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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Ticket Agents, Cargo Service Representatives and Related Clerks (Except Airline) (6524)

Ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks (except airline), quote fares and rates, make reservations, issue tickets, process cargo shipment, check baggage and perform other related customer service duties to assist travellers. They are employed by bus and railway companies, freight forwarding and shipping companies, boat cruise operators and other public transit establishments and by travel wholesalers.

Reading Help - Reading
  • May read special instructions on courier packages. (1)
  • May read faxes, interoffice bulletins, memos, electronic mail (e-mail) and letters which request information or provide updates on policy or schedule and route changes. (2)
  • May review contracts with clients to check the accuracy of dates, boarding times, names, advance payment, total cost of trip and taxes. (2)
  • May read brochures or magazines describing tour packages. (2)
  • May read regulation or policy manuals such as when they are unsure about shipping certain items or to familiarize themselves with changes in customs regulations. (3)
  • May read computer manuals to understand various functions. (3)
  • May read letters from the coast guard on regulations concerning such matters as, radio licensing, dangerous cargo and spills to apply them to the company's operations. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • May read phone lists, customer or passenger lists and lists of agencies. (1)
  • May read address labels on packages, freight or luggage. (1)
  • May read signs and labels on dangerous goods for handling precautions. (1)
  • May read stamps and labels on tickets indicating dates and special services. (1)
  • May read telexes listing arrival times and service requirements for ships. (1)
  • May use diagrams of container sizes to assist customers in deciding which container to use for shipping. (2)
  • May read schedules and timetables to answer customers' questions about departure and arrival times, to quote prices or to determine package arrival times. (2)
  • May read maps to provide information on trips or to locate routes for package delivery. (2)
  • May read floor plan sketches of staterooms, cabins and different ships to show clients available space or to find the locations of cabins that can be reserved. (2)
  • May read completed insurance forms and use tables to determine insurance rates. (2)
  • May fill in supply order forms or cash deposit forms. (2)
  • May enter information on the computer such as ticket or shipping information, using pre-formatted data entry screens. (2)
  • May fill out client profiles with information about the client such as their budget, number of guests, entertainment, menus, dates, times, length of cruise and type of service. (2)
  • May complete waybills or bill of lading forms by writing the destinations of the parcels, who they are from, their weight and size and an evaluation for insurance purposes. (2)
  • May complete import and export forms. (2)
  • May read tide tables and marine charts to plan times and routes of trips. (3)
  • May read and plot information on charts or graphs, such as sales graphs. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • May write reminders to themselves and notes to others to convey information. (1)
  • May write way bills or complete bill of lading forms for packages. (1)
  • May enter information on the computerized reservation system using pre-formatted data entry screens. (1)
  • May complete forms such as insurance, damage or loss forms. (1)
  • May complete form letters to attach to tickets. (1)
  • May write in a log to record information and incidents. (1)
  • May write schedules for travellers. (2)
  • May write letters to respond to requests for information, to find out about lost or missing items, to reply to customer complaints, to outline itineraries or to follow up on inquiries. (3)
  • May write proposals or price quotes for customers based on the information that they provide. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May collect payment for amounts owing on waybills and give change. For companies that have credit accounts with the depot, they enter freight charges in a journal. (1)
  • May add together tickets for trips calculating the taxes and totalling the bill. (2)
  • May prepare quotes for prospective clients for shipping charges or trips. (2)
  • May take payments and down payments from customers in the form of cash, credit cards, cheques, vouchers and warrants for billings and calculate the commission, GST and discounts. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May prepare cash reports and bank deposits matching the cash, cheques and credit card totals with the computer total. (1)
  • May enter expenses and receipts in a journal or a computer, using pre-formatted computer templates. (1)
  • May determine whether cruises will be profitable, considering what clients want and what they will pay. (3)
  • May look up information regarding schedules, prices and options when helping a customer determine the most economical and fastest way to send a package. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May weigh suitcases and parcels. (1)
  • May measure packages to determine which rate applies. (1)
  • May measure freight dimensions and use a scale diagram of the ship to plan how to arrange the freight to maximize the freight load per trip. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • May calculate sales reports. Sales in one month are compared to sales in the previous month or in the same month of the previous year. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May visually estimate if customers' luggage exceeds the size limit. (1)
  • May estimate the time for customer trips, including stopovers and connections, using schedules and manuals to work out accurate estimates. (2)
  • May estimate the cost of shipping certain items, quoting shipping charges based on the number of hours travelled and on the amount of space the cargo takes. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May make announcements on a public address system concerning boarding times. (1)
  • May receive messages over two-way radios from boats telling how many passengers are on board and their arrival time and relay this information to the baggage crew. (1)
  • May listen to updates on the weather station to inform crew members of delays due to weather. (1)
  • May call suppliers to find out prices, availability of equipment and supplies or to confirm the shipment of goods. (1)
  • May interact with customers to give them information on fares, special rates, schedules, delivery times, shipping costs, insurance and regulations. (1)
  • May interact with customers to determine their needs, negotiate contracts, work out the details of shipping orders and reassure customers about the safety of packages. (2)
  • May interact with co-workers to share information, discuss problems and co-ordinate work activities. (2)
  • May interact with people they supervise to provide instructions and monitor their work. (2)
  • May talk with personnel at cruise lines, travel agencies, airlines, ferries and trains to work out travel arrangements for clients. (2)
  • May participate in union meetings or staff meetings to discuss such matters as the direction of the company, upcoming workloads, procedures, delegation of responsibilities and sales totals. (2)
  • May interact with supervisors regarding procedures, schedules, company policies, quotes, discounts, repairs or customer relations or to request assistance. (2)
  • May interact with customers to negotiate contracts. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Try to locate lost baggage or parcels by obtaining information from the customer and searching for them. (1)
  • May encounter clients who are difficult to handle and must resolve these situations. (2)
  • Determine what to do when passengers are given the wrong information about a connection or miss their connection. (2)
  • Deal with situations when there are too many things to do at one time, when passengers are waiting, telephones are ringing and packages are piling up. They deal with this problem by prioritizing tasks or seeking assistance from a co-worker. (3)
  • Deal with a vehicle breakdown by, for example, arranging for other transport. (3)
Decision Making
  • May decide whether to let passengers take extra baggage over the quota allowed. (1)
  • May decide whether to give a refund to a customer who is unhappy with the service. (2)
  • May decide which boat to dispatch for a particular job and what route it should take. (2)
  • May decide whether to accept or reject a parcel that is a hazardous shipment. (3)
  • May decide whether to order another bus based on their estimate of how many tickets will be sold. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

The tasks of some ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks (except airline) are determined by the flow of customers or by their supervisors. Within this framework, they order tasks according to priorities that are provided to them, such as serving walk-in customers before phone customers. Other daily tasks, such as paperwork, may be fit in during slow periods. The tasks of other ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks may require significantly more planning and organizing by the worker as they are related to arrival, unloading and departure times that are subject to frequent changes. The agents must rearrange their tasks and inform service providers and Customs about the changes. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • May remember shipping rates, fares and destination codes.
  • May remember the contract numbers of regular customers and their needs or preferences.
  • May remember in detail the services provided at particular hotels in order to make bookings that will serve customer needs.
Finding Information
  • May locate fares in manuals. (1)
  • May look up telephone numbers in the telephone book, for example, when consignees' numbers are missing on the way bill. (1)
  • May check a hazardous goods manual to see if items must be shipped in a specific manner. (1)
  • May locate towns on bus route maps. (1)
  • May find out rates and routes and possible options. (2)
  • May find information from managers, co-workers, agents in other departments or from company brochures. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may enter codes and words into a computerized ticketing system. (1)
  • They prepare proposals, memos and letters to clients. (2)
  • They enter names and addresses of consignee and shipper along with the weight of the package and whether it is prepaid or on an account. (2)
  • They fill in and look up waybills. (2)
  • They send and receive electronic mail (e-mail). (2)
  • They may produce tables showing profitability of various types of sales. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks (except airline) mainly work independently, co-ordinating some activities with other workers. However, many work as members of a team, cooperating with co-workers and sharing information, or work with a partner, such as when loading freight.

Continuous Learning

Ticket and cargo agents and related clerks (except airline) have an ongoing need to learn. They must learn, for example, about new fares and new routes.

Some ticket and cargo agents and related clerks (except airline) attend customer relations seminars provided by their companies. Some cargo agents also attend seminars on Hazardous Materials.

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