Freight Sorter Snapshot

I'm Sabrina and I want to tell you what it’s like to be a Freight Sorter here at CourierPost.

My official title is Courier and Parcels Officer. I started in April 2010 working at the Rotorua Branch on night shift; I moved to Auckland in February this year and began working at the Auckland Operations Centre at Highbrook. My role involves sorting the freight so it gets to the right courier driver for delivery in the morning.

Night shift suits me better than working days; I can complete personal tasks and spend time with family and friends. My shift begins with me arriving 5 minutes before my 10.30pm start time so I can catch up with work mates, then at 10.30pm its sign in time and straight into setting up my workstation and sorting the freight.

During my training period I was assigned a buddy who helped me learn the ropes, but now I can manage my own workstation I work on the city freight, this means I need a good geographical knowledge of Auckland City streets and suburbs, which coming from Rotorua was hard at first but now comes second nature to me. I find a good way to learn is visually so I picture places on the map in my head which helps me memorise the place and street names.

The Auckland operation is quite different to Rotorua as it is on a much bigger scale; I have gone from working in a small team to a massive depot environment with many different teams each doing their bit to ensure the freight goes out on time. At AOC we have a huge automated machine which sorts the freight to bays where it is then manually offloaded and placed in the correct maxi for the courier driver to deliver. There are thousands of items passing through the machine every minute so we have a green and red button which we can use to control the flow. Even so you have to be pretty quick at sorting the freight so it doesn’t create a backlog. I also check that all the items have been ticketed correctly, which requires a good attention to detail.

The parcels that come through the machine can be really heavy; 25kgs on some occasions. I have to be careful about how I lift and ensure I am using the correct lifting techniques, which I was shown when I started. It’s a pretty physically demanding job as I am sorting heavy freight and on my feet the whole shift. Mentally the challenges are remembering the driver runs. It helps that we have a great team who are always happy to help and work well together.

By 7am at the end of my shift I am tired both physically and mentally and ready for some chill out and relaxation time at home, but I always feel satisfied I have done a good days work. I really enjoy the challenge of my job and it definitely keeps me fit.