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10 Factors You Must Consider Before Buying a Used Cargo Ship

By badmin
1 Dec, 2023
Cargo Security

Buying a cargo ship, whether used or brand new, is pretty pricey, and no one buying would want to be a victim of their negligence no matter what. 

Interestingly, over 50,000 to 60,000 cargo ships are in active service globally. Also, due to global inflation, companies in maritime trade are more likely to buy a used cargo ship over a few years old than newly made ships.   

In a nutshell, this shows how desirable cargo ships are in the market nowadays. If you intend to buy one soon, consider the vessel's age and condition, cargo size, etc.

Why? These factors are checked to certify the purchase of the used cargo ship and avoid possible adverse effects arising from ignorance, including sudden breakdown, legal issues, etc.

In this guide, we’ll go through the most important factors to consider before buying a used cargo ship and the effects of ignoring these factors.

Now, let’s get started.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Used Cargo Ship

Before buying a used cargo ship, one must consider several factors to certify the complete purchase of a used cargo ship. 

Here are some of the essential ones; 

1. History of Ownership

Before buying a used cargo ship, one of the most important things to do is check to see if the vessel has been involved in any legal issues or suspected involvement in illegal activities by previous owners. 

It is also essential because this could give your business a bad reputation or get you into trouble.

2. Usage Duration and Ship Condition

Another factor to consider is ensuring you always find out how long the ship has been in use. 

Be sure to carry out a full inspection of essential components of the ship, like the engine, hull, emergency switchboard, and others, to see if they are in good condition. Preferably, hire a professional to carry out a full inspection.

3. Shipload Capacity 

The primary function of a cargo ship, as the name implies, is to lift cargo, or goods as it is called, from one destination to another by sea. 

So it is even more important to check the cargo capacity of the ship because it equips you with the knowledge of what kind of cargo it can carry and the capability to transport such cargo from the point of take off to the destination.

The ship's cargo capacity is as important as other factors. It is essential to check the weight, height, and kind of goods suitable to carry. 

4. Safety Compliance

Safety is another crucial factor. Make sure the ship meets the required safety and environmental standards that are permissible generally.  

The ship's construction should be done in a way that reflects the crew's and cargo's safety. It should also have a lower tendency of polluting the environment.

5. Legal Requirements

Every nation worldwide has laws regulating trade in the maritime industry, especially for the sale and purchase of used and new ships. These laws require documents that authenticate the sale of that ship. 

Such documents may include a certificate of ownership, government-approved usage certificate, etc., so before you purchase a used cargo ship, ensure that the necessary documents are provided as required by the law and are certified by the government.

6. Maintenance Register

Ask for the ship's maintenance register. It helps you know if the vessel has been adequately maintained and gives you information on the time needed for overhauling or general servicing. 

Having these records also helps you know if any major repairs have been made recently and whether any unresolved issues need attention. 

7. Cost of Operation: 

Consider the cost of operation and other expenses involved, including fuel, crew, maintenance, ship licensing, and others.

Doing this puts you in a financially convenient situation because you can budget the amount needed to operate after buying it. 

8. Insurance Papers

Having insurance for the ship is like keeping a first aid box by your side when playing a contact sport.

There is certainly a likelihood of damage occurring while operating the vessel, and insurance helps supplement that damage. 

So, before buying a used cargo ship, consider acquiring insurance for the ship to cover any damage if it occurs. 

9. Records of Former Crew Members

Access to the records of former crew members who worked on the ship can help you understand how they operated it.

And if they are qualified enough to operate on your ship. So searching for new employees will be fine for you. 

10. Sea Trial

Do not make the error of not taking the cargo ship out for a trial on the sea before purchase. 

You do it to discover if the vessel is in good condition and durable enough for cargo transportation services.

Effects of Ignoring These Factors

Neglecting these factors, as discussed before buying a used cargo ship, can have adverse effects, which can appear in the future when using the vessel. 

Some of these effects include;

1. Legal Issues

You may face legal issues if you fail to access the required legal documents to purchase the ship correctly. 

In the course of operation, government regulatory agencies will eventually check the documents to discover if they are authentic and approved. And if they are not, then the ship will be confiscated. And no one would want to experience that.   

2. Possibility Of Ship Breakdown

By not considering the ship's age, condition, and maintenance records, you put the vessel in a position of quickly breaking down. And will affect the effectiveness of the operation needed for the ship.

3. Inability To Detect Faults

When you fail to consider the maintenance records, locating and solving the fault becomes very complicated. Different issues arise as a result of ignoring these maintenance records. 

It is because you need to acquire firsthand information on how to do it.  

4. Possibility Of Falling Victim To Fraudsters

Ignoring these factors before purchasing a used cargo ship can make you fall victim to fraudsters. 

Because you need background information about purchasing a used ship, this can give fraudsters an upper hand during the negotiations.

5. Losing Cargo And Lives

The worst experience any cargo ship owner can face is the loss of lives and cargo. Ignoring the safety standards of a used cargo ship before purchase puts your crew members and cargo goods at risk of being lost at sea. 

6. Unnecessary Expenses

Ignoring factors like maintenance records and cost of operation is like shooting yourself in the toe.

You will need to spend more money on issues you would have addressed from the beginning if you had considered the expenses involved before making the final purchase.

Final thoughts

Buying a used cargo ship can be very complicated with the rise in fraud and other problems attached to using it. 

However, as discussed in this guide, taking into proper consideration factors like age and condition, maintenance records can drastically make your choices a lot better. 

Ignoring these factors comes with consequences and effects, such as legal issues, unnecessary expenses, and other experiences you can not afford. 

Please visit us via our contact page for further information, consultancy, services, or anything regarding cargo ships. 

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