Freight Handler

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Freight Handler is a vital position in the Transportation industry. This job description includes loading and unloading freight from trucks, ships or planes, labeling and sorting packages, and keeping track of inventory. Freight Handlers work in warehouses or on docks, and often use equipment like forklifts to move heavy items. They must follow safety regulations and use protective gear to prevent accidents. Good communication skills are also essential, as Freight Handlers need to coordinate with drivers and supervisors to ensure the timely delivery of goods. This job requires physical stamina and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. A high school degree or equivalent is usually required to become a Freight Handler, although some employers may offer on-the-job training. If you're looking for a challenging and rewarding career in the Transportation industry, a Freight Handler job description may be the right fit for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for moving, loading, and unloading freight from trucks, ships, or trains.
  • Utilize different types of equipment, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, and hand trucks.
  • Check and verify the condition of the freight before and after handling.
  • Ensure that the freight is properly secured and labeled.
  • Follow safety rules and procedures to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Collaborate with other team members to complete tasks efficiently.
  • Maintain a neat and organized work area.
  • Communicate with supervisors and customers about any issues that may arise during the handling process.
  • Meet productivity goals while maintaining a high level of accuracy.
  • Adhere to company policies and regulations related to freight handling.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Freight Handler in the Transportation industry, most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. On-the-job training is common, but many companies prefer candidates with experience in lifting and moving heavy goods. Good communication skills are essential, as Freight Handlers often work in teams and must interact with drivers, dispatchers, and other employees. Since the job involves physical labor, candidates should be able to lift heavy boxes and work in a fast-paced environment. There are also opportunities for advancement in this field, with some companies offering specialized training and career development programs.

Salary Range

Freight Handler salary range varies depending on the location, experience, and the company. In the United States, a Freight Handler earns a median salary of $29,617 per year, according to Payscale. This can range from $21,000 to $46,000 annually. In Canada, the average Freight Handler salary is C$15 per hour or C$31,586 per year. In the UK, the average salary for a Freight Handler is £9.93 per hour or £16,111 per year. Salaries in the transportation industry tend to be higher in urban areas and lower in rural areas.

Sources: 

  • Payscale (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=FreightHandler/HourlyRate) 
  • Glassdoor (https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/canada-freight-handler-salary-SRCHIL.0,6IN3_KO7,21.htm) 
  • Reed (https://www.reed.co.uk/salary/freight-handler-salary)

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Freight Handlers in the Transportation industry is positive, and it's expected to grow over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Material Handlers, including Freight Handlers, is projected to grow by 6 percent from 2019 to 2029. This growth is due to an increase in demand for products and the need for efficient transportation and logistics.

As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses will continue to rely on efficient supply chains to move their goods from one place to another, and Freight Handlers are an essential part of that process. They work in warehouses, loading and unloading goods, making sure items are stored safely, and preparing shipments. The demand for their services is expected to increase as eCommerce continues to grow and more products need to be shipped quickly.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a career in the Transportation industry, becoming a Freight Handler could be a great choice. With strong growth projected over the next 5 years, this career offers job security and a chance to work in a fast-paced and exciting field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Freight Handler do?

A: A Freight Handler is responsible for manually loading and unloading freight from trucks, trains, ships, and planes. They ensure that the cargo is properly handled, sorted, and prepared for transport to its intended destination.

Q: What are the basic responsibilities of a Freight Handler?

A: The basic responsibilities of a Freight Handler include receiving and verifying incoming and outgoing shipments, sorting and separating cargo based on specific criteria, and loading and unloading freight using manual or powered equipment.

Q: What different types of equipment do Freight Handlers use?

A: Freight Handlers use a variety of equipment to move and load cargo, including pallet jacks, forklifts, hand trucks, and conveyor belts. Depending on the type of cargo and the size of the shipment, different types of equipment may be used.

Q: Does a Freight Handler need to have any special training or certifications?

A: While a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required, Freight Handlers do not need any special training or certifications to perform their job. However, they must be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects and may need to undergo drug testing or a background check.

Q: What are some of the challenges of working as a Freight Handler?

A: Some of the challenges of working as a Freight Handler include working in a fast-paced, physically demanding environment with strict deadlines and dealing with heavy and sometimes unpredictable cargo.


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