Cargo Handlers

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Cargo Handlers

Cargo Handlers - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, freight handlers:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a medium level of social interaction with others.
  • Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of others.
  • May occasionally deal with conflict situations in which others may become rude or angry.
  • Are somewhat responsible for the work done by others.
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  • Communicate mostly by face-to-face discussions.
  • Usually work as part of a team of handlers.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Usually work outdoors. Sometimes work indoors, although these sites may not have heating or air conditioning.
  • Regularly wear protective or safety clothing, such as hard hats, heavy boots, and gloves.
  • Occasionally are exposed to very hot or cold weather when working outside.
  • Occasionally are exposed to hazardous equipment and situations, if a stevedore.
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  • May work near contaminants.
  • May work within a few feet of others.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure all the details and tasks of their work are done correctly. Errors can endanger the safety of workers or cause financial loss to customers.
  • Repeat the same physical activities.
  • Usually seek direction from supervisors before setting daily tasks and goals.
  • Must meet strict daily deadlines.


  • May work part time or full time. Those who work full time may work long hours to meet shipping deadlines.
  • May work evening, weekend, or night shifts. Schedules are usually established.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.