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The charterer is the person or company who rents a ship for a given period of time (time charter) or for a specific journey (voyage charter). In the marine industry, charterers may also rent a ship without any crew. In that case the operation is called bareboat charter.

Charterers are the intermediaries between clients who have goods to ship and transporters.

Their activity involves:

  • receiving and registering shippers’ requests for the transportation of their goods;
  • searching the ideal transport means depending on the client’s needs, transport constraints, goods specifics and allocated time;
  • establishing and filling documents and forms related to transport and chartering;
  • taking care of or delegating operations such as pick up, forwarding and distribution of goods in collaboration with the other services involved;
  • controlling the carriers’ invoices;
  • sorting slips (delivery notes returned by carriers).

They are called forwarding agents only in marine transport. Their first mission is to find the best value for money to transport goods (or passengers) while respecting established constraints (cost, time, route) and respecting transport regulation. They must therefore know well applicable law, market prices and transport geography.

Source: multiple Internet sources, specialized literature, testimonials (Pratic-Export, Pôle-emploi cards, Wikipedia, Onisep, CNRTL, Umep à la Page…)