A ship chandler is a person who exclusively deals in supplying for a shipping vessel its required commodities. In other words, just like a grocer supplies food grains to households, a ship chandler supplies essentially required commodities to a ship and its crew. Today's chandlers deal more in goods typical for fuel-powered commercial ships, such as oil tankers, container ships, bulk carriers. They supply the crew's food, ship's maintenance supplies, cleaning compounds, rope, etc.
The job of a ship chandler is very unique because it caters specifically to only one line of business therefore allowing a complete exclusivity to both parties – the seller as well as the client. Because of this exclusivity and the nature of the profession, it so happens that each and every ship chandler is held in high esteem and regard.
The advantage of a ship's crew using a chandler is that they do not have to find stores in the town they have landed in, nor hold that local currency. By approaching a ship chandler directly, it so happens that a ship’s crew can avoid the middlemen when it comes to a business transaction and thus save a lot of money which could be used in other productive areas.
When it comes to a ship’s supplies, in the absence of a ship chandler, it so happens that there are a lot of people involved. The more number of involved people means a lot of time for transit and consequentially a lot of delay in the transit process. When a ship’s crew approaches a ship chandler, because of the naturalness of a ship chandler, the crew can get the necessary commodities directly from a one-person source. This point adds to the aspect of high level of discount as since the ship chandler is the only person involved in the sale, he can afford to procure the best deals for a ship’s crew at the right prices thus allowing him to give a high return to his client in the form of rebate or discount.
As the shipping industry has developed and peaked over the centuries, the job responsibilities of a ship chandler have also increased. Competition has always been high in the shipping industry but in the modern times there is not just competition from within a country but also internationally.
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