Freight/Stock/Material Handler  What They Do

Just the Facts


Hand Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers Career Video



Manually moves freight, stock, or other materials or performs other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics cluster Transportation Operations pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Moves freight, stock, or other materials to and from storage or production areas, loading docks, delivery vehicles, ships, or containers, by hand or using trucks, tractors, or other equipment.
  • Sorts cargo before loading and unloading.
  • Attaches identifying tags to containers or marks them with identifying information.
  • Reads work orders or receives oral instructions to determine work assignments or material or equipment needs.
  • Stacks cargo in locations such as transit sheds or in holds of ships as directed, using pallets or cargo boards.
  • Records numbers of units handled or moved, using daily production sheets or work tickets.
  • Installs protective devices, such as bracing, padding, or strapping, to prevent shifting or damage to items being transported.
  • Directs spouts and positions receptacles, such as bins, carts, or containers so they can be loaded.
  • Attaches slings, hooks, or other devices to lift cargo and guide loads.
  • Maintains equipment storage areas to ensure that inventory is protected.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Dock Worker --
  • Laborer --
  • Line Tender --
  • Loader --
  • Material Handler -- Moves merchandise and materials through the company from shipments into the company to the production floor and shipments on its way to customers.
  • Merchandise Pickup/Receiving Associate --
  • Receiver --
  • Receiving Associate --
  • Shipping and Receiving Materials Handler --
  • Warehouse Worker --