Shipping Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Shipping Clerk, or Despatch Clerk, implements outgoing shipments of a company’s products and goods. Their primary duties include scheduling and logistics of outgoing shipments, tracking inventory and maintaining all records and data of the activities.


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Shipping Clerk duties and responsibilities

A shipping clerk monitors outgoing shipments to make sure that the operations in a warehouse run efficiently. Other duties of a Shipping Clerk may include:

  • Scheduling shipments and logistics, verifying the contents of outgoing shipments 
  • Determining methods and costs of shipping and affixing shipping labels with identifying information, charges and payment information 
  • Packing containers with fillers, spacers and protective padding and securing cartons and containers with nails, straps or metal tape
  • Examining and verifying that outgoing shipments meet specifications and adhere to environmental systems and management procedures
  • Documenting and sending returned shipments of damaged, defective or unsold products to Returned-Goods Receiving Clerk
  • Preparing and printing shipping labels corresponding to shipping needs
  • Taking and managing inventory and keeping the area secured
  • Organising and maintaining the stockroom through cataloguing and cleaning on a scheduled basis 
  • Maintaining all computerised shipping and distribution records and compiling reports for senior management


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What does a Shipping Clerk do?

Shipping Clerks are responsible for supervising merchandise that leaves the company’s warehouse and generating purchase orders, invoicing and other shipping documents. They fulfil the orders and verify the accuracy and condition of the merchandise before shipping. They also print shipping labels and confirm that the correct postage or packing slip is attached. Shipping Clerks also schedule freight pickups and issuing instructions for loading the products. They monitor packages from the warehouse to the point of delivery, troubleshoot freight company issues and handle customer requests and complaints. 


Shipping Clerk skills and qualifications

 Shipping Clerks are detail-oriented with excellent multi-tasking and interpersonal skills. A successful Shipping Clerk candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:

  •  Ability to operate a forklift, aerial lift or hand truck to move and convey materials and hoist packages
  • Excellent time management, administrative and organisation skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills for troubleshooting shipping issues and customer complaints
  • Ability to maintain relationships with freight companies, co-workers, management and vendors
  • Knowledge of shipping procedures, routes and rates
  • Ability to assemble cardboard or wooden containers and crates 
  • Strong computer skills and maths skills 
  • Interpersonal skills


Shipping Clerk experience requirements

Companies usually require candidates to have between six months to five years of experience in shipping, organising stockrooms and tracking inventory. Some employers train new hires with a general knowledge of invoices and packing slips. Some employers also prefer candidates with experience of spreadsheets and database software. Experience in warehouse supervision, retail, manufacturing or a relevant field is a plus. 


Shipping Clerk education and training requirements

Companies usually require candidates to have a GCSE. Companies may also accept five GCSEs at grade A-C, including maths and English, or three A-levels at grade A-C. Other requirements include certification in operating forklifts and other heavy equipment used on-site in the warehouse. Some employers require candidates to complete training in radio frequency, scanners, electronic boards, handheld digital devices, warehouse management software, electronic logging devices. Other employers require candidates to have a valid CPR and first aid certificate and a full UK driver’s licence with a clean driving record. 


Shipping Clerk salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Shipping Clerk is £21,802 per year. This figure varies depending on several factors, including the company, experience and geographical location. 


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Shipping Clerk job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Shipping Clerk and a Warehouse Worker?

Both jobs perform warehouse functions and require long periods of standing and using heavy equipment. However, a Shipping Clerk focuses on outgoing shipments, while a Warehouse Worker performs functions related to the processing and receiving of incoming goods or materials.


How can you make your Shipping Clerk job description stand out?

Begin with an attention-grabbing job description, use brief sentences and five-line paragraphs. Write in the first and second person, use bullets and only list the top requirements needed. Tell the candidate about any new technology or software being used and how the role fits within the company.


What makes a good Shipping Clerk job description?

A good Shipping Clerk job description is much more than a list of duties and responsibilities. It should provide a sense of the priorities involved and gives a clear picture of the role. The job description can also be referred to when gauging performance and an important reference in case disciplinary issues or disputes arise. 


Who does a Shipping Clerk report to?

Shipping Clerks typically reports to a Warehouse Supervisor or management to notify them of any issues with receiving or shipping. They work closely with the management by creating reports and actively tracking inventory while keeping accurate records.

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