Longshoremen are workers who load and unload freight from cargo ships to docks; cargo is imported and exported from all over the world and often includes shipping containers, barrels of oil or other substances, and even coal or grain.
Most longshoremen live near the port at which they work. This is necessary, as the hours are often long and unpredictable and their schedules rely heavily on when ships dock or leave. Not only are they expected to work odd hours, but they also work in all kinds of weather conditions, from extreme heat to extreme cold.
Cargo is moved to and from ships and around the docks by heavy machinery, such as cranes, forklifts, UTRs or utility tractor rigs, and RMGs or rail-mounted gantrys. Manual labor may also be necessary to lift and push heavy loads as-needed. The size, type, and amount of machinery used at the time depends on the size of the cargo ship and the load it carries.
Another part of the longshoreman's job involves untying unloaded cargo or securing shipments by tying them down. This is a physically-demanding and sometimes-dangerous job with so much heavy machinery; to increase personal safety while working, longshoremen wear a variety of protective gear, such as gloves, head hats, and safety-toe boots. Other types of safety gear may be required depending on the employer.
Secure cargo with chains/binders when preparing for lifting.
Work with forklift basket to place or remove hooks or strapping used for lifting containers, pipes and general cargo.
Strap cargo by utilizing lashings, container hooks, wire rope weighing up to 110lbs to assure safe operation.
Perform all labor functions in accordance within the Vessel Stevedoring operation and safety guidelines.
Report any unsafe or damaged cargo to supervisor.