Airline Freight Sales Representatives

Air cargo is expected to see a large increase in the very near future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In expectation, some airlines have already expanded their terminal capabilities, or are in the process of doing so, and have added more planes to be able to compete and grab a larger share of the cargo shipping business.

Managing Freight and Cargo in the Airline Industry is Just as Important as Commercial Flight

Handling air freight is both a national and an international business and airline freight sales representatives are the ones to line up the customers for the airlines.

Airline freight sales representatives are the ones making the contacts with freight forwarders and company agents that are looking to find a shipper for their products. Different airlines may call these representatives by slightly different names, such as air freight agents. In this field, there is plenty of room for advancement – particularly at the larger airports.

Responsibilities of Airline Freight Sales Reps

An airline freight sales rep is responsible to have contact with companies and freight forwarders on an ongoing basis in order to generate a constant flow of cargo for the airline to ship. They have to coordinate the movement of cargo and ensure that it gets placed on specific flights in order to reach its destination on time.

Did You Know? Every airline needs a freight sales rep if they plan to regularly ship cargo. It is a job with a great future both in and out of airports.

It is their job to know where a client’s cargo is at all times. This includes loading and unloading, and ensuring that it is loaded onto the plane with proper balance and weight being taken into consideration. Tracking the cargo is another task, so that the airline freight representative can notify the client as to its location and status.

Job Requirements of an Airline Freight Sales Representative

For shipping and tracking purposes, the airline freight sales representative needs to be able to perform calculations with a calculator and use a computer and printer to generate orders and invoices for clients. They will need to be able to calculate shipping rates, provide schedules, track cargo, and generate sales from existing and new clients. They will also need to ensure that space allocations are suitable, and that the cargo is moved as needed when being unloaded. Contact with vendors, truckers, airlines, etc., will need to be performed as needed to ensure on-time delivery and pickup of cargo. Solutions will also need to be provided when there are problems with shipments, carriers, or complaints.

Freight sales representatives need to use a number of tools to perform their daily tasks. This includes the phone, a computer, a calculator, a printer, various software, and more. They will often have to multitask and will have to be able to work well under stress. Some offices may require bi-lingual representatives. Being able to just get the job done when needed is highly desirable.

Training and Education Required

Different sized airports and those with larger cargo capabilities will have different requirements for an airline freight sales representative. A smaller airport may only require that candidates be 18 years old and have a H.S. Diploma or a GED. Larger airports may require a four-year degree and as much as five to seven years previous or related experience. Experience in a customer services field is another plus. Strong verbal and written skills are also essential, as well as the ability to make quick decisions. Those applying at larger airports will need to prove their sales ability.

In order to work at an airport, you will need to be able to pass a criminal background check that will go back at least 10 years. Passing a drug test will be another requirement.

Salary and Benefits

The benefits are good for this position. Salaries for those getting started in the field will be between $12 and $22 per hour or up to about $42,000 per year. Benefits may include health, dental, and a basic life insurance, a retirement plan, vacation pay, and more.

Airlines are also looking for people to work as an airline freight sales representative in foreign countries, too, which could provide you with an excellent opportunity to travel. This job has many possibilities for promotion for the right individual.

Quick Summary of Airline Freight Sales Representative Employment:

  • There is an increasing demand for air freight sales representatives.
  • Sales reps in air cargo enjoy excellent benefits.
  • Freight sales reps can have a great future and lots of work – at home or abroad.


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