Get on board with us

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
Get Involved in the Loading and Unloading as a Longshoreman


Get Involved in the Loading and Unloading as a Longshoreman

Routine is not for everyone.

Vanessa, a Longshorewoman at the Port of Trois-Rivières, is one of those who want every day to be different, with its share of challenges and accomplishments. The maritime industry was the ideal choice for this motivated and vigorous woman.

Discover a day in her life and her inspiring story.

I’ve never been a big fan of repetitive everyday life, and people around me know it well. This is one of the reasons why my father-in-law, who has worked in the maritime industry for several years, suggested that I apply for a position of Longshoreman at the Port of Trois-Rivières.

At first, I went to work occasionally when there were additional labour needs, such as during the holidays. Over time, I gained experience, and I realized that I really liked this job. I wanted to make it a part of my lifestyle and make it my job.

You can’t deny it, maneuvering a forklift to load and unload a ship, shovelling the ship’s hold when products accumulate there, installing 2x4s between piles of steel beams, and making the inventory of a cargo is physically demanding and not for everyone. But it’s definitely for me.

This is what allows me to get up at 6:15 a.m. for my daytime shifts, slightly tired, but motivated to start my day and meet up with my colleagues, who became friends. A stop at Tim Hortons between Lavaltrie and Trois-Rivières is almost mandatory, I need this energy!

My schedule, usually confirmed the day before via text message, is 8 a.m. — 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. — 9 p.m., like today. 12-hour days are very common in this type of job. Sometimes, I also work at night. What I like the most is ensuring the health and safety of our workplace, and tasks such as “floorman” and “checker” which vary from day to day.

Basically, the “floorman” takes care of inventorying all the cargo leaving the ship, while the “checker” is in charge of the inventory that needs to be sent to specific companies. There are also obviously several other roles to occupy while working as a Longshoreman at the port, depending on our preferences and specialties: auditor, crane operator, heavy equipment operator and so on.

When I arrive at the port, I put on my boots, my reflective vest, my safety glasses and my helmet, then I go and chat with my colleagues. There’s always room for difference of opinion in our comments and it’s usually pleasant and respectful. In this job, it’s important to like the team spirit and have a good sense of self-deprecation. Being witty can’t hurt either!

Other than that, my day is busy as usual and I hardly see time go by while I transport cargo with my forklift. Being a Longshorewoman is very demanding and takes good physical and mental shape, while being able to adapt to very variable schedules.

When I’ve finished my shift, I love to take off my work boots and put on my shoes or sandals: the feeling is beyond words! On the way home, I listen to the radio, clearing my head of things that happened during the day, just to clear my mind before I get home.

At the end of the day, I definitely feel fatigue take hold of me, but I usually have a sense of a job well done and it makes me feel good. Every day is different and I really like this absence of routine. There’s nothing like a great day spent outdoors working with your hands!

Seeing the World and Enjoying the Sailors Life

Next article

Seeing the World and Enjoying the Sailors Life

Read article
Seeing the World and Enjoying the Sailors Life