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Roberta Owen

A conversation with ...
A Marine Operator, Roberta Owen

Explore Port Careers

All about...
Marine Operations

What a marine operations person does . . .

People in marine operations keep the Port moving, interacting with ships carrying cargo into and out of the Port and the people who need to bring their products to market, the people at the terminals who load and unload cargo and the people who carry it to markets around the country, such as truckers and the railroads.

Even before a ship enters the Port, it is tracked by marine operations which assigns a berth (their space at a dock) to the ship and then meets the ship as it docks.  At the Port of Baltimore, marine operations is in charge of making sure ships present documents related to their cargo and assesses fees for things such as crane rental, dock space, and loading or unloading cargo.

Career Tidbits

  • The Maryland Port Administration has identified careers in marine operations as positions where a young person out of high school would most likely find a job at the Port.
  • People in marine operations have to know a great deal about the ships that come into port.  They have to be able to identify them by design, length, depth, and breadth.

A person in marine operations typically has:

These skills and abilities:
Strong communication, customer service, and organizational skills; ability to solve problems effectively and efficiently; strong mathematics ability; up-to-date computer skills; a strong interest in marine operations

This knowledge:

  • How to identify ships by design, length, and depth in order to make appropriate berth assignments
  • Cargo logistics and transportation modes
  • How to schedule and manage multiple tasks at the same time
  • How to use a wide assortment of scheduling and spreadsheet software
  • An understanding of maritime tariffs, as well as safety and security codes and regulations

This training:
College-level courses in transportation and marine logistics are crucial to this position, as are additional classes which are generally paid for by the state.

This education:
Although this position does not require a high school diploma or a college degree, a high school diploma is strongly recommended. Most training is on the job.  Potential employees must keep up with computer technology as well as safety and security guidelines.

Marine operations helps keep track of valuable cargo …

Find out about other careers at the Port.