Ownership and control

Wilh. Wilhelmsen is another. http://www.wilhelmsen.com/about/Pages/Companies.aspx

A shipowner may choose to let his vessel on a so-called bareboat charter for several years. This resembles a financial investment since the firm hiring the vessel then has both technical and commercial management of the vessel. By technical management we mean manning, maintenance, and to secure that the vessel operations fulfil rules and regulations. By commercial management we mean securing cargo and thus the revenue from operating the vessel. Bareboat charter implies that the day-to-day control of the vessel is in the hands of the firm hiring the vessel. There are firms specialising in technical management. Hence, the responsibility for the crew may not always rest with the owner of the vessel.

 Shipowners, who choose to operate their vessels themselves, including hiring crew and maintaining the vessel, may also do the commercial management themselves or they may let the vessel on a time charter for a shorter or longer time. If they choose to charter the vessel on time charter , the hiring firm directs the vessel and agrees on what cargoes the vessel is to carry and where it is to operate. The shipowner still is responsible for the crew, however.

Thirdly, a shipping company may specialise in commercial management and hire vessels in on time charter. If so, other firms do the manning, maintenance and financing the vessels.   These could be other ship-owning firms or a ship management firm specialising in technical management services. The commercial management company operating tankers or bulk vessels then earns its revenue by letting the vessel out on a spot charter. A container operator uses the chartered in vessels in its container operations.

The fourth alternative is fully integrated shipping firms that finance the vessel, secure manning and maintenance and find cargoes for the vessel to carry. For vessels operating on scheduled routes as is typical for container vessels, the firm announce the schedule and work to fill the cargo carrying capacity of the vessel on each trip. In tramp, shipping the shipping firm offers the vessel in the market for every single trip or makes an agreement with a cargo owner for some consequential trips.

 We also see combinations of the alternatives within individual shipping companies. The firm may choose to have a mix of vessels owned and operated and vessels hired in from other firms on either bare boat charter or time charter.

 To complicate this picture even more several "one ship firms" may own the different vessels in a fleet. These “one-ship” firms then are organised in a holding company. The holding company, may furthermore register different vessels and the firm directly owning them may in different countries...