern vehicle safety, controls on fuel emissions, driver hours, customs requirements, and the transportation of food, livestock and hazardous goods.

What do I need to do to become a road transport manager?

A common way into this role is to develop your transport skills as a driver, team leader or administrator, before applying for promotion to road transport manager. Management experience from other industries may also give you an advantage when looking for work.

If you have a foundation degree, HND or degree in a relevant subject, you could try to find a place on a management trainee programme. Relevant subjects include:

  • logistics
  • supply chain management
  • transport management
  • business management

For more general information about careers and qualifications in the road transport industry, see the Skills for Logistics and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK (CILT UK) websites.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Financial planning
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Organisation

Desirable qualifications

  • Foundation degree, HND or degree in a relevant subject

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Your time would be split between the office, the transport depot and clients' premises. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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