Port Operator

Royal Logistic Corps

At a glance

  • Soldier
  • logistics

Work in a port and learn how to load and unload cargo from ships. Travel the world supporting the Army and other Services.

  • £18,687The minimum amount you’ll earn during training
  • £23,496Your pay after completing basic trade training
  • AgeFrom 16 years & 6 months to 35 years & 6 months
  • QualificationsNo formal qualifications needed
Port operator

I load military vessels around the globe using specialist heavy lifting equipment

We use specialist machinery, such as cranes and drive different types of vehicles in order to carry out our operations. Working alongside the Royal Marines and Airborne Forces means that we get plenty of opportunities to travel, working in ports worldwide and helping to support operations and disaster relief tasks. We also have opportunities to complete an apprenticeship and gain widely-recognised trade qualifications.

We also have a Regimental Dive Team and have a proud history competing in Army Sports.

The Royal Logistic Corps are the Army’s professional logisticians keeping the Field Army marching, its helicopters flying, its vehicles moving and its tanks and guns firing. We enable its deployment and supply it with everything it needs, wherever it operates, throughout the world.

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Key Responsibilities

  • As part of a Port Task Group, load and unload vessels to meet port deadlines and operational commitments.

  • Primarily based at the home of Army Maritime in Marchwood, Southampton.

  • You could be deployed worldwide– wherever the British Army has a presence.

  • Gain your Category C+E Driving Licence and learn how to use equipment such as an Industrial Forklift.

  • Gain MHE qualifications and a Level 2 Port Operative Apprenticeship.

Have any questions? Talk with us

port operator

Regular (full time)

Entry requirements

  • Age:

    From 16 years & 6 months to 35 years & 6 months

  • Qualifications:

    No formal qualifications needed

  • Basic physical fitness assessment:

    • Mid Thigh Pull 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw 2.7m

    • MSFT (beep test) level 6.6

    Army Reserve standards

    • Mid Thigh Pull: 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw: 2m 70cm

    • MSFT (beep test): Level 5 shuttle 8

    More information about the fitness test

Training for the role

Step 1
You'll start with your initial military training which teaches you how to be a soldier, covering everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle.

  • If you join as a Junior Soldier (under 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do a 23-week basic military training course at Harrogate.

  • If you join as a Regular Soldier (over 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do the regular 14-week adult basic training.

Step 2
Next you’ll complete the Port Operator Class 3 course where you will learn the safety aspects of working in a hazardous port environment and gain your MHE Licences. You’ll also learn how to transfer cargo between military and civilian transport using cranes and other equipment. During this stage you will also earn your category B and C+E licenses at the Defence School of Transport in Leconfield.

Step 3
On promotion, and after earning two further MHE Specialist Qualifications, you will begin the Port Operator Class 2 course. Later on, you will complete the Port Operator Class 1 course, which includes learning how to be a Crane Supervisor.

Qualifications you could get after training

  • Level 2 Port Operative Apprenticeship

  • MHE Qualifications

  • Functional skills

  • CMI Diploma

  • ILM award in Leadership and management

Pay & benefits

Earn £18,687 a year during training. When you have completed 26 weeks' service or finished basic trade training – whichever comes first – your pay will rise to £23,496.

If you are part of the Regimental Dive Team, you can earn additional pay between £285 and £670.

How to Apply

Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre, you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.

More about the joining process

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