According to Marketplace, longshoremen perform a variety of different tasks associated with the loading and unloading of cargo from ships at docking facilities. From the moment a ship docks to the time it heads back out to sea, longshoremen are involved with almost every task related to moving cargo onto the ship or taking cargo off for transportation elsewhere.
When a ship arrives at a dock, longshoremen will begin by securing it with tied lines. Once the ship is secured, longshoremen may inspect the cargo, replacing or repairing any cargo containers that have become damaged in transit. Longshoremen crane operators are in charge of removing these cargo containers using the dock's heavy-lifting equipment, transferring the containers to loading areas where other longshoremen can transfer them to trucks or trains for transport away from the ocean. The same operators load fresh containers back onto the ship before it leaves for its next port of call. Even a simple task such as driving imported cars from an auto transporter onto the dock require longshoremen to take charge of the operation. Longshoremen jobs are typically unionized and may be extremely well paid due to the importance of their positions in the global transportation chain.