Regarding the emergence of the figure of the shipping agent, Professor González Lebrero well illustrates us by pointing out that prior to the use of steamships and new technological means, the captain of the ship was the executor and responsible for all the facts material and legal matters related to the administrative and commercial procedures related to the call of the ship in each port, but later the navigation companies, came from local natural or legal persons to fulfill those tasks, this derived from the need to shorten the duration of the permanence of the ship in each port for economic reasons and cost savings, in the face of the complication of bureaucratic procedures to follow and as a consequence of the immense international competition for greater volume of cargo, through the connections of a well-established company in place and widely known in the domestic import and export market.
The shipping agent and undoubtedly one of the main players in international maritime traffic. Colloquially, it is well said that the shipping agent becomes the eyes and ears of the company that owns, assembles, shipping or operates, in the work carried out by its ships in the different ports of the world.
In Mexico, without a doubt, the Mexican Association of Shipping Agents AC-AMANAC stands out, brilliantly chaired by Norma Becerra and directed by Miguel Ángel Andrade, who is wearing long tablecloths celebrating thirty-five years of its foundation. Our congratulations and long life go to the Association. From AMANAC’s own gazette, we take the following data on the movement of the main cargo, non-oil, in the month of June 2022 in Mexican ports:
- General Cargo Movement: 25.040968 tons.
- Containers: 699,275 (yours).
- Cars: 146,799.
And in all these operations we always find the presence of a shipping agent, which Mexican maritime law grants the legal status of commercial commission agent, distinguishing between shipping agent, ship consignee agent and protective shipping agent.
“He who rules the sea rules the trade, who rules the trade rules the world,” said Sir Walter Raleigh.
*Juan Carlos Merodio López-Member is head of the International Martimé Committee.
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