In focus: What does a vocational trainee in freight forwarding and logistics services management do?


In focus: What does a vocational trainee in freight forwarding and logistics services management do?

Introducing Justin Appel.

How does my new car actually get from Spain to Germany? The answer is: in many stages. How goods such as vehicles, raw materials and the like get to the right place at the right time in an environmentally friendly way is what vocational trainees like Justin learn at DB Cargo Logistics. 

The mastermind behind the scenes

As a future management assistant for freight forwarding and logistics services, he always knows when which goods should be in which place – and finds the most efficient transport route. He has to consider a number of factors, such as dimensions, weight, risk potential and customs regulations. Thought also has to be given to the best way to get goods to their destination. "Every company that offers vocational training has a different focus. At vocational college we learn the basics of ocean freight, air freight, and rail and road transport. That gives us a good overview of all transport routes. And here my focus is of course on rail transport," says the 21-year-old. 

Profile: Justin Appel
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Justin Appel

How I came to DB Cargo Logistics:
After finishing vocational school, I wanted to do a business apprenticeship. At first, the job of management assistant for freight forwarding and logistics services wasn't even on my radar – until my football coach drew my attention to it. He happens to be an instructor at DB Cargo Logistics and he not only sold the company to me but also got me a place here. 

What special challenges come with my job:
In freight forwarding logistics you need to be able to respond and adapt quickly. You have to solve logistical problems, such as coming up with alternatives when trains are cancelled while also keeping customer requirements in mind. 

Why good foreign language skills are so important in my job:
We often work with international companies, for example with English-speaking customers and carriers from other countries. English plays a particularly important role in communication. 

My hobbies and interests:
I'm passionate about football. I've been playing for 16 years and train four to five times a week. I also like to travel in my free time to get to know other people and cultures.

The ability to improvise is key

Organising freight transports also requires the ability to react quickly. If delays occur in the logistics chain, solutions must be found swiftly. Justin is already a pro in this respect: "Versatility, self-confidence and the ability to handle stress are skills you should have in this profession. But that's also what makes it fun. Making sure that all goods reach the customer on time is what gets me going."

The A to Z of cargo logistics

Vocational training at DB Cargo Logistics has even more to offer: "If I had to describe my work here in one word, I would say it is varied. Everything is covered – from organising and tracking transports, including planning the storage and intermediate storage of goods, through to marketing and project management – and I can try out a lot of different areas," says the aspiring freight forwarder. For example, Justin has been involved in designing ideas for advertising flyers and planning events. And then of course there are the financial aspects. In addition to accounting and dealing with payments, the vocational training also includes sales work, such as contacting potential new customers.