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Handling operator / stevedore

When goods are loaded on a ship or unloaded they are handled by a stevedore or, more specifically, they go through his high-tech equipment: from gantry to IT port terminal management systems, the operator works in a very efficient environment. He employs longshoremen.

Who is in charge of making sure goods reach their destination as fast as possible without any trouble? While all the different professions involved in the supply chain claim similar excellence at the service of goods, it must be noted that the handling operator plays a vital physical role in its transport.

Situated in between the ship and other transportation modes that will be used to forward the goods to the client, the handling operator (or stevedore) performs, in concrete terms, loading and unloading operations as well as the storage of goods involved. (on a ground surface called “Terminal”). Heavily mechanized, this step involves a complex procession in which dexterity and accuracy must be flawless.

Act and waste no time: this must be the operator’s motto since the duration of the docking of the ship depends on how fast he operates. Shipowners want this time to be as short as possible for profitability reasons.

Safety and efficiency

The main occupation of the stevedore involves the handling of raw material or containers thanks to specific tools (cranes, straddle-carriers, hoists, locomotives, etc.) to transfer them from the ship to the truck, train, river barge (or the opposite in export cases).

Machine drivers, on the terminals, hold specific authorizations (CACES: Certificat d’Aptitude à la Conduite en Sécurité – Certificate of Operator Safety Competency) to be able to take the controls of the different machines.

The task of others is to maintain tools and premises so that efficiency and safety can be insured.

On an administrative level, many support jobs are needed: engineers, IT technicians, sales representatives, etc. Employment related to handling in Le Havre, which is directly related to the volume of goods to handle, shall benefit in the next few years from a policy willing to win markets back and from the attractiveness of Le Havre equipments on the routes of international trade.

In Le Havre, handling professions represent close to 2 800 direct jobs in various fields: containers, bulk, road cargo, etc. This economic area employs and develops each day.

Since the handling reform of 1992, the handling operator has become a genuine industrial entrepreneur.

Source: multiple Internet sources, specialized literature, testimonials (Pratic-Export, Pôle-emploi cards, Wikipedia, Onisep, CNRTL, Umep à la Page, etc.)