Shipping and Receiving Clerk Job Description

Shipping and Receiving Clerks process goods shipped and received by a company. They are tasked with seeing outgoing packages through from start to finish and monitoring their progress throughout the journey. Knowledgeable about proper packing techniques and best practices for shipping, they aim to send customers their items as carefully and quickly as possible. Likewise, they make sure items their own company receives are correct and in good condition. Shipping and Receiving Clerks keep records for their employers and track what they send out and get in so that inventory figures stay up-to-date.

Shipping and Receiving Clerks work in warehouses and offices and are valuable in a variety of industries. For instance, grocery wholesalers may depend on them to ship food to stores and to order and receive the packing material needed to prepare such deliveries. Because shipments go through various stages – such as items being pulled, packaged and moved to a pick-up area – Shipping and Receiving Clerks are on their feet much of the day. Being able to lift, move around easily and maintain stamina is crucial to maximum performance. Tasks can be rather repetitive, so workers who thrive on consistency and structure may enjoy being Shipping and Receiving Clerks.


Shipping and Receiving Clerk Duties and Responsibilities

To accomplish their goals of getting packages from their company’s facility to the final destination and ensuring shipments delivered to their employer are correct, Shipping and Receiving Clerks perform a variety of tasks. Some of their core responsibilities, as garnered from reviewing job listings, include the following:

Recording Shipments
Accurate shipment and delivery information are vital. Shipping and Receiving Clerks note such information in computer systems in order for the company to maintain up-to-date records of what was sent to which customer, what shipments the employer received and the day and time items went out or came in.

Handling Inbound and Outbound Paperwork
Proper labels with correct postage are a must in order for shipments to be delivered correctly. Shipping and Receiving Clerks make sure packages contain the right address. They also note any special delivery instructions, including mention of fragile or hazardous contents.

Maintaining Inventory
Shipping and Receiving Clerks may be responsible for physically taking items from the company’s stock to fill orders. Likewise, they may unpack incoming objects and place them in the proper locations throughout the warehouse.

Shipping and Receiving Clerks may put purchased merchandise in boxes or other shipping containers. They decide on the best placement and cushioning so that items stay safe during their journey to the customer. Shipping and Receiving Clerks also keep an eye on their company’s packaging supplies and order more as needed.

Arranging Pick-Up and Drop-Off
If packages are being handled by a third-party service – such as UPS, FedEx or a contract hauler — Shipping and Receiving Clerks schedule and monitor the exchange.

Customer Service
When customers have questions regarding the movement or content of their orders, Shipping and Receiving Clerks work to provide answers and ensure satisfaction. If items arrive damaged, Shipping and Receiving Clerks check into what went wrong and send replacements.


Shipping and Receiving Clerk Skills

Companies depend on Shipping and Receiving Clerks to see packages through from order through delivery. Successful Shipping and Receiving Clerks are responsible, organized workers who take pride in quickly and accurately serving clients and enhancing the reputation of their employer. Skills that help candidates land jobs when applying to Shipping and Receiving Clerk positions include:

  • Communicating clearly and politely with customers to ensure understanding and resolve any problems
  • Multitasking to handle various orders at the same time
  • Paying attention to detail so that nothing slips through the cracks and causes problems or delays in shipping or receiving items
  • Handling numbers with ease, especially in terms of weight and money
  • Increasing company productivity through hard work and time management


Shipping and Receiving Clerk Education and Training

About 87 percent of Shipping and Receiving Clerks graduated from high school, according to the BLS. Roughly 40 percent of Shipping and Receiving Clerks have at least some college experience, with 15 percent holding an associate’s degree or higher. Shipping and Receiving Clerks usually are entry-level positions for which employers are willing to train motivated applicants. Seasoned Shipping and Receiving Clerks are often responsible for getting new hires up to speed.


Shipping and Receiving Clerk Salary

The median annual salary for Shipping and Receiving Clerks is $31,180, the BLS reports. Shipping and Receiving Clerks in the 10th percentile earn about $21,000 a year, and the highest paid make in excess of $48,700 a year. Shipping and Receiving Clerks in the District of Columbia, Alaska and Washington make the highest median salaries in the U.S. – $45,670, $37,730 and $36,100, respectively.


Shipping and Receiving Clerk Resources

Interested in learning more about becoming a Shipping and Receiving Clerk? This organization may be able to provide information and answer questions:

Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) – Known as “the only professional organization focused on logistics management and its role in the supply chain,” WERC says it assists “those new to the industry master best practices and establish valuable professional relationships.” Its online career center helps match talent with opportunities, and its resources for job seekers includes advice on resumes, interviews, digital presence and advancement.


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