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What is a Purchasing Agent?

Purchasing agent duties

What is a purchasing agent, and how do they interact with the global air and ocean cargo industry?

Understanding Air and Ocean Partners

Many things have to be transported by air or by sea. Air shipping cargo companies offer services for items that are time sensitive. They thus have tighter control over their cargo shipping processes to avoid any damage to products. About 30% of the world’s shipments are maid by air. Shipping transport is considered an eco-friendly way to go, and sea freight shipping is one of the more economical methods of sending goods over long distances if those goods are not easily perishable.

What is a Purchasing Agent?

The purchasing agent functions as a go-between, buying products, negotiating contracts, reviewing the quality of products, and arranging for transport by the best method available. What is a purchasing agent? A little bit of everything, sometimes.

Why Would a Business Need a Purchasing Agent?

Nothing is simple, and transporting goods between Point A and Point B can be far more complicated than it seems at a first glance. Not only does every international shipping company have their own rules and logistics to navigate, but every nation has every port does as well. One of the major functions of the purchasing agent is to know all these issues, to navigate all the agreements, and to keep on top of any rule changes that may happen: sometimes even while cargo is already en route!

What to Look For in A Good Purchasing Agent

They should be willing to take time to assess the needs of every business they work with and give helpful advice on how to understand storage, shipment, and logistics needs of a wide variety of products. They should be able to arrange door to door delivery, help with monitoring of quality, and be on top of all contract agreements made with any other involved business. They should also know the marketing environment for your products and be able to help you determine what is profitable and reasonable.

What Qualification Should a Purchasing Agent Have?

Many positions start at entry level, and some companies will hire people with just a high school diploma. Many, though, will want a bachelor’s degree and other certifications that show skill in mathematics, negotiations, and information analysis. Most purchasing agents can expect to work a full 40 hour week, if not more, and positions are lucrative enough that the job competitions is sharp. Having a good understanding of a variety of industries is important for anyone interested in becoming a purchasing agent, and companies rightly want agents with proven experience in retail, management, agriculture, and even government.

What is a purchasing agent? A clever jack-of-all-trades who knows how to keep things moving and get things done. A negotiator who understands the ins and outs of cargo shipping and markets. A certified agent plays a key and rewarding role in keeping the whole world’s economy moving.

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