Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Maritime Operations

Main Topics of Study

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

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