What is Ship Management?

Ship management is an essential aspect of the shipping industry across the globe. It deals with the process of managing a fleet or even a single vessel. It is done by firms which use other companies’ vessels or those belonging to independent owners.

The ship management company manages ships for the owner and pays him the yearly amount, which is settled between the owner and the ship management company.

Moreover, the ship’s owner signs a contract and leases the ship to the ship management company for a defined duration. The ship owner may continue with the same company or approach another if he is not satisfied with the performance of that company. The owner can ultimately lease the ship, or he can render some of the services such companies provide.

Hiring a ship management company can be advantageous for shipowners without prior experience in the field or those who might not have the time and capacity to undertake the task. It saves time and resources for the owner while also earning significant profits.

Ship Management Companies

Some of the biggest ship-management companies include the V-Group, Schulte Group, OSM group and Thome Group. These companies manage various assets, including tankers, gas carriers, passenger vessels, cargo ships, cruise vessels etc. Through efficient crew recruitment, they have built a substantial onshore team with relevant experience in providing technical services to meet the ship’s or fleet’s specific needs.

Their success is attributed to transparency, service quality provided to the clients, catering to their high standards and individual preferences.

The services offered can be divided into three categories- technical management, commercial management and crewing management. Many shipowners often outsource such services from companies based in Singapore, Connecticut, Rotterdam etc.

container ship

What Is Included in Ship Management?

Managing ships is not an easy task. It includes several functions to be carried out before, during and after the vessel’s operation. The first and foremost thing is to get the ship approved. Many approvals need to be taken from different classification societies. However, the company can operate various types of vessels or concentrate on any one type. E.g. MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Corporation) deals with only container vessels, whereas companies like V ships and Anglo-Eastern manage all types of ships.

Ship Management Infographic

Suppose a management company wants to enter a new field by operating different vessels but is operating the vessel type for the first time. In that case, approval for operation is given for six months, and their performance is evaluated, which decides any further approval.

Services Provided

Following are the services that a ship management company is entitled to provide:

1. The company should supervise the maintenance of machinery onboard the ship. The process should also include different surveys and repair works. It should arrange and manage dry dockings and overlook the whole process. It has to arrange for sampling and testing of bunkers.

2. It should ensure that the ship complies with Flag State’s requirements and the classification society’s recommendations.

3. It should also comply with the ISM and ISPS Code.

4. The company should provide a good crew for manning the ship. It also undertakes crew training, career development, and everything related to its payrolls, insurance and other employee benefits.

5. It should arrange for the loading and unloading of the cargo.

unloading of the cargo

6. It can hire the ship on behalf of the ship owner.

7. The company should negotiate the contracts for bunker and lube oil.

8. The company pays the expenses on behalf of the owner.

9. It should arrange the ship’s entry into the P&I (Protection and Indemnity) association.

10. The company also deals with various claims related to insurance, salvage etc.

container terminal

11. The ship management company should arrange for the insurance concerning the ship.

12. The ship management company’s services include arrangements for providing victualling and stores for the crew.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do you mean by ship management?

It includes the registration and management of ships or fleets owned by a company or an independent owner.

2. What is the responsibility of management companies?

Management firms have to oversee the ship repair, its maintenance, organise surveys, hire vessel crew and so on.

3. What is the role of shipping managers?

Shipping managers are responsible for overseeing packaging, verifying the contents of the cargo, ordering supplies and leading and managing the crew members.

4. How are ships managed?

All aspects of ships are managed by an independent company on behalf of the shipowner.

5. Which shipping company owns the largest fleet of ships?

A.P Moller Maersk operates a total of 708 vessels, making it the largest integrated shipping company in the world.

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Disclaimer: The author’s views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used in the article, have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared, or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight.

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  1. I want to say thank you to who ever has created this write up on shipping management.
    I’m a student of the INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF AVIATION (ISA) Nigeria,Lagos state. The school has also got different campuses in different parts of the world. I must say that I’m privileged to be amongst those who gained from this site. I’ll also love to learn more about marine insurance,cargo handling,clearing aNd forwarding,and marine geography,because I want to come out the best with a wide spread of knowledge of this course. I have come to discover that a ship should be taken good care of like taking care of a baby, and shipping to me is like a way of life and a part of nature. I’m sure that as at when I’m done with the study of shipping management. Thanks and God bless.

  2. Am a shipping management student..I love this topic..and I’m happy to among of this.. Victor if u wanna know about that contact me!!

  3. I’m so happy for the knowledge I get from these sites, him have build me up in my academy life. Once again thanks to the authority my God bless

  4. iam very happy to studie maritime security and port mangement and iam looking for a plaece to do my i.t

  5. I have a difficulty of coming to a decision as to how to proceed with the following , a ship carrying goods from China to the port of Djibouti on deck got the commodity on board damaged as a result of Typhoon, what is the liability of the carrier in this aspect after paying the claim for the insured,as an insurer

  6. actual, i feel happy to learn shipping management course am student, i get clearing and forwarding course. this is gives different knowledge and skills on how to managing a shipping process and also port management.

  7. i’m so happy to lean about shipping managent and i want to be among one of the maritime studient an apapa lagos this years by de grace of God?

  8. Thank once again your post is include very important things that student get lots of information. thank you for selecting this topic and posting this kind of post.

  9. am so happy to know about this, but which one is the best between ship management and nautical science?

  10. I am studying shipping management service

    I have read all this shipping service blog it’s very informative for studying.

    Thanks for sharing proper solutions about shipping

    That’s it.

  11. I am studying shipping management service

    I have read all this shipping service blog it’s very informative for studying.

    Thanks for sharing proper solutions about shipping

    That’s it.

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