Careers ashore

Consider yourself a landlubber? There is an abundance of interesting jobs available in the maritime industry ashore. There is one just right for you.

© goodluz –
Marine engineer, ship broker, pilot - lots of opportunities.

Ships may be the limbs of the maritime business, but the industry ashore is its pumping heart and lifeblood. In contrast to common belief, a maritime career does not just include working on a ship. The maritime field offers a wide spectrum of different jobs at sea and on shore, which are all part of the giant clockwork of the maritime industry as a whole. Starting an on-shore career by serving a traineeship in a shipping company or choosing specialised study programmes that focus on maritime logistics are good options. There is a wide variety of job opportunities ashore within the maritime cluster to suit your preference. Have a look at the job descriptions below to get an impression of the many opportunities the shore-based shipping industry has to offer.

Ship agents

Ship agents work as representatives of the shipping company within the ports. They are authorised by a shipping company before its vessel enters the port and they are then responsible for handling all formalities and issues which are connected to the vessel’s duration in the port. This includes for example, dealing with the port costs and customs clearance, providing the required supply of spare parts and organising a berth and stevedores for the vessel. Since vessels enter ports at all times, ship agents are expected to be on call 24 hours a day.

Naval architects and marine engineers

Naval architects and marine engineers work in each area of the ship building industry that constructs and repairs vessels of all types and sizes. They are responsible for designing new types and forms of vessel and for constructing the different parts of the ship. Afterwards they test the newly designed models and supervise the construction process. Sometimes cost calculation, sales and marketing can be part of their job too.

Ship brokers

Ship brokers act as a “middle man” and bring together the different parties of the transport business to negotiate a deal. They are engaged by a shipping company for different purposes, for example, to find suitable cargo for a vessel in a certain region, to find a buyer or a seller for a ship or to find a charterer who is interested in hiring the vessel for a period of time. Ship brokers often specialise in one of these areas.


Pilots assist the master and their crew in navigating the ship when they enter certain areas which require detailed knowledge of the waters. This is quite common in most ports, rivers and channels. Generally it is obligatory to have a pilot on board ships to ensure the safety of shipping, especially in areas where it can get crowded. Pilots must have significant experience in the navigation of ships and thus they are always former seafarers. Like agents, they have to be available at any time of the day.

Ship owners

Ship owners own a variety of mostly very expensive ships. They have to coordinate the smooth operation of their ships, since only trading ships are earning money. Thus, they have to find sufficient cargo for each voyage or liaise with charterers, who will hire a ship for one voyage or for a longer period of time. They also have to take care of the crew on board the vessel and organise all other aspects of the ship’s operation, for example, insurance and maintenance.


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