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Top 10 Shipping Clerk Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications for shipping clerks, highlighting the benefits and requirements of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a shipping clerk in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has gained knowledge and skills in a specific area. They show employers that the individual is competent to handle the tasks related to shipping, such as packing, labeling, organizing shipments, and tracking orders. A certification also shows that the individual is knowledgeable about industry standards and regulations. This helps to ensure that shipments are handled properly and efficiently. Certifications can also lead to career advancement opportunities within an organization, as employers may be more likely to promote individuals who have proven their expertise with a certification.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Shipping Clerks and explains how they can help to advance a Shipping Clerk's career.

What are Shipping Clerk Certifications?

Shipping clerk certification is a professional certification program that provides training to individuals who work in the shipping and receiving industry. It teaches them the necessary skills needed to effectively manage, track, and document shipments of goods. Certification programs provide a comprehensive understanding of shipping and receiving processes, such as inventory management, order fulfillment, freight forwarding, customs clearance, and international shipments. They also teach important safety protocols related to handling hazardous materials.

Having a shipping clerk certification can be beneficial for those looking to advance their career in the industry or gain recognition as an expert in their field. Having certified credentials helps employers identify qualified candidates for positions that require knowledge of shipping procedures and regulations. Additionally, it demonstrates the individual’s commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the industry. With this knowledge, certified clerks are better equipped to handle tasks efficiently and accurately while helping ensure customer satisfaction with orders.

Pro Tip: When considering shipping clerk certification, make sure to research the various certifications available and select one that is tailored to your specific needs. Consider the type of materials you will be shipping, the size of packages you will be handling, and any other relevant factors that might affect your choice. Additionally, ensure that the certification you select includes instruction in safety protocols and best practices for shipping.

Related: What does a Shipping Clerk do?

Top 10 Shipping Clerk Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Shipping Clerks today.

1. Certified Shipping Clerk (CSC)

A Certified Shipping Clerk (CSC) is a professional designation for individuals who are knowledgeable in the field of shipping, logistics and supply chain management. The CSC credential is issued by the National Institute for Certification in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (NICLSCM).

The certification process takes approximately 90 days from start to finish. To obtain the CSC certification, candidates must first pass an online exam that tests their knowledge of shipping, logistics and supply chain management. Once the exam has been passed, applicants must submit a portfolio of work experience related to shipping and logistics. This portfolio should include a minimum of five years of relevant work experience and any additional certifications or educational achievements that demonstrate expertise in this field.

The cost to obtain the CSC certification varies depending on the applicant's individual circumstances. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 USD to take the online exam plus an additional fee for submitting the portfolio.

2. Certified Logistics Professional (CLP)

Certified Logistics Professional (CLP) is a professional certification offered by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of logistics, transportation, and supply chain management.

The CLP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as inventory control, transportation management, warehousing operations, customer service, international logistics, and supply chain management. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CLP certification, applicants must have at least two years of professional experience in logistics or supply chain management. Additionally, applicants must have completed at least two AST&L-approved courses related to logistics or supply chain management.

The cost for the CLP certification exam is $395 USD. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their CLP certificate within four weeks.

3. Certified Shipping and Receiving Professional (CSRP)

Certified Shipping and Receiving Professional (CSRP) is a professional certification program designed to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge of the shipping and receiving industry. This certification is offered by the National Association of Certified Shipping and Receiving Professionals (NASCRP).

The CSRP exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions, covering topics such as inventory management, order processing, international shipping regulations, hazardous materials handling, and customer service. It takes approximately three hours to complete the exam.

To become certified, an individual must first pass the CSRP exam with a score of at least 70%. After passing the exam, applicants must submit an application form along with a fee of $150. Once approved, applicants will be awarded the CSRP certification. The certification is valid for two years before it must be renewed.

The CSRP certification can provide individuals with increased job opportunities and higher salaries in the shipping and receiving industry. It also demonstrates an individual’s commitment to professional development and mastery of shipping and receiving processes.

4. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a professional certification program offered by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). The CSCP program is designed to help professionals advance their knowledge, skills, and abilities in supply chain management. It is the only supply chain certification that covers the entire global supply chain from end-to-end, including topics such as customer relations, logistics, operations, procurement, and technology.

The CSCP program takes approximately three months to complete. To get certified you must first pass an exam that consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The exam can be taken either online or at a testing center. After passing the exam you will receive your official CSCP certificate.

The cost of obtaining the CSCP certification varies depending on which package you choose. The basic package costs $695 USD and includes access to all course materials and one attempt at the exam. Additional attempts at the exam cost $100 each.

In addition to obtaining your CSCP certification you will also be required to maintain it by earning 60 continuing education credits every three years in order to remain certified.

5. Certified International Shipping Manager (CISM)

Certified International Shipping Manager (CISM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of international shipping. The CISM certification is offered by the Global Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GILSCM).

To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as international trade regulations, customs clearance procedures, freight forwarding, logistics management, and other related subjects. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

Applicants must also submit proof of at least three years of experience in the field of international shipping or supply chain management. Those who are accepted into the program will then be required to complete a series of online courses in order to prepare for the exam.

The cost of the CISM certification program varies depending on whether you choose to take the self-study option or enroll in a formal course. The self-study option costs $1,495 USD and includes access to all course materials and practice exams. The formal course option costs $2,995 USD and includes access to all course materials, practice exams, and instructor support.

Once you have successfully passed the exam and completed all requirements for certification, you will receive your official CISM certificate from GILSCM.

6. Certified Export Specialist (CES)

Certified Export Specialist (CES) is a professional certification program offered by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). The program is designed to provide export professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage international trade operations.

The program consists of two parts: an online self-study course and an exam. The self-study course covers topics such as international business, export regulations, foreign market entry strategies, customs compliance, and logistics. The exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of these topics.

The self-study course takes approximately 8 weeks to complete and costs $395 USD. After completing the course, candidates must pass a proctored exam in order to receive their CES certification. The exam fee is $195 USD and it can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center worldwide.

Overall, it takes approximately 8 weeks to complete the Certified Export Specialist program and costs $590 USD.

7. Certified Freight Forwarder (CFF)

A Certified Freight Forwarder (CFF) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain level of expertise in the field of freight forwarding. A freight forwarder is a company or individual that specializes in arranging the transportation and delivery of goods from one place to another. Freight forwarders are responsible for coordinating the movement of goods, managing paperwork, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations.

The CFF designation is awarded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to those who demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in the field of freight forwarding. To be eligible for certification, applicants must have at least three years of experience in the industry and pass an examination administered by IATA. The examination covers topics such as international trade regulations, air cargo operations, customs clearance procedures, and logistics management.

It typically takes approximately six months to complete all requirements for CFF certification. Applicants must submit an application form along with supporting documents such as proof of experience and educational qualifications. Once these documents are received, IATA will review them and determine if the applicant is eligible to take the exam. Once approved, applicants can register for the exam which must be taken within one year from registration date.

The cost of obtaining CFF certification varies depending on location but generally ranges between $500-$1000 USD including exam fees, registration fees, and other administrative costs.

8. International Air Transport Association Cargo Agent Certification (IATA CAC)

The International Air Transport Association Cargo Agent Certification (IATA CAC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of cargo agents who work in the air cargo industry. The IATA CAC is an internationally recognized qualification that provides evidence of knowledge and understanding of the air cargo industry, its regulations and operations.

The IATA CAC program consists of two levels: Level 1 for entry-level cargo agents, and Level 2 for more experienced agents. The duration of each level varies depending on the individual's experience and background, but typically takes between 12 to 24 months to complete.

To obtain the IATA CAC, individuals must first register with IATA’s online training portal, then complete a series of courses covering topics such as air cargo regulations, safety and security measures, customer service best practices, freight forwarding procedures and customs clearance processes. Upon successful completion of all required courses, candidates must pass an assessment exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost for obtaining the IATA CAC depends on which level you are pursuing; Level 1 costs approximately $2,000 USD while Level 2 costs around $3,500 USD.

9. Ocean Transportation Intermediary License (OTI License)

An Ocean Transportation Intermediary License (OTI License) is a federal license issued by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). It is required for any company that arranges or books ocean transportation of cargo in the United States. This includes freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), and other intermediaries.

It typically takes two to three months to obtain an OTI License, depending on how quickly all the necessary paperwork is completed and submitted. To get an OTI License, a company must submit an application to the FMC along with proof of financial responsibility (such as a bond or trust fund) and evidence of its ability to provide ocean transportation services. The cost of obtaining an OTI License varies depending on the type of business, but generally ranges from $500 to $2,000.

10. Hazardous Materials Handling Certification

Hazardous Materials Handling Certification (HMHC) is a certification that is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to safely handle hazardous materials in accordance with applicable regulations. It is required for those who work with or handle hazardous materials in many industries, including transportation, manufacturing, construction, and waste management.

The certification process typically takes between one to three days depending on the complexity of the material being handled. The training consists of classroom instruction and hands-on activities covering topics such as safety protocols, proper storage and disposal of hazardous materials, emergency response procedures, and other related topics.

To obtain HMHC certification, individuals must complete an accredited course through an approved provider. This can be done online or in person at a local college or university. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $200-$500.

In addition to completing the coursework, applicants must also pass a written exam in order to receive their certificate. Upon successful completion of both the coursework and exam, applicants will receive their HMHC certification card which is valid for three years.

Do You Really Need a Shipping Clerk Certificate?

Shipping clerks are an important part of the supply chain, but do you really need a shipping clerk certificate to become one? The answer is no. While having a certificate can be helpful for some employers in demonstrating your knowledge and skills related to being a shipping clerk, it is not always necessary.

Having a certificate shows potential employers that you have received formal training in the field and have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job effectively. However, there are other ways to demonstrate your qualifications for the job. Having experience in customer service, data entry, inventory management, or logistics can help demonstrate your competency as a shipping clerk without needing an official certificate. Additionally, some employers may consider on-the-job training or prefer candidates with more general qualifications than specific certificates.

In conclusion, while having a shipping clerk certificate may provide additional credibility to potential employers and help you stand out from other applicants when seeking employment in this field, it is not always required to become a successful shipping clerk.

Related: Shipping Clerk Resume Examples

FAQs About Shipping Clerk Certifications

Q1. What is a Shipping Clerk Certification?

A1. A Shipping Clerk Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates the knowledge and skills of an individual in the field of shipping, receiving, and processing orders. It is designed to help individuals become more knowledgeable and efficient in their job roles related to shipping operations.

Q2. How do I obtain a Shipping Clerk Certification?

A2. To obtain a Shipping Clerk Certification, you must complete an accredited training program or course and pass an examination administered by a recognized certifying body. Most certifying bodies require applicants to have at least one year of relevant work experience before they can take the exam.

Q3. What topics are covered in a Shipping Clerk Certification exam?

A3: The topics covered in a Shipping Clerk Certification exam include shipping regulations, international trade agreements, inventory management, order processing, packaging requirements, hazardous materials handling and documentation requirements.

Q4. How long does it take to get my Shipping Clerk Certification?

A4: The length of time it takes to get your certificate depends on the certifying body you choose and how quickly you can complete their requirements. Typically, most programs require between 6-12 months to complete all the necessary steps for certification including training courses and passing the final examination.

Q5. What kinds of jobs can I apply for with my Shipping Clerk Certification?

A5: With your certification, you will be able to pursue various roles within logistics organizations such as warehouse manager, freight forwarder or customs broker as well as positions within companies who ship goods internationally or domestically such as customer service representative or inventory control specialist.