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Longshoreman

Move cargo on and off ships.

What does a Longshoreman do?

In some areas, waterways are used as much as-or even more than-roadways for transporting people and goods. Getting products from one location to another via water (or road for that matter) requires the loading and unloading of the shipments. That’s where the Longshoreman comes in.

A Longshoreman is a Dockworker who loads and unloads ships, tankers, and other water vessels that come into a shipping dock, port, or pier. This is done both manually and with the aid of machinery such as cranes, winches, and hoists.

As a Longshoreman, you’re responsible for the containers, crates, and boxes that you load and unload. You mark and identify them, log the number of containers, check for damaged or opened shipments, and repackage if necessary. In addition, you process handling and shipping documents for tracking purposes. Inspecting, repairing, and operating the machinery used to lift and move the cargo are also on your duty roster.

This job requires a significant amount of manual labor, so being physically fit is extremely important. Good coordination, dexterity, reflexes, agility, and balance are also vital because the combination of large bodies of water, huge ships, and heavy equipment creates a high-risk environment (and then add the weather). Problem-solving skills as well as the ability to give and follow directions are other beneficial qualities to have for this job.