Who loads and unloads the ships?

There are many marine workers that work at the ports to make container ships pass through a port smoothly and allow for a constant flow of cargo on and off ships to make their way around the world. When you visit a port, you will see there are people everywhere working diligently to move things along and sometimes it seems to be with very little communication. Many of the people work for the individual steamship lines, but there are also people there who do not. In the United States, the two main groups are called stevedores and longshoremen. These are the hands on workers that strap and load containers on the actual ships and follow the load plans set by the container shipping companies. There are several strong unions for longshoremen. It is said that getting in to the longshoremen's union is very difficult, probably because there are many benefits to being in the union and it can be a solid life long position. A stevedore is along the same lines, however they are more involved in the general operations and planning and are the people who hire the longshoremen. Once someone becomes a stevedore, they have a career path that can lead to crane operations, port planning, and general operations positions at the port. Depending on which port they are at, both of these types of positions can be tough jobs. Not only do they have people working around the clock, but they also work through all types of weather to make sure the ships stay on schedule.