A shipowner is a natural or legal person who is dedicated to operating a vessel for commercial purposes.
The shipowner participates in maritime transport and its activity is part of the goods distribution chain. In this sense, its commercial activity is related to national and international transport.
On the other hand, it is important to be clear that the owner is not necessarily the owner or captain of the boat. That is, these three terms can be different persons (natural or legal). This clarification is necessary so as not to confuse the roles and avoid confusion. Clearly, they are not exclusive, it can also be the same person.
Some of the duties of the shipowner are the following:
- Equip the boat: It is the task of the shipowner to provide equipment, supplies and other elements necessary to the boat for its operation. For example, you must supply adequate food and navigation equipment.
- Hire captain and crew: The owner and the captain do not have to be the same person. Therefore, the shipowner will have the responsibility of hiring a captain with documentation in order to operate the ship. Likewise, you must equip the captain with a professional crew to carry out his activity correctly.
- Client management: The shipowner is in charge of establishing business relationships. That is, negotiating with clients the contracts and rates to operate the transport.
- Maintenance of the boat: It is in the hands of the owner to guarantee the operational quality of the boat. This implies being aware of the maintenance requirements during the merchandise transport process. Any imperfect of the boat due to lack of maintenance is part of your responsibility.
- Management of regulatory certificates: Likewise, the shipowner is in charge of keeping the necessary permits for navigation up to date. This means keeping up to date with the regulations of each country the crew is heading to. In the same way, you must make sure that the crew and the captain keep their documents in order and do not have legal problems in the countries where they dock.
Finally, the shipowner will have the constant task of updating the on-board procedure. This, with the aim of constantly improving the culture of safety and quality in cargo handling. Also, establish safety protocols in case of emergency on the high seas to improve the response capacity of the crew. Carry out contingency plans for accidents in daily work and identify sensitive areas of risk.