Ship chandlers

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Marine Equipment Division of Seattle Hdwr. Co. (around 1900)

A ship suppliers or ship merchant (English: Ship Ship Chandler or supplier) is a supply operation of maritime shipping .


Ship equipment companies supply ocean-going vessels with all the goods they need in shipping. This includes consumer goods such as provisions, beverages and luxury goods (especially bonded goods), parts of the deck and machinery, wire ropes and ropes, nautical items, distress equipment, spare parts, but also other things that are necessary for the operation of a ship. Ship chandlers have warehouses in free ports or bonded warehouses in domestic customs, as they deal to a large extent with uncleared foreign and excise- tax- free EU goods. Fuels and lubricants are usually not part of the delivery spectrum of a ship dealer.

Own companies that acted as ship suppliers developed around 200 years ago parallel to the growth of international shipping lines. The roots of this development into an exclusive ship equipment company lie in England , whose shipping development was several decades ahead of the rest of the world. In particular, the triumphant advance of steamships with their shorter dwell times led to numerous business opportunities and the establishment of new companies that supplied ships. The oldest British ship equipment companies have existed for around two hundred years. The first specialized businesses in Germany can be traced back to the period after 1830.

In the 19th century, on the one hand, the range of deliveries of the companies involved increased and the equipment of ships in the port increased. Until now most of the companies were busy supplying ships on the side, but during this time the ship chandler developed as a specialized port company . In those days, provisions and equipment were taken on board for at least six months. For this reason, former captains who were able to draw on their own experience often set up such operations.

The German ship equipment companies are united in the Association of German Ship Suppliers , the world association of this branch of industry is the International Ship Suppliers & Services Association (ISSA). In 2012, the ISSA consisted of 43 national ship supplier associations worldwide with around 1,200 members and 460 associated members from 50 countries without a national association.

The SMM (Shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology) trade fair, which takes place every two years in Hamburg, is a global industry meeting point.

The ISSA has published a technical ship equipment catalog called the 'ISSA Ship Stores Catalog' since 1978. It serves to specify goods and to simplify orders; the approximately 25,000 marine equipment items listed can each be easily identified and ordered using a code number. The ISSA has observer status with the IMO.

Web links


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