Probably everyone has complained about slow shipping or packages not arriving on time. But have you ever thought about how your packages are making their way to you? What is a purchasing agent and what role does he or she play? How many different hands do your packages pass through to arrive at your doorstep? With more and more retail giants offering two-day or overnight shipping, the pressure is on these workers to literally deliver what’s being promised. It can make for a fascinating career and knowing the background to cargo companies and air, sea, and land shipping might come in handy one day. Air transportation, for example, has allowed businesses to even offer that fast shipping and to get perishable goods far distances without spoiling. There are airlines and paths that are specifically meant for getting cargo where it’s supposed to go, both nationally and globally!
What Is a Purchasing Agent?
You may have heard this title bandied about before, but are uncertain about what is a purchasing agent exactly. A purchase agent is an employee who helps choose and buy goods or services. Purchasing agent duties include the following: collecting and screening information about the variety of options out there, comparing quality, prices, suppliers, and gathering bids from vendors and distributes purchasing contracts. A certified purchasing agent is usually always guaranteed a job, because of the high demand.
For the cargo and shipping industry, there are hundreds, if not thousands of purchasing agents working for them, over a number of various materials. Since much shipping is done internationally, your goods might be passing through countless hands.
How Has Air Cargo Made a Difference?
Almost $6.5 trillion in cargo was moved by the international aviation industry in 2012 and Boeing stated that 60% of international air-freight shipments are done on aircraft whose sole purpose is to carry cargo. IBIS World research judged that the air cargo industry was responsible for generating almost $76 billion in revenue by the end of 30%. Air cargo in general produces about 30% of the overall global shipment value.
Air cargo has better control, shorter travel times, and reduces costs as a result of the first two items, making it a favored method of transport. They have better control of how items are shipped simply because it’s a sensitive process. Products shipped via air cargo also generally arrive in better shape than ones shipped by land or sea, because there’s less travel time — that is, less time to be bumped around or mishandled.
Air cargo is also a great way to ship perishable items that could spoil. The price tag associated with packaging, freight, and labor are also all cut down because of the quick travel time. Insurance premium rates also tend to go down because there’s less risk associated with air cargo.
What is Point to Point Transportation and Why Is it So Helpful?
Point to point transportation has also sped up delivery times. This is also known as door to door service. In this case, the vehicle used to transport the goods goes directly to its destination instead of picking up more cargo or dropping some off at a central hub.
There’s less travel time involved with point to point transportation, which makes it faster and more effective. Like with air cargo, there’s a better chance of your goods arriving in better shape, because of the limited travel time. Consumers get their goods faster, which works in the company’s favor and they can then also claim that it’s a more eco-friendly method of transportation, thanks to fewer stops being made. Recycled boxes and bags are also a great way for shipping companies to be more eco-friendly as well, which reflects well on their company and is a positive for the environment.
So next time you wonder, “What is a purchasing agent?” or “How does my package get here so fast?” thank the cargo and shipping industries, who work to get you what you need faster and in better shape. There’s constant innovation and new techniques being developed to make shipping and deliveries more efficient and higher quality.