Shipping Agency

Coordination Communication Service provider

The profession of a shipping agent was established during the days that ships were made of wood and the men from steel. During this period it was still common that the Captains of the vessels came ashore and into the shipping agents office in order to communicate with all parties concerning his ship. As one can understand the means of communication were not as sophisticated as they are nowadays. At this time the so called Captains Room came into force which is still used to this date.

A shipping agent is basically the spider in the web in respect of a vessel’s portcall. Prior the arrival, during the portstay and after the vessel has sailed to open sea again. The agent has as main tasks the coordination with the port authorities, stevedores/terminals, customs, cargo interested parties, subcontractors and the sometimes various principals.

There are basically three types of agencies:

  1. Charterers’ agent
    Main task is to protect the interest of the Charterer in respect of the cargo

  2. Husbandry agent
    Main task is to protect the interest of the Shipowners

  3. Protecting agent
    Can either be a shipowner or Charterer by whom you have been requested to protect his interest.

A shipping agent is a service provider from the beginning till the end. A few of the main services/tasks of an agent are

  • Daily updates on vessel’s position/program starting immediately after the vessel has been fixed until she completed discharging/loading and sailed
  • Attendances as the Principals’ representative on arrival, during the portstay and upon departure day and night, during weekends and official holidays, i.e. 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Clearing the vessel, taking care of all formalities
  • Securing the availability of the Original Bills of Lading prior the commencement of discharging operations
  • If said documents not available, anticipate on behalf of the Principal in accordance with the required procedures, excluding or at least minimizing any delay and consequently negative financial impact
  • Securing the Original Bills of Lading are completed and properly signed after completion loading operations
  • Communicate with not only vessel’s crew, but also with port authorities, immigration officers, ISPS regulations required by terminals, Port State Control, surveyors, vessel’s class, pilots, tugs, boatmen and other relevant parties
  • Coordinating with stevedores/terminals for proper berthing and discharging/loading instructions
  • Coordinating bunker – and watersupplies, provisions, launches and other supplies relevant to accommodate vessel and her crew
  • Coordinate transportation for (dis)embarking crew, superintendents, port captains and other relevant persons
  • Coordinate all crew matters such as doctors, dentists, hospitalization etc.

A team of professionals is available to assist you during the vessel’s call in one of our ports. The employees of our inhouse partners Fairway Shipping Agencies BV, Ovet Shipping BV and Bulk Maritime Agencies BV have decades of experience in the field as a tramp agent. Their knowledge of the dry bulk, tankers, breakbulk and owners agencies is wide spread. With a strong focus on safety, continuous improvement, proactive approach and optimal communication they remain to be the eyes and ears on the spot. By continuously investing in new techniques and proactively thinking along with our customer, the possibilities for our employees are endless. They are there for you and ready to tackle the challenges ahead together as partners.