In the port industry, stevedoring is a company that stows non-containerized general cargo on ocean-going vessels or in containers .
Stevedoring took care of the entire transshipment, i.e. the loading and unloading of ships, until the 1960s. With the advent of container shipping, many stevedores disappeared, which today focus on stowing individual goods (mostly heavy goods or fruit) in ocean-going vessels or in containers. The stevedore is a disappearing occupation that is being replaced by various other dock workers (e.g. ship planner or container bridge driver).
Stowers are mainly used for loading and unloading “in the room” or on the deck of the ship, where they put together palletized banana boxes so that they can be lifted onto land by a mobile crane. Before loading, the shipping company or the chief officer on board draws up a stowage plan (loading target). This must take into account the correct sequence of the various loading and unloading ports and the weight of the cargo (→ trim ). The loading of the ship according to this stowage plan by skilled port workers may be monitored by a representative of one of the cargo participants, the supercargo , in the case of demanding cargo . During the loading process, the goods loaded on board were counted by the tally man , now the sea cargo controller , who also creates the actual loading stowage plan as it is. After the cargo has been stowed in the allocated space, it must be lashed seaworthy. These are called tabs . This work is carried out by the lashing and controlled by the crew , as their safety and the safety of the cargo depend on the quality of the lashing when the ship comes into rough seas . This was of great importance especially for sailing ships , for example the sinking of the Pamir a . A. attributed to improperly stowed cargo.
Ideally, before the ship arrives at the port of discharge, the ship planner there receives the stowage plan in order to prepare for the cargo for his port and to plan personnel resources. The cargo is discharged after the ship arrives and then discharged.
The opposite process, unloading a ship, is known as unloading . This designation applies at least to small-scale piece goods that are manually craned over pallets or nets, and bulk goods that can be sucked off, pumped out or dredged out.