Maritime transport plays an essential role in world trade. It is one of the most used means of transport due to its high load capacity, security and contained costs. However, for port operations to run smoothly, it is necessary for different professionals to intervene, including the ship agent, an essential figure in the logistics chain.


The ship consignee is a professional who mediates between the shipowner and the recipient or receiver of the merchandise. In practice, it is the link between the captain of the ship, shipping company or shipowner with the shore services, so that he must pay continuous attention to the ship and, at the same time, maintain contact with the Maritime and Port Authorities.

A ship consignee agent can represent one or more shipping companies in the ports where the ships dock to take care of the reception and delivery of the cargo. In fact, its main task is to guarantee compliance with the delivery deadlines of the cargo and to ensure its proper conservation.


Ship agents perform both operational and commercial functions. When the ship is on land, their functions are fundamentally operational since they are in charge of supplying food or cleaning and disinfecting the holds.

Business functions focus on international transportation operations to provide the most advantageous logistics solutions. Ship consignees maintain all contacts during the journey of the goods to their destination, contract the transport and contact the freight forwarders or stevedores who will take care of the unloading to ensure that the entire process flows.

Other functions of the ship consignee agent are:

  • Manage the permits the ship needs to enter and dock in the port.
  • Organize the pilotage service through which the captain is advised to facilitate the entry and exit of the ship and the necessary nautical maneuvers safely.
  • Hire the services of the tugboat if the ship needs to do certain maneuvers or if it has suffered a breakdown.
  • Assist the captain when he needs to contact the maritime captaincy or local authorities.
  • Organize and coordinate activities with stevedores for loading and unloading the ship at the port.
  • Contract and manage the ship’s provisioning services, which includes everything from food for the crew to the supply of cleaning products, basic spare parts, maintenance products and fuel.
  • Prepare the documentation that must be presented to customs services and port authorities.
  • Solve setbacks that occur on the ship, such as emergency repairs.
  • Communicate with the suppliers and recipients or recipients of the merchandise to inform them about the status of the cargo and its delivery times.
  • Reach agreements with insurers in the event that the transported cargo is damaged and facilitate maritime inspections.


International merchandise trade has grown steadily in recent decades, which is why one of the professions with the greatest employment prospects is precisely the ship consignee agent. Since it is a specialized professional who performs vital functions within the logistics chain and who needs an authorization to carry out his activity, certain requirements must be met to be a ship consignee.

Basically, the ship consignee agent must have specific training. To obtain the title of ship consignee you will have to take a Higher Degree Training Cycle . You can choose our Senior Technician in International Trade , which you can also take online , or opt for a Senior Technician in Transportation and Logistics .

Another requirement to be a ship consignee is a B2 level of English , essential to speak with the crews of the ships. If you decide to carve a path for yourself in this sector, you should know that the salary of a ship agent usually ranges between 1,600 and 2,500 euros per month, depending on their experience and responsibilities .