Warehousing and Logistics
Warehousing and logistics is the part of the transport industry involved in planning the movement of goods from their origin to their point of use or consumption, as well as actually moving and storing the goods and associated equipment along the way. This could be a business that provides warehousing and logistics for other businesses or a business that’s main focus is something else but has warehousing and logistics as a part of its operation to bring in it what it needs to run its business and send out the goods or products it produces.
Warehousing and logistics is undergoing a dramatic change due to improvements in technology and innovative ways of getting the work done. Coupled with new businesses entering the industry, the future holds increased competition even as the amount of freight needing to be moved grows. Skilled Warehousing and Logistics personnel will be the key to ongoing business success. It’s an exciting time to be part of this essential industry sector.
Summary of Occupation
Non-managerial, warehousing and logistics roles make sure the right stuff gets to the right place in the safest, most efficient way, keeping the customer happy. In simple terms, logistics encompasses the detailed planning, organisation, management, and implementation of complex operations. There are a wide range of roles ranging from those that handle freight, keep track of where things are stored, to those that plan out how freight will get from one place to another and organise for that to happen.
- General hand
- Freight Handler
- Forklift Operator
- Stores person
Warehousing roles have been identified as an area of shortage.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Traditionally, many roles in warehousing and logistics have been semi-skilled meaning there was an ability to start a career without qualifications. However, the changing nature of the industry means increasingly those in the industry and entering it, are expected to be better qualified and able to work in technology dependent industry. Equipment licences, such a High Risk Work Licence for forklift operation, are necessary for some roles.
Some of the more common warehousing and logistics jobs and the qualifications they might need are:
Forklift operators drive forklifts to shift and stack bales, cartons, containers, crates and pallets of goods in areas such as warehouses. They also move shipping containers on the waterfront.
Forklift operators may perform the following tasks:
- lift, stack and unstack articles and materials using diesel, electric, gas or petrol powered trucks equipped with fork attachments
- move raw materials and finished goods to processing or despatch areas of factories
- make sure goods are stored in the correct area of a warehouse so that they may be located easily when making up orders
- load transport vehicles, making sure loads are evenly and securely placed
- service and make minor adjustments to the forklift
- keep a record of daily operations
In addition, a Forklift Operator must have a High Risk Work Licence with the forklift class.
Storepersons receive, handle and despatch goods coming into or going out of stores or warehouses and may perform the following tasks:
- unload and check goods
- catalogue or label items with storage details
- place goods in bins and on racks, or stack bulky items on the floor
- complete orders by selecting goods from shelves and checking them off appropriate lists
- package and forward completed orders to customers
- move heavy packages using forklift machinery
- obtain details of the location and quantity of items in stock using visual display units or computers
- enter details of received delivery slips, requisitions and invoices into computers
- count and record the number of items in store during stock take
- advise supervisor of stock and re-ordering levels
- help keep the work area neat and tidy
Freight Handlers need to be physically fit as they are involved with moving furniture or parcels within the warehouse and loading dock, including stocking areas and retrieving racks. They are also involved with loading goods into trucks, containers and rail wagons, and securing loads.
This may include labelling goods with customers’ details and destinations, assisting to tie down loads and cover them with tarpaulins. Other duties may include:
- guiding truck drivers into loading bays and through confined spaces
- performing clerical functions to record and check cargo on arrival, storage and despatch
- opening and closing hatches and securing cargo to prevent shifting during transit
- transferring loads using moving equipment and directing equipment operations using
- communication systems
- stacking cargo on pallets, trays, flats and slings to facilitate transfer to and from ships
- learning the layout of storage areas for record keeping and retrieving materials
The formal qualifications that are becoming more in demand are:
- Certificate I in Transport and Logistics (Pathways)
- Certificate I in Warehousing Operations
- Certificate I in Logistics
- Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
- Certificate II in Road Transport Terminal Operations
- Certificate II in Logistics
- Certificate II in Driving Operations
- Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations
- Certificate III in Logistics
- Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
- Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations
- Certificate IV in Logistics
- Certificate IV in Transport Scheduling
- Certificate IV in Materiel Logistics
- Certificate IV in Warehousing Operations
You can check out the course requirements and find a training provider using the Road Transport Careers Training Search.
In addition to their qualifications and experience, all warehousing and logistics roles require:
- English and numeracy proficiency
- Proficiency in using digital data and technology
- Time management
- Interpersonal skills
- High level of customer service focus
- Knowledge of the legislative environment such as the Heavy Vehicle National Law, dangerous goods, and workplace health and safety
- A safety-first approach
Warehousing and logistics is a demanding industry sector to work in. It requires working safely, quickly and efficiently, with an eye for detail to make sure things get to where they’re meant to be, when they’re meant to be there. Many warehousing and logistics businesses or businesses with warehousing and logistics functions operate outside of the “normal” business hours of nine to five, Monday to Friday. This means you can expect to work mornings, evenings, and weekends with longer hours being common.
Conditions of employment for all employees include at least the 10 National Employment Standards, with non-managerial and non-supervisory roles being covered by a Modern Award such as the Road Transport & Distribution Award 2010 or Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010, or an enterprise agreement that provides other conditions of employment. Some people might also receive above award wages or conditions of employment negotiated with their employer.
Wages will be at least the amount provided in the award that applies to your job. Many employers pay above the award to attract and retain good workers and some business have enterprise agreements that provide wages and conditions of employment.
Examples of wages (including overtime and other penalties) are:
- Freight Handler $1 317 per week
- Forklift Operator $1 113 per week
- Stores person $1 052 per week
- Purchasing & Supply Logistics Clerk $1 251 per week
- Transport & Despatch Clerks $1 356 per week