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What Does a Shipping Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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A shipping supervisor is a position found in a plethora of industries. Example work environments might range from a beverage packing plant all the way to an electronics supplier. While a shipping supervisor may deal with a variety of products, his responsibilities are much the same regardless of where he is employed. These include hiring and training warehouse staff, maintaining warehouse safety and organization, ensuring products are shipped correctly and on time, keeping track of invoices and communicating with company managers.

In order to keep his warehouse running smoothly, one of the biggest responsibilities of a shipping supervisor is to hire and train capable warehouse staff. It's his job to conduct interviews and select individuals who will be a good fit. After the initial hiring process, it's also his job to make sure new employees are properly trained. Areas to be covered can include forklift operation, taking inventory, safety guidelines and proper shipping techniques.

Another key aspect of this job is maintaining warehouse safety and organization. In most cases, it's mandatory for a warehouse to comply with government safety regulations. Consequently, a shipping supervisor must make sure that everything is up to code by regularly inspecting all areas of the warehouse. Along with this, he must keep all inventory organized and accounted for. This practice optimizes the safety and efficiency of a warehouse and minimizes the potential for mistakes and accidents.

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Perhaps the most important part of being a shipping supervisor is ensuring that products are consistently shipped correctly and on time. Without this, the overall legitimacy of a company is likely to suffer and his job could be in jeopardy. As a result, he must make sure that products are ready for shipment at their intended time. He must also make sure that warehouse staff properly packages all items to prevent any damages from occurring during transport.

Keeping track of invoices is also crucial. In order to monitor company finances to prevent monetary losses, a shipping supervisor must stay up to date with invoices and carefully organize them. Along with this, many supervisors are also responsible for tracking shipments and ensuring they reach their destination on time.

An additional job duty is to routinely communicate with company managers. To keep everyone on the same page, a shipping supervisor will typically attend meetings with managers to discuss shipping procedures and bring up any relevant issues. To be effective in this setting, he should possess considerable interpersonal and communication skills.

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Laotionne
Post 3

After reading this article, I think the hardest part of a shipping supervisor's job has to be keeping good workers. Most warehouses have a high rate of turnover in workers because the work is often fast paced and the pay at most places is not the best. Not many people are willing to put up with the headaches for very long.

Feryll
Post 2

@mobilian33 - Anyone who has ever worked in a large warehouse knows how tough it can be to locate what you are looking for sometimes. I worked in the warehouse at a clothing packaging company. We would get shipments of unfinished items that would have to be finished in our factory and then we would ship them back out to the stores.

Fortunately, we had a decent computer system and in most cases all the shipments were logged in and out immediately by the shipping supervisor, so when we had to pull something from the shelves we would simply ask for a computer printout of the location and then go find what we needed.

mobilian33
Post 1

I used to work in a textile factory where we printed cloth. There would be rolls and rolls of cloth stocked in the warehouse, and because the warehouse was full most of the time, some of the rolls were stored against the walls in the various work areas.

The forklift drivers who placed the rolls wherever they were stored were supposed to write the locations on the paperwork, so the rolls could be found when it was time to print them. Of course, some of the rolls of cloth always got misplaced and the shipping supervisor was responsible for finding out where they were.

This wasn't so bad when it happened during first shift when the supervisor was at work. However, it also happened during second shift and during third shift. Sometimes the supervisor would be called at home during the middle of the night and he would have to come to the factory and find the cloth.

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