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In 2019, more than 11 billion tons of cargo were shipped internationally, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the dollar value of global trade that same year was approximately $19 trillion (U.S.).

The logistics required in the transshipment of products by sea, air, rail and truck are enormous, and the efficiency of the multitude of supply chains is equally as vital. Developing the logistical programs and building supply chain models require people with in-depth training in these sectors of cargo movement.

Patrick Bohan has been involved in supply management and logistics for several years. The director of Business Development with the Halifax Port Authority in Nova Scotia, Canada, Bohan says he would highly recommend a career path in these specific sectors.

He said his work in the area of supply chains has been “fascinating” and states that it is the supply chains that “make the world go around every day.”

Approximately 80% of global trade moves by ship and “even through the global pandemic, these supply chains had to keep functioning and were more important than ever,” Bohan stressed.

He said that, thankfully, with the necessary technology, “we had remote work capabilities and we had the devices we could get the work done from just about anywhere and that was important to keep lot of things going.”

After earning a business degree from Western University in London, Ontario, Bohan’s “first employee experience was in and around transportation,” he says. I knew how to use Excel (Microsoft) and spreadsheets plus other software programs.” 

With this background, he could see value in his training and felt “maybe I could work in this industry for the long term.” Bohan saw an opportunity in the transportation field. “To be quite honest,” trade globally was growing and getting more sophisticated in terms of overseas trade, as both inbound and outbound supply chains were being “connected around the world,” he said.

He started working in transportation in the 1990s and as his experience began to develop, he wanted to get more into logistics and supply chain management. So, he felt the best way for him to accomplish that was to become a Certified Logistics Professional (CCLP) through the Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT).

Bohan worked on correspondence courses at night and during weekends and studied “basically all different modes of transportation and warehousing and distribution topics. When I completed the courses and had five years of full-time work experience, I qualified for the designation and every year there is some upkeep required.

That was my first specific training in this field and it has served me well, to move up the learning curve in an efficient way and to get some clues about where the world is going in that industry,” he said.

Although his career was moving forward, Bohan said the shipping industry and his specific areas of supply chain and logistics are always evolving and changing and a mid-career refresher was important in his line of work.

“I had been out of school for about 10 years and working and by going back and doing my MBA [Master of Business Administration in International Business at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax], I had freshened up on the changes that had taken place in the world.”

The MBA program proved invaluable to Bohan because it had “an international project, too, which I was able to complete using work-related concepts.” He said the research project was related to his work at the port and involved some trade with China and Vietnam. “It was timely because in 2005,” when Bohan was doing his MBA, China and Vietnam “were coming into their own and the port had a lot of interest with what was going on in that part of the world with Asian trade.” 

He looked at the Asian market from the perspective of how this industry would change some of the trade patterns as well as logistics and supply chain habits.

Bohan, who was involved in the early stages of building Asian trade through Halifax, actually went to China and Vietnam for two weeks as part of his MBA project.

Southeast Asia seemed to be where the action was and the MBA project certainly helped,” he said. It was his first trip to those countries and it provided him with “good, direct connections” with the work he was doing at the port.

In a further comment on a refresher program for mid-career professionals, Bohan also suggested “some kind of specialized certification in your field.” He said an MBA or a certification program would provide “the best path to discover things that may have changed from early career to mid-career.” 

With the shipping industry and supply chains constantly evolving, updating in mid-career is also important in dealing with new technology and data streams, things which increase efficiency of supply chains, said Bohan. Early in his career, he had some ideas of where the world was headed based on training and technology and how it could be adapted to make supply chains more efficient. 

Looking into the future now, Bohan said there are discussions about artificial intelligence and other technologies, which seem to be moving to the next level where the machines might actually learn logistics and supply-chain models and update them.

So, he stressed, “I think it is very important for people in mid-career to touch base with the technology, get comfortable with it and find out what it can do so they don’t feel the world is passing them by.”

And in the shipping industry in particular, with the constant introduction of larger container ships, improved technology is vital with changing supply chains and logistics in handling cargo.

Without technology, it would be impossible to imagine if you had a 24,000 TEU ship and had to keep track of every single container plus the speed of planning, the arrivals, getting them unloaded to rail or truck and the transshipment to many locations,” Bohan says. “Without technology, can you imagine the volume of paper?”

In his work at the Port of Halifax, Bohan has occasionally been invited to speak to high school students about the port, his role there and how things get from one side of the world to the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. 

He believes that speaking to these students—or even providing business programs on supply chains and logistics as part of a curriculum—would be beneficial “because so many jobs and careers are somewhat related to supply chain.” Having their young eyes opened to the field early, Bohan added, may be advantageous compared to having to make last-minute decisions later in life.


People looking to the transportation industry for a career with a focus on logistics and supply-chain management should know that many employers are looking for specific things from new recruits.

Take enVista, for example. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the global software, consulting and managed services provider was founded by supply chain and technology experts in response to market demand for skilled consulting services.

“In terms of training for labor-management consulting roles, we do have a multi-phase training approach that consists of on-the-job training, introductory classroom training and specific vendor application training, i.e. Blue Yonder, Korber, etc.,” says enVista Vice President Tom Stretar. 

“In addition, for warehouse management, labor management, and transportation consulting roles, the common college degrees we keep an eye out for include, Supply Chain Management (BA/BS or MBA) and Industrial Engineering or equivalent type engineering degrees, like Mechanical Engineering (BS), Computer Science Engineering (BA/BS) and Data/Business Analytics (BA/BS).”

First published by Reuters

supply chain


To get an idea of how important a supply chain management education has become to the industry, remember the words of “Deep Throat” to Bob Woodward, the then-young Washington Post reporter investigating the Watergate break-in.

“Follow the money.”

Let’s start with the $25,000 pledge that Gebrüder Weiss USA, a global freight forwarder with a core business of overland transport, air, and sea freight and logistics, made in November to Rutgers University Foundation to encourage diversity and ease financial burdens for students studying supply chain management (SCM). 

The gift supports the creation of the Gebrüder Weiss Supply Chain Leadership Scholarship for five years, through the academic year of 2024-2025. Full-time undergraduate students enrolled at Rutgers Business School, which is part of Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, may apply for the scholarship by submitting the university-approved financial aid form.

Each year through 2024, two students studying supply chain will be selected as recipients of the scholarship, which aims to increase diversity by assisting underrepresented-minority students who are in the Rutgers School of Business. Based on the availability of funds, awards may be renewed for up to three years (or four years if the student is enrolled in a five-year program) at the discretion of the dean of the Rutgers Business School.

“This scholarship money will help make it possible for underrepresented students to attend Rutgers Business School, to study the field of supply chain management, and to consider many possible career paths,” says Lei Lei, dean of the Rutgers Business School. “We strive to promote diversity and inclusion across all of the academic programs within Rutgers Business School. The ability of companies like Gebrüder Weiss to create scholarships for underrepresented students helps us to achieve that and strengthens our efforts to cultivate professionals and leaders for the future business world.”

“At Gebrüder Weiss, we believe our words are only as strong as our actions,” explains Mark McCullough, CEO of Gebrüder Weiss USA, which is a division of the family owned Austrian company that is the oldest logistics and transportation company in the world. “As our leadership team in the U.S. contemplated what we could do to create meaningful change in the racial landscape of the supply chain and logistics industry in America, we knew education was one of the answers. 

“We’ve had a great relationship with Rutgers for many years. They welcomed the idea of creating a new Supply Chain Leadership Scholarship in the Business School to support our diversity initiative. We are thrilled to provide scholarship funds for undergraduate students studying supply chain management at Rutgers and hope our investment supports the growth of a more dynamic and diverse workforce in the future.”

Another Supply Chain Giant Steps Up

North American rail giant CN announced on Dec. 1 it would give $500,000 (Canadian) to renew its commitment to support research and education programs at the Centre for Supply Chain Management in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. 

CN donated the same amount to the school in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2015, and over the past years the rail company has worked closely with the Centre for Supply Chain Management to support student internships and a cooperative education program that has undergraduates putting their education into practice as “CN Fellows.” 

Events of the past year made extending the relationship with the school more important than ever, says Keith Reardon, CN’s senior vice president, Consumer Product Supply Chain. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the subject of strong and reliable supply chains to the forefront of public interest and discussion,” he explains. “As a critical part in many of the supply chains that North Americans rely on, CN is committed to developing Canada’s expertise in the increasingly important field of supply chain management by deepening our great partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University.”

“It’s a privilege to partner with CN, a strong Canadian company whose commitment has strengthened our supply chain management activities,” says Micheál Kelly, dean of the Lazaridis School. “This generous donation will allow us to continue to enhance our research, outreach and education, ensuring our graduates hit the ground running with the skills needed for today’s complex environment that requires adaptable, resilient and flexible supply chains.”

Programs for Those Already in the Workforce, Too

Every year, CN, Laurier University and the Milton Chamber of Commerce present the World Class Supply Chain Conference, which targets students as well as professionals already in the field with industry experts and speakers from all over the world. 

Milton, which is about halfway between Waterloo and Toronto, “has become a center for supply chain and logistics,” says Scott McCammon, president and CEO of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. “The summit is an important forum for learning how opportunities in the field can be leveraged, and challenges overcome.”

The fifth annual summit, with the theme “Vision 2030: SCM for a New Decade,” was canceled due to COVID-19, so a virtual event is now scheduled for May 5.

The global pandemic is also on the mind of Yossi Sheffi, the Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics, a world leader in supply chain management education and research.

A recipient of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Distinguished Service Award, Sheffi is scheduled to present a Jan. 21 webinar on supply chains in a post-pandemic world. Hosted by the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT), the webinar is based on Sheffi’s most-recent book, The New (Ab)Normal: Reshaping Business and Supply Chain Strategy Beyond Covid-19. An audience Q&A is part of the presentation. (Go to for more details.)

Supply chain management students and professionals from the pharma side should also check out webinar recordings from Pharma Logistics IQ:

-The Pharma Supply Chain After COVID-19 

-Mapping Data Utilization to Transform Global Supply Chains 

-Reducing Waste and Eliminating Temperature Excursions in Your Supply Chain.

Go to for more details.



There are tons of transportation and logistics programs out there. But the question is: Which program will get you from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to be)? We imagine that where you want to be includes being fully integrated into a global supply system with cutting-edge ideas, and training that helps to bring solutions to the problems of 2020 and beyond.

Here’s our round-up of five transportation and logistics education programs, worldwide. There are plenty more, but these are ones we think are a good place to start.


MIT: Masters in Supply Chain Management

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology program takes students from the lab to the real world of transportation and logistics. Students take what they’ve learned from researchers and experts in transportation and logistics, bringing their new knowledge to the global market. The curriculum includes analytical problem solving, communication, and leadership. Courses include: Logistics Systems, Database Analysis/Information Systems/System Technologies, Finance, Economics, Accounting, Leading Global Teams, Technical Communication/Writing, and Analytical Methods. Students in the master’s program undertake a research project (called a capstone or thesis), where they work with industry experts to solve real-world supply chain problems.

This program has two options: a Residential program and a Blended program. The Residential program is a 10-month on-campus program. The Blended program is a five-month program that blends both on-campus and online classes. Accepted applicants have a choice between studying for a Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management (MASc-SCM) or a Master of Engineering in Supply Chain Management (MEng-SCM).

Purdue Univerity Karanner School of Management: Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management

The Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM) helps develop skills in supply chain management, business analytics, and operations. It ranks No. 12 for Top North American Graduate Supply Chain Programs in Gartner’s. ranked it No. 2 in the world for Masters Programs for Transportation and Logistics in 2018. This program prepares students for leadership roles through formal and informal education opportunities with industry leaders. A traditional, 18-month program, for those with little work experience, and a 10-month accelerated program for people with 6+ years of industry experience are offered. Courses include: Intro to Operations Management, Supply Chain Analytics, Summer Semester Experiential Learning and Logistics Strategic Sourcing.


Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru CENTRUM Business School: International Corporate Master in Operations

The International Corporate Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management helps people to have a strategic impact on supply chains. The focus is on service and applying tech and global management standards. This program is open to operations and logistics professionals with 3+ years of experience and is open to looking at things from a global point of view. Courses offered include: Supply Chain Management, Statistics, Tools or Managerial Decision Making, Qualitative Research of Food Marketing, Management of Procurement, Warehouse Management, Management of Data in Organizations, and Research Methodology. Admissions are year-round. Applications, which are processed within two weeks of receipt, include an interview that is set up immediately.


MIP Politécnico di Milano Graduate School of Business: International Master in Supply Chain and Procurement Management

The Master In Supply Chain Management helps transportation and logistics professionals build a global supply chain career with a competitive advantage. The program, which provides strategies to increase revenues and lower costs, also champions innovation and novel ideas. Though it takes place in Italy, it is taught in English and is a full-time program over the course of 12 months. Tuition is $17,651 U.S. (or 16,500 Euros). The program is created for graduates with fewer than three years of work experience.

Topics of focus are innovation, technology, and sustainability, with additional training in soft skills. It’s accredited by CIPS, the largest professional organization serving supply chain management. It is also listed at No. 4 for the Top 2019 Best Masters in the Eduniversal Ranking. The average class size is 25 students. Applications are accepted on a year-long rolling basis. The degree awarded after graduation is the First Level University Specializing Master, recognized by Italy’s government. Students should check with their respective countries to confirm that the degree is transferrable. Some of the skills desired in applicants are an affinity for leadership, an openness to learn about a range of areas in procurement/supply chain, and business and analytical skills.


Kedge Business School: MSc in Global Supply Chain Management

On average, graduates of the Kedge School of Management have a salary of 42,800 euros ($45,927.40 U.S.). All who graduate work in an international capacity, 95 percent are offered a job before graduation and 80 percent join a large company. This MSc degree prepares students for the new era of supply chain management, boasts Kedge, which specializes in teaching within a multicultural framework, with students from more than 20 countries. To this end, students have the opportunity to learn from a diversity of experiences and ideas and build skills to overcome cultural differences.

The MSc in Global Supply Chain Management also offers different supply chain workshops, such as seminars for consultancy assignments, where students apply lessons learned to specific conditions. Students also work with business leaders from such companies as LVMH, Amazon, and Renault and also participate in a six-month internship to solidify supply chain education in real-world settings. This program aims to teach students to embrace change and integrate new ideas and approaches. The MSc program is for three semesters and costs 19,500 euros ($20,862 U.S.). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from October to July. Scholarships are awarded to 45 percent of the international students.

These programs in the U.S., Peru, Italy, and France only scratch the surface of all that’s out there for those looking for a way to move to the next level in their logistics, transportation and supply chain careers. All of these programs will give you the tools that you need to move forward in an ever-changing, fast-paced world. And with additional education under your belt, you’ll be able to take your transportation and logistics career to new heights.


International Diploma-cy

Higher education is one of the world’s leading “exports”

To compete in today’s knowledge-driven economy, college-bound students are increasingly going global in their pursuit of a top-notch degree. Since 2001, the number of students pursuing studies abroad has more than doubled, from 2.1 million to 5.0 million in 2018.

As one result, higher education is fast becoming one of the world’s leading “exports.” Many people may not think of education as an “export,” but when an international student comes to the United States, for example, the monies spent on tuition, fees and living expenses are considered “exports” of education services.

The current world leader in education exports is the United States, whose 7,021 two- and four-year colleges and universities attracted nearly a quarter of the world’s international students in 2018. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), revenues from U.S. higher education accounted for about one-fourth of the $903 billion global education services industry in 2011.

Top host destinations for foreign students

International students are the consumers of higher education exports

On the other side of the equation, the world’s leading “consumers” of higher education are China and India, both of whom see enormous benefits in sending hundreds of thousands of their students abroad to take advantage of educational opportunities and to bring that knowledge home.

Chinese students, for example, make up 33 percent of all international students in the United States, according to a 2019 report by the Institute of International Education (IIE), while the share of students from India has also grown dramatically. In 2018, China sent 369,548 students to America, while India sent 202,014. For both groups of students, the most popular fields of study are science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), followed by business and management.

American schools also benefit from the presence of international students, which is one reason why their numbers are rising (although their share of total U.S. college enrollment is still only about five percent). In addition to the cultural and social diversity these students bring, they also pay “full freight” – out-of-state tuition in the case of public universities or sticker price in the case of private schools. At some schools, international students even pay extra. At the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, for example, international students paid a $2,800 surcharge during the 2012-2013 school year.

These well-paying students have been a boon for schools facing rising costs or cash-strapped by cuts in state education budgets. But even elite institutions find these students attractive. For example, according to the ITC, foreign students made up at least 15 percent of the students entering Boston University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania during the 2011-2012 school year and at least 10 percent of students at such flagship state schools as the University of California-Berkeley. Many schools also actively recruit foreign students and even hire “brokers” to find students abroad. The ITC also reports that a growing number of public colleges and universities are forming state-wide consortia, such as “Study New Jersey” and “Study Wisconsin,” to host recruiting fairs and conferences for foreign students.

US Colleges with Greatest Share of Foreign Students 2018

Global competition to provide higher education

American schools, however, are increasingly facing competition from other countries that see the same opportunities. India, for example, recently decided to raise by 10,000 the number of foreign students admitted to its engineering schools as a way to improve the prestige of its national universities. As a result, the U.S. share of the international student market is slipping. While the number of international students going to America continues to climb, its overall share of these students in 2016 was three percent lower than it was in 2001.

While the dominance of U.S. higher education will likely continue for quite some time, competition for the world’s “best and brightest” will only get more fierce.


This article was updated as of November 20, 2019.

Anne Kim


Anne Kim is a contributing editor to Washington Monthly and the author of Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection, forthcoming in 2020 from the New Press. Her writings on economic opportunity, social policy, and higher education have appeared in numerous national outlets, including the Washington Monthly, the Washington Post, Governing and, among others. She is a veteran of the think tanks the Progressive Policy Institute and Third Way as well as of Capitol Hill, where she worked for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). Anne has a law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.