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What is a Shipping Clerk in Distribution?

Are you looking for a job that is a combination of manual labor and computer skills? Do you like working by yourself or in a small group and not with a huge pile of people? Are you looking for a job out of high school? Then starting out as a shipping clerk in distribution may be what you’re looking for. Shipping clerks working in distribution do a variety of tasks in order to facilitate the smooth running of a distribution company, such as a post office or a shipping company. If this sounds good to you, how can you get a job in this field and what can you expect?

What Is Your Job as a Shipping Clerk?

A shipping clerk in distribution does things which help in the normal day to day functioning of the business. For example, he will record information on packages such as dimensions, fragile state, hazardous materials and unpacking instructions as well as weight and size. The information is then compared to that found in an invoice/purchase order and then the shipment is arranged by its needs based on policies and procedures and packaging options.

A shipping clerk will also usually deal with packages that have gone to the wrong place or things which have been damaged. For example, a clerk will deal with its return, filling out the paperwork to ensure that the company receiving the wrong package isn’t billed and verify proof of delivery, along with the problems.

Finally, the clerk will have to maintain the shipping area by doing things like keeping inventory of materials, communicating with other departments and may have to operate equipment like forklifts, dollies or hand trucks as well as work in loading packages.

All of this means that a good shipping clerk has to have a fine combination of organizational skills, communication skills, computer skills and good physical health as you’ll have to do some heavy lifting.

Getting a Job as a Shipping Clerk

If this sounds good to you, how can you land a job? Shipping clerks are generally hired as something of an entry level job; you only need a high school diploma or equivalent for education. You should also make sure to highlight good computer skills, good organizational skills and good communication skills as well as being fit. However, more specialized training is not necessary as the company will handle training by having the supervisors do it.

Beyond that, it will simply be a matter of keeping an eye out for jobs in the shipping clerk field and applying for them as they come up. Look for jobs through mega-databases like Indeed or Monster and keeping an eye on your local network for rumors of any jobs opening up.

Working as a shipping clerk may not always be thrilling and it doesn’t exactly pay top dollar, but if you like organizing things, working alone or in small teams and you enjoy some physical exertion, then this could be the right job to get started in. Brush up your resume and good luck!