The sea is a vast world and the boats that sail on it often take days and days in pursuit of their missions. These long journeys inevitably make ships a means of transport like no other. It is also another area where several people take turns to ensure a safe arrival. Still, these boxes that navigate on the water are the symbol of the work of several providers. From the launch to the port of destination, the boat and the staff on board must have nothing to do with it. This ranges from equipment (points, ropes, …) for the boat to food (water, food, …) for people.
But how does a boat that comes from another distant port manage to refuel all these necessities before setting off again or even sometimes during the trip?
This is where the very important work of ship refuellers comes in. They are generally very professional service providers who have an acute knowledge of the maritime field. The latter, according to the needs of the shipowners, organize the supply of food or any other necessary item to the boats. We all agree that the captain of a boat that has just docked cannot go shopping from store to store to restock his boat. The bunkering of ships is then the well-recognized maritime activity to which ships necessarily resort. Far from being a new concept, the bunkering of ships was born from a history as long as that of maritime navigation. If it has known changes in terms of perception over the ages, its main task remains the supply of boats. These first-class service providers are generally installed in ports to make things easier, but also to serve ships as quickly as possible. As port activity is permanent, a ship chandler like Universal Commercial must also be accompanied by a professional team available 24 hours a day. Needless to say, a general ship Chandler must have a very good knowledge of maritime law.
How does the activity of a General Ship Chandler work?
It obviously comes down to the supply of boats but also follows a strict process. From the notion of time to specific needs, no variable is taken lightly. You must undoubtedly imagine that the refueling of ships must be done in several inseparable stages.
Everything starts from the captain or another qualified person who first makes a list of the needs of his vessel, which he sends in the form of a quote to the service provider of his choice, depending on the port of destination. The food and equipment needs of the boats being enormous and very technical, this first step is generally done in a suitable time before docking. The service provider will take advantage of the time limit to then collect the items listed on the left and right, and store them while waiting for the boat to dock. The vessel will then be restocked as soon as possible after its arrival; and all this for a fee of course. But this is a component that must remain confidential between the partners. It should be noted that this description of the process is much more like a summary. In addition to the ship’s captain and the maritime bunker, several other intermediaries frequently intervene. They could be merchandise stores, manufacturers, logistics companies, boat owners, or even Customs that looks after the grain. The latter intervene in the process because the resupply of a vessel is an export operation according to the law. Also, bunkering of ships is not exclusively an operation that takes place in ports. Some ships sometimes have their order delivered on the water, but it all depends on the circumstances.
What are the different items that a General Ship Chandler can buy?
These articles range from the most basic to the most professional. If one can imagine that a boat is a residence on water, the daily life therefore needs to be managed on the ships. Unlike life on earth, which can allow you to go out and buy whatever you want at any time at the market or at the corner store to fill your fridge, the configuration is quite different on a boat. It is necessary to provide food, maintenance or cleaning products, and others for depending on the duration of the journey. And generally, ships spend many months on the water. In addition to the items necessary for the personnel and all those on board, the bunker also supplies spare parts and other equipment necessary for the proper functioning of the boats as well as for emergency situations. The breakdowns are specific to the machines so the owner in collaboration with the refueller must plan everything. This is when the supply task becomes very technical and requires the help of the professionals who are the ship refuellers. Among the supply needs for boats is even fuel. The changes of course which are sometimes inevitable in maritime navigation create these fuel requirements.
What are the different types of boats that a ship bunker takes into account?
All boats need to be provisioned. The profession of a ship bunker therefore takes into account everything that floats on the water. From commercial ships to pleasure boats to cruise ships, the ship chandler can help supply everyone. While it is common knowledge that it is the long journeys that naturally create the greatest supply needs, small sea expeditions must also be done with good equipment. The smallest equipment necessary for navigation is an integral part of the goodwill of a ship chandler.
How do I find the right ship chandler?
It all depends on the needs of the vessel, but the most professional companies in the field also know how to detect them. Needless to say, a ship’s bunker must be reliable in every way as the task that falls to him requires experience but also absolute confidence. The Ship Chandler must be just as responsive as the sailing times sometimes vary with the weather. It also sometimes depends on the ports; at the Autonomous Port of Lomé for example, Uni-Commercial is the ideal choice because of its recognized efficiency.
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