Tasks and Duties
- Advise clients on transportation and payment methods.
- Arrange insurance coverage for goods.
- Check import/export documentation to determine cargo contents, and classify goods into different fee or tariff groups, using a tariff coding system.
- Contact vendors and/or claims adjustment departments in order to resolve problems with shipments, or contact service depots to arrange for repairs.
- Determine method of shipment, and prepare bills of lading, invoices, and other shipping documents.
- Direct delivery trucks to shipping doors or designated marshalling areas, and help load and unload goods safely.
- Direct or participate in cargo loading in order to ensure completeness of load and even distribution of weight.
- Enter shipping information into a computer by hand or by using a hand-held scanner that reads bar codes on goods.
- Estimate freight or postal rates, and record shipment costs and weights.
- Inspect and count items received and check them against invoices or other documents, recording shortages and rejecting damaged goods.
- Keep records of all goods shipped, received, and stored.
- Negotiate and arrange transport of goods with shipping or freight companies.
- Notify consignees, passengers, or customers of the arrival of freight or baggage, and arrange for delivery.
- Retrieve stored items and trace lost shipments as necessary.
- Route received goods to first available flight or to appropriate storage areas or departments, using forklifts, handtrucks, or other equipment.
- Assemble containers and crates used to transport items such as machines or vehicles.
- Attach address labels, identification codes, and shipping instructions to containers.
- Coordinate and supervise activities of workers engaged in packing and shipping merchandise.
- Inspect trucks and vans to ensure cleanliness when shipping such items as grain, flour, and milk.
- Install straps, braces, and padding to loads in order to prevent shifting or damage during shipment.
- Maintain a supply of packing materials.
- Obtain flight numbers, airplane numbers, and names of crew members from dispatchers, and record data on airplane flight papers.
- Open cargo containers and unwrap contents, using steel cutters, crowbars, or other hand tools.
- Pack goods for shipping, using tools such as staplers, strapping machines, and hammers.
- Position ramps for loading of airplanes.
- Prepare manifests showing baggage, mail, and freight weights, and number of passengers on airplanes, and transmit data to destinations.
- Remove ramps after airplane loading is complete, and signal pilots that personnel and equipment are clear of plane.
- Shovel loose materials into machine hoppers or into vehicles and containers.
- Force conditioned air into interiors of planes prior to departure, using mobile aircraft-air-conditioning-units.
- Send samples of merchandise to quality control units for inspection.
This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.