Ship chartering is the hiring of ships. This is a very large sector in the maritime industry and employs thousands of people worldwide.


A ship’s broker:

  • organises charters for ships
  • finds ships to carry particular cargoes
  • buys or sells ships on behalf of owners

Photograph: Andrew Ingpen

Ship management
Some owners operate and manage their ships themselves. Others ask a ship management company to manage and/or charter (hire) their ships to an operator or charterer.


A ships’ agent

  • Represents the shipowner in a port.
  • Organises all the requirements of the ship while in port.