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What is Ship Agency?

11/5/2013 3:49:48 PM | by Anonymous


Shipping is an essential component for business whether small or large scale shipping. These ship agencies are to assist a company with shipment handling by scheduling transports on behalf of the businesses. These processes entail far more than simply scheduling a delivery and pickup date. Some large cargo must be hauled on a semi-trailer, plane or ship to arrive at a determined location.


In many instances, freight has to be transferred between multiple transport modes and these transfers make scheduling more complicated and increase the risk of product damage. As for shipping agencies, they assist by finding the most reliable carriers to hand each cargo load. They also have extensive contacts for helping businesses receive better shipment pricing.


Ship agency is also known as a shipping agent and is the designation for an agency or person responsible for handling cargo and shipments at harbors and ports worldwide on behalf of shipping companies. In some parts of the world, the agents are known as cargo brokers or port agents. There are several categories of shipping agents such as liner agents, port agents and own agencies. They each render specific services depending on the shipping company they represent.


Ship agencies are very efficiently and quick by taking care of all the regular routine tasks of a shipping company. They ensure that the essential supplies, customs documentation, crew transfers and waste declarations are all arranged with the port authorities without any delay. Quite often, they will also provide the shipping company with reports and updates on activities at the destination port so that shipping companies have up-to-the minute information available to them at all times while the goods are in transit.


Succinctly, the term shipping agent refers to the relationship between the principal, in this case is the shipping company conveying the goods and its representative whereby the principal will impliedly or expressly authorize the agent to work under his control and on his behalf. The competencies or responsibilities as well as the remuneration of the agent may be explicitly entered into a contract which has been concluded between the ship owner and himself.


The duties of a cargo broker are similar to a shipping agent but may vary. An example, if a cargo broker will to book outward cargo and inform the shippers on which quay and when the goods are to be presented and when unloading and loading is due to start. This will draw up booking lists according to the incoming bookings and also to ensure that the manifest department collects the shipping documents such as shipping permits, bills of lading that are necessary to commence the unloading and loading operations. Collected documents are also compared with the booking lists.

Some of the responsibilities of the ship agencies include:

  • Collecting cargoes and freights
  • Organizing the transport, supply and handling of the goods
  • Arranging for the necessary repairs and storage bunkers if needed
  • Conveying instructions from and to the ship owner
  • Contacting receiver and shippers of the goodsAssisting master in making the necessary contacts with the harbour and local authorities
  • Arranging the ship with necessary for provisions and fresh water

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