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Job Description for a FedEx Package Handler

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In the shipping world, FedEx has earned its stripes. The company’s old slogan -- “when it absolutely, positively needs to be there overnight” – is a testament to its efficient operation, which transports and delivers packages around the globe. FedEx offers many entry-level employment opportunities, including package handler jobs. FedEx package handlers earn a livable wage, and enjoy comprehensive benefits and advancement opportunities.

About FedEx

Today, companies receive funds from investment firms to get started. Start-up companies operate with fully equipped offices and employees enjoy perks such as free meals and company-paid outings. But FedEx’s history is more of a bootstrap story – the stuff of corporate legend.

FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith outlined his FedEx vision in a 1965 term paper he wrote at Yale University. Smith cannot recall the grade he received, but as an average student, he speculates he earned a C.

Eight years later, Smith realized his dream when he began operations under the name Federal Express. The company began with 14 small planes and a few hundred employees. During the first day of operation, Federal Express processed and delivered 186 packages in 25 cities.

In the early years, FedEx hung by a thread trying to stay afloat. At times, employees received notes in their paycheck envelopes asking them not to cash their checks for a few days, as executives scrambled to come up with funds. Sometimes, pilots had to use their personal credit cards to fuel planes. At one point, Smith flew to Las Vegas with the last of the company’s funds and gambled through the night. He won and the company moved forward.

FedEx’s financial struggles have long since passed. Today, the company employees 425,000 people and operates in 220 countries. FedEx owns nearly 700 aircraft and more than 180,000 motor vehicles. FedEx ships about 14 million packages per day, processing shipments through 11 air hubs and 37 ground hubs.

FedEx Package Handler Job Description

FedEx package handler duties and responsibilities include loading and unloading packages from aircraft, vans and trailers. Some package handlers use heavy equipment such as forklifts and Tugs to move freight cages and containers from vehicles to sorting facilities.

Some package handlers work in sorting operations, moving packages from cages and containers to conveyer belts. Others work in the rewrap department, repackaging packages with inadequate or damaged packaging.

FedEx’s sorting system uses technology that scans a package’s shipping label along every step of its journey. The conveyor networks in FedEx hubs are equipped with scanners that track the location of each package within the facility. Throughout the sorting operation, package handlers position packages in a way that allows scanners to read shipping label barcodes and Q codes.

FedEx handlers must recognize hazard material labeling and properly handle packages containing hazardous materials. FedEx provides extensive hazardous materials training to all package handlers.

FedEx Package Handler Job Requirements

You do not need package handling experience to apply for a FedEx package handler job, but you must be at least 18 years old to qualify.

You must have the ability to read and discern numbers quickly, in order to keep up with the fast pace of the sorting system. Working in a team environment requires workers to have good interpersonal and communication skills.

Package handling jobs require strength and physical stamina. They must have the ability to lift 75 pounds and use equipment such as pallet jacks, hand-held scanners, dock carts, dollies and forklifts.

Job candidates must pass a medical examination and drug test to qualify for employment. Package handlers must be willing to follow safety rules and instructions, and always wear protective gear such as steel-toed boots and hearing protection.

FedEx package handlers must be deadline oriented and have the ability to work quickly and efficiently under stressful conditions.

FedEx Package Handler Work Environments

Package handlers work in a variety of environments. Some work on offload or onload teams, loading and unload aircraft at FedEx airport hubs. Others work in warehouse settings, loading, unloading and sorting packages in FedEx’s ground shipping operation. Some package handlers work at FedEx stations, transferring packages from shipping containers to delivery vans.

All package-handling environments are fast paced and noisy. Some package handlers must work outside during hot summer days, frigid winter nights and seasonal downpours. FedEx provides package handlers with uniforms, raingear and thermal jumpsuits, along with safety gear such as hearing protectors, googles and steel-toed boots.

FedEx Package Handler Education Requirements

FedEx does not have education requirements for package handlers. In its airport hub locations, FedEx often recruits college students for package handler jobs.

FedEx Package Handler Pay and Benefits

FedEx package handler wages vary by location. Most package handlers start at $16-18 per hour and are eligible for a raise after working for six months, based on performance.

FedEx offers a comprehensive benefits package for permanent full- and part-time workers. In addition to vision, medical and dental insurance, the company offers retirement plans. Employees also receive paid holiday and vacation leave.

FedEx has a long history of promoting employees to higher positions. In fact, many of FedEx’s senior managers started their careers as package handlers.

To support the “promote from within” policy, FedEx offers a tuition assistance program. During my college years, I worked as a package handler at the FedEx Express World Hub. The company’s tuition assistance program made it possible for me to pay my way through college and graduate without student debt.

FedEx employees also enjoy reduced shipping rates and discounts on airline tickets.

FedEx Package Handler Job Outlook

Throughout the year, FedEx hires package handlers, as needed. You can often land a temporary package handler job during the holiday season, when package volume reaches its annual peak. FedEx often offers permanent positions to temporary workers after they have worked for a few months.

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About the Author

Michael Evans’ career path has taken many planned and unexpected twists and turns, from TV sports producer to internet project manager to cargo ship deckhand. He has worked in numerous industries, including higher education, government, transportation, finance, manufacturing, journalism and travel. Along the way, he has developed job descriptions, interviewed job applicants and gained insight into the types of education, work experience and personal characteristics employers seek in job candidates. Michael graduated from The University of Memphis, where he studied photography and film production. He began writing professionally while working for an online finance company in San Francisco, California. His writings have appeared in print and online publications, including Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool and Bankrate.

Photo Credits

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