In Summary - Stevedore / Port Operative
Loads and unloads cargo from ships and controls and guides passengers and their vehicles as they pass through the port.
Stevedore / Port Operatives typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Stevedore / Port Operative
Stevedores load and unload cargo from ships. They control and guide passengers and their vehicles as they pass through the port.
In marine work they deal with everything at the port. A stevedore uses forklift trucks and cranes. On roll-on/roll-off ferries, operatives drive the vehicles that carry trailers on and off the ships.
On container ships, dockside cranes or the ship's own lifting gear is used to load and unload containers.
Operatives also use lorries and other vehicles to transport cargo from the quayside to outdoor storage areas.
Port operatives normally work a 40-hour week, in eight-hour shift patterns. Work is outdoors, in all weathers, but you may spend some time inside in the ship's hold or in cargo storage, which may be hot and cramped.
The work can be strenuous with plenty of lifting and bending. You may have to work at heights. Some cargoes can be dusty, dirty or oily, or produce unpleasant smells or fumes.
Interests - Stevedore / Port Operative
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
As a Port Operative you will need:
- Physical fitness
- Normal colour vision, as some cargoes are colour-coded
- Safety conscious as you may be working in a hazardous environment
- Good at following instructions and explaining them to other people
- Ability to work as part of a team
Entry Requirements - Stevedore / Port Operative
There are no formal entry requirements, but applicants will need to pass a medical examination.
The minimum age for entry is usually 21.
Although any driving involved will not be on public roads, most employers will require applicants to possess a driving licence in order to demonstrate good levels of driving skill. Experience of driving cranes, forklift trucks or lorries is often an advantage.
Some engineering skills could be useful for carrying out basic maintenance work around the docks.
Ref. Irish Maritime Development Office
Last Updated: April, 2015
Pay & Salary - Stevedore / Port Operative
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 31k
Last Updated: April, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.