Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Maritime Operations

Introduction to Shipping and to the Ships

  • Functions of shipping
  • World seaborne trade and world fleet
  • Challenges facing the shipping industry in the twenty-first century
  • International navigation limits
  • International Convention on Load Lines 1966
  • Types and methods of tonnage measurement
  • International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships
  • Types of ships, specialised vessels and their trades

Ship Design and Construction

  • Ship design and future trends
  • Ship productivity
  • General principles and factors influencing design, type and size of ship
  • Safety and other regulations
  • Vessel lengthening
  • Cruise vessel

Manning of Vessels

  • Duties and responsibilities of the Master
  • Ship’s Officers and crew manning
  • IMO Convention of Standards of Training
  • Engagement and discharge of the crew

Customs House and Ship’s Papers

  • eCcommerce; Customs
  • Value Added Tax
  • Intrastat
  • Export controls
  • Customs tariff
  • Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP)
  • New Export System (NES)
  • Unique Consignment Reference (UCR)
  • Customs reliefs
  • Importation and exportation of goods
  • Ship’s papers
  • Ship’s protest

Maritime Canals and Inland Waterways

  • European inland waterways
  • The Suez Canal Authority
  • The Kiel Canal, The Panama Canal
  • The St Lawrence Seaway
  • The influence of canals on ship design
  • Canal areas as points of economic growth

Services Generated by Principal Shipping Organisations

  • ISO, Intertanko, Lloyd’s Register, OECD, WTO, BIMCO, UNISTAD, Intercargo, ICS

Passenger Fares and Freight Rates

  • Theory of passenger fares
  • Theory of freight rates and effect of air competition on cargo traffic
  • Relation between liner and tramp rates
  • Relation between voyage and time charter rates
  • Types of freight

Liner Conferences

  • Liner conference system
  • Deferred rebate and contract systems
  • Harmonisation conferences
  • The future of the liner conference system

Ship Operation

  • Factors to consider in planning sailing schedules, fleet planning
  • Interface between fleet planning and ship survey programme
  • Relative importance of speed, frequency, reliability, cost and quality of sea transport
  • Indivisible loads
  • Ship and port security

Bills of Lading

  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Acts 1971 and 1992
  • Types of bills of lading
  • Carriage of Goods by Rail, Carriage of Goods by Road


  • Cargo stowage/packaging overview
  • Stowage of cargo
  • Types of characteristics of cargo
  • Cargo and container handling equipment, dangerous cargo

The Shipping Company

  • Liner organisation, tramp organisation
  • Holding companies and subsidiaries
  • Operational alliances
  • Ship management companies
  • Ownership of vessels
  • Freight forwarders
  • Chartered shipbrokers
  • Future of shipbroking
  • Ship’s agent
  • Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance

Charter Parties

  • Demise and non-demise charter parties
  • Voyage and time charter parties
  • Approved forms of charter parties and related bills of lading
  • Voyage estimates
  • Sale and purchase of ships


  • Container ships; terminals
  • Container distribution
  • Container types
  • Non-containerisable cargo
  • Features of containerisation


  • Role of seaports in the twenty-first century and factors driving change
  • Container port automation
  • Floating terminals
  • Factors influencing the shipowner’s choice of seaport
  • Relationship between ships and ports

Multi-modalism: Global Supply Chain Management and International Logistics

  • Factors in favour of multi-modalism
  • Rationale for the development of multi-modalism
  • Features of multi-modalism
  • Multi-modalism strategy
  • Global supply chain management and international logistics

The International Consignment

  • Evaluation of transport model(s) for international consignment/s
  • Delivery trade terms of sale and the export order
  • Progress of export order and checklist

Political Aspects

  • Flag discrimination
  • Flags of convenience
  • Subsidies
  • Contribution of shipping to invisible exports

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Branch's Elements of Shipping 9thedition, A. E. Branch (Routledge)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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Sea Transport, P. M. Alderton (Thomas Reed Publications)

Dictionary of Shipping International Business. Trade Terms and Abbreviations, A. E. Branch (Witherby)

Lloyds List and Shipping Gazette