Of the many changes brought to every corner of the working world in 2020, the cargo shipping industry’s portion has been sizable. The silver lining is that workers who are seeking a job in cargo ship security now have a critical-need field in which to look for work.
Beneficially, there are several different full-time positions in this field, ranging from the armed security variety to port monitoring professionals who keep an eye on docking premises via computerized security programs. If you are currently on the hunt for a cargo ship security job, you could be working in the capacity of a physical security guard on board or at a port, or more in the capacity of a regulation agent ensuring paperwork is intact.
This helpful guide will showcase the leading cities within the United States that you’ll find full-time cargo ship security jobs and demonstrate ways to capitalize on the growing need for security professionals in the maritime security services market.
In recent years, an uptick in skilled workers searching for non-corporate jobs has been noted in the American workforce. With cargo ship security, a part of maritime security, you have the option to remain in port or choose to work abroad, gaining travel experiences along the way. Being able to earn money and see the world at the same time is an appealing option for those looking to work in the marine industry.
The variety of tasks that could populate your workday as a maritime security officer are numerous. You simply might be patrolling the grounds of the port facilities for security threats. You could also be stamping incoming freight reports, checking government-regulated paperwork for accuracy, or hopping on board for trans-Atlantic journeys to help ensure the safe passage of the cargo itself.
Port entry restrictions and shipboard safety measures have all been altered and ramped up in 2020 due to a surge in pirate attacks breaking the international Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code of conduct. These efforts have been centered on hot spots like the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean near Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Gulf of Mexico. As the Gulf of Mexico houses some of the more prominent ports central to U.S. international maritime freighting, the need for an increased anti-piracy security and force protection presence in this area has risen in tandem with these attacks.
While a military background, law enforcement background, or related field in addition to a bachelor’s degree is common among workers who choose cargo ship security officer positions, neither is required for hiring. Many major ports partner with private security agencies wherein all you need for eligibility is to be over the age of 18 and in possession of a high school diploma or equivalent. Cargo ship security typically requires a good deal of on-site training that’s specific to the type of cargo being transported, the marine environment in which the cargo is traveling, and the type of security — either on land or on board — that you will be providing for the cargo, whether it’s armed or monitoring.
Different ports will have vastly different needs when it comes to cargo ship security. When thinking about looking into this kind of work, you will want to evaluate key points, such as:
- The size of the port. Huge international ports will obviously have a need for more cargo ship security services. Ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach are two of the world’s largest trade portals, representing tens of billions of dollars in maritime industry sales. This translates to a direct need for large numbers of professional maritime security advisers and all other tiers of cargo ship security workers.
- Annual tonnage. Cargo freight is typically measured by a unit called a “TEU.” This abbreviation stands for “twenty-foot equivalent unit” and refers to the size of the standard containers utilized in mass freight. Looking at the cities with the most annual tonnage lets you know that ports such as South Louisiana, Houston, Beaumont, and New York are places where huge quantities of TEUs are being transacted and, thus, are places where more cargo ship security will be required.
- Proximity to large shipping companies. The impact of gigantic companies like Amazon and e-commerce on trans-Pacific supply chains is almost incalculable, and so is its imprint on cargo shipping. When searching for a job at cargo ship security company, look at ports servicing large nearby warehouses and other corporate facilities for the strongest shot at the availability of multiple positions.
As stated, not all jobs in cargo ship security services are the same, and you will want to know specifics about what you can expect from each position before making a decision about what type of job is best for you. The following are a few of the more common job descriptions for cargo ship security positions, including maritime security officers and cargo ship security guards.
- Maritime security officers. These high-ranking security team members are typically tasked with ensuring enforcement of all components of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. Duties can range from checking manifests for accuracy to collaborating with local and federal authorities, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, in the proper handling of controlled materials.
- Cargo ship security guards. The new normal has caused a boom in security guards monitoring ships and services at larger facilities. Working in this branch of cargo ship security would entail managing monitoring systems that track and protect freight as it journeys from its origin to destinations all over the world or patrolling the port or the ship itself.
It would be a mistake to believe that all of the good maritime security jobs are only found in one of the aforementioned ports with the heaviest-hitting annual tonnage reports. A number of U.S. ports do bustling business every day due to cargo ships as well as cruise ships and fishing ships and need port security personnel to keep maritime operations running. Here are a few of the other frontline cities for cargo ship security jobs:
- Baltimore, Maryland. General cargo tonnage has risen almost 15% since June 2020 in this port city, and experts expect that number to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
- Charleston, South Carolina. Having recently welcomed the largest freight ship to port on the East Coast, the port of Charleston is currently enjoying a residual boom in business.
- Port of Virginia, Virginia. Bouncing back after a stark drop in activity due to COVID-19 closures, the Port of Virginia has reopened its Saturday gate hours and announced a promising volume surge.
- Miami, Florida. Representing one of America’s most-established cold chain hubs, Miami is hot when it comes to the shipping of “cold chain” perishables like flowers or food that require refrigeration. As one of the easiest ports of call for trans-Atlantic liners arriving in from Southeast Asia, Miami holds plenty of unique opportunities for seekers of cargo ship security jobs.
- Savannah, Georgia. This southern port set a monthly volume record in August 2020 due to increased parcel services associated with online shopping and the ease with which home improvement deliveries can be navigated here. Look for cargo ship security jobs to rise alongside this port’s popularity as more and more people participate in digital spending.
It can be difficult to keep up with so many ports in different cities around the country when you are hunting for a new position. Joblist serves as a one-stop shop for managing your active search for cargo ship security gigs anywhere in the country.
The landscape of parcel destinations and densities is likely to keep shifting as the cargo and security industry actively adapts to continuous changes in demand. This means hot spots in shipping and cargo can crop up quickly and alter just as swiftly.
Letting Joblist help you stay on top of your cargo ship security searches saves you valuable time by focusing your search only on highly specific places and roles that you determine. Joblist lets you filter for hourly, entry-level, and even part-time job types so you can eliminate wasted hours while finding your next cargo ship security job.
Our online trove of helpful resources offers skilled guidance on every step for job seekers, from perfecting your resume to the easiest way to go about a career change. No matter your next port of call in the field of cargo ship security, Joblist can help you get there with less stress and a simpler search.