Enterprise Shipping Decision Makers

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Enterprise Shipping Decision Makers: Demographics

Enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US are an average age of 48 years old, predominately male, mostly white/Caucasian and have at least a college degree. Detailed explanations of our findings and how we came to these conclusions can be found below.


We first began by looking for any comprehensive research reports on enterprise shipping managers, or people with job titles like Head of Logistics, Head of Transportation, Shipment Facility Manager, Logistics Manager, Shipping Manager and so on. This brought up the extremely comprehensive A Portrait of a Supply Chain Manager, a survey report published by Supply Chain Management Review and APICS. The report gives detailed information about the gender, education, location and salary of 253 manager-level or above people working in supply chain roles.

While supply chain and logistics/transport are not exactly the same job role, there is often a great deal of overlap, and many (if not most) supply chain managers and executives also cover transport and logistics in their job functions. Therefore, we had to consider whether this report could serve a useful proxy for the demographics of enterprise shipping decision makers. Unfortunately, the APICS survey is also slightly outdated. We checked the official APICS website and that of the co-publisher, Supply Chain Management Review, but the survey has not repeated in more recent years. We could find nothing, though, to indicate the demographics of enterprise shipping managers has changed significantly in the past few years, so we decided the level of comprehensiveness of this report warranted its inclusion despite being from 2016.

To try to confirm the demographic data given for supply chain managers was similar to that of transportation and logistics managers, we continued our search to look for other demographic data specific to logistics and transportation. We looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has an employment category titled "Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers". Unfortunately, the only useful demographic data reported here was location and median income, which was not able to be compared to the information in the APICS survey. For gender and ethnicity data, BLS only offers this data on much broader employment categories. Therefore, while we were able to find the gender and racial breakdown for the "transportation and utilities" segment of American workers, this was so broad that it was deemed not useful for this request.

We then found a PricewaterhouseCoopers white paper on the future of the transportation and logistics industry through 2030. While it contained some general observations on demographics, the relevant information was so broad that it again was not particularly useful. We did learn that PwC predicts that the industry will be forced to diversify in the wake of an aging workforce.

We employed a plethora of search strategies to look for demographic data on enterprise shipping decision makers. We used several job titles to check for research or reports published on the demographics of this industry. As stated above, we checked statistical compilation databases like the Bureau for Labor Statistics, DataUSA and Statista for census-related data covering this job role. We did not even find any reports behind a paywall that would contain this information. As a final measure, we then attempted to triangulate some meaningful information by examining people actually working in these job roles. While not statistically significant within the scope of this request, we examined 20 people on LinkedIn with the job titles of Head of Logistics, Head of Transportation, Shipment Facility Manager, Logistics Manager or Shipping Manager. Obviously, this method can only gather information on age, location, gender and ethnicity. We used these findings to confirm that the data contained within the APICS report was relevant to enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US.

In order to give meaningful insights into the additional demographic categories of home ownership and family size, we also decided to use the average age of 48 from the APICS report to report broader US-wide information for this demographic. Overall, by piecing together data and information from several sources, we were able to paint a comprehensive picture of the demographics of enterprise-level shipping decision makers in the US.


According to A Portrait of a Supply Chain Manager, the industry is heavily male-dominated, with 76% male, 24% female.

The average age of a manager is 48 years old, with 60% of respondents above the age of 45, 28% 35-44 years old and only 12% under age 35.

Forty-five percent of supply chain managers have a four-year college degree, with 38% having a further graduate degree. Eleven percent reported some college education, but no degree. Interestingly, only 19% actually held a degree related to logistics or supply chain management. The average level of experience was 15 years.
For location, 28% were from the Midwest, 15% Mid-Atlantic, 14% Southeast, 9% South, 10% West, and 5% New England. This does not add up to 100% as some survey respondents were outside the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also states that the top five states with the most number of transportation, storage and distribution managers are California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey.
The reported average income was $144,410. Thirty-three percent made $150,000+, 9% made $200,000-249,000, 6% made $250,000-499,999 and 2% earned more than $500,000 per annum.
As discussed above, finding information on race/ethnicity was much more difficult. DataUSA gives information on educational enrollment for degrees and courses related to logistics, materials and supply chain management. This data set is likely more diverse, as these persons have not yet worked up to managerial or executive level. Nevertheless, the data is: White 62.9%, Black 13.5%, Hispanic, 10.1%, Asian 6.4% and multiracial 2.3%. Zippia also has race/ethnicity information for a Logistics Director in the USA. They report this job role is 61.3% White, 16.3% Hispanic, 11.4% Black and 7.6% Asian.

The average age of an enterprise-level shipping decision maker in the US is 48. The home ownership rate for this age bracket is currently 69.7%. That, combined with the average income of a manager or executive-level decision maker, means they are highly likely to own their own home.

According to the average age of a shipping decision maker, they bridge two broadly-defined generations: Generation X and Baby Boomers. The average family size of a Gen X'er in the US is 3.2, whereas Baby Boomer family size is 2.1. However, this reduced figure is likely because most Baby Boomers have adult-aged children that are no longer part of the household. The overall American average household size is 3.14. Given all of this, it is inferred that shipping decision makers are usually married with children (some of whom may be adult children no longer at home).
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Enterprise Shipping Decision Makers: Psychographics

Based on our research, in the United States, the median number of people who visit websites of certain shipping companies prefer Facebook. Also, the median number of visitors to these shipping company websites have interests in transportation and logistics, business, news and media, and computer and electronics (software).

Research strategy

Despite an extensive search, we were unable to identify the enterprise decision makers as a group and as individuals. Our assumption is that, based on the amount of traffic the shipping company websites experience and the keywords that are searched, the majority of the consumers on these websites are in one way or other can be considered as shipping industry decision makers. With this assumption, we were able to identify the interests of the consumers and their media preference. However, we were not able to identify their hobbies.

In order to identify the hobbies of some of the decision makers, we examined LinkedIn and Facebook. On these social medias, we were able to find information on professional skills, associations, and interest groups. However, we couldn't locate data regarding the hobbies of the decision makers. The similar interests we identified included the Wall Street Journal and Transportation and Logistics Professionals.

We also tried to find shippers associations through hashtags on social media. But, that did not return anything relevant. However, this search attempt helped us to discover the type of hashtags and keywords used in the shipping industry on social media. We were also able to identify that the hashtags are used frequently on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The most commonly used hashtags or words are 'jobs', 'receiver', and 'warehouse'.

Finally, we looked into Department of Labor, hoping to find information on the education level and the skills of these workers in order to triangulate the information regarding the hobbies of the decision makers. In the domain of Department of Labor, we found data pertaining to the demographic profile of enterprise shipping decision makers which is being covered in another part of this request. So, we did not use the information. We also discovered information on shippers, receivers, clerks, mean hourly wages, mean annual wages, and employment hours which was categorized based on location and industry.


Media preferences

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Enterprise Shipping Decision Makers: Customer Journey

The primary factors that determine how enterprise shipping decision makers choose shipping companies are; type of product to be shipped, cost of shipment, industry expertise, kind of services offered, sustainability, reliability, and convenience. Other factors are the stability of the shipping company, safety, and insurance. These factors enable shipping managers to reduce the risks associated with the shipment of goods.

TYPE OF PRODUCT BEING SHIPPED and cost of shipment

The decision makers first consider shipping companies that transport their kind of cargo. There are carriers whose policies restrict them from transporting specific goods like fragile items, food supplements or perfumes. Cost of shipment is a consideration that enterprise shipping managers put into account when seeking the services of a shipping company. They will choose a company whose charges are within their budget. In determining the cost of shipment, they will consider a carrier that has live rates. A live rate is a system that automatically computes the price of shipment based on destination and the weight of the goods. Also, the management considers surcharges like void credits, address correction, delivery area surcharges, and residential surcharges. Charges on oversize packages are also put into consideration. They also consider carriers with great relationships with respective ports that can allow them to have additional free days to clear cargo thus avoiding costly fees.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE and services offered

Enterprise shipping managers also consider a shipping company that is an expert in transportation in the area of interest. For instance, if a company specializes in both local and international products, the logistics manager will choose a shipping company that has expertise in both global and domestic transportation services. They also consider the type of services offered by a carrier. For instance, they will prefer a carrier that can handle all their business needs because using several shippers is more costly.

CONVENIENCE and reliability

The Enterprise shipping managers also consider a carrier with a high level of service rate (LOS). The carrier should be able to pick and deliver the company’s goods on time in various destinations hence meeting the company’s customers expectations. They also consider a shipper with an excellent track record in the area they are shipping the goods. They will choose a shipper who regularly updates the managers by providing clear communication on shipment status. Also, they will go for a carrier with a proven track record in last mile deliveries. A shipper who offers a guarantee on refund of money is always confident and committed to meeting their client’s needs. Extensive tracking facilities is also a significant factor that determines the reliability of a shipping company.


Business shipping managers choose a shipping company that uses electronic logging devices. This means that the company has one of top safety rating and the drivers are legally permitted to transport the goods. As a result, the shipper will help the enterprise build a positive supply chain image which then leads to increased sales. They also consider carriers who provide affordable insurance as this is essential for the business and products.

SUSTAINABILITY and carrier stability

The decision makers also choose a shipper that is keen on following sustainable practices and is also conscious of the environment in their transportation solutions. This factor helps a business to have a positive supply chain image which then leads to increased sales. The managers also consider a carrier company that is stable in the industry. They prefer one that owns its fleet of trailers and trucks and is also able to offer reliable warehouse space for their goods. Also, a stable shipper provides consistent services that meet business needs.