Freight handlers load, unload, move and sort freight in many environments using a variety of equipment. When you become a freight handler, you’ll not only be responsible for moving freight safely and efficiently, you’ll have a chance to use your analytical, math and communication skills. Freight handlers work in all industries, from airlines and shipping companies to grocery chains and railroads.
Take note of your potential job duties. Freight handler may load and unload cargo, fill and drain shipping containers, operate lifts and dollies to transport materials through storage facilities and use machinery to band materials together and secure them to pallets.
Develop basic math and record-keeping skills that can be used on the job. A freight handler may weigh and count items, record the condition of items received, calculate the storage capacity of a container and use computers to prepare shipping labels and orders.
Be physically prepared to become a freight handler. Many employers require that freight handlers be able to lift between 30 and 75 lbs. unassisted. Freight handlers must be able to bend, reach, lift and stand for entire shifts. Work environments are often noisy and temperatures may be extreme.
Meet basic employer requirements. Employers often provide on-the-job training for operating equipment such as forklifts, but they may require that you have a valid driver’s license, chauffeur’s license or commercial driver’s license and a clean driving record.
Be prepared to provide documentation such as a high school diploma or GED for most freight handler jobs. Many employers also conduct background checks and require drug screening