The Value of Professional Certifications

Next week I will complete re-certification of my CTL (Certified Transportation and Logistics) thru AST&L (American Society of Transportation and Logistics). I believe that professional certifications are a valuable credential. Professionals prefer to do business with other professionals. Chances are if you are looking to hire an accountant, financial planner, or engineer, their credentials are important. Preference would go to the accountant who is a CPA, the financial planner who holds the CFP designation, and the engineer who has earned PE status. Why should the field of transportation and logistics be any different? Before discussing the CTL designation let me comment on certificate programs vs. professional certifications. Most of us have collected a number of certificates from attendance at seminars or training programs. These are all good but do not constitute professional certification. Some of the elements of a true professional certification are:

  • the certification is widely recognized in the field
  • certification is based on testing, research, or other measureable criteria
  • the certifying organization publishes and maintains professional standards of conduct
  • continuing education and/or re-certification is a requirement
  • the certification is “portable”, not tied to a specific company or location

The American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L), founded in 1946, is the premier professional organization for transportation and logistics practitioners and educators. The Certified in Transportation and Logistics (CTL) certification is granted to individuals who successfully complete six exam modules. Three of the modules, Transportation Economics Management, Logistics Management, and International Transport and Logistics, are compulsory. The other three modules are elective and include more specific subject matter and a creative component. Exams are written and graded by well known educators to ensure academic integrity. In 2012, as a member of AST&L’s Education Committee, I participated in creating the CTL re-certification program. In order to maintain certification members must complete 45 hours of continuing education every three years. Credit is earned by various activities including: taking courses, teaching, writing articles, participating in webinars, and tutoring CTL candidates. The CTL is a worthwhile certification to have in the field of transportation and logistics. For info on the program contact AST&L at

Comment in Logistics Consulting


Mitch Kostoulakos CTL,LCB Good info to keep on file for responding to US Customs requests. One of the main take-aways is that a customs compliance program is a must for importers. The importer’s relationship with their broker is critical and will enable timely data gathering for the response. However, ultimate responsibility for violations rests with the importer.


Boo! What to Do when the Government Calls, or Writes, or Shows Up…When Shipping Cross Border – Freight Logistics Company | Cerasis

There are many occasions when the Government, for our purposes, let’s say US Customs, takes an interest in something your company is doing. Does that sound like attention? Yup, but not all attention is good! In fact, most government, let’s say Customs comm

  • Risk Management Must Include Compliance

    In the September issue of Logistics Management Magazine, Mark Pearson has written an excellent article on supply chain risk management (Pearson on Excellence p.22). Based on a survey of senior executives, the article names information technology and global economic turmoil as the most common and impactful drivers of supply chain risk. Pearson describes different supply chain risk management investments made by respondents and the ROI’s reported by management. I would add that export and import compliance is also a very big risk factor in supply chain management. Fines and penalties for non-compliance are high enough to be worthy of C-level attention. What you don’t know can hurt you.


    If you would like compliance help contact mitch@



    Comment in Customs Specialists


    • Mitch Kostoulakos CTL,LCB Good comments all. The freight forwarder relationship is key for exporters but don’t give up control of compliance. At a minimum you need to review all documents completed by your forwarder for accuracy prior to shipment.