Tally man

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A tally man is a cargo controller in the seaport who records the quantities over the quay edge during loading or unloading and checks for externally visible damage ( monitoring ). The term comes from English ( tally = tally , kerbholz ; to tally = tick off, count). The original French term tailleur is now unknown in this context.

In the forwarding business , a tally man or tailoring operation is used to describe someone who measures and counts goods in seaports (on behalf of the shipowner). Weighing is not one of the duties of a tally man. The tools of a tally man were calibrated measuring stick (five feet (= 1.52 m) long measuring sticks), calculating machines and the so-called "idler", a set of tables that made arithmetic easier. The results are binding for the calculation of the freight and for the creation of the stowage plan . The instructions of the tally man were carried out by the packers and workers of the gangs .

Vocational training

The training used to be done by captains, in the mid-1950s the teaching profession of tally man was created. Tallymann has not been a job title for a long time. In the 1970s, the professions Tally man, were Quartiersmann , grain inspector , goods inspector , cotton Küper and cargo inspector combined to the professional title Seegüterkontrolleur . People who carry out the tasks of a tally man then learned the profession of sea cargo inspector by 2005. In 2006 this job was replaced by a specialist in port logistics .

Banana logistics

In the decade 1960–1970, large quantities of bananas were handled in the banana shed in the Port of Hamburg . The fruits were initially transported unpacked as a shrub, later increasingly as banana hands in banana boxes . The fruit was transported from the ships via conveyor belts to the transshipment positions for transfer to trucks or railroad cars . The tally man used a hand-held counter for the banana trees to determine the amount charged to him. For cardboard boxes, he calculated the arrangement and stacking height from the base area and roof height, taking into account any wheel arches and arched roofs.

Banana Boat Song

The profession is sung in the Banana Boat Song (the most famous version is by Harry Belafonte ), where the tally man is responsible for counting the bunch of bananas : Come, Mister tallyman, tally me banana , German: Come on, Mr. Tallymann, count my bananas (the song is about someone who loads ships (with bananas) in the harbor and wants to call it a day).


  • Schauerlüd, Schutenschupser and Kaitorten: Working in the Port of Hamburg , Karl Heinrich Altstaedt, Sutton Verlag GmbH (2011), ISBN 978-3-8668-0809-6
  • Hafenbuch Hamburg , by Michael Martin (author), Nicole Keller (photographer), Oliver Schumacher (photographer), publisher: Junius Hamburg; (2010), ISBN 978-3-8850-6591-3

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Tallymann - counting with kerbholz
  2. The Profession of Tallyman.