Written by Dr. Richard G. Boehm
Overview: Shippers facilitate the movement of commodities (products) from one location to another. Typically, shippers work for rail or trucking companies. Shippers are responsible for getting Texas cotton to ports for exports or from inland warehouses or gins to companies for weaving into cloth. Cattle need to be shipped from ranges to market and meat processing plants. Most other products need to find their way to market and shippers are the ones who arrange the transport.
Geographers at work: Geographers need to be aware of the shipping reality for all commodities. Where does wheat grow and where is it processed? What are the competing shipping costs - rail, truck, barge, ship. Where are the available transport methods and how much does each costs? Geography students learn about these matters in world geography classes or in economic or transportation geographer.
Skills: Computer skills, mapping, comparative costs analysis, industry needs analysis and international trade. Warehouse locations.