Give and take

Detlef Knieling, a dock worker at the Tollerort terminal, looks forward to his work anew every day. "Our team consists of thirteen people and we always stand up for each other!

Love brought Detlef Knieling, a trained car mechanic from Melle in Lower Saxony, to Hamburg in 2000. "A new friend then told me that I should apply for a job at the Gesamthafenbetrieb (GHB) while I was looking for work," he says. No sooner said than done - and shortly afterwards Knieling got a job at the GHB as a lashing man and was thus responsible for securing the containers on deck of the ships. In contrast to today, when there are a lot of introductory courses and further training, he was thrown in at the deep end. However, this did not put him off his guard, as he had already gained some experience with new tasks after years in various jobs such as drywall construction or as a steel cutter.

It took the East Westphalian about three years to acquire the large equipment licence and thus leave the physically demanding job on deck behind. "That was also great because I got more responsibility with the new job," he remembers. And driving the up to 80-tonne van carriers, which with a little imagination resemble large spiders and are therefore often called that, is still great fun for him today. "When I sit on the Carrier at a height of 15 metres in the morning, the sun rises and the water glistens, it's fantastic."

Knieling also loves the versatility of his job. Since 15 January he has been working as a dock worker in container handling at HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) in the service of HHLA and usually only finds out at the start of the shift in which specific function he will be working in the coming hours. "Our team consists of thirteen people and we always stand up for each other," reports the current Neu Wulmsdorfer about the good working atmosphere at CTT. Working in the port is a constant give and take, and sometimes you have to step in, even if the duty roster says otherwise. His favourite place, however, is still in the driver's cab of one of the spiders. "Working up there is one reason why I look forward to coming to work every day.