Longshoremen Definition

In the transportation of container freight from port to port, there are numerous individuals involved with moving the freight along, including freight forwarders and carriers. The longshoremen play an important role in shipping ocean freight containers. They are the individuals who are tasked with loading and unloading freight between ocean vessels and ports. Besides the term longshoremen, these individuals are also known as stevedores, dockworkers and dock labourers. While physical strength is certainly a requirement for longshoremen, these workers also must maintain an immense knowledge of the rules and regulations regarding freight at the ports. In fact, many smart and famous people from our society once worked as longshoremen, including Nobel Prize winning scientist Glenn Theodore Seaborg, US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Terry Bollea (better known as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan).

Longshoremen spend time learning about procedures before stepping into the job at the ports. They all also must obtain a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) card from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Historically in the US, longshoremen remain in one of the most proudly unionized industries. Most of them belong in either the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) or the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). There have also been numerous strikes and strike threats from the unions throughout the years, including one last year that almost impacted ocean freight rates.

Shippers who transport containers frequently should be well aware of longshoremen and the important role they play in the transportation of ocean freight at all of our shipping ports.