8 Facts About Shippers/Receivers

Wheat from Saskatchewan, beer from Ontario and potatoes from Prince Edward Island. Food is able to move around the country at a pace like never before. Food you couldn’t get is now available all year and this is a good thing for food processors.

However, there is more to transporting food then just throwing it on a truck. Products need to be accounted for, palatalized, stored in buildings and so much more.

Here at FoodGrads we spend a lot of time focusing on the people working on the plant floor and in the office but we have failed to look at the individuals working in the warehouse!

That’s why this week FoodGrads is examining the fascinating role of Shippers/Receivers and how they ensure the movement of food products in an out of food processing facilities.

1. Shippers/ Receivers ensure the movement of food

Person Using Forklift  

Shippers/Receivers are individuals who:

Send, accept and record the movement of food, supplies and materials to and from a food facility. They perform loading and off-loading functions of trailers to get food products into plants. Shippers assemble skids, pack goods and prepare identifying/shipping instructions. Receivers in contrast unpack shipments and put away products in the specified areas of the warehouse. Overall, they work in consistent workflow to ensure the safety of themselves and co-workers.

The role of shippers/receivers vary depending on the size of a warehouse facility. In smaller locations shippers/receivers will perform the same duties while larger establishments will have more defined role for these workers.

2. Shippers/Receivers have physical jobs

Shippers/receivers generally have very physical jobs because they load, sort and move shipments by hand. Although they have assistance from material handling equipment this isn’t always the case.

When warehouses receive shipments they receivers may be required to break down skids so each material can be placed in appropriate storage areas. Shippers on the other hand stack pallets correctly, putting heavy products on the bottom and light ones on the top.

Overall, this is an excellent job if you want to keep in shape!

3. Shippers/Receivers have this education

Image result for education

The job of shipping/receiving is traditionally an entry-level position. This means that a high school diploma or GED is the only educational prerequisite. Many companies provide onsite training however this is a position where having a valid forklift and high reach license is important.

As you gain experience in this position it could lead to advanced positions such as shipping and receiving lead or shipping and receiver supervisor.

4. Shippers/Receivers pick orders

In order for shippers to actually get the products out of the warehouse they need to “pick” the items which are being sent out. Picking is a term used to describe the act of going around warehouse a picking items off a shelf based on a shipment list.

This might be done on the ground level or require the use of forklifts and reach trucks. Shippers make sure to pick items on a “first-in, first-out” basis as this ensures the freshness of a product.

5. Shippers/Receivers comply with applicable legislative

Food safety does not just end with the food quality control. It continues through every step of the food production process. Therefore, shippers/receivers have a good knowledge of GMPs, SOPs, Health & Safety including WHIMS.

For example, shippers/receivers upon the receipt of the trailer will inspect it to make sure that there is no improper things which could impede the safety of the food. This could include open boxes and unsanitary conditions.

6. Shippers/ Receivers have to follow documentation

When a shipment is received at manufacturing plant it is a receivers job to check the received products with the purchasing order. A purchasing order is a document sent from a buyer to a supplier. It provides information such as what was purchased, what was shipped and how much of item. Determine method of shipment and prepare bills, invoices and other shipping documents.

7. Shippers/Receiver have an attention for detail

They are responsible for the accuracy and quality of all products being shipped or received. They actively inspect boxes to make sure they follow procedures. They check that there are correct items on the skid leaving and entering the facility. This includes communicating when special or non-stock items have been received and stored.

8. Shippers/Receivers have this set of skills

Being a shipper/receiver requires a range of skills however there are a few which are more essential than others. These skills include:

  • Ability to work-in a fast paced environment-  Working in a fast-paced environment can leave you drained at the end of the day. Shippers/receivers need to thrive in these types of environments because this is a day to day occurrence. If they aren’t able to this than they won’t effectively carry out their duties.
  • Ability to prioritize- As it was just mentioned warehouses are fast-paced environments that means that shippers/receiver need to be able to prioritize their time. They have to plan and organize their own tasks all by being aware of proper storage of each ingredient.
  • Numeracy- All though it might sound simple of the surface, shippers/receivers need to have a strong ability to count as a lot of their job requires this skill. Shippers/receivers take count of things such as the number of skids and boxes on a truck.

Author: Veronica Hislop  Veronica is a recent FoodGrad working as Quality Assurance Technician at a snack food company. She graduated with a Chemistry degree at Ryerson University and has a passion for bringing awareness to sustainability in the food industry. When Veronica is taking a break from her food endeavours you will find her at home reading a great novel and playing with her cats.

Subscribe to our newsletter for details on mentorship sessions, workshops, webinars, as well as career and job fairs across Canada and the US!

leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *