How to Become a Shipping and Receiving Clerk

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How to Become a Shipping and Receiving Clerk. To become a shipping and receiving clerk you must have good organizational skills and be able to work under deadline pressure. Clerks must understand general shipping policies and regulations regarding freight and be familiar with rates and routes so that they can determine shipping methods. Clerks also inspect incoming and outgoing materials, verify orders and prepare shipping packages and labels.

Prepare to Become a Shipping and Receiving Clerk

Know what the job entails. In addition to sorting, distributing and processing mail, a shipping and receiving clerk weighs materials to be shipped, prepares labels and signs packing slips. They inspect incoming packages, verify orders, confirm packing slips and may use equipment such as a hand truck or tier-lift truck to move shipments between work stations. They also maintain the inventory of shipping supplies in the shipping department.

Be prepared to pull inventory, then pack and wrap freight for shipping. Clerks may be required to assemble boxes and containers as well as contact shipping carriers and coordinate pick-ups.

Develop organizational skills to use on the job as a shipping and receiving clerk. Clerks maintain files of shipments sent and received, track packages and keep records of shipped items. They also maintain records of damaged goods that have been received.

Become familiar with the location of departments. Receiving clerks often distribute merchandise directly to recipients within the company.

Develop computer, data entry, communication and basic math skills. Shipping and receiving clerks often calculate rates based on weight and shipping zones.

Know that many companies require shipping clerks to be 18 years of age with a valid driver's license and clean driving record. In addition, you may need to provide lift equipment certification. Many companies also require a high school diploma or GED.

Know that shipping and receiving clerks must often lift heavy packages, as well as bend, stoop and reach repeatedly. Clerks may also be required to load and unload trucks.

Find a Job as a Shipping and Receiving Clerk

Contact companies directly through their human resources departments or apply online through their websites. Ask about apprenticeships to gain experience, or inquire about stock clerk positions to get your foot in the door.

Attend job fairs in your area. Many companies send recruiters who will interview candidates that day.


Consider a military career in shipping and receiving, or a civilian career at a government warehouse. Military and government clerks may be referred to as shipping and receiving specialists or cargo agents.

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