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A shipowner, ship owner or ship-owner is the owner of a ship. They can be merchant vessels involved in the shipping industry or non commercially owned. In the commercial sense of the term, a shipowner is someone who equips and exploits a ship, usually for delivering cargo at a certain freight rate, either as a per freight rate (given price for the transport of a certain cargo between two given ports) or based on hire (a rate per day). Shipowners typically hire a licensed crew and captain rather than take charge of the vessel in person. Usually the shipowner is organized through a company, but also people and investment funds can be shipowners. If owned by a ship company, the shipowner usually performs technical management of the vessel through the company, though this can also be outsourced or relayed onto the shipper through bareboat charter.[1][2]

Shipowners are usually members of a national Chamber of Shipping such as the UK Chamber of Shipping. The International Chamber of Shipping is the global organisation for ship-owners and their respective national chambers, representing approximately 80% of the entire world shipping tonnage.[3]


  1. ^ Huber, Mark (2001). "Ch. 9:Chartering and Operations". Tanker operations: a handbook for the person-in-charge (PIC). Cambridge, MD: Cornell Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87033-528-6.
  2. ^ Turpin, Edward A.; McEwen, William A. (1980). "Ch. 18:United States Navigation Laws and Ship's Business". Merchant Marine Officers' Handbook. Centreville, MD: Cornell Maritime Press. ISBN 0-87033-056-X.
  3. ^ "International Chamber of Shipping - About". Retrieved 3 July 2016.

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