What is Ship Management?

As the name suggests, ship management is all about managing ships. Ship management plays a crucial role in maritime traffic supervision & management as well as the registration of ships. Ship management also encompasses tasks such as; organizing visas for ships entering/leaving the port, management of foreign ships, technical ship management as well as ship maintenance management.

Ship management is carried out by independent companies popularly known as ship management companies. The professionals in charge of ship management are known as ship managers. Ship management companies use ships belonging to independent owners or shipping companies. The companies manage ships for owners in exchange for a weekly, monthly or yearly fee as agreed upon by all parties.

Ship owners sign contracts and lease their ships to ship management companies for a specified time period. A ship owner or operator is free to use the same ship management company or change to another company in case they are dissatisfied with the current service/performance. It is also worth noting that shipping companies are free to lease their ships completely or partially depending on preferences.

Ship management services are crucial when a ship is bought for import/export business. This is simply because ship managers are required for ships to be maintained and operated effectively. The core function of ship management companies is providing owners with all the support they need throughout the charter or occupancy of their vessels.

It’s important to note that most ship management companies provide ship owners or operators with crew. They also offer services such as inspection (before purchase), supervision (during building), crew supply and management and ship lay-up solutions. By doing this, ship management companies offer all the necessary support ship owners and operators need to conduct business smoothly.

Ship management tasks

Ship management services are ideal for all kinds of ship owners and operators i.e. even those who have just one ship. The services guarantee smooth operation give the fact that ship management companies handle tasks such as assembling a good crew for your vessel/s as well as handling all the safety logistics for your crew.

Ship management companies also conduct regular safety and maintenance checks on all ship systems. They also ensure your ship/s meet all the necessary environmental protection requirements. Ship management also encompasses tasks such as organizing fleet logistics and managing property and inventory.

A shipping management company can also handle engineering tasks resulting from operating ships i.e. converting vessels. Such tasks require meticulous planning, procurement of materials, support and construction tasks. Ship management companies also conduct quality and safety checks on cargo as well as schedule and cost management.

Other tasks that can be performed by ship management companies on request include; audit planning, arranging dry dockings, monitoring flag state compliance, financial accounting, ship financing, new building contracting/supervision, contracting, chartering, insurance and claims handling, maritime information technology, ship broking services among other consultancy functions.

Conducting all this tasks can be a daunting task to ship owners especially when you are dealing with a large fleet. It requires a lot of resources, time, knowledge and expertise to handle all the above tasks alone. This is precisely why ship management services are inevitable. Ship management helps ship owners and operators concentrate on more important tasks i.e. expanding the business.

Benefits of ship management


There are very many benefits ship owners stand to derive from hiring ship management companies. Some of the top benefits are discussed below;

1. Makes shipping business easier

This is undoubtedly the most important benefit of hiring a ship manager. It’s important to note that shipping business requires a lot of knowledge and expertise. It also requires a lot of time and effort. Ship management services make it possible for anyone to venture into shipping business because you don’t need to have the knowhow. You just need a ship and a good ship management company to start.

2. Saves a lot of time, effort and money

As mentioned above, ship management companies can handle just about any shipping task you can think off. Considering shipping tasks such as hiring crews, maintaining ships, inspecting cargo, complying with international standards etc. require a lot of time effort and money when done in-house, it’s clear how you stand to benefit from hiring ship managers.

3. Brings expertise/professionalism

The most profitable businesses are those that are managed by experts. Ship managers are highly trained and experienced shipping professionals who bring all the professionalism you need to take your shipping company to great heights. Instead of handling all shipping tasks unprofessionally (on your own), let professionals handle everything. You stand to enjoy the full benefits of having a professionally run company.

4. Makes expansion easier

When you hire the best shipping managers, you can be able to concentrate 100% on important business tasks such as expansion. As mentioned above, it takes a lot of time and effort to handle everyday tasks in your shipping business. When you outsource tedious and time consuming tasks, you can be able to concentrate on expanding your business and concurring new markets.

Ship management services

Ship management involves a lot of services as discussed above. Below are the main services offered;

1. Maintenance of ship machinery (should include supervision, survey and repair works).
2. Crew hiring and management.
3. Cargo loading and offloading logistics.
4. Ship hiring on behalf of ship owners.
5. Negotiating contracts.
6. Paying expenses on behalf of ship owners/operators.
7. Enlisting ships in all the necessary associations i.e. protection and indemnity associations.
8. Arranging for ship insurance.
9. Handling insurance claims i.e. insurance and salvage claims.