Boat and barge operators are typically persons involved in the freight transportation industries. Most typically, they operate barges, freight vessels, and ferries on inland or coastal waterways like rivers and canals or along coastal shipping routes. They typically help facilitate the transportation of freight along these natural arteries from hub harbors or ports of call along the way. As operators, they normally manage the safe navigation of their craft and oversee the loading and unloading of freight in a timely and efficient manner. Like aircraft pilots, boat and barge operators typically file travel paths at each port and work with port authorities and state and federal officials to help maintain safe operation of their respective ships.
A boat and barge operator typically may function as a captain on the craft, or he or she may have multiple vessels under his or her supervision. The latter case may involve delegating authority to onboard captains during transit. He or she ensures that crew help maintain the ship during transit, prepare it for docking, and work efficiently to help load and unload cargo. The operator will typically have responsibility for ensuring the maintenance and upkeep of all boats is maintained for safe operations. He or she also will have hiring responsibilities and help ensure profitable, continued operations.
To work as a boat and barge operator, normally a person must have extensive experience in this area at lower levels, working on crews. While many boat and barge operators may own their own businesses and boats, shipping and logistics companies also hire these supervisors. In this latter case, many companies will prefer individuals with at least a high school degree and extensive prior experience. Most boat and barge operators work long hours on their boats on inland and coastal waterways. As such, travel is a key element of this job.
Boat And Barge Operator Tasks
Navigate, monitor, and oversee vessel activity and course.
Keep accurate vessel logs.
Oversee loading and unloading and monitor barge connections.
Maintain engine room and equipment.