Water traffic coordinator


Water traffic coordinator manage the movements of a vessel in ports and waterways. They ensure the efficient deployment of vessels of a shipping company.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to water traffic coordinator:

water traffic planner
dock traffic coordinator
marine traffic planner
port traffic coordinator
marine traffic co-ordinator
coordinator in water traffic
waterway traffic planner

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a water traffic coordinator.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Water traffic coordinator is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Water traffic coordinator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to water traffic coordinator.

port coordinator
ship pilot dispatcher
container crane operator
vessel operations coordinator
ordinary seaman

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of water traffic coordinator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of water traffic coordinator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

maritime pilot
non-vessel operating common carrier
marine cargo inspector
freight inspector
international forwarding operations coordinator

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of water traffic coordinator.

  • Warehouse operations: Know the basic principles and practices of warehouse operations such as goods storage. Understand and satisfy customer needs and requirements while effectively utilising warehouse equipment, space and labour.
  • Commodities in maritime transportation: Knowledge of the most important commodities in maritime transportation, i.e. oil, grain, ore, coal and fertilisers, and their characteristics and subdivisions.
  • Types of maritime vessels: Know a large variety of maritime vessels and their characteristics and specifications. Use that knowledge to ensure that all security, technical, and maintenance measures are taken into account in their supply.
  • Vessel stability principles: Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.
  • Customs regulations for passengers: Understand passenger customs regulations; know which official documents or declaration forms are required from different kinds of passenger.
  • Maritime telecommunications: Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting equipment and overall operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Freight transport methods: Understand different modalities of transport such as air, sea, or intermodal freight transport. Specialise in one of the modalities and possess a deeper knowledge of the details and procedures of that modality.
  • Port regulation: Know port standards and legal regulations, based primarily on municipal laws, port laws or the Maritime Code.
  • Principles of cargo stowage: Understand the principles of cargo stowage. Understand procedures by which containers should be efficiently loaded and unloaded, taking into account gravitational forces that are exerted during transportation.
  • Match vessels to shipping routes: Understand how particular types of ships are transport different kinds of cargo and operate on different shipping routes. Know the current maritime routes to plan and schedule the arrival and departure of ships from ports.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of water traffic coordinator.

  • Develop efficiency plans for maritime shipping: Arrange the most efficient use of cargo space and vessel movement, monitor the number of available cranes and dock space and assess the physical condition of ships and impact of cargo weight on the stability of ships.
  • Ensure compliance with port regulations: Enforce compliance with regulations in harbours and sea ports. Communicate with relevant authorities to identify potential risks.
  • Coordinate dock operations: Coordinate cargo shipments in and out of dock. Position cranes and arrange containers into shipments, taking into account the exact measures and weight of each container.
  • Operate port communications systems: Operate telephone and radio systems, and more complex communication systems used in inland waterway ports, in the coordination of port operations.
  • Apply procedures to ensure cargo complies with customs regulations: Apply the different procedures required to meet customs obligations when transporting goods across borders and arriving via ports/airports or any other logistics hub, such as producing written customs declarations. Apply different procedures for different types of goods, and ensure compliance with shipping regulations.;
  • Anticipate shipment handling requirements: Ensure correct handling of shipment cargo; calculate cargo weight and operate cranes to move containers.
  • Load cargo onto ships: Load and unload cargo onto ships. Oversee cargo loading and discharging operations.
  • Manage dispatch software systems: Manage dispatch software systems to execute tasks such as work order generation, route planning, and other activities.
  • Ensure vessel compliance with regulations: Inspect vessels, vessel components, and equipment; ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
  • Manage port operations improvement procedures: Manage all improvement procedures in port operations, including their development and implementation. Understand port activities, operations, and the way these are carried out, to manage improvement.
  • Implement efficiency plans for logistics operations: Implement efficiency plans developed by managers in facilities. Use techniques, resources, and training in order to improve workplace efficiency.
  • Liaise with port users: Communicate and cooperate with port users such as shipping agents, freight customers and port managers.
  • Implement cost-effective cargo handling strategies on ships: Implement cost-effective strategies for loading and unloading of cargo on ships with the aim of maximising efficiency, reducing the resources expended, and assuring sufficient operations while increasing profit.
  • Prepare transportation routes: Prepare routes by choosing the best possible way and foresee adjustments in case of need, by providing additional running time or adapting capacity and timing in response to changes in circumstances, thereby ensuring an efficient use of resources and achievement of customer relations goals.
  • Coordinate the itineraries of vessels: Develop, manage, and coordinate the itinerary of vessels worldwide together with other stakeholders.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of water traffic coordinator. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Transportation methods: Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and optimal work strategies.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of water traffic coordinator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Show confidence: Demonstrate degrees of maturity by fully understanding one’s own qualities and abilities which can serve as sources of confidence in different situations.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Comply with checklists: Follow checklists and ensure compliance with all the items included in them.
  • Perform manual work autonomously: Show the ability to pursue basic manual tasks without the help or assistance of others, not needing supervision or guidance, and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
  • Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.

ISCO group and title

4323 – Transport clerks

  1. Water traffic coordinator – ESCO
Last updated on December 6, 2022

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