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Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council » Stevedore


The primary role of a Stevedore is the loading and unloading of freight on and off ships while they are in port. With port capacity increasing in Australia, demand for skilled portside workers is set to rise, particularly around mining areas. The introduction of new technology and systems at ports targeting documentation, yard layout, ship loading and discharging, ship stability calculations and operational statistics will mean that existing and new workers need to adapt to new skill requirements.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Mooring and unmooring ships
  • Cleaning and preparing containers
  • Stacking and securing cargo
  • Administrative processes associated with the transfer of cargo

A Stevedore (also known as a dockworker, docker or dock labourer) is usually the entry point for individuals seeking a career on the docks or within ports. Stevedores can then progress to become a Crane Operator, Foreperson or Container Terminal Manager.

Industry facts

  • Safety is of critical importance to this role.
  • There are about 27 port operator businesses in Australia, employing approximately 4,205 people.
  • Operators often work with large, hi-tech machinery, including automated straddle carriers and gantry cranes.
  • Stevedores often work with other government agencies such as Customs Australia and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to ensure border security. Stevedores work in outdoor settings, near water and generally close to cities and towns.

Entry Qualifications

Training qualification:

  • Certificate II in Stevedoring
  • Certificate III in Stevedoring

Estimated Salary

$36,000 – $91,000 (Median $55,000)*.
*Wages will vary according to your level of skill, experience, employer and geographical location.

Download Profile

PDF document Stevedore Career Overview