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Five qualities of a successful transport manager

Updated: Jul 17

Creating the correct balance for yourself and your people within the distribution arena can be particularly challenging yet abundantly fruitful for all!

A shift manager of a well known parcel carrier once exclaimed to a driver whilst he had an audience in a busy warehouse that his 'maverick' ways would never lead to success! Two years later at a rival company that same driver achieved 'some of the best figures in the UK/Nordics' according to the then depot manager! That particularly clever shift manager did not progress and is still at the same level in the same role 15 years on. The moral of the story being, never listen to the negativity of people who will try to use their position to put you down whilst they are busy failing to succeed themselves.

Considering these five prominent qualities listed below, allied to your own methodical approach to transport management should give plenty of food for thought, positivity and potentially the reaping of unexpected rewards.


Maybe an old cliche but consider, are you a leader or a dictator? Behaving as a dictator will create a divide in your working relationships, you will never gain respect from your colleagues. We witness time and again managers shouting at warehouse staff and drivers which is tantamount to abuse! It achieves only one thing, to alienate your staff. However, leading by example showing verve, understanding, positivity and empathy will undoubtedly make a difference not only to your own mindset but also to those of your peers and colleagues who will respect you further.


The act of actually caring personally for your colleagues seems to have been somewhat lost in this modern world of computers and KPI's! For those that require a little attention or dare I say an arm around the shoulder, it could be the subtle touch that reaps huge rewards from that particular staff member. Its all about maintaining the workers positive mindset, particularly amongst those who are well known for their negativity! Finding a solution and attempting to change ones mindset as well as others could ultimately lead to a harmonious work site. But remember, there's a fine line to be trodden and certain colleagues will always seek an advantage to any kindness offered.

"KPI`s are not everything, there needs to be more of a personal touch, more empathy"


We have all been there, working in an office or on a site where the rumour mill and gossip can create a negative and sometimes hostile environment. The trick is to identify those at the root of the issue and deal with persistent offenders. Removing the negative influence however popular they may appear can free up energy and time better spent on worthwhile progress. Concentrating on positive outcomes however difficult the path may be to reach that point is surely everybody's objective?


Sounds obvious, but engaging a process which ultimately leads to being surrounded by your kind of people all pulling in the right direction and offering quality input may take some time but in the end will wholly improve your mindset, skills and performance. Plus the burden/workload will diminish on your part knowing that you have staff able to take on the work and carry out a good job. Nobody wants to be dealing with any persistently draining colleagues or issues other than those that are absolutely necessary, so sift out the deadwood, position 'can do' people at the heart of your operation and watch the flowers bloom!


Ones self is often overlooked when faced with working long hours and a deluge of issues requiring problem solving, yet absolutely vital. Work hard, stick to a plan and make it happen but always have that part of the day when you consider your own wellness in amongst the sometimes chaotic transport/distribution arena buzz. Think of yourself and your wellbeing as well as others.

It is not easy creating the right work/life balance and everyone has their own methods. But we hope having read our short blog that you may feel more positive moving forward.

Thanks for reading! Stay positive, stay motivated!

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