Public Affairs, The California State University

Creating Logistics Professionals to Lead Global Deliveries

By Stephanie Thara

CSU students at a transportation site

The United States spends nearly $1.3 trillion a year on the logistics industry, which equates to about 8.5 percent of the U.S. annual gross domestic product, according to the Annual State of Logistics Report. With the tremendous increase in domestic and international trade, the demand for highly-skilled logistics professionals has soared. The CSU has created programs and built centers and facilities to help develop and enhance the skills of individuals looking to become leaders in the logistics industry.

Logistics professionals manage and coordinate global delivery activities to ensure that the right customers receive the right item, in the right quantity, in the right condition for the right price. The CSU provides students with a focused, multi-disciplinary curriculum that gives graduates the tools to succeed in leadership positions with transportation providers, shippers and auxiliary industries.
CSU campuses allow students to specialize in all types of logistics. For example, students at CSU Bakersfield and Fresno State can learn the skills needed to thrive in supply chain logistics. Cal Maritime’s emphasis on international business and logistics and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s focus on packaging and logistics give students the opportunity to learn logistics as it applies to other aspects of business.

Along with granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees with concentrations in logistics, CSU Dominguez Hills maintains an Institute of Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development and Global Logistics. Students learn about the field of logistics, supply chain management and transportation in class, and can develop as professionals through the institute. The institute partners with foundations, corporations and businesses to determine and concentrate on the needs of the students; conducts research projects to understand and promote the goals of students; and has faculty and staff that act as mentors to help guide students in their careers.

In addition to producing professionals that are skilled to deal with everything from supplier relations to electronic commerce, the CSU maintains facilities that work toward solving problems within the logistics industry. Cal State Long Beach’s Center for International Trade and Transportation acts as a hub for integrated logistics research, education, training, and policy analysis. The center hosts seminars that educate the public on logistics issues and houses a Global Logistics Specialist program. The award-winning program is the only one of its kind on the West Coast, and has been commended for its innovative format that combines class participation and field interaction to help solve logistics and transportation problems.