Supply Chain Excellence – Logistics Manager

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Excellence Series profiles jobs within the Supply Chain job family including jobs in demand, salaries, and employment prospects.

In this article, the role of Logistics Manager is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role 

Logistics is the backbone of any business that deals with physical products. It is the process of planning, executing and controlling the movement of goods from the point of origin their respective customer. The role of a Logistics Manager is to be responsible for managing all aspects of these processes along the Supply Chain to ensure that products are delivered on time, in full, in spec and within budget. 

A Logistics Manager position can have many varied responsibilities depending on the nature of the business which we will discuss in this article.

What does a Logistics Manager do? 

Essentially, the role of a Logistics Manager is to manage the physical movement of product for companies which will typically mean being across the transportation, storage and distribution of goods. If the company are an in-house manufacturer, they will likely be across production or would be working incredibly closely with the production team to ensure supply of raw materials and then the movement of finished goods post production. 

Some of the key responsibilities of a Logistics Manager could include: 

Planning – Develop and implement logistics plans to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of products. This could involve working across international shipping of imported products through to domestic and export shipping of customer orders. In some cases, the Logistics Manager may be involved with forecasting demand and supply if the company does not have a Supply Chain Manager and/or S&OP Manager. 

Inventory Management – A Logistics Manager is responsible for making sure the company has optimised their inventory levels to ensure correct availability. Having an effective WMS (Warehouse Management System) is becoming increasingly important to manage inventory and they would likely have an Inventory Controller or Manager in their team who will manage the day-to-day processes. 

Cost Management – It is likely a Logistics Manager will be responsible for a P&L (Profit and Loss) and will be reporting across their budgets to ensure their costs are well controlled and kept within the respective budgets. These budgets could range across shipping, warehousing (including all building related costs) through to distribution and transport. Cost management could also include managing supplier relationships such as packaging and transport partners. 

Risk Management – There is a lot of risk across a Supply Chain and a Logistics Manager will be looking to mitigate their risk exposure every step of their Supply Chain. Examples could be having contingency plans in place around suppliers or weather events through to making sure their products are stored in secure and safe locations. Health and Safety and team training and developing are also key aspects to mitigating risk across logistics.


Like many roles within Supply Chain, there is no set pathway to becoming a Logistics Manager. 

Many candidates have progressed their career into a Logistics Manager position from within warehousing and working their way up to leadership positions. Others could come from inventory, planning or shipping positions for example and then combine all of their skills into a Logistics Manager position. This pathway is possible without the need for formal qualifications. 

It is becoming increasingly common for corporate organisations to offer graduate programmes, with graduates gaining diverse experience across a business before choosing a pathway such as Logistics. Graduates starting their careers in these organisations are often degree qualified in areas such as Supply Chain Management or Business Studies. 

There are also excellent certifications available through NZPICS such as their CSCP course (Certified Supply Chain Professional) which will cover logistics management. 

It is common for Logistics Managers to have other key certifications, including Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and Health and Safety.

Key Skills Required 

We find that a successful Logistics Manager has a combination of technical skills and soft skills. Technical skills are knowledge of warehousing and inventory software systems through to commercial acumen and a strong knowledge of industry regulations. Soft skills are more aligned to strong communication, negotiation and leadership skills. Being a Logistics Manager is a busy role and being able to think on your feet to make quick decisions will be daily occurrences.

Career Prospects 

The pathway of a Logistics Manager can vary greatly depending on the nature and size of the company and the industry they operate within. A large company may have Distribution Centres and Manufacturing sites New Zealand wide and Logistics Manager may be broken down into Region Managers across each respective site. In this instance, a pathway for a Logistics Manager could be to progress through to Regional and then National Logistics Manager positions. 

For an SME company, A Logistics Manager may initially be responsible for Shipping and Warehousing which could then grow to take on further disciplines in the company such as Planning and Transport. In these instances, they could be promoted into roles such as General Manager or Logistics, General Manager of Operations or to General Manager of Supply Chain. It really does vary from company to company.

Recruitment Forecast  

Supply Chain continues to be at the forefront of discussion for any company and an experienced and effective Logistics Manager is vital to their continued success. 

Whilst there are current cost pressures for all companies and an unknown economy over the next 12-18 months, companies are certainly recognising the value an experienced Logistics Manager can have on their business. With the rise of e-commerce distribution, systems and automation, candidates with an all-round skillset will continue to be in high demand.

Salary Guide 

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

Intermediate: $120,000 – $150,000 

Advanced: $150,000 – $200,000 

National / Regional: $200,000 + 

If you would like to find out more about the role of a Logistics Manager, please contact consultant Nick McConnochie. Nick specialises in the recruitment of Supply Chain, Distribution and Logistics. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

Back to Insights