Lloyd's List Events (part of Informa Maritime & Transport) is planning to present a training course for those interested in operating ship agencies. During the last few years there has been an incredible change in how the world's commerce is conducted. Internet technology now enables electronic commercial relationships to be established between shippers, freight forwarders and carriers as well as the other elements in the transport chain. Most of the world's ports are now available through the internet service, and shipping managers can be in direct contact with the port authorities.
Despite the development of this new technology, the need for ship's agents has not declined. The personal presence of competent ship's agents is as important today as at any time during the last two centuries. Most ship owners have improved the efficiency of their operation by reducing both their own management resources ashore and manning levels on board ship. They are therefore even more dependent on having competent agents in each port where they trade.
Unfortunately, the reduction in operational maritime staff has also cut back the natural recruitment into the ship agency profession of experienced mariners. Therefore the need for a deeper knowledge of shipping operations and how it integrates with modern communication technology is very important for anyone wishing to make a career in ship agency. This course leading to a Diploma in Ship Agency (planned for 2006-2007) is designed to equip potential ship agents with the relevant skills associated with this specialised and complex profession. The course explores these complex roles in depth and looks at the commercial, legal and financial skills required as well as the new communications technology needed to be competent in today's market.