Skills Needed To Excel in Shipping and Receiving Jobs

Skills For a Successful Career in Shipping

Shipping and receiving jobs are on the increase, thanks to booming eCommerce or big box developments. But what do shipping and receiving clerks do, and do you have the skills to build a successful career in shipping and receiving?

What You Do in Shipping and Receiving Jobs

Shipping and receiving is essential to the smooth running of warehouses. As a shipping and receiving clerk, you’ll be responsible for tracking stock. You will keep records of movement of inventory, pack, weigh, and label packages. Your shipping and receiving duties typically include:

  • Preparing shipping documents
  • Invoicing
  • Checking received goods, and verifying against documentation
  • Accepting or rejecting goods
  • Assisting with packaging, loading and unloading
  • Forklift operation
  • Record keeping
  • Organizing routing and shipping of goods
  • Health and safety issues
  • Contacting internal and external people, such as suppliers and transport companies to arrange work
  • Managing relationships if goods received do not match orders placed

Your role combines office and warehouse work, and you may work inside and outside. You may work in both hot and cold environments, indoors and outdoors, and sometimes in noisy distribution centers.

How Much Could You Earn as a Shipping and Receiving Clerk?

According to, shipping and receiving clerks earn an average of $28,264 per year. How much you can earn depends on several factors, such as location, experience, and how many people report to you. Ask your Coast Personnel consultant what you could be earning.

Shipping and Receiving Clerk Skills for Success

To be successful in shipping and receiving jobs, you will need a wide range of skills. These include:

Communication Skills

You’ll need to be a good communicator, both in listening and speaking. You’ll need to understand what others are saying, ask appropriate questions to clarify and avoid mistakes, and deliver information and instructions concisely.

Reading and Writing Skills

With so much documentation to handle, it follows that you should possess good skills in reading and writing to understand and be understood.


Much of the work you do will involve numbers – for example, weights, sizes and costs – so you should be comfortable with math.

Time Management

You’ll need to manage your time effectively, and the time of others, too. It’s important that you get your work done in the time available, so being a good task manager is essential.

Critical Thinking

With goods constantly arriving and leaving, there will always be problems or issues that you must manage. Your ability to think logically, assess possible solutions, and deliver the best solution will set you apart.

As a shipping and receiving clerk, you will be a people person – intent on delivering good service. The above skills will help you do this. As you progress and your experience grows, you may be asked to train others, take management decisions, monitor performance, and present ideas to improve operations.

With the right combination of skills, you could have a successful and rewarding career in shipping and receiving. For a confidential conversation about your career, and to learn about some of the best shipping and receiving jobs across the United States, register with Coast Personnel Services today.