Shipping and receiving clerks prepare shipping documents and mailing labels
and ensure that orders are filled correctly. Some may be required to obtain
merchandise from the stockrooms and note when orders were filled, keep track
of inventory and wrap or package the items.
They must be familiar with postal rates and must be able to record the
weight and cost of each shipment. Some provide other departments with invoices.
Shipping clerks may be required to move the shipment to the loading dock (possibly
using a forklift) and ensure that it is loaded properly.
They also verify incoming shipments against the original order and the
bill to ensure that the order has been filled correctly. They make a record
of the shipment and the condition of its contents. They may be required to
enter the information into computers, or use hand-held scanners that read
bar codes. The data is then transferred to various departments.
They also check the shipment for any problems in pricing, quality or quantity.
They may move shipments to various departments or stockrooms. Often, they
arrange for adjustments with shippers when merchandise is damaged or lost.
In larger operations, shippers and receivers may be responsible for scheduling
trucks, recording shipments and handling damaged goods.
The work that shippers and receivers do varies somewhat, depending on the
nature of the establishment and the level of automation that is used. The
larger the company, the more likely that clerks will use computers to keep
track of the records. Also in larger companies, there may be two separate
departments or job classifications to cover shipping and receiving. In smaller
establishments, one person or one department may do both.
Joe Chand, a shipper, says that in many establishments, shippers and receivers
must be familiar with regulations regarding the handling of dangerous goods,
customs and duty regulations for international shipments, the handling of
perishable goods and fragile materials, and workers' health and safety regulations.
Shipper and receiver positions are most commonly found in urban centers
where factories and wholesale establishments are located.