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Types of Work in Warehousing

by Kristine Tucker, studioD

Warehouse workers hold a variety of jobs in storage and warehousing facilities. Some have managerial roles, supervising employees and overseeing operations to ensure merchandise is safely reported, stored and transported. Most warehouse work is done by general workers who help with manual labor and the transportation of goods. Warehouse workers often have administrative duties because they keep track of all merchandise that enters and exits their warehouses.

Muscle Power

Some warehouse workers have job responsibilities that require physical labor. They load and unload merchandise, stock industrial trucks for transportation and store goods in their facilities. Laborers who provide manpower must have physical strength and be healthy enough to lift merchandise, furniture, electronic equipment and building materials. Employers might ask questions about an applicant's ability to lift a certain weight, such as 50 or 75 pounds, or if there are any medical conditions that restrict a job candidate's ability to perform the required tasks.

Movers and Shakers

A big part of warehousing involves transportation. Some workers are primarily responsible for moving goods and transporting merchandise to private and commercial locations. Some warehouse managers require workers to have commercial driving licenses that allow them to operate industrial trucks. Many warehouse jobs also require workers to operate in-house equipment, such as forklifts, mechanized stackers, mobile platforms, cranes, and pallet or towing trucks. These workers store, relocate, load and unload large loads within the warehousing facilities.

Paper Pushers

Some types of warehouse work are primarily administrative. Employees must keep track of shipments, merchandise received, inventory, orders, payments and damaged goods. They provide customer service for current and potential clients who have questions or problems with their storage and shipping needs. Administrative warehouse positions require attention to detail and strong record-keeping skills. Some warehouse administrators negotiate client contracts because they only have so much space for storage and must choose their clients selectively. Administrative personnel also enforce job safety and health practices, supervise upkeep of the facilities and promote effective communication between workers.

Nuts and Bolts

Most warehouses have job positions in logistics services. These jobs are a combination of physical labor and administration, such as breaking open and unpacking boxes, labeling merchandise in preparation for shipment or storage, recording inventory, assembling, wrapping and packaging goods and price-marking, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Logistics services employees work in-house and rarely leave the warehouse.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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