Shipping involves a variety of actors, each with very different roles and responsibilities. Shipping agents or shipping agents Shipowner Shipping company Shipbroker Consolidator Decosolider Stevedoring company A ship is like a big city floating at sea. The ship consignee will be the first to supply all the services these floating cities will need. In a more precise definition, the consignees are all those natural or legal persons who are authorized to perform on their behalf, acts that affect their duties and rights in relation to third parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
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A vessel consignee, shipping agent or shipping agent is an independent agent or intermediary acting on behalf of and on behalf of the ship owner, ship owner or shipowner in ports, and executes the land phases of maritime transport, delivering and receiving cargo. It may represent several shipping companies. The ship consignee, on behalf of the shipowner, negotiates with the stevedoring companies the tariffs for handling goods in port and loading and unloading the ship. Normally, the consignee of the vessel is also the consignee of the cargo; it acts on behalf of the shipowner as the warehousekeeper of the goods while it is at the port terminal.
The responsibilities of the consignee of a ship
include: Managing berthing permits for the ship. Manage and contract pilot and tugboat services if necessary. Prepare documentation for the port authority and customs services. Assist the captain in contacting the local authorities and the maritime captaincy. Manage and contract the necessary provisions for the ship, and organize and coordinate its transport and supply. Manage fuel supply (‘bunker service’) if necessary.
Manage the necessary repairs. Organize and coordinate activities with the dockers. Transmit the instructions of the shipowner. When the consignee of a ship is also a cargo agent, he must also face the tasks of the latter post:
Communicate with suppliers, suppliers and recipients of the goods and keep the parties informed of the status of receipt or delivery. Provide the necessary information regarding the navigation lists and the container ratios. Look for exit to the cargo through notifications of lists of stopovers. Close the deals and conclude the agreements on the goods. Prepare and submit the documentation required relating to the cargo (delivery notes, delivery permits, delivery orders). Complete the necessary formalities and formalities concerning the delivery or receipt of the goods. In the case of damage to the ship’s cargo, seek out, at the request of the shipowner, the necessary arrangements with the insurers, the maritime inspection, the surveyors, etc..
Its duties are: to announce to shippers the arrival of the ship, cargo and itinerary, to take charge of the goods, to manage before the Customs, to assist the master, to deliver the goods for boarding, to receive the goods disembarked, manage the collection of freight, expenses and possible settlement of breakdowns.
The shipowner is the person or company who ensures that a ship is in perfect condition to sail, with all equipment, supplies and other equipment necessary for its proper functioning, so do not confuse this figure with that of the owner, as they may or may not coincide. However, its role changes depending on the nautical sector in which it operates. For example, in recreational sailing, the owner and the skipper are usually the same person, since that person is usually a fan of the sea, has the necessary knowledge and has therefore paid for his own boat and is a skipper.
However, on large vessels, the shipowner usually hires a skipper or skipper to maintain the vessel, even if the latter is his responsibility. In the case of regattas, it is worth noting the existence of famous shipowners, who have often put their money at the service of their hobby. There are many examples, although the arrival of the sponsors introduced a different element to the board, in which many times the figure of the shipowner was almost forgotten.
In Spain, we can say that the most normal thing is for a shipowner to put up the boat, find sponsors and hire professional crew members to look for the best possible result in the race.
In big races like the Volvo Ocean Race, things get complicated, and the figure of the shipowner is practically diluted as everything is managed from the offices, with many economic interests involved. In the field of maritime transport, it is normal to find the figure of the shipowner, who is the natural or legal person who, on behalf of the shipowner, is responsible for the management of the ship. Here, the shipowner‘s obligations are to provide the vessel with the crew and corresponding provisions, to present it in time and form at the place contracted, to receive the goods on board and to transport the cargo to its place of destination.
As we can see, the figure of the shipowner has many edges and its role differs depending on the field in which it operates.
A broker is a professional who acts as an intermediary between a shipowner who has a vessel at his disposal and a charterer who is looking for a means of maritime transport. Basically, it is the person who, in exchange for charging a certain commission, seeks a common agreement between the two parties to conclude a charter party.
In an international maritime transport operation, this person represents the owner or the person who carries out the operation of the ship, formalizing all the relevant formalities. Therefore, the shipping broker represents a guarantee for both parties, since it has a wide knowledge of the market, of the characteristics of the different ships, as well as the documentation to be submitted at the different stages of the process. Through its intervention, it contributes to saving time and money in order to make the commercial operation succeed.
Maritime chartering is the most commonly used formula for moving goods by sea. Although these are pacts with simplified rules to facilitate trade, they are contracts with many variables, which we will detail below. To begin with, when we talk about freight, we are talking about the contract for the lease of a ship for
the transport of goods. This process involves the charterer (the shipowner who hires the vessel) and the charterer (the charterer who hires it to carry the cargo). Often used as a synonym for the agreed price, the «flete«.
This contract must be formalized in writing in the «chartering policy«, a document that collects the details of the operation, such as the personal data of the parties and the captain of the ship, the details of the route, the time of ironing (loading and unloading), etc. Under charters, shippers choose the ship that best suits their cargo. It is the most appropriate shipping system for solid bulk, liquid bulk and large volume industrial goods. And within it, three main contracts with their particularities stand out.
Crew manager Organizations providing crew management services are known as crew management companies, or crew managers, as commissioned by boat owners, boat managers, boat operators or charterers under a crew management contract.
Crew management companies are responsible for the human resources and staffing of all types of vessels, using their management offices, as well as a network of localized recruitment agencies located in key seafarers‘ supply locations. More often, these services include crew recruitment, boat deployment, regular programming and training and development. Crew management companies are also responsible for the continuous management and administrative tasks of seafarers, such as payroll, travel arrangements, insurance and health plans, general professional development as well as their daily well–being.
Specialized crew software, commonly tailored by crew management companies, is used to manage crew–related activities and data. This includes the scheduling of vessels inside and outside the crew, industry certifications and documentation, crew logistics aspects in travel arrangements and payroll / human resources, crew training and refresher schedules, as well as office management tasks such as performance assessments and statistical analysis. , comments, management and reports and billing of the boat owner, customer‘s online interface and an integrated CRM.
Ship manager Ship managers are companies that accept the commission of the shipowners or charterers and the operator of the ship that is dedicated to the management of the ship. This includes close technical ship management, ship registration, operations, service, technical maintenance, as well as crew management, among others. It may also include the commercial and commercial management of a ship, such as chartering and financial administration.  Provided that the companies that comply with the above characteristics can be classified as manager of a ship and their duties are based on the previously agreed relationship and trust with the owners of the ship.