The docker book pdf on a New York dock loading barrels of corn syrup onto a barge on the Hudson River. Photograph by Lewis Hine, c.
The word stevedore originated in Portugal or Spain, and entered the English language through its use by sailors. Latin stīpāre meaning to stuff, as in to fill with stuffing. In the United Kingdom, men who load and unload ships are usually called dockers, in Australia dockers or wharfies, while in the United States and Canada the term longshoreman, derived from man-along-the-shore, is used. Before extensive use of container ships and shore-based handling machinery in the United States, longshoremen referred exclusively to the dockworkers, while stevedores, in a separate trade union, worked on the ships, operating ship’s cranes and moving cargo.
In Canada, the term stevedore has also been used, for example, in the name of the Western Stevedoring Company, Ltd. Loading and unloading ships requires knowledge of the operation of loading equipment, the proper techniques for lifting and stowing cargo, and correct handling of hazardous materials.