Shipping Clerk Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

Shipping Clerk job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities
Shipping Clerks perform various tasks, including processing outgoing shipments. Image source:

This post provides complete information on the job description of a shipping clerk, to help you understand the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that they commonly perform.

What Does a Shipping Clerk Do?

A shipping clerk is responsible for processing outgoing shipments in a shipping, distribution, or receiving department.

These may consist of parcels, crates, packages or pallets. In some companies, the shipping clerk may be the same person as the receiving clerk. He may work as part of a team or work alone.

Being attentive to detail is an imperative part of a shipping clerk’s job. He normally is required to record all information for each package shipped in and out.

This data may include weight, dimensions, tracking information and special notations regarding hazardous materials, fragility or unpacking instructions.

Once the shipment detail is recorded, the clerk will compare the information to an invoice, bill of lading or purchase order.

If the contents correspond with the documentation, he typically arranges the shipment.

Considering procedures and policies; speed of shipment desired and the package’s destination, he will then choose the right shipping company for the job.

Depending on the contents, shipping method and size, it’s the shipping clerk job to determine the best packaging options.

He/she normally uses packing material and standard boxes to prepare shipments. If the shipment is a unique shape or size, he may be required to custom build a container or crate for it.

The safety and security of the package contents is normally assured with protective packing materials to prevent damage and breakage.

Clearly written shipping labels are customarily affixed to the packages, as well as the special handling instructions.

Shipping Clerk Job Description Sample/Example/Template

Here is a sample of the shipping clerk job description, consisting of typical duties, tasks, and responsibilities people who work in the position usually perform.

  • Keep and verify records on incoming and outgoing shipments
  • Prepare items for shipment
  • Determine method of shipment by utilizing knowledge of shipping procedures, rates and routes
  • Attach shipping labels on packed stencils or cartons; identify shipping information on goods, using stenciling equipment
  • Gather preassembled containers, wooden containers, or cardboard together
  • Place items into containers using fillers, spacers and protective padding
  • Nail covers on binds containers and wooden crates with metal tape, using a strapping machine
  • Stencil, stamp or glue shipping instructions and identifying information onto containers or crates
  • Post shipping charges and weights, and affix postage
  • Inspect and unload incoming shipments, observe and document shortages, refuse bad items, and inform the shipper to replace damaged items and correct shortages
  • Forward items to different departments
  • Examine outgoing shipments and make sure they conform with specifications
  • Maintain inventory of shipping materials as well as supplies
  • May be required to perform only receiving or shipping activities and be referred to as Receiving Clerk or Shipping Clerk
  • May be assigned according to area of specialization, such as Reshipping Clerk or Freight Clerk
  • May receive defective or damaged goods returned to establishment and be addressed Returned-Goods Receiving Clerk
  • May receive unsold products returned by sales routes, sales representatives, driver and be designated Route Returner

Shipping Clerk Job Description for Resume

Making a resume for the shipping clerk position requires information about the activities and functions of the position. This is provided by the job description example shown above.

Shipping Clerk Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

Here is a list of important qualities a shipping clerk is expected to have to be successful on the job:

  • Must be educated
  • Ability to interpret packing slips
  • Ability to acknowledge receipt of the goods into the processing database and purchase order
  • Ability to fill out bills of lading
  • Familiarity with various forms used by major freight carriers
  • Must be able to estimate weight, and use the information to calculate the cost of shipping
  • Must be a licensed forklift truck operator