1. The structure of shipping
shipper (sea) carrier consignee
Personnel and organisations
The major components of the industry can be divided into
； Ship interests
； Cargo interests
； Ancillary services
BILL OF LADING, MENT ETC AGREEMENT
SHIPMANAGER CARGO OWNER
； Shipping line
A company which operates a ship or ships between advertised ports on a regular basis and offers space for goods in return for freight based on a tariff of rates.
The shipowner or charterer or whoever enters into a contract with the shipper for the transportation of merchandise.
； Freight forwarder
A person or company who enters into a contract with a liner conference, shipping line or shipowner for the carriage of goods.
The shipper could be the seller of the cargo, the buyer of the cargo or some third party that solely arranges the transportation of the cargo.
A person or organisation that contracts to acquire a vessel, for a voyage or a period of time, to carry his cargo. Freight forwarder
An increasing importance is being placed upon the freight forwarder, as he takes over many of the functions of the traditional shipowner/carrier yet retains interested in the cargo.
Many of the larger exporting companies maintain an inhouse shipping and distribution department which negotiates contracts of affreightment or carriage of goods for the company with the shipping line that trades to the area of the world where the company’s goods are destined.
However, there could probably be a lack of knowledge of exporting procedures, and a lack of expertise for negotiating, in a smaller company that exports.
Traditionally, the freight forwarder filled the need for expertise, with their knowledge of export/import documentation and procedure, plus their wide experience in dealing with shipping companies with regard to contracts and documents.
The freight forwarder can offer services that come under four distinct headings
； Purely as a shipper’s agent procuring transport and
shipping services on behalf of the exporter and under
； As a forwarder offering a total expertise package to the
exporter with regard to routeing and choice of mode
together with ancillary documentation and perhaps
packing service. With regard to transport he remains an
agent for the exporter and bills of lading are made out in
the shipper’s name and to the shipper’s account
； As a principal, usually multi-modal transport operator,
taking responsibility for the goods irrespective of who
actually carries them. In many cases he may be the
actual carrier for at least part of the transit. He issues
the transport documents, combined bill of lading ； As a specialist provider of ancillary selfstanding
services, such as, custom clearance, warehousing,
packing and port agency
； Classification societies
； Flag state officials
； Port management
； Port authorities
The first of these headings is of relevance because of the countless persons met who calls himself a ‘broker’.
In relation to shipping the term broker covers a wide and varied list of activities
Agents employed (at a customary
or agreed rate of commission or
remuneration) to buy or sell
goods, merchandise or marketable
securities, or to negotiate
insurance, freight rates or other
matters, for a principal; the sales
or transaction being negotiated
not in his own name but in the
name of the principal (the marine
More specifically brokers connected with the maritime industry can be categorised as:
Insurance brokers, who act as the intermediary between the ship/cargo owner and the underwriters when marine insurance is negotiated. This form of broker could be an individual but more likely it will be part of a large organisation providing a global service of insurance, consultancy, risk management, and information.
Shipbrokers, who can be further divided into
； Sale and purchase brokers, who buy and sell ships for
clients (principals) or arrange contracts for building new
； Shipowner’s brokers, who act for the shipowner with a
ship to charter for a voyage, he is approached by the
shipowner with a view to finding cargo to carry
； Loading broker/liner brokers, who represent the
shipowner or shipping line at the port of loading. He
advertises the date of sailing in shipping publications,
obtains cargo and co-ordinates the arrangements for
delivery to the ship and loading, though the actual
stowage is decided upon by the cargo superintendent
and the ship’s officers. It can also be this broker’s
business to sign the bill of lading on behalf of the master
and issue it to the shipper (cargo owner) or his agent in
exchange for freight, if freight is to be paid in advance
； Charterer’s or merchant’s broker, who acts for the
cargo interest and finds ships for the cargo, they will tend
to specialise in a particular area or commodity.
； Chartering brokers, who act as intermediaries between
the shipowner and the charterers, or shippers and
receivers. They are mostly responsible for the drafting or
signing of the charterparty
The parties to the contract may use separate brokers or complete the fixture through the intervention of a mutual broker. This broker usually retains the original documents and issues certified copies to each party
The broker’s commission, paid by the shipowner, is generally specified in the charterparty in the form of a stated percentage of the freight (voyage) or hire (time)
； Forwarding agent, is employed by the shipper to find a
ship, usually on a liner trade, to carry his cargo. It is the
forwarding agent’s normal duty to ascertain the date and
place of sailing, obtain a space allocation and to prepare
the bill of lading
As different shipping lines tend to have their own form of bill of lading, it is the duty of the forwarding agent to obtain the correct bill of lading, complete it with the necessary particulars and forward it to the loading broker for signing
His other duties often include arranging for the goods to be brought alongside the ship, making custom entries and paying any dues on the cargo.
After shipment the forwarding agent collects the completed (signed) bill of lading and sends it to the shipper
The forwarding agent will also be employed by the consignee to collect the delivered goods and arrange the inward customs clearance and formalities.
Ship’s agent/shipping agent, though technically not a broker,
the ship’s agent does attend to the shipowner’s
commercial needs and formalities before, during and after the ship’s stay in port
The ship’s agent represents the shipowner with regard to the official requirements needed for the ship to enter port, arranging with the port authorities for the allocation of berthing space to load/unload the ship, advising import and export cargo owners, or the forwarding agent, and loading/unloading the cargo
The ship’s agent will also attend to the customs requirements of the port, and pay (to be later reimbursed by the shipowner) all charges and dues the ship incurs.
The agent can often be nominated by the charterer and paid for by the owner. In this case he could have a conflict of interest, where he is nominally acting for the ship but
primarily puts the charterer’s interest first. Care must be
taken in approaching charterer’s named agents and ships should be advised to contact the ship manager’s office on a secure line for advice.
If the shipping company is little used or even unknown to the ship’s agent company, they will usually be ask for
advance sums of money to pay disbursements and cash advances to the crew
Apart from the commercial duties the ship’s agent will also look after the ship’s non-commercial activities, crew
replacement, repatriation and arranging stores, bunkers, water and money
With passenger ships the agent handles all that is needed for the embarkation and disembarkation of the passengers
Chartering agents, are brokers who undertake the import and/or export of commodities in large quantities, they act as an intermediary between the owner and consignee of the goods
Brokers thus appear to discharge well developed and separate functions, but in practice the activities of firms may include more than one of these functions and the same firm is often acting for both parties, e.g. Loading broker and forwarding agent.
Surveyors is a general term used by anybody wanting to inspect the ship or its cargo, its procedures or operation.
They can be associated with:
； The company - superintendents, auditors etc.
； Quality/sep/ism code ； P&i clubs
； Classification societies ； Flag state authorities ； Port state authorities ； Cargo
； Possible buyer of vessel
There is no such person as an independent surveyor - all
surveyors are contracted to work for some person or organisation and they must be dealt with in a careful manner.
In many case the office will request the ship for permission for a surveyor’s visit and will provided his details, such as name and organisation.
On all occasions identification must be requested and when in doubt, refuse permission to board until the office has been contacted.
Time must be spent showing them the ship and its operation, though company confidentiality must be respected. In areas of doubt, ship’s masters are advised to
contact the management office and - ask.
Time must be spent showing them the ship and its operation.
To proceed on its voyage a vessel must use the necessary brokers and agents.
Ship classification societies set and maintain standards of safety and reliability.
They provided this service to the shipper and insurer before the days of statutory control on the way ships were to be constructed and the equipment they were to carry.
Because of this, a trust was established between the classification society and the shipping industry and if a