Author: Antriksh Kochar, Voyage Manager

Commercial Shipping Operations – A great career and rewarding job.

Shipping is a commercial adventure and is executed with the involvement of various stakeholders starting from Shippers, Charterers, Ports, Ship Owners, Master,  Brokers, Agents, Operators, and Consignees.

A successful voyage is one that keeps the interest of all the stakeholders as per the terms and conditions of the Charter Party.

Transporting a product from point A to point B needs liaising between all the stakeholders and to the center of this commercial adventure lies the Voyage Manager ( Operator) who handles the vessel end to end

Role of a Voyage Manager

·Makes sure that the vessel has clear instructions of the cargo to be loaded, ports, agents, charterers,    

precautions for carriage of the cargo.

·Makes sure that the product is being taken care of.

·Arranges all the supplies starting from bunkers, freshwater to chemicals that may be required by the vessel.

·Maintains close contact with brokers and charterers.

·Sees the possibility of optimizing the voyage within the framework of the charterer party.

Required skills of a Voyage Manager

Voyage Manager should be service-minded, should have good communication skills, should be able to read between the lines, should have the ability to foresee things, and should have excellent decision-making ability.

Commercial shipping is a great and rewarding career for the Seafarers.

As a Voyage Manager, one gets good exposure to the commercial side of the shipping and equips them with the new skill set to climb the ladder in the commercial shipping which can help them take up roles with charterers, lead Owners operations desk, headship agencies to name a few.

Who can apply for roles in commercial shipping?

Though it is best suited for deck officers and anyone who has flair towards commercial shipping and is passionate about it can apply for commercial shipping roles.

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential. -Winston Churchill

What preparations/experiences are required for applying to commercial roles?

An experience in cargo handling is one of the parameters that is looked for. Previous shore experience does help but is not mandatory. Deck officers with enough seafaring experience can be considered for the roles.

Commercial shipping operations is a very demanding and fast-paced job. It needs quickness, punctuality, extra man-hours at times, and the ability to work in different time zones having said that results are always rewarding and appreciative.

A positive attitude and willingness to push your own potential is the key to success.

Quick Tip – Start early!

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