Trucking, shipping, and warehousing are vital industries in this country at all walks of the customer journey, but critical shortages and bottlenecks in the supply chain have recently pushed these industries into the headlines.
Jobs in the Supply Chain, Part 2: Warehouse
Our three supply chain-related platforms -- DriverWave, WarehouseGig, and RetailGig -- aim to be your one-stop industry resource. So, in an effort to provide context and insight into finding careers that play an essential role in our lives, we’re running a series showing the many ways you can have a career that helps address gaps in the supply chain.
In the Beginning
In the United States, the supply chain begins on the shores at one of the 20 container ports. These massive complexes bring in cargo aboard container ships from all around the world and push it out to the rest of the company. A number of companies operate warehouses in these port facilities or nearby. Jobs available at this point in the supply chain include:
- Warehouse Inventory Specialists - Warehouse inventory specialists are the key contacts for warehouse operations when inventory problems arise. They maintain inventory control, resolve inventory issues, and provide accurate inventory counts. These specialists are also involved in inventory control process issues and work with inventory control managers to improve warehouse operations processes.
- Warehouse Shipping and Receiving Clerks - A shipping and receiving clerk’s responsibilities can include maintaining shipping orders, receiving deliveries, processing returns, carrier relations, order management, product management and any related customer service tasks.
- Warehouse Order Selector - A warehouse order selector accurately and safely selects products for orders. Related responsibilities include reading orders and product labels, moving goods to the correct locations, and preparing orders for shipping.
- Warehouse Shopper - Shopper team members, or personal shoppers, are positions offered by some of the largest employers in the warehouse industry. Personal shoppers gather items from a local market sales floor and warehouse shopper team members gather items in a warehouse.
At the End
Once the products in the supply chain are off of the boats, they’re carried across the rest of the country on trains and semi trucks to warehouses, stores, and fulfillment centers. The chain ends at the shelves of your local store and sometimes even your front porch. To get these products the last mile, a special group of drivers is involved.
- Last Mile Delivery Drivers - Drivers working the end of the supply chain can be employed by the US postal service, one of the express carriers such as UPS or FedEx, or even one of the e-commerce companies like Amazon. Last mile delivery drivers transport goods using smaller trucks, delivery vans or even their own personal vehicles. Some last mile delivery drivers simply deliver parcels to personal residences. Other drivers in more specialized fields such as appliances or furniture delivery, may be responsible for assembly and installation in customers’ homes.
Managing the Chain
Once you get a handle on the entry level operations at the beginning and end of this piece of the supply chain, you can start looking for management opportunities. Officially called supply chain management or transportation and logistics, this industry solves the problems related to how all of the goods we buy online or in person are stored, retrieved, and delivered. Jobs in this field include:
- Distribution Center Manager - Distribution Center Managers maintain the supply chains in the warehouse sector. They control the flow of goods and people in and out of warehouses. They are also responsible for the safety and standards compliance of those goods and people.
- Warehouse Inventory Manager - Warehouse Inventory Managers are in charge of how inventory is stored and shipped in a warehouse. With the help of customized management software, they control how and when inventory is shipped and when inventory is received. These managers also run a team of inventory specialists and warehouse workers to handle the full range of tasks involved. Inventory managers are also charged with maintaining good relationships with suppliers to keep product levels consistent.
- Operations Manager - Operations managers supervise the production of goods and/or deployment of services. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations and make sure everything is on schedule. This position also involves managing all workers, working with government regulations, and making hiring and firing decisions, along with other staff support.
Don’t let news about supply chain delays get you down. If you’re interested in a career with good pay, interesting work, and the ability to step up in a time of national crisis, working one of these great jobs along the supply chain could be your calling. WarehouseGig and our partner platforms, DriverWave and RetailGig, can help you find the match between your career interests and current jobs in a warehouse near you.