Shipping/receiving/traffic clerks are responsible for the shipping and receiving of goods and supplies, as well as keeping accurate records of shipments and inventory. These clerks are employed in organizations that have regular shipments of high volumes of goods; some examples of industries that employ shipping/receiving/traffic clerks are delivery services businesses, retail institutions, hospitals, grocery stores, and warehouses.
These clerks generally inspect and sign for incoming shipments, prepare outgoing shipments, maintain records of merchandise, and manage and organize inventory. In a retail or grocery environment, they may also be asked to unload trucks, unpack inventory, and stock shelves.
Shipping/receiving/traffic clerk positions generally do not require formal education. Clerks often begin by stocking shelves or unloading trucks and learn inventory management and shipping/receiving on the job. This position is mostly performed indoors in a warehouse or backroom/receiving area of a store. Some heavy lifting of boxes may be required in some jobs. Additionally, shipping/receiving/traffic clerks generally need to be able to use a pallet jack, and possibly drive a forklift. They also need to have strong basic arithmetic skills to manage inventory.
Shift hours for shipping/receiving/traffic clerks vary by industry, but there is potential to work at any time of day. In a retail environment, clerks are generally expected to work early morning hours, as that is when most truck deliveries arrive. Mail delivery services generally operate 24 hours a day, so clerks may work a variety of shifts. In other industries, clerks may work during regular business hours, although during busy periods, overtime may be required.
Shipping / Receiving / Traffic Clerk Tasks
- Receive, unpack, verify and record incoming merchandise or material.
- Assemble, address, stamp, and ship merchandise or material.
- Verify and keep records on incoming and outgoing shipments.
- Arrange for the transportation of products.