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Distribution Manager Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Distribution Manager. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Distribution Manager
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Distribution Manager Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Distribution managers, sometimes known as logistics or supply chain managers, plan and manage the control and movement of goods or raw materials from suppliers to retail and business outlets and then on to customers.

Distribution managers work closely with other professionals such as purchasing officers and warehouse and transport managers, in order to ensure goods are received in depots on time, stored correctly, and dispatched according to schedules.

They use computer packages to monitor stock levels, re-order goods when necessary, and track the movement of goods through depots. They may also oversee the ordering process and packaging of goods ready for dispatch.

An important part of the job is analysing existing networks and systems and developing new ones to improve efficiency.

Distribution managers also manage clerical, administrative and warehouse distribution staff, and deal with their recruitment and training.

Hours and Environment:

Distribution managers normally work office hours, Monday to Friday. However, depending on the operation, they may have to work evenings and weekends on a rota basis, or be on call to deal with emergencies. Many firms run 24-hour operations, where shiftwork may be in operation.

They could be located in an administration office, a warehouse or a traffic office.

Skills and Interests:

To be a distribution manager you should:

  • be able to motivate and manage a team
  • have good forward-planning skills
  • have good spoken and written communication skills
  • have good analytical skills
  • have good numeracy skills
  • be accurate and pay attention to detail
  • be confident using computer packages, including spreadsheets
  • be able to prioritise workloads
  • be able to work under pressure
  • have some geographical knowledge.


It is possible to start out in a junior post, for example as a transport clerk, and with training and experience work your way up to supervisory and management positions.

Most new entrants have a BTEC higher national certificate or diploma (HNC/HND) or a degree. Relevant degree and HNC/HND courses such as international transport, logistics, supply chain management, transport management and geography, are offered at a range of centres throughout the country.

Colleges and universities may offer foundation degree and degree courses in subjects such as logistics and transport. Check with colleges for their study programme and entry requirements.

Entry requirements for a degree course are normally five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), and two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent qualifications. For HNCs/HNDs you normally need four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), and one A level/two H grades, or equivalent qualifications.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.


Some larger employers offer graduate training schemes.

Relevant higher degrees include an MSc in Transport Management, MSc in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, and MSc in Logistics. These are available at a number of centres throughout the country.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) offers certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses with options in logistics and transport.

NVQs/SVQs are available in Distribution and Warehousing Operations at levels 3 and 4, and Performing Road Haulage and Distribution Operations at Level 3. Other relevant NVQs/SVQs include those in administration, accounting and information technology.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


A wide range of organisations employ distribution managers. These range from small firms that operate locally, to national and multinational companies. Most are concentrated in Greater London, the south-east and the north-west. Opportunities are expected to increase in the East Midlands and in Scotland.

Employers include: wholesalers; warehousing and distribution firms; manufacturers; freight forwarders; central and local government departments; public utilities such as water, gas and electricity companies; major retailers; charities; the armed forces.

Annual Income:

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

Starting salaries for graduates are around £15,000 a year. Experienced distribution managers earn around £30,000 a year.
Senior distribution managers earn around £60,000 a year.

Further information:

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK))
Logistics and Transport Centre
Earlstrees Court
Earlstrees Road
NN17 4AX
Tel: 01536 740100

Skills for Logistics
14 Warren Yard
Warren Farm Office Village
Stratford Road
Milton Keynes
MK12 5NW
Tel: 01908 313360

Other Useful Distribution Manager Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Distribution Manager job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Distribution Manager Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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