Sarah, found the following on this site: http://www.victorianlondon.org/mayhew/mayhew59.htm
I now come to the Timber and Deal trade. The labourers connected with this portion of the trade are rafters or raftsmen, and deal or stave porters; these are either "permanently" or "casually" employed. I shall give an account of each, as well as of the system pursued at each of the docks - beginning with the Commercial, because it does the most extensive business in this branch of the wood trade; and here let me acknowledge the obligations I am under to Mr. Jones, the intelligent and courteous superintendent, for much valuable information.
The Working Lumpers, as I before explained, are the labourers employed to discharge all wood-laden vessels except foreign ships, which are discharged by their own crews. The vessels unladen by the lumpers are discharged sometimes in the dock, and sometimes (when too heavily laden) in the river. The cargoes of wood-laden vessels are termed either landed or rafted goods. The landed goods are deals, battens, sleepers, wainscot logs, and, indeed, all but hewn timber, which is "rafted." When a vessel is unladen in the river, the landed goods are discharged by lumpers, who also load the lighters; whereas, in the dock, the lumpers discharge them into the company's barges, which are loaded by them as well. With smaller vessels, however, which occasionally go alongside, the lumpers discharge directly to the shore, where the "goods" are received by the company's porters. The lumpers never work upon shore. Of the porters working on shore, there are two kinds, viz., deal and stave porters, whose duty it is to receive the landed goods, and to pile and sort them, either along the quay or in the bonding ground, if duty has to be paid upon them.
From a stave porter at the same dock I had the following account:
"We are paid by the piece, and the price varies according to size - from 1s. 6d. to 10s. the 1,000. Quebec staves, 6 feet long by 2 inches thick, and a few inches broad, are 10s. the 1,000, and other sizes are paid in the same proportion, down to 1s. 6d. We pack the bigger staves about our shoulders, resting one stave on another, more like a Jack-in-the-Green than anything else, as our heads comes out in the middle of 'em. Of the biggest, five is a good load, and we pack all sizes alike, folding our arms to hold the smaller staves better. Take it altogether, we make at stave work what the deal porters do at their work; and indeed, we are deal porters when staves isn't in. There's most staves comes to the Surrey Canal Dock."
It's a good website re Victorian London but masses of tiny text!