The maritime industry has many different key players. Ship Chandler is one of the core businesses in the immense supply chain. But what is the role Ship Chandlers assume in the industry?
To manage a vessel is quite hard labored and complicated. The ship itself, its crew and cargo are in constant control and checking by owners and different Port Authorities. In order to perform at the most efficient levels, Vessels depend on an effective coordinated supply of provisions, spare parts and other products necessary for the vessel’s survival.
One of the most important connections of the ship supply chain is a trusted Ship Chandler. In this article we will try to show a clear picture of what the role and function a Ship Chandler plays in the Shipping business.
Different roles of a Ship Chandlers
There are many different Ship Chandler companies operating in the many ports of the Globe. These companies are not all of the same size and they even may not offer the exact same services. We have big multinationals that are mostly located in the biggest and most important ports such as Rotterdam, Shanghai, Istanbul, Singapore and others.
Some companies offer a supply of food and beverages only, while there are more specialized ones that offer many other services. Those companies often offer the service of delivering frozen foods because they have the infrastructure and logistics to do so. Another service often offered is the one of gas refilling as well as maintenance equipment. By maintenance equipment we refer to any tool or spare part the vessel may require in order to fix whatever needs to be fixed and keep going on with its journey.
One may encounter a different range of companies offering ship chandelling services. Companies may vary in the amount of article goods offered and the amount of services it can supply. We can see companies specialized in only one or few ports while there are bigger and more complex multinationals with presence in many important ports. However, the goal is the same; to offer and supply ships with required goods, at the right place, at the right time and in a safe way.
Who is a Ship Chandler and what is its role?
As it was already mentioned, ship chandlers are an important element in the shipping industry. A ship chandler is a specialist dedicated to supplying vessels with different ship stores and equipment. In order to do so, they need to know the laws and requirements for good supplies in the port they operate. The role they have is key in the maritime industry.
The main role a ship chandler has is to deliver the vessel’s captain with any provision and store goods while the vessel is at port. Another important part of the job is to have all the documents needed for the vessel while in local territory so the vessel encounters no problem while docked.
This is a relations business because in order to operate Ship Chandlers need to interact with a number of other parties. Not only does a ship chandler has negotiations with the master or captains of the vessels, but also with customs office, sanitary authority, equipment manufacturers, ship agencies, stevedores, insurance agencies and more. All these contacts are to assure an efficient and safe operation for our clients and everyone involved.
In Probucam we have been building our connections and relations for over 40 years. We consider ourselves a very capable and trustworthy company. Our team works everyday in order to assure our customers a top of the line service with the best prices and quality fresh products.
We count with cold chambers in our infrastructure and supported with a fleet of acclimatized trucks we assure to deliver vessels the best there is to offer. Our company has been built in order to supply this high demand job. We are proud to say that we are ISSA members because we conduct our business in an ethical and professional way as regulated by this prestigious international shipping institution.
As it was already mentioned before, Ship chandlers offer a wide variety of services. It depends on the ability and capability the company has in order to provide for such services. For instance, food supply is perhaps the most common service a Ship chandler may offer. Food supply implies a storing capacity and a logistic operation in order for the products to arrive precisely on time.
Food supply involves frozen goods as well. This also means that the vessel supplier must count with an equipped infrastructure. In order to handle this type of products freezing and cooling chambers are required in order for the quality of the product not to be compromised. In addition to that, it is also needed refrigerated trucks to carry those products to the port.
Some ship chandler take additional parts to their services. The role of garbage and sludge collection may not seem as important as the food supply, however in order to travel, a vessel is required by law to remove and dispose waste with a certified company. These companies often have agreements with wastelands in order to dump the garbage there. This processes are taken with the most rigorous processes because some waste requieres special equipments and professionals who know how to handle waste properly.
Some ship chandler companies also offer gas refilling services. Having a good supplier of gases may be crucial for your vessel’s journey. There are importan gases within a ship like freon, oxygen and acetylene. having a gas leak o running out of gas may jeopardize the crew’s health, the provisions or even the functioning of the boat. Having the right type of gas available at port is a huge advantage some Ship Chandlers offer their costumers.
In order to fulfill their long journey, vessels need items beyond food as well. Cabin store products are often required by those ships traveling for a long time. Kitchen equipments, ropes and cleaning products are often the most solicited items. Crew members sometimes ask for an specific product, it may be a knife or a blender, a good ship chandler company will try and get the requested item in order to fulfill the order.
Because their travel is long, sometimes ship captains solicite other types of products such as cigarettes, beers or alcohol. Such products are denominated bonded store products. Offering this products expand the variety of services the company attend. Being one big supermarket for those vessels at docks is the goal of every big Ship Chandler company. Assuming this role requires great coordination between departments and specially effective communication between the company and the ship.
Between all the different services a ship chandler can offer; assuming the role of engine store supplier is probably the most professional. Not only does the chandler needs to know where to get engine spare parts, but also they need to have people in their team that knows about ship engines. Having an expert that can identify the parts or the problem an engine has is fundamental if you are offering this service. It is not possible that a ship supplier offers an engine part that does not work or is not the part they need, that is why a company that assumes this role must capacitate their team or hire an engineer.
The role of a ship chandler is not specifically defined because it can extend their operations and start offering what was recently discussed. Some companies rather offer food supply and deck store instead of adding different services that require more work and more equipment as well. Vessel captains will often compare process and choose whoever offers him the best prices. Nevertheless, they will also prefer contacting only one company that does all the services they requiere instead of contacting 3 companies that can do one service at the time.