freight team associate

What is a Freight Team Associate? (Requirements, Scope & Salary)

A Freight Team Associate takes care of the receiving and picking of goods inside a warehouse, moving goods between the warehouse and the store, stocking shelves with products and operating material handling equipment (MHE).

The job of a Freight Team Associate revolves around several physical tasks dealing with product storage, as well as inventory planning and management. Problem-solving skills and great communication skills are also highly sought after.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the job description, skill requirements, assessment criteria, hiring companies and projected salaries of Freight Team Associates.

Job Description and Duties of Freight Team Associates

The scope of work typically includes cargo receiving, quality assurance, picking, equipment operation and maintenance, as well as shelf stocking. Here’s a more detailed list on each activity. 

  • Receiving – When freight trucks arrive Freight Team Associates are required to receive the goods in the warehouse. They’re required to make notations if expected items, count, and packing are in the correct quantity and condition. Recording of time, date and delivery details is also required to be logged in a warehouse management system (WMS).
  • Quality Assurance – Once items are received, the Freight Team Associate is expected to always ensure that products are not damaged and pass the required quality assurance checklist. This task is sometimes repeated during the shelf stocking process. 
  • Picking – Picking goods from shelves and storage racks are also in scope, as well as loading them into the designated MHE or staging areas. This task may require the use of dollies, forklifts and hand pallet jacks. It may also require a certain degree of physical endurance for tasks such as reaching, bending, pushing, pulling and moving cartons and products around. 
  • Moving Products – Moving products from the warehouse to the store using equipment such as hand pallet jacks or dollies. The correct quantities need to be moved to the corresponding aisle or location in the store.
  • Stocking Shelves – If products are low on stock inside the store, the Freight Team Associate will be tasked to restock the shelves. This is typically done overnight or during off-peak hours, in order to avoid disruption. 
  • Operating Equipment – Basic use of stackers, forklifts, doilies, trollies, hand pallet jacks and other material handling equipment may be required, depending on what’s made available inside the warehouse and store. 
  • Equipment Maintenance – Basic equipment maintenance such as charging forklift batteries, visual checking, and ensuring equipment operability. In the event of a possible malfunction, ensuring that reserve equipment is functional is also required. Malfunctions are reported to the supervisor for servicing or repair. 

What Are the Requirements for Freight Team Associates?

Freight Team Associates can have quite a broad job description and scope of work. The job may be divided into 2 to 3 shifts with 8 to 10 hours of work required daily. It can also be common practice to receive deliveries at night. 

freight team associate in warehouse

During this time, items are received and shelves are stocked just after the store closing or before store opening time. This job may also require some lifting of up to 60 pounds. Items may include boxes, packages, equipment and products. 

During this time, items are received and shelves are stocked just after the store closing or before store opening time. This job may also require some lifting of up to 60 pounds. Items may include boxes, packages, equipment and products. 

During work, temperature exposure is typically between -15 to +30 degrees, depending on the type of warehouse and the nature of business. Freight Team Associates will be taught basic warehousing skills and eventually offered to operate special warehousing equipment such as forklifts or stackers. 

Here is a summary showing some of the job requirements:

  • Lifting products/goods (up to 60 lbs)
  • Knowledge of operating MHE
  • Shifts of up to 10 hours a day 
  • Odd hours for stocking
  • Different temperature environments (-15 to + 30)
  • Basic warehouse skills
  • Flexibility and easy communication
  • Ability to follow SOPs

Which Types of Companies Hire Freight Team Associates?

Freight Team Associates are often found in department stores, supermarkets, and retail outlets. Employers such as Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Costco, Walgreens Boots Alliance amongst many other companies are often on the lookout for Freight Team Associates.

These companies have receiving, stocking, inventory control, and customer service activities and are heavily invested in using warehouse management systems to ensure inventory is recorded and shelves are constantly restocked.

What is the Salary Range for a Freight Team Associate in the United States?

A Freight Team Associate’s annual salary ranges between USD 30,000 – USD 40,000 per year in the United States. The career path of a Freight Team Associate will typically start from a Junior Freight Team Associate and progress to a Senior Team Associate, and eventually Freight Team Leader. 

Promotion for each position can take an average of about 2 to 4 years with varying salary packages and benefits, depending on the experience and age of the associate. 

How do Freight Team Associates Get Appraised?

Freight Team Associates are commonly appraised yearly by their direct superior through a self-assessment and an assessment from the manager. Most employers will clearly communicate expectations and appraisal procedures during the hiring process. 

  • General Conduct – Grading on how the employee is conducting themselves according to the requirements and overall store policies. Encouraged to have a positive attitude and a friendly demeanor when engaging with others.
  • Job Knowledge – Assessment on how well the Freight Team Associate demonstrates knowledge on scope of work and individual duties. More importantly in the presence of customers, how they are conducting themselves and how much they are able to address their questions.
  • Communication – Ability to communicate calmly, respectfully and effectively with team members and customers (if required). 
  • Teamwork – Assessment on behavior around team members and approachability towards others. This may also include meetings, training programs, and workshops. 
  • Leadership – How the Freight Team Associate shows initiative, respect, and offers solutions to problems. Ability to step up, take control of a situation and project general leadership skills. 
  • Safety – Knowledge on how to handle various types of products and equipment. Understanding of packaging labels and generally safe practices around the warehouse. 
  • Reliability – Being on time on scheduled days of work. Openness to change schedules. Swapping shifts with other team members if necessary.
  • Equipment Operation – Assessment on operating MHE in the warehouse. May also be assessed during training sessions and understanding of operating MHE or other types of equipment. Keeping records of repairs, inspection, and maintenance.