How To Become a Shipping Coordinator in 6 Steps (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Shipping coordinators are logisticians in the supply chain who manage incoming and outgoing materials within an organization. They work with other professionals to process orders and ensure deliverables arrive promptly. If you're interested in becoming a shipping coordinator, learning more about what they are and the duties they manage can be beneficial. In this article, we explain what shipping coordinators are, detail what they do, list the steps you can take to become one, provide their salary and job outlook information and offer helpful tips for starting a career as a logistics coordinator.

Related: Learn About Being a Logistics Coordinator

What is a shipping coordinator?

A shipping coordinator is a professional who manages shipping information and manages the process of overseeing outbound and inbound materials. Shipping coordinators often work in office spaces or in warehouses, where they communicate with packaging specialists and order specialists to ensure packages ship on time. Shipping coordinators may work with logistics coordinators, warehouse coordinators, export managers and freight specialists.

Related: What Is Consolidated Shipping in Freight? A Definitive Guide

What does a shipping coordinator do?

Shipping coordinators oversee all incoming and outgoing materials for a location. They often interact with other managers, specialists and associates in offices and warehouses. These are some responsibilities shipping coordinators may manage:

  • Assess contents within packages for damages

  • Collaborate with customer service and sales departments

  • Manage manifests, records, orders and invoices

  • Record price, weight, space and damage information

  • Communicate with carriers and packagers

  • Provide guidance and direction to warehouse staff

  • Implement systems for tracking information

Related: How To Write a Logistic Coordinator Resume (With Example)

How to become a shipping coordinator

Learning more about becoming a shipping coordinator can help you determine if it's the best career option for you. These are some steps you can follow to become a shipping coordinator:

1. Determine if it's the best career for you

The first step to becoming a shipping coordinator is determining if it's the best career for you. Shipping coordinators often enjoy organization and working with others. This is a great position for those who enjoy recording information and increasing productivity. If you want a position with more creative outlets, you may consider an alternative career.

2. Earn a high school diploma or GED

Employers may require that you have at least a high school diploma or equivalent to become a shipping coordinator. If you're still in high school, consider focusing on business and leadership courses. If you're no longer in high school, you can study for the GED and pass to earn your equivalent diploma.

3. Consider pursuing a bachelor's degree

Though all employers may not require that you have a bachelor's degree to become a shipping coordinator, it can be helpful. Consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in a field like business administration, supply chain management or logistics. You may also complete internships while completing classes to gain additional experience.

4. Gain experience in shipping roles

Consider accepting entry-level roles in shipping departments to learn more about the systems and processes. For example, you may spend a few years working as a warehouse associate or freight specialist before becoming a shipping coordinator. While gaining experience, you can develop professional relationships with colleagues who may help you earn shipping coordinator positions in the future.

5. Develop shipping coordinator skills

While gaining experience, you can develop your shipping coordinator skills. These include leadership, organizational and communication skills. Time management is also an important skill for shipping coordinators because it can help them ensure materials ship with enough time for proper delivery. It can also help them manage delivery and pickup schedules.

6. Apply for shipping coordinator positions

You can use online job board websites to find and apply for open shipping coordinator positions. Create original and effective resumes and cover letters for each listing to improve your chances of receiving an offer. It can be helpful to apply for several positions at once, as it can broaden your prospects and help you find the best position for you.

Related: What Is Freight on Board? (With an Explanation of Its Variations)

Average salary and job outlook for a shipping coordinator

How much a shipping coordinator can earn depends on their experience, education and where they work. The national average salary for a shipping coordinator is $40,826 per year. Other factors, like location, can also affect how much a shipping coordinator earns. For example, the highest paying city in the U.S. for shipping coordinators is Chicago, where they can earn an average of $46,705 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , shipping coordinators can expect a growth rate of 30% from 2020 to 2030, which may increase the total number of positions in the field by 56,400.

Related: Learn About Being a Coordinator

Tips for becoming a shipping coordinator

These are some helpful tips for becoming a shipping coordinator:

  • Learn to improve your documentation skills. Being successful as a shipping coordinator requires excellent documentation and recording abilities. Consider focusing on improving your documentation skills to improve your overall performance or aptitude for shipping coordinator positions when applying.

  • Practice answering questions before interviews. Consider practicing answering shipping coordinator interview questions before meeting with the hiring manager for the organization. Doing this can help you prepare your answers and present yourself as professionally as possible during interviews.

  • Focus on being confident during interviews. When practicing prior to an interview, consider practicing sitting up straight, smiling and making professional eye contact. Doing this can help you become more confident, which may help you feel more comfortable and perform better during shipping coordinator interview sessions.

  • Proofread your resume and cover letter. Before submitting your application materials for open shipping coordinator positions, be sure to thoroughly edit and proofread them. This can include asking friends and family to read them over for you, or using an online grammar checker to ensure you catch minor flaws and remedy them before submission.

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