Duties of a shipping agent
A shipping agency or shipping agent is a person or company whose business is responsible for handling shipments and cargo at ports and harbours worldwide on behalf of shipping companies. They prepare shipping documents, arrange shipping space and insurance, and deal with customs requirements.
Shipping agents take care of all the regular routine tasks of a shipping company. They ensure that essential supplies, crew transfers, customs documentation and waste declarations are all arranged with the port authorities without delay. They often also provide the shipping company with updates and reports on activities at the destination port so that shipping companies have timely updated information available to them at all times while goods are in transit. Responsibilities of shipping agents include drawing up the documents for the customs and harbour services and assisting the master in making the necessary contacts with the local authorities and the harbour authorities.