Longshore workers (NOC 7451)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Longshore workers transfer cargo from ships and other vessels, and throughout the dock area.

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People in this career work for marine cargo-handling companies, shipping agencies and shipping lines.

Common job titles
  • dockworker / dock hand / marine cargo
  • loader, barge / boat / tanker
  • longshore / wharf
  • lumper
  • operator, shop-loader / tower-loader
  • stevedore


Longshore workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • operate industrial trucks, tractors and other mobile equipment to transfer cargo, such as containers, crated items, automobiles and pallet-mounted machinery, around dock to within range of cranes and hoists
  • operate winches or other hoisting devices to load and unload cargo onto and from ships and other vessels
  • operate mechanical towers to load vessels with materials such as coal and ore
  • operate equipment to transfer bulk materials, such as grain, to hold of vessels
  • connect hoses and operate equipment to transfer liquid materials into storage tanks on vessels
  • perform other activities such as lashing and shoring cargo aboard ships, opening and closing hatches, cleaning holds of ships and rigging cargo

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place outdoors in various weather conditions.
  • Work may take place in the cab of heavy equipment such as mechanical towers.
  • Work is done near or with heavy equipment, instruments, machinery or power/hand tools that may be a source of accident or injury.
  • Work locations, such as working on docks around cranes and towers, may be dangerous.
  • Workers may be exposed to chemicals, noise and vibration.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Progression to foreman/woman or supervisor of longshore workers is possible with experience.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.