Learn More About Shipping and Receiving Jobs

Workers in the shipping and receiving industry ensure that warehouses and businesses selling products run smoothly and efficiently. Shipping and receiving jobs include entry-level positions, such as a shipping and receiving or inventory clerk, or mid-level position, such as a purchasing supervisor.

Shipping and Receiving Job Description

Shipping and receiving clerks receive, accept, send, track, and record inventory and supplies moved to and from a business. Inventory clerks sometimes package items for shipment or delivery, inspect incoming and outgoing merchandise, record missing items, reject damaged items, attach price labels and bar codes, and perform other related tasks.

A clerk may also prepare invoices and bills, as well as documents for shipping. In some cases, a shipping and receiving clerk may be required to operate a forklift on the job or other equipment to unload, load, and transport goods.

A purchasing supervisor orders products, supplies, equipment, and other material from vendors. The supervisor determines what’s needed, selects the items, and builds rapport with vendors to ensure the best prices for the company. The purchasing supervisor also reviews the purchasing orders to ensure they’re accurate.

Shipping and Receiving Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shipping and receiving clerks earn a median annual income of $37,210, or $17.89 an hour. California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, and New York rank among the states that have the most shipping and receiving jobs.

The BLS shows that purchasing supervisors or managers can potentially earn a median income of $63.78 an hour, or $132,660 per year. California, Texas, and New York employ the highest numbers of purchasing supervisors in the U.S.

For Instance

  • The automotive tire marketing company, TBC Corporation, is seeking shipping and receiving clerks to fill open job positions in numerous locations across the U.S., including California, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Connecticut.
  • Teknor Apex offers a wide variety of shipping and receiving jobs, from entry-level jobs on the warehouse floor all the way up to logistics management positions.
  • The Susan G. Komen Foundation is looking for purchasing managers for its Chicago, New York City, and West Palm Beach locations.

Training and Requirements

Most inventory clerk job openings will only require a high school diploma or GED. Some companies will desire some experience in retail, logistics, or customer service. If the job description requires the operation of a forklift, you’ll also need to have forklift certification.

Shipping and receiving clerks typically work in warehouses or similar environments and may be required to lift heavy loads and spend a lot of time on their feet. Therefore, one must be physically fit to be able to perform the job safely.

Because shipping and receiving clerks must often contact transportation companies and suppliers as well as customers, good communication skills are a must. A clerk must also be able to work independently and keep the shipping and receiving area organized.

To get a job as a purchasing supervisor or manager, you’ll need a business administration degree or a similar degree. Most companies will also look for comprehensive knowledge and understanding of supply chain and inventory management as well as experience in a supervisory capacity.

Candidates seeking a job as a purchasing manager will also need to be proficient in Microsoft Office and be skilled with purchasing software.

Finally, soft skills relating to excellent verbal and written communication, marketing, leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and organizational prowess are necessary to succeed as a purchasing supervisor in the shipping and receiving industry.

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