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Become A Merchandise Distributor

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Working As A Merchandise Distributor

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Stressful

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Merchandise Distributor Do

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area. They drive trucks with a 26,000-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity or less. Most of the time, they transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households.

Duties

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically do the following:

  • Load and unload their cargo
  • Communicate with costumers to determine pickup and delivery needs
  • Report any incidents they encounter on the road to a dispatcher
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
  • Accept payments for the shipment
  • Handle paperwork, such as receipts or delivery confirmation notices

Most drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to determine the best route. Other drivers have a regular daily or weekly delivery schedule. All drivers must have a thorough understanding of an area’s street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not.

Light truck drivers, often called pickup and delivery or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centers to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop at the distribution center once only, in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution center and delivery locations. Some drivers make deliveries from a retail location to customers.

Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers who have additional sales responsibilities. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. These drivers may have a regular delivery route and be responsible for adding new clients located along their route. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the store’s manager to offer a new type of product. Driver/sales workers also deliver goods, such as take-out food to consumers, and accept payment for those goods.

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How To Become A Merchandise Distributor

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some opportunities exist for those without a high school diploma. Workers undergo 1 month or less of on-the-job training. They must have a driver’s license from the state in which they work and possess a clean driving record.

Education

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically enter their occupations with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Companies train new delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers on the job. This may include driving training from a driver-mentor who rides along with a new employee to ensure that a new driver is able to operate a truck safely on crowded streets.

New drivers also have training to learn company policies about package dropoffs and returns, taking payment, and what to do with damaged goods.

Driver/sales workers must learn detailed information about the products they offer. Their company also may teach them proper sales techniques, such as how to approach potential new customers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All delivery drivers need a driver’s license.

Other Experience

Some delivery drivers begin as package loaders at warehouse facilities, especially if the driver works for a large company. For more information on package loaders, see the profile on hand laborers and material movers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. When completing deliveries, drivers often interact with customers and should make a good impression to ensure repeat business.

Hand-eye coordination. When driving, delivery drivers need to observe their surroundings while simultaneously operating a complex machine.

Math skills. Because delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers sometimes take payment, they must be able to count cash and make change quickly and accurately.

Patience. When driving through heavy traffic congestion, delivery drivers must remain calm and composed.

Sales skills. Driver/sales workers are expected to persuade customers to purchase new or different products from them.

Visual ability. To have a driver’s license, delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers must be able to pass a state vision test.

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Merchandise Distributor Typical Career Paths

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Top Skills for A Merchandise Distributor

  1. Customer Service
  2. Delivery Trucks
  3. Retail Store
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Satisfied customer service expectations through continuous communication, conflict resolution, and appropriate follow up.
  • Help delivery drivers with unloading products for transport into retail stores and stock products.
  • Maintained appropriate inventory levels in warehouse by utilizing daily S.O.P.
  • Maintain full distribution and display of products in assigned accounts.
  • Completed diverse special projects to support cost-saving initiatives and other corporate goals.

Merchandise Distributor Demographics

Gender

Male

59.9%

Female

30.4%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.6%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Polish

16.7%

Japanese

16.7%

Merchandise Distributor Education

Schools

Florida State University

9.1%

University of Phoenix

6.8%

University of Mississippi

6.8%

Point Loma Nazarene University

4.5%

Evergreen State College

4.5%

Bryant University

4.5%

University of San Diego

4.5%

New York University

4.5%

Long Island University - C W Post Campus

4.5%

Vance-Granville Community College

4.5%

Central Michigan University

4.5%

Boise State University

4.5%

Western New England College

4.5%

University of South Florida

4.5%

Missouri State University

4.5%

University of North Texas

4.5%

Roosevelt University

4.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

4.5%
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Majors

Business

32.0%

Finance

8.8%

Marketing

6.4%

Liberal Arts

5.6%

Sociology

4.8%

Accounting

4.8%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

4.0%

Psychology

4.0%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Public Relations

3.2%

Nursing

3.2%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

General Sales

2.4%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.4%

Family And Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Business Services

2.4%

Management

2.4%

English

1.6%

Music

1.6%

Social Sciences

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.0%

Other

22.2%

Masters

11.6%

Associate

10.6%

Certificate

4.5%

License

1.0%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

1.0%
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