Shipping and Traffic Clerks

The job of traffic, receiving, and shipping clerks is to keep records of all merchandises received and shipped. The work responsibilities of these clerks vary with the nature of work and size of establishment. These clerks use automated devices to minimize physical strength required for executing the tasks.

Job Prospect
Some of the larger companies employ scanners, computers, and other equipments to make clerk's work easier. In some smaller companies, a clerk prepares shipments, maintains records, accepts deliveries, and sort packages. Receiving, shipping, and traffic clerks working in smaller or larger establishments have to move and lift cartons of various sizes.

The work of shipping clerks is to keep track of all outgoing shipments. These clerks prepare mailing labels and shipping documents and ensure that orders are filled appropriately. They keep record of items received from inventory. At times, shipping clerks fill orders. They receive goods from stockroom, keep record when inventories run low, and wrap the goods in shipping containers.

Shipping clerks address and label boxes, calculate postal or freight rates and record the cost and weight of every shipment. Additionally, shipping clerks may modify information and prepare invoices about shipments to other parts of the establishment, for example, the accounting department. The other work of clerks is to sort and take out goods from the warehouse. They also direct goods for loading.

The job of receiving clerk is to carry out the tasks the same as shipping clerks. Receiving clerks determine whether orders are filled appropriately by assessing shipments against the original order and the bill of invoice or lading. They keep record of shipment and condition of its contents. In many establishments, receiving clerks use scanners to keep record of bar codes on incoming goods or manually record the information into a computer.

Subsequently, these data may be transferred to the proper department. The growing number of clerks who are working with larger establishments use radio-frequency identification scanners (RFID) that store and distantly recover data using transponders and tags. Consequently, clerks examine the shipment for any dissimilarity in price, quantity, and discounts.

Receiving clerks lift and move shipments to the appropriate warehouse, department, or stockroom. These clerks may organize adjustment with shippers if goods is damaged or lost. In smaller businesses, receiving clerks may execute some duties the same as stock clerks. In some larger companies, receiving clerks may direct all operations of receiving platform such as dealing with damaged goods, recording of shipments, and scheduling of trucks.

The responsibilities of a traffic clerk are to keep and maintain records on the weight, charges, and destination on all outgoing and incoming freight. They examine rate charges by means of comparing the categorization of materials with rate charts. In many organizations, this work can be automated. Clerks may enter information into computer by scanning it. Traffic clerks keep and maintain a file of claims for damage and overcharges to goods in shipment.

Work Environment
Many jobs for receiving, shipping, and traffic clerks involve frequent bending, standing, stretching, and walking. In some small companies, traffic, receiving, and shipping clerks may have to lift and carry smaller items when there is less automation devices. The emergence of automated devices has minimized physical demand of this profession; however, their use remains rather limited. These clerks have to carry out following responsibilities.


Educational Qualification
Generally, receiving, shipping, and traffic clerks are entry-level workers who do not need more than a high school diploma. Employers prefer candidate who have knowledge of computer and business equipment. Trainee clerks have to work under close supervision of experienced workers. They are taught how to mark and count stock, keep records, and take entry. Usually, training in automated equipment is performed informally.

Workers need to spend ample amount of time in learning automated equipment. Usually, traffic clerks are promoted to head clerks. Clerks who have broad understanding of receiving and shipping may become purchasing agent or get into other field like industrial traffic management.

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