At times, those of you involved in container shipping might have come across the terminology co-loader.. You might have come across this mostly only when there is a problem taking your container in/out from the port..
A co-loader is a shipping line that has loading and discharging rights on vessels that are NOT operated by them and they get this right from the carrier/operator of the vessel by paying for slots on board that particular vessel.. This is different from a consortium or vessel sharing agreement..
The operator of the vessel submits a list of co-loaders to the port/customs.. Only if this done, the port will allow containers belonging to the co-loader to be taken out or brought into the port under their own harbour account.. Based on this nomination, the co-loader gets their own loading and discharging lists from the port/vessel operator and the terminal handling charges, port storage charges, and any other container related charge incurred at the port are invoiced to the co-loaders directly by the port.. They generally have their own agents/offices at the various ports of call..
The vessel operations at port, planning, stowage etc however, are controlled by the vessel operator..
As an example – Hugo Stinnes Schiffahrt and Hapag Lloyd are nominated co-loaders on the MSC service from/to South Africa/Europe.. MSC nominates Hugo Stinnes and Hapag Lloyd as co-loaders with port and customs..