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A shipping manager, also sometimes called a warehouse manager or a shipping and receiving manager, is responsible for the people and resources of a shipping warehouse. In a small facility, she might have many hands-on duties, such as loading and unloading trucks, picking orders and completing housekeeping tasks. Generally, though, the title of shipping manager is reserved for individuals running a large shipping facility. That manager's focus is more strategic; she facilitates personnel management, operational management and interdepartmental communication.
The size of a shipping manger's staff varies depending on the size of the warehouse and the organization he works for. The larger the operation, the more staff and responsibility the manager will probably have. He usually has some hand in hiring new employees; he may manage the entire process himself, or he may give input to an HR or recruiting manager who oversees the process. The shipping manager is accountable for training all new employees, though he may use supervisors and senior employees to carry out the day-to-day training. Staff delegation, safety oversight and personnel motivation are a large part of the shipping manager's duties. He needs to instill productivity, urgency, conscientiousness, compliance and teamwork in his staff so goods are efficiently and accurately received, pulled and shipped from his warehouse. Additionally, the shipping manager acts as a mediator when there is conflict among shipping department associates, and he is responsible for disciplining or firing lagging employees.
The shipping manager is ultimately responsible for ensuring smooth-running operations in the warehouse, on the loading dock, and within the logistics office. She works in conjunction with the shipping staff and supervisors to make sure work gets done. She makes decisions about picking, auditing and shipping procedures and time lines in order to build productivity and accuracy. She also sets personnel schedules to cover sometimes long operating hours. In this business, it is not uncommon for warehouses to run 24 hours a day. The shipping manager may additionally maintain inventory levels, oversee housekeeping and safety within the department, and complete paperwork detailing production and audit results. She may have to monitor her staff's productivity closely to ensure goals and quotas are attained.
As the leader of the shipping/receiving department, it is the responsibility of the shipping manager to keep lines of communication open with all the other departments within the organization. He works in conjunction with customer service, for instance, to resolve customer complaints; he works alongside accounting to ensure proper billing for expedited shipping or special pricing; and he works with purchasing/procurement to sustain proper warehouse inventory levels. Additionally, the shipping manager attends management meetings to discuss the success and direction of the organization with the other leaders. He is the voice for his department, and he may have to assert himself at times to ensure his team has the training and resources they need to be successful.
A professional writer since 2003, Kristi Meyer has worked in the management consulting field since 1997. She authors Las Vegas travel reviews and articles for Wizardofvegas.com and travel tip articles for various websites. Meyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Florida.