The shipping agent is a broker who operates on behalf of the ship owner in a port and works as a principal communicator between shipping companies and third parties.
MAIN DUTIES OF SHIPPING AGENT
Notify the loaders of the vessels arrival in port, managing cargo and itinerary, take responsibility for the goods, manage customs, assist the captain, deliver the goods for loading, receive the unloaded goods, manage the payment to the shipping company, negotiate settlements in the case of breakdowns.
A shipping agent is an independent agent and works for the ship owner while managing or operating in ports during the ground process of shipping, delivery and receipt of the cargo. They can represent several different carriers.
TWO FUNCTIONS OF THE SHIPPING AGENT
Commercial: The shipping agent is in contact with forwarders and shippers to provide transportation services.
Operational: Provides services to the ship and crew, performing the management related to a vessel’s stay in port such as provisioning and cleaning the hold.
The shipping agent, on behalf of the ship owner, negotiates rates with the stevedoring companies for cargo handling (THC) in the port and the loading and unloading of the ship. Typically, the consignee of the ship is also the consignee of the cargo, and will act on behalf of the owner as a depository of the merchandise while it is in port.
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