4 July 2024

A day in the life of Mark – Continuous Operator

Mark, 27 years old, is one of our Continuous Operators at Liquin. He proudly works at our TTR terminal in Rotterdam. What exactly does his day-to-day work involve? Mark happily gives you a glimpse into his world, where every day is a new adventure as part of a fantastic team managing liquid chemicals.

What’s it like working in shifts?

The Continuous Service consists of three eight-hour shifts: morning (7:00 AM to 3:00 PM), afternoon (3:00 PM to 11:00 PM), and night (11:00 PM to 7:00 AM). With this schedule, operators succeed one another, and there’s always a team of 3 to 5 people present. “Many people think you’re away from home a lot, but the opposite is true,” says Mark as he describes his daily routine. Each Continuous Operator works two morning shifts, then two afternoon shifts, and then two night shifts. This is followed by a rest day and three days off. “I think I spend a lot of time at home. It’s all perfectly manageable with my life outside of work.”

“One of the highlights of my job is the night shift”, Mark explains enthusiastically. “The world behind the gate, the tank terminal world, has something magical. Especially at night. The harbor area has something that either grabs you or doesn’t. I find it fantastic.”

Mark


Safety first

Mark always arrives half an hour before his shift starts. “I like that”, he explains. “A cup of coffee in the office at the TTR terminal and some quiet preparation.” Mark changes clothes at the terminal, where he has two personal lockers. “We all have a clean locker and a dirty locker for our personal protective equipment. Our clothes are washed by a specialized company. My gloves, glasses, and shoes are also in there.” Safety is the highest priority at Liquin. “We work with hazardous substances, so we follow strict safety protocols. For example, we’re not allowed to use phones outside at the terminal. But that doesn’t bother me. I prefer to focus on my work without distractions.”


Getting to work

“My shift starts by reviewing the assignments and planning”, Mark says. “Everything we do outside at the terminal starts with a work order. I get information about the ships docking and what cargo they have. My task? Ensuring everything goes smoothly and safely.”

“I spend a large part of my shift at the quay, where I connect and disconnect ships”, he continues. “Every detail counts, from the paperwork to checking the pipelines. We double-check everything because a mistake can have significant consequences.”

“But my work goes beyond the jetty”, Mark explains. “I also work in the pump room, ensuring pipelines are properly connected to the right tanks and that everything is well-maintained. We also check each other’s work. You don’t want a load going to the wrong tank.” Sometimes Mark can also be found checking the storage tanks at the terminal. “And of course, enjoying the view over the Rotterdam harbor in between.” When he has nothing to do, he does a round of housekeeping. “This way, we all keep the terminal tidy. That’s also part of teamwork.”


Time flies

Mark takes a break when the work allows it, he says. “Often, it’s with a colleague. But if it’s very busy, I sometimes have lunch alone. I don’t mind at all. Time always flies by.”


Growing at Liquin

With 1.5 years of experience as a 3rd Operator at Liquin, Mark is determined to further develop his career. “At Liquin, you start as a 3rd Operator, after which you can advance to 2nd and 1st Operator. Each step takes about 1.5 to 2 years, depending on your motivation. I’m very motivated and hope to make the step to 2nd Operator soon.”

What particularly attracts Mark to the work? “It’s a combination of the challenge, responsibility, and teamwork. And of course, the harbor area’s unique atmosphere. It feels great to be part of this amazing company. The work environment is excellent, I feel valued, the salary is good, and there are plenty of opportunities for further growth and development.”

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