All you need to know about a shipping agent

Every business demands efficiency, predictability and customer satisfaction. And this depends upon supply chain and logistics management. An efficient supply chain management further depends upon the shipping. So, in this article, we will study what shipping agent is and the role he plays.

What is a shipping agent?

The ship owners and charters cannot be available at very dock of the ship to watch over the movement of a ship or to conduct day to day operations. But they even don’t want to shed off their responsibility. Hence, they appoint a middle person called as a shipping agent. The shipping agent is responsible to transact business on the behalf of the charter. The ship agency Curacao appoints a person who deals with all the transactions related to shipping when it arrives at the port. In simple words, a Curacao ship agent is a local representative or expert who carries all the duties and responsibilities that are required by the shipping crew.

The shipping agent might have expertise in one particular field or different fields. Their role is to provide expertise to the shippers in various fields like freight forwarding, haulage, cargo handling, and warehousing.

What is their role?

The Curacao ship chandler is entrusted with several responsibilities. He has to take care of every shipping related needs and requirement. Their day to day operations includes dealing with local currency, doing correspondence work, repairing the ship, provisioning the food and water supplies.

A ship agent works on the behalf of the owner and provides knowledge and local expertise, thus making sure the ship owner’s demands and requirements are met. Above all, the shipping agent duty also includes completing the customs formalities. This way the ship owners can feel relaxed by entrusting their duty to the shipping agent. Without the shipping agent, a shipowner will have to rush from one dock to another to complete the formalities.

Another major responsibility of the shipping agent is he/she is responsible to complete the shipping formalities when the ship arrives at the dock. So, we can safely say that the role of the shipping agent is not simple; it involves a lot of complex duties.

The USP of the shipping agent is he/she has the ability to offer a lot more services than what a shipowner can ask for, thus making this profession trendy. In the present digital times, when the companies are starting their digital transformation journey, the shipping agent has a major role to play. It helps the shipping industry to stay alive and flourishing.

The jobs that they might be asked to do includes provisioning the food supplies, making the changes in crew, repair and maintenance, husbandry, custom documents and completing other formalities.

In his career, the shipping agent has to interact with the shipping companies, owners, not only from the native country but across the world. He has to communicate with the crew and understand what their needs are. This deep expertise coupled with an understanding of customer requirements helps the shipping agent to gain goodwill and secure more clients. Since the ship agent is a local person, hence the owner trusts him blindly.  So, it is his responsibility to fulfill his above-mentioned responsibilities.

In a nutshell, the responsibilities of the shipping agent include:

  • Booking the vessel inside and outside the port and arrange for tugboat services
  • completing the custom information by submitting documents to the authorities
  • Advising the custom authorities of the ship and reporting the same.
  • Supervising loading, unloading the cargo and safe handling of liquids
  • Handling immigration documents and creating onward journey documents
  • Handling all the ship related services like fuel maintenance, repairs, etc.
  • Sourcing of the shipping parts

The shipping agency comes in various forms port agency and linear agency. The port agency looks after all the activities related to the ship, while on the other hand linear agency is responsible for sales and marketing and provides additional services like tracking, haulage, crew transfer, etc.


In the end, we would like to conclude that the shipping agent has an important role to play. The agent has more to offer than you can think of.

What do you think?

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