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“Eagles Band” at Shihu Port: Courageous Dreamers of One Heart


  A total of 629 ship-loads of imported quarried stone in 483,475 pieces, weighing 3.8 million tons, was handled from 2006 to 2011, and the mark of 1.2 million tons was passed in 2010 with a six-fold increase… These impressive figures attest to the excellent performance of the longshoremen at Shihu Port, Quanzhou, Fujian province. In June, 2012 in less than one year of its establishment, a band of “Eagles”, a local iconic longshoremen team, was honored with the title of “Workers’ Vanguard” by Quanzhou Federation of Trade Unions. The “Eagles” has been the masterpiece of solidarity, diligence, innovation and devotion. 

 “Eagles” is honored with the title of “Workers’ Vanguard” by Quanzhou Federation of Trade Unions in June, 2012 .

 [Photo from sinomach.com.cn]


“Eagles” is a band of 12 longshoremen from different parts of China. Liu Haibin, the captain, comes from a small mountain village in Weihai, Shandong province, hence his homespun virtues. The company’s recruitment in Shandong in 2007 turned him from a country person into an official longshoreman. On his first entry onto the quayside, it filled him with strength and pride to see quarried rocks, scores of tons in weight, being lifted from ships to trailers. He said to himself, since he had decided to take the job, he would do it well, be an excellent longshoreman, and make his work team the best one.

The hardships of longshoremen can only be keenly felt by themselves— it’s a trial of both physical strength and will to work on two shifts all year around, day and night, rain or shine. The job requires nothing less than passion and dedication.

 The “Eagles” is a trailblazer and an emblem of the longshoremen nowadays, boding well for an even   brighter  future  for Shihu Port.[Photo from sinomach.com.cn]

In August 2009, in order to secure production and the cargo owner’s interests against the impending typhoon, Liu led the team members to work extra hours in top gear and managed to complete the task of handling quarried rocks with assured quality and quantity in advance of the storm hitting. However, Liu’s kid was running a high fever at home in the meanwhile and Liu himself finally succumbed to fatigue on his way back home. Liu was named the captain of “Eagles” in 2011 and has been fighting with all his team members on the frontline of operations and production.

“Many people make light work” is an apt description of the team’s cohesion and toughness—the spirit required by the operations on quarried rocks.

Some people hold the mistaken belief that the job of longshoremen is all about unskilled heavy manual labor. In fact, loading and unloading, especially those of quarried stone, requires a lot of skills – different slings and wire-ropes, and different classifying and stacking methods should be used depending on how large and how heavy the rock is. It takes learning, hands-on experience and innovation to outperform and outspeed others.

The professionalism of the “Eagles” enabled the annual volume of quarried stone handled to grow from less than 100, 000 tons to 1.2 million tons within a mere five years, making Shihu Port the largest distribution center for quarried stone in Southeast Asia. The “Eagles” is a trailblazer and an emblem of the longshoremen nowadays, boding well for an even brighter future for Shihu Port.

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