A ship-owner, also known as a voyageowner, is the actual owner of a ship and is totally involved in the transportation industry. From the legal perspective, a ship-owner would be someone who leases and equips a ship, either for delivery of goods at a fixed freight rate, either on a full-service or on a hire basis. The ship may be used to carry cargo to and from a specified destination or for carrying cargo between ships and other modes of transport, like liners and refrigerated vessels. The owner can also direct the use of the ship as per his or her wishes.
Charterers are the third category of ship owners. Charterers are the ones who arrange and negotiate for a fee with the customers and freight forwarders for the carriage of their goods to their specified destinations. In essence, charterers are the ones who act as a middleman between the buyer and the seller. While the latter acts as the one who actually delivers the goods, the former facilitates the smooth movement of goods.
There are many types of ship owners in the world. These categories include individual ship owners, charterers and listed owners, along with other small groups. The varying types of ship owners and their respective duties are discussed in detail in the following paragraphs. In the cargo shipping industry, ship owners play a very important role. As discussed in the previous paragraph, ship owners are the ones who hire the cargo ships for the transportation of goods and also deal with the cargo shippers to carry out the transportation of their consigned cargo.