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The transportation and logistics industry has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Modern logistics is a sophisticated field that seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technology with strategic and operational acumen. This evolution has made transportation and logistics an attractive field for degreed and certified professionals as they evaluate their career pathways. The Jacksonville region has long been known as a global transportation and logistics hub, with almost 50,000 workers and operations for some of the world’s leading companies like Amazon, CSX, Landstar, Suddath, UPS and Wayfair.

Logistics involves the strategic coordination of various elements in the supply chain to ensure the efficient movement of goods and services. Technology has revolutionized transportation and logistics, enhancing processes such as managing inventory, loading and unloading trucks, and overseeing shipments. That revolution started with basic connectivity between legacy systems and now extends into artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies enable transportation and logistics teams to optimize every stage of the supply chain, from forecasting demand and managing inventory to route planning and real-time tracking of shipments. Automation has streamlined previously time-consuming tasks, allowing logistics experts to focus on strategic decision-making and problem-solving.

Moreover, logistics has become increasingly intertwined with the financial aspects of business operations. Professionals in the field now need a solid understanding of financial principles and the ability to leverage financial tools to make informed decisions. Cost management, budgeting, and financial forecasting are integral components of modern logistics, requiring professionals to possess a dual skill set that combines operational expertise with financial acumen.

Operations management and engineering skills are a linchpin in the modern logistics landscape, serving as the nexus where technology, finance, and execution converge. Operations professionals in logistics orchestrate the day-to-day activities that keep the supply chain running smoothly. Experienced operations managers make data-driven decisions to fine-tune supply chain operations, striking a delicate balance between cost-effectiveness and service excellence. The ability to analyze and interpret operational data is now as crucial as overseeing physical tasks, transforming operations roles into strategic positions within the logistics ecosystem.

Regardless of the macro changes, transportation and logistics remains a high-growth industry for certified professionals across a range of skill sets. The demand for CDL drivers, diesel mechanics and service technicians has never been higher and the need for experienced supervisors and leaders in handling, vehicle operations and warehouse management is a critical need for today’s employers, providing great career paths with significant long-term potential.

Growth in the supply chain has been instrumental in the growth of the Jacksonville region for decades. Global companies across a range of industries have strategically located some manner of their operations here to leverage the connectivity of the area along with its skilled workforce. FreezPak Logistics, Arcadia Cold, Ferrosource and FlexCold all announced projects in 2023 and most recently KeHE, a leading natural foods distributor, announced that they are breaking ground on $88.5 million facility in St. Johns County.

The perception of logistics as “dirty work” with limited skills is outdated. The maturity of the supply chain due to changes in manufacturing, the advent of the internet economy and the real-time demands from consumers around the world necessitate that transportation and logistics professionals bring a high degree of sophistication and practical experience to their work. This provides countless career opportunities that you can learn more about through the Transportation & Logistics Career Pathway.