About the Job Title "Distribution Center Manager"

Distribution Center Manager Job Description

A distribution center manager is responsible for ensuring that goods are dispatched on time and to the appropriate destination. To become a distribution center manager, you will need a high school diploma as an equivalent. A bachelors degree in a related field gives distribution center managers the best employment and career progression opportunities. 

Distribution Center Manager Job Profiles: This is a general writeup based on our research into Distribution Center Manager positions in the Warehouse Manager career area. For individual, real-life job profiles of actual people with this type of job, check out our job profiles page.

What's it like to be a Distribution Center Manager?

Duties and responsibilities

A distribution center manager is responsible for ensuring that all warehouse goods are dispatched on time and to the appropriate destination AND in the correct quantities. They can work a huge variety of industries and their typical duties and responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and overseeing other warehouse workers in the distribution team
  • Evaluating freight services
  • Negotiating contracts and managing relationships with chosen vendors
  • Implementing warehouse safety programs that specifically apply to cold storage
  • Dealing with customer questions and complaints (e.g., goods not arriving on time)
  • Ensuring that all department milestones and goals are met
  • Reviewing work orders to determine forecasts so that you can make plans for peak delivery periods
  • Keeping up to date with all guidelines and regulations and ensuring that they meet the department standards


As a bare minimum, distribution center manager will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. However, an increasing amount of distribution center managers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as supply chain management, logistics, business or administration. This is because this teaches them the skills and expertise they need to stand out from the crowd and have the best employment opportunities.

Skills and relevant work experience

To have the best opportunities as a cold storage supervisor, it is advisable to have as much experience in the field as possible (e.g., as a warehouse worker or shelf stacker). As well as this, cold storage supervisors will need skills such as:

  • Organization skills, as distribution center managers will need to manage a team of other workers and ensure that all goods are distributed on time
  • Negotiating skills, as they will need to be able to negotiate contracts with vendors
  • Communication skills, as distribution center managers will need to communicate updates and problems with vendors, clients and team members
  • Problem-solving skills, as distribution center managers will be faced with different problems every single day and they MUST be able to come up with solutions quickly and efficiently
  • Leadership skills, are distribution center managers will direct a team of other warehouse workers
  • Teamwork skills, as distribution center managers will be responsible for creating cohesive teams that promote trust and open communication


The majority of distribution center managers will work full time. Some cold storage supervisors will work normal business hours. However, some cold storage supervisors may have to work night or weekend shifts. They may also be on call to deal with emergencies at any time.


According to salaryexpert.com, the average distribution center manager salary in the United States is $96,873. At an entry level, the average salary is $68,197. With more experience, a senior level salary is $120,134 on average.


Distribution center managers must have experience in other roles in the field first. Supervisory experience is also a huge advantage. Furthermore, distribution managers can progress to have more responsibility. Such responsibility include managing a larger team or a larger amount of goods.Supervisory experience required

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