What is Shipping Agency? Definition and Example

What is Shipping Agency?

The development of transportation system helps manufacturer distributing their goods worldwide. Shipping becomes a popular transportation mode since because of its affordability even if it does take longer time. A need for shipping agency arises because of that. The agent is stationed in every port that the ship or cargo stops by during its voyage to end destination. It ensures the crew’s convenience while docking.

Shipping Agency Definition

Shipping agency is an agent stationed at ports within cargo ship’s route to its end destination that caters the needs of the ship’s crew members during transits. Since the ship’s route can be very long, the agency has worldwide channels. The job includes replenishing supplies, paperwork related services, and possibly repairing jobs. Usually the agency will employ a local in the said port since they will have better understanding on the field.

What Does Shipping Agency Do? Example

Here are some examples of jobs that a shipping agency does.

1. Restocking Essential Supplies

The ship can only carry limited amount of supplies for crew members. Because of that, the ship must restock its supplies in every transit. Shipping agent prepares the essentials before ship arrives at designated port then works to transfer them inside the ship. The kind of supplies that being restocked includes: fresh water, food, medicines, and fuel.

2. Handling Legal Paperwork

Crew members are usually not familiar with the regulation that works at every port they visit. Since shipping agent tends to be a local, they will be able to handle legal paperwork without fuss. It is because agent does not have trouble communicating with the port officer. They will be asked to make sure any custom related documents and payments are well taken care of.

3. Ship Maintenance

During the voyage, a ship can experience some damages. It can be small or even quite extensive. In order to make sure that the ship will be able to hold on to the end destination, maintenance and repairing jobs should be done during transits. Shipping agent arranges for local maintenance company to work on the ship when docking.

4. Information Update to Crew

On the ship, the crew members have hard time to establish contact with the main company or end port. Shipping agent relays the information given by company to the crew members. If the crew reports about issues that happened on board, the agent relays that information back to the company.

5. Establishing Contact with Shippers

The ship will drop some goods supposed to be sent to areas nearby the port. Shipping agent arranges shipper to get the goods and deliver it to recipient. They check on the goods based on list sent by the shipping company.

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