The world is moved by trading goods and commodities. As stated by ICS (International Chamber of Shipping), 90% of such activities are carried on ships due to its most efficient and cost-effective method of international transportation. This is a big industry which needs a super complex, integrated and regulated system to operate to keep the world supply chain flowing.
For a ship to safely sail, there are considerable rules, regulations, and technical standards governing the design, building, and operations of a ship. It is impossible for just only the shipowner to take care of every detail of his/her ship. So, there comes a company which offers services for a ship to share the load of the shipowner, allowing him/her to focus on running the ship to earn income and make profit.
Hiring marine professionals to operate
The services provided to a ship, and an offshore activity, can be collectively called marine services. There are so many of them which is hard to cover them all. And, the fact is that the shipping industry continues its expansion and growth, there would be new services coming up in the future.
All these works and operations require specific technical skills because of the ship’s complicated structure and high value asset. By letting the operations in the hands of experts and experienced personnel, effectiveness and efficiency are ensured at a cost-effective rate.
In addition, risk is minimized. The service from these well-trained personnel concerns safety as the first priority.
It begins with a building of a ship. Even if the design and building are done as guided by international rules and regulations, it still requires classification societies to certify that the ship will sail safely. Also, various types of insurance must be made before the ship enters the sea.
If shipowners want their ships to properly manage, they may consider placing it in hand of ship management specialists. The companies offering this service, called ship agency, are expertise and experience in managing daily operations of a ship, particularly important with regard to legal, technical and operational issues. They can negotiate better deals on bunker purchases, supplies of stores, drydocking fees, and even canal transit tariffs.
Shipowners benefit from local expertise and good relation with port authorities of an agency, thus ensuring fast and efficient turnaround. The agent is responsible for reporting everything happening to the ships back to the shipowners, and managing the ships to arrive and depart safely and smoothly.
When a ship arrives at port, various operations are performed.
To enter any port, a pilotage service is needed. A local pilot assists the navigation in domestic waterways.
A ship is exposed to salt water and salt water spray during a long journey. Tank and hull cleaning and other scheduled maintenance are needed to be done to prevent corrosion of the ship. Sometimes, the works coincide with annual surveys by the ship’s classification society and/or the authority of the country where the ship is registered.
Further, essential ship supply must be checked and added. There are services of food provision, safety equipment provision, deck/engine store, lifting and mooring equipment, bunker supply and lubricant, etc. Hiring someone to do these jobs will save much time. The offering will come at a reasonable price.
The time spent at port is very important as the delay will cause additional cost. Beside the works and operations for the ship, cargo work needs to be arranged and completed on time.
Does the loading/unloading need special handling equipment? Are there workers standby and sufficient to do the work? Is the land transport arranged? Or, is a warehouse or yard rented and ready to be moved in? The agent will ensure all these works flow simultaneously without interruptions. If there’s any changes, the agent will take care of it until the ship departs.
During a ship’s voyage, well-trained crew is indispensable. Finding and qualifying them takes time. Shipowners should seek service from a professional crew manning agency. The agency has a database of certified crew. It would be simple to select crew from a list provided because all crew have been reviewed and matched to qualifications submitted.
Professional marine services can’t be missed out in order to effectively operate a ship. With each party focusing on the task they’re specialized, the whole shipping industry can move on at its full potential. Finally, the world supply chain flows sustainably.