One of the many widely-accepted falsehoods about the maritime industry is that one can only work in the industry if willing to spend years aboard a ship without any communication or access to the outside world. While this may have been true at a time long past, this is no longer true even for ship crew. The shipping industry is unique in that it allows you to pursue a career in the maritime industry without ever having to set foot on a ship, if that is your preference. Key players in the shipping industry include, not only ship crew, but also associates who ensure that everything goes according to plan shoreside.
Documentation officers are one of these associates who play an important role in the smooth functioning of shipping operations without having to work onboard a ship. Onshore shipping offices keep track of documents vital to operational activities in a shipping company. Documentation officers within the onshore operations are responsible for ensuring that the inward and outward documentations for cargo are accurate and comply with respective customs and immigration procedures.
Documentation officers are knowledgeable about the latest regulations of various countries and ports relevant to documentation. They are master multitaskers who deal with clients, both local and overseas to ensure the movement of freight without any hiccups.
It is a job that requires one to perform a widely-varied array of tasks which require practical knowledge and problem-solving skills. The Documentation Officer is responsible for; the proper handling of customs and port documentation; handling of delivery orders; release of cargo release notes to customers against payments of dues; ensuring proper endorsed documents; and follow up of documentation requirements with local customers as well as overseas principals.
In addition to these tasks, documentation workers must also be highly self-organised to deal with any potential issues as they are required to scrutinise shipping documents upon receipt, update the CNEE of any discrepancies, and coordinate with them for corrective measures as applicable. These are issues which could prove to be highly-expensive errors that the company would otherwise be liable for.
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When all is said and done, documentation workers must, as the name suggests, be skilled and able to work with ensuring proper documentation every step of the way for their ships. Timeliness, good customer service skills, and interest or understanding of logistics or administrative tasks is ideal for this job. If this sounds like something that you would build a career in, good news! Maldives State Shipping (MSS) now offers onshore documentation jobs to fresh graduates who complete their O’levels. These offers come with competitive salaries and training to grant in-depth knowledge into the fast-growing industry and pave your way towards a fulfilling maritime career.