OUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: As you can imagine, ship owners, managers, and charterers cannot be present every time their ship docks at port. Still, a vessel in port is an incredibly important and costly aspect of the ocean transport process. That’s where the vessel agent comes in. At King Shipping Trading, we make sure that in-port arrangements are made and completed efficiently and effectively. It’s our job to ensure that the vessel completes her operations promptly and that no delays are incurred, resulting in a costly exercise for the owners or charterers. These responsibilities can include taking care of the crew by bringing them essential supplies such as food and water, exchanging local currency, bringing mail, and escorting maintenance specialists on board if needed. Shipping agents make sure crew transfers happen seamlessly and ensure customs documentation and waste declarations are arranged with port authorities. We also provide the owner or charterer with real-time updates and reports for the port call or cargo operation.


ADAPTABILITY:​ A good vessel agent must adapt to the constant changes that happen within this particular part of the shipping process. A great agent can pivot from executing a well-planned operation to doing something completely unexpected. Not only that, but they must also continue to be flexible as they work out multiple, inevitable changes in variables of the operations performed. No port call will be the same as the others, with each offering different challenges and specificities.

ANALYTICAL: The ability to document activities well is a vital part of being a great ship’s agent. Since the agent is the “go-to” person for any situation that may arise, they continuously deal with proper documentation systems from immigration to port authorities, to ordering provisions for the crew.

PEOPLE SKILLS: It is pertinent that shipping agents have high-level interpersonal skills and enjoy engaging with other people and cultures. These agents interact with all different nationalities during their career-span. A great vessel agent will learn different logistics and project management techniques from the crews and owners they encounter, enabling them to create tailor-made experiences in the future. A ship’s agent has the unique ability to provide more or better services than what the crew and owners anticipate.

PASSION FOR MARITIME:​ Finally, a good agent must love the maritime industry. Part of this job is understanding that a vessel agent operates on a 24 hours a day, seven days a week availability schedule. While being a shipping agent is not a typical “9 to 5” job and may be grueling at times, it can also be highly fulfilling and rewarding. Shipping agents must be passionate about this industry to thrive in this highly-pressurized atmosphere.


  • Harrts associates Maritime Services, look for a berth for the incoming ship;
  • arrange for the pilot and the tugs if necessary;
  • make-up the documents for the customs and harbour services;
  • assist the master in making the necessary contacts with the local authorities and the harbour authorities;
  • arrange for the necessary ship provisions;
  • arrange for the bunkers if needed;
  • arrange for the necessary repairs;
  • convey instructions to and from the owner;
  • organize the supply, transport and the handling of the goods;
  • organize the necessary contacts with the stevedores;
  • collect the freights;
  • contact the shippers and receivers of the goods;
  • Cash to Master onboard
  • in case of damage, make the necessary contacts (only at the master or owner’s request) with the insurance company, the P & I club, the classification society, the nautical inspection, the experts or surveyors, etc.