Home Explore Job Ideas Port Operative (Stevedore)

Job Description

Stevedores are involved with transfer of cargo between ship and shore using equipment such as cranes for loading/unloading containers and other cargo or it could be manual handling of customers baggage onto trailers and operating vehicles such as heavy goods vehicles, fork lift trucks and electric trolleys.  You may actually be helping passengers to board and disembark from ships. With cargo movement at ports generally happening 24 hour, seven days a week, Stevedores work in shift patterns to ensure that there is always cover on the dock when a ship need to be loaded or unloaded.

Entry Requirements

There are no set requirements, but you’ll have to pass a medical exam. You may need a driving licence, and colour-normal vision is essential.

To work as a stevedore, loading and unloading ships, previous experience of operating cranes, forklift trucks or driving goods lorries will be helpful.

To be a marine operative, you may need sea survival, firefighting and boat handling certificates. Some basic experience with small marine craft and radio communications would be useful. You could contact local marinas about courses, or find training providers with the Royal Yachting Association.

For passenger operations, you’ll need good customer service skills and to enjoy working with people. Foreign language skills may also be useful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could be promoted to foreperson or supervisor, and then work your way up to superintendent or operations manager.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Forklift driver
  • Construction plant operator
  • Construction plant mechanic
  • Large goods vehicle driver

Although you may be able to get into this role without formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.

If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.

Required Skills

Port Operatives need:

  • a good level of physical fitness
  • the ability to work at heights
  • willingness to work unsociable hours
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work well in a team
  • the ability to work on your own initiative

Salary Range

£15,000 to £25,000

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