Entreprise Portuaire de Skikda

Port jobs

The captain (or commander) is the only “master on board” and is the head of the maritime expedition. At the top of the hierarchy of officers, he has a crew under his command, the size of which varies according to the size of the ship and the type of activity. The size of the ships a captain can command increases with his level of qualification as he undergoes training and sails, and he is the company’s representative on board and the agent of his owner abroad. Assisted by the second captain and the chief engineer, the captain exercises his authority over all activities on board.
From one to two men on passenger launches, an average of twenty sailors on cargo ships, up to several hundred on passenger ships, the crew placed under his orders is divided between the deck department (navigation and control of the ship) and the engine department (engines, equipment, pumps, etc.). Sur les navires à passagers, un service dit « général » assure en outre les tâches d’accueil, de restauration et d’hôtellerie.

The captain is directly responsible for a large number of tasks:

The conduct of the ship (deck service) :

  • Manoeuvres : Departure (departure of the ship) and docking (arrival of the ship) are always carried out by the captain, assisted by a pilot who knows the port and its surroundings perfectly.
  • Navigation : which consists in particular of choosing the best route with his “staff” according to the destination, the weather, the timetable, etc., and adapting the speed and course of the ship according to the circumstances encountered en route.

Supervision of the machine’s service :

  • The chief engineer : who is directly responsible for the proper functioning of all machinery, apparatus and equipment on board, is placed under the authority of the commander and reports only to him.

Safety and security management :

  • The commander : is responsible for the security of persons and property, and for preventing and combating external aggression (piracy, terrorism).

The commercial operation of the vessel :

  • He has full responsibility for the passengers and goods carried.

During voyages, the captain is usually “off watch” in order to be available at all times. During calls, he delegates to his officers the supervision of the loading and unloading of goods, the provisioning of the ship, the management of passengers, etc. He takes care of administrative and commercial formalities while remaining informed of everything that happens on board.

The profession of captain is practised on all types of merchant ships:

  • Transport of goods (oil, gas, chemicals, containers, grain, coal, minerals, vehicles, etc.)
  • Passenger transport (car ferries, cruises, mixed cargo ships, high-speed vessels, micro-cabotage, passenger launches).
  • Specialised maritime activities (oceanographic or seismic research, offshore exploration or exploitation, laying of submarine cables, extraction of marine materials, etc.)
  • Port activities (pilotage, dredging, towing, etc.)

A stevedore (also written aconier) is a contractor responsible for stevedoring, i.e. the handling of goods: loading and stowing on board a merchant ship or unloading. This term is mainly used in the South of France. The commercial ports of the North Sea prefer the term stevedore, those of the Atlantic prefer the term stevedore or stevedoring company, and in order to shorten the time the ships are in port, specialised contractors intervene to carry out the operations formerly carried out by the crew.

The stevedoring business has developed considerably nowadays, due to the intensification of port activities; the increase in ship tonnage, the need for rapid loading and unloading, and the importance of the weight and value of the cargo, meant that the crew could no longer handle the stevedoring operations. Carriers therefore turned to specialised stevedoring contractors, who had the necessary equipment and skilled personnel at their disposal.

The maritime handling contractors, who limit themselves to carrying out the physical operations of loading and unloading, are called stevedores, and are found on the North Sea, the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand, those in the Mediterranean are called stevedores and are responsible for both physical operations (loading on board and unloading at the quayside) and legal operations (reception, recognition of goods for both import and export and custody of goods to be loaded or unloaded).

Stevedores handle the goods during particularly dangerous and high-risk handling phases (picking up the goods at the quay, putting them in the hold, stowing them in the hold, undocking them and putting them on the quay). They carry out dockside custody and other legal operations (reception and recognition of goods), and then physically deliver the goods to the rightful owners. They thus have the goods under their personal responsibility for a certain time.


The harbour master’s office of a commercial port is headed by a commander assisted by officers, in smaller ports, such as some marinas, a captain may be alone.The harbour officer ensures the smooth running of the port. The port officer ensures the smooth running of the port, regulates port traffic, enforces safety rules during loading and unloading operations, especially when dangerous materials are involved, and ensures the preservation of the port’s facilities. He is therefore in contact with many different people: ship captains, pilots, stevedores, construction companies, etc. The major ports employ several dozen port officers with specialised responsibilities.


On the quayside, the docker takes charge of the ship’s cargo. He knows all about flour sacks, forestry containers and forklifts.

The docker is a worker who loads and unloads all types of goods on board ships. These operations involve the use of various mechanical equipment and require compliance with numerous safety rules.


A multi-skilled stevedore.
In the ports, no cargo escapes the dockers. From paper pulp to cereals and metal products, they load and unload all the goods that embark or disembark the ship. In fact, these stevedores enjoy a real monopoly in the public maritime domain. Whereas in the past, arms were enough, today it is imperative to master several functions and to hold different positions.

The dock worker prepares the equipment. They have to install cables (slings) or winches, and guide the drivers in their manoeuvres when they are at the wheel of forklifts, cranes or other machines. They may also help to open hatch covers or stow packages, depending on the loading or unloading instructions given to them.

This task is usually performed by the wedgeman. At the time of loading, this specialist carries out the wedging and stowage operations specific to each package, using the equipment he deems appropriate. On the other hand, it is up to the machine operator to control various lifting devices of varying capacity and height (gantry crane, crane, lift, etc.). Finally, the grader checks the condition of the grain. This involves accurately checking their moisture content, their level of impurities, etc.


Strength and seriousness.
This is a profession where physical strength must be combined with seriousness. The installation of increasingly sophisticated equipment has not completely eliminated the handling itself. Similarly, the constraints of navigation impose irregular working hours (nights, weekends, public holidays, etc.). An iron constitution and a healthy lifestyle must therefore go hand in hand with a high level of availability and punctuality.

Poor stowage, handling errors or, for example, incorrect allocation of goods can have serious material, physical and financial consequences. It is therefore imperative to follow the instructions and safety rules to the letter.

Finally, this multi-skilled worker, who has a general maritime culture, knows how to drive and use a lifting or automatic machine.

The tugboat skipper remains a key member of the crew and is responsible for all events at sea and for the nautical management of the tugboat.The command of a tugboat requires certificates, diplomas and licences in accordance with the regulations in force.There are different categories of navigation:
Commercial navigation, fishing, pleasure and radio communications.We are interested in commercial navigation, which is divided into three parts:
The activity of the port company of Skikda is limited to navigation near the coast, restricted navigation, especially during technical stops, and exceptionally the towing of floating equipment (ships, pontoons, dredgers, etc.).

The working system of the port of Skikda is 24 hours/72 hours, the tugboat skippers are assigned according to the type of navigation, depending on their qualification.

The requirements for navigation near the coastline are :
The tugboat skipper must possess either:

  • First mate’s certificate on ships of less than 3000 gross tons.
  • Master’s certificate on board ships of less than 500 gross tons.
  • Master’s certificate on ships of less than 3000 gross tons.

For restricted navigation, the tugboat operator must hold :

  • First mate’s certificate on ships of less than 5000 gross tons.
  • First mate’s certificate on board ships of 5,000 gross tonnage or more.
  • Master’s certificate on ships of less than 5000 gross tons.
  • Master’s certificate on board a ship of 5000 gross tons or more.

In accordance with Executive Decree 02/143 of 16 April 2002, laying down the titles, certificates and licences for maritime navigation and the conditions for their issue.

The other potential requirement for assuming the function of tug master is the application of the clauses stipulated by the STCW 95 (convention on standards of training, certification and watch keeping for seafarers), an international convention on standards of training, certification and watch keeping for seafarers, within the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

The shipowner is the owner, operator or charterer of a ship.
His activity is the maritime transport of goods or passengers.the shipowner is in relation with :

  • Freight forwarders and forwarding agents or shippers who are the customers for the goods.
  • Handling contractors who carry out embarkation and disembarkation operations, reception and delivery of cargo in the port on their behalf.
  • Towing, boatage and pilotage companies.
  • Insurance brokers or insurers.
  • Marine surveyors in the event of damage to the goods or the vessel.
  • Ship brokers, who take ships through customs and offer ships for sale or charter.
  • Bunkers, who supply them with the products needed by the ship (water, food, bunkers, spare parts, etc.).
  • Ship repair companies in the event of a technical stopover.
  • Customs, to whom they are accountable for the entry and exit of goods from the territory.
  • Travel agencies or tour operators when passengers or cruises are involved.

In ports where he is not directly based, the shipowner is in direct contact with a consignee shipping agent, who defends his interests and acts on his behalf with all the above professions.

A forklift operator is a person who drives a motorised machine used for moving goods within a farm. The forklift operator performs all kinds of tasks, such as transporting, storing and retrieving goods. In some cases, the forklift operator’s work may include pallet building.

The forklift operator has an important role in the production chain: he manages the provision of goods and thus avoids breaks in the preparations.

Boatswain’s Mate / BoscoFormer seaman rising to the rank of boatswain by seniority and merit. Under the direct orders of the Chief Mate for commercial operations, safety and manoeuvres and the Chief Engineer for maintenance. He leads the crew in the accomplishment of the tasks. He is responsible for the shops where the equipment, ropes, hoists, hawsers, cartahus, paint, etc. are stored. At sea, he maintains the rigging of the lifting gear and the general cleanliness of the ship except for the engine room. He keeps an up-to-date register indicating the frequency of maintenance of the cables (greasing) and their replacement.

The chief engineer manages the engine department. In the open sea, the ship operates independently: on board, he is responsible for the proper functioning of all equipment.

All maintenance, servicing and repairs to the ship’s installations are carried out under his direction.

In the event of a technical problem, the chief engineer must ensure that the functions vital to the safe navigation and operation of the ship are carried out, as well as to the monitoring of commercial operations.

The chief engineer is therefore an essential element in the safety of the ship, crew and cargo.
The chief engineer supervises and directs all the seafarers in the engine department: engineers, electricians, etc. They are the ones who, from the beginning of the ship’s voyage, will be responsible for the safety of the ship, the crew and the cargo.

They are the ones who, using only on-board energy (diesel, gas), are responsible for the smooth running of the machines that supply the mechanical and electrical energy essential to the running and operation of the ship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thus the main engine must ensure the propulsion of the vessel without failure and the auxiliary engines supply electricity for all the installations on board:

Mechanical: fans, compressors, pumps, hydraulic systems, making fresh water from sea water, etc.
Thermal: heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, etc.
Electronics: navigation instruments, plant piping, monitoring equipment, computers, etc.

The engine department also ensures the proper functioning of the facilities dedicated to cargo and commercial operations.

The chief engineer has a large degree of autonomy.

The chief engineer is placed under the sole authority of the captain. He keeps him informed of the ship’s condition and of any incidents or damage, as well as of work in progress or to be planned.

He can liaise with the ship’s services on land to find solutions to the most complex technical problems. He/she must work closely with the “bridge” department.

Given the great diversity of merchant navy ships, the chief engineer must be able to adapt to the varied power and sometimes very complex technology of the machines required for each type of activity: transport of goods (oil, gas, chemicals, containers, cereals, etc.), transport of passengers (car ferries, cruises, mixed cargo ships, catamarans, high-speed ships), specialised maritime activities (oceanographic or seismic research, off-shore bunkering, extraction of marine materials, dredging, etc.).

A chief engineer must therefore have a wide range of technical knowledge, solid experience in the engine department and a sense of teamwork.

He must have great analytical skills, rigour and method.

Like the commander, he must know how to manage and lead a team, not count his time and take quick decisions.

The pilot assists the masters of ships in the conduct of their vessels into and out of ports, in roadsteads and inland waters. Pilotage is compulsory within the limits of each port for all vessels except those mentioned in article 178 of the maritime code which exempts sailing vessels with a net tonnage of less than 100 tonnes, mechanically propelled vessels of less than 100 tonnes, mechanically propelled vessels assigned exclusively to the improvement and surveillance of ports and their accesses such as tugs, carriers, dredgers, barges, etc, This obligation is only relative insofar as it is not the presence of the pilot on board that is imposed but only the payment of pilotage fees whether or not the pilot has provided assistance to the vessel.

Previously, the body of maritime pilots was governed by the decree of 19/09/1977, issued by the Ministry of Transport, fixing the conditions of recruitment of maritime pilots, in particular articles 2 and 6:

The exercise of maritime pilotage is devolved to the holders of professional qualifications as specified below and approved under the following conditions:

– To be holder of the certificate of master on board of a ship of a gross tonnage superior to 5000 tons or of a title of the naval forces recognized as equivalent by the minister in charge of the merchant navy and the ports. Holders of certificates of second captain on board a ship with a gross tonnage of more than 5,000 tonnes may also, if necessary, be candidates for the position of pilot.

– Having served at least twenty-four (24) months as master or forty-eight (48) months as chief officer on board ships engaged in restricted or unrestricted navigation or ten (10) years in command of naval vessels of sixty (60) metres in length or more.

– Having successfully completed, as an aspiring pilot, a course of at least twelve (12) months for masters and thirty-six (36) months for second masters, under the guidance of a chief pilot of the pilotage station of the port concerned or an instructor designated for this purpose, in accordance with the procedures laid down by order of the Minister in charge of the merchant navy and ports.