Ship Agency.  A Guide to Tramp Ship Agency Practice

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July 2013

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Ship Agency. A Guide to Tramp Ship Agency Practice

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This complete guide to tramp shipping covers, among other topics, the law of agency, duties and liabilities of principal and agent, how to select a tramp ship agent, managing a tramp ship agency and the scope of services provided.

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The shipping industry is a vast and complicated business. Due to the many types of ships, and the charter parties by which they are contracted, the training of boarding agents or water clerks can be a long and complex process. This book aims to make the process easier. It will also provide ship owners and charterers with an understanding of the function of the ship agent.

Chapter 1 Tramp Ship Agency and the International Shipping Industry

1.1 Definition of ‘Agency’

1.2 The Shipping Industry as a Service

1.3 The Liner Business of Shipping

1.4 The Tramp Ship Owner

Chapter 2 Tramp Shipping

2.1 Tramp Ship Owners and Operators

2.2 Dry Bulk Carriers

2.3 Liquid Bulk Carriers

2.4 Tramp Vessel Operations and Management

2.5 The Commercial Operating of Ships

2.6 Types of Employment for Tramp Vessels

2.7 The Freight Market

Chapter 3 Shipbroking

3.1 Types of Shipbrokers

3.2 The Freight Market

Chapter 4 Tramp Ship Agency Practice

4.1 Port Agency Companies

4.2 Tramp Agency Operation

4.3 Pre-arrival

4.4 The Port Call

4.5 After Sailing Service

4.6 Functions of Agency Staff Members

Chapter 5 Defining Tramp Agency and the Scope of Services Provided

5.1 General Agent

5.2 Special Agent

5.3 The Right to Select the Port Agent

5.4 Charterer’s Nominated Agents

5.5 Hub Agent

5.6 Other Outsource Agency Services

Chapter 6 The Law of Agency

6.1 The Relationship of Agency

6.2 The Creation of Agency

6.3 Agency by Necessity

6.4 Ratification by Principals

6.5 Termination of the Agency Relationship

Chapter 7 The Ship’s Agent, Principals and Third Parties

7.1 The Disclosed Principal

7.2 The Partly-Disclosed Principal

7.3 The Undisclosed Principal

7.4 Third Party Rights Against Agent and Principal in the United Kingdom

7.5 Third Party Rights Against Agent and Principal in the United States

7.6 The Weakness of the ‘As Agent’ Signature

7.7 Creation of a Maritime Lien in the United States

7.8 Ship Agent’s Right to a Lien

Chapter 8 Duties and Liabilities of the Agent to the Principal

8.1 Duty to Act within the Scope of Authority

8.2 The Agent’s Duty of Confidentiality and Loyalty

8.3 Duty and Liability to Contract on the Principal’s Behalf

8.4 The Importance of Contract Signature

8.5 The Duty to Account for Funds Advanced by the Principal

8.6 The Duty to Exercise Care, Skill and Diligence

8.7 Duty of the Agent to Perform all Duties Personally

8.8 Duty to Keep the Principal Informed

8.9 Notification of Principal Through the Agent

Chapter 9 Principal’s Duties and Liability to the Agent

9.1 The Principal’s Duty to Provide an Opportunity for Work

9.2 The Principal’s Duty of Good Conduct

9.3 The Principal’s Duty to Pay Compensation

9.4 Remedies of an Agent

Chapter 10 Indemnity Insurance for Agents

10.1 Protection Coverage for Ship Agents

10.2 When Agents are most Vulnerable to Claims

Chapter 11 Duties under a Time Charter or as a Voyage Charterer’s

Nominated Agent

11.1 Voyage Charterer’s Nominated Agent

11.2 Ship Agent’s Duty Under Time Charter

11.3 Disbursements Under Time Charter

11.4 Attendance of Delivery and Redelivery

Chapter 12 How to Select a Tramp Ship Agent

12.1 The Agent is a Reflection of the Party who Nominates or Appoints

12.2 Financial Strength

12.3 The Reporting of Voyage Accounting

12.4 Communication and Cargo Documentation

12.5 Company and Agency Staff Experience

12.6 Worldwide Ship Agency Networks

Chapter 13 Maintenance of the Agent/Principal Relationship

13.1 The Personal Relationship and Corporate Relationship

13.2 The Trade Relationship

Chapter 14 Charterer’s Liability for Actions of a Nominated Agent

14.1 The Charter Party Agency Clause

14.2 The Incentive for a Voyage Charterer to Nominate the Port Agent

14.3 The Charterer must Make a Reasonable Appointment

14.4 Liability for the Insolvency of the Agent

14.5 Charterer’s Liability Through the Implied Agency Doctrine

14.6 Charterer’s Liability in Cases Where the Nominated Agent is Acting

for a Limited Purpose

14.7 The Ship Owner’s Ratification of the Charterer’s Agency Nomination

Chapter 15 Managing a Tramp Ship Agency

15.1 Tramp Agency Fees

15.2 Service Fees

15.3 Accounting

15.4 Communications

15.5 Staffing

Chapter 16 Tramp Ship Agency Marketing

16.1 Selling to an Owner

16.2 Selling to a Charterer

16.3 Planning a Sales Call

Chapter 17 The Tramp Ship Agency Career

Chapter 18 Authors’ Thoughts



Basics of Ship Charters

Frequently used Shipping Terms


The origin of the book was a graduate school thesis at the State University of New York Maritime College, written by Kenneth Schiels in 1984. The manuscript became the first edition of Tramp Ship Agency Practice, published by Lloyd’s of London Press in 1987. The second edition was published by Fairplay in 1994 as Ship Agency: A Guide to Tramp Ship Agency. We are pleased to give to the reader the third edition, combining the first two edition titles of Ship Agency – A Guide to Tramp Ship Agency Practice.

The third edition has three co-authors. Marygrace Collins is a partner in Bulkore Chartering, Inc, a dry bulk cargo ship broker located in New York. Bulkore is a full service dry cargo ship broking shop. However, as the name implies, their forte lies heavily on the carriage of iron ore from mines to mills all over the globe.

Marygrace was the first woman to serve as President of the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (USA) Inc, in 2004 and 2005. She remains active in ASBA, and is a moderator for the Association’s Home Study Course, “The Basic Principles of Chartering”. She also serves on the Executive Committee of FONASBA – The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents, headquartered in London, and was elected President of FONASBA in October 2012. Marygrace is also a member of Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) and the Connecticut Maritime Association. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University.

Peter Skoufalos concentrates in the areas of commercial and maritime law as a partner in the New York-based firm of Brown, Gavalas & Fromm. In his practice he advises key players in the maritime transportation sector, including ship agents and other intermediaries. Peter is a graduate of New York University and the Boston University School of Law. Peter has authored several articles on maritime law and is currently Vice-Chairman of the US Maritime Law Association Sub Committee on Arbitration and Mediation. Peter has been involved with this book from its beginning in 1984 and has helped simplify some of the complex legal issues that agents occasionally confront.

Kenneth Schiels obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania and his Masters of Science degree at the State University of New York Maritime College. His career has been in ships agency as a boarding agent, port manager, and an executive for a national ship agency in the United States. He is the owner of a marketing firm providing sales representation for international shipping agency firms into the North American shipping industry. Ken is on the Education Committee and the Agency Affairs Committee for ASBA, the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (USA) Inc.

Title: Ship Agency. A Guide to Tramp Ship Agency Practice
Edition: Third
Number of Pages: 134
Product Code: WS1392K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-585-3 (9781856095853), ISBN 10: 1-85609-585-1 (1856095851)
Published Date: July 2013
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 295 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 10 mm
Weight: 0.30 kg

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