Ship Store - Total Care for the crew & the vessel

Traditional ships had several compartments for the passengers, for the crew, for ship movement control, etc. One of the essential sections was the storage where a variety of items including food and technical equipment was kept. Ship store systems or the contract agents known as chandlers provide mainly catering items, medicines and chemicals and other maintenance equipment from every harbor reached by the ships.

As the ships were under constant movement from one port to another, enough material to meet the ship's supply for long periods had to be stored. The ship store is also known by another name - chandlery. The items stored in the old ships included oils and fats such as linseed oil, whale oil, tallow, lard and other resinous items like tar, pitch, turpentine, varnish, etc. Regularly required maintenance hardware accessories such as hemp, oakum, rope and cordage are also stocked. Tools and tackles such as hatchet, hammer, chisel, axe, planes, nails, spike, boat hook , caulking iron, hand pump, marlinspike, general maintenance items like brooms, mops, galley supplies, leather goods and paper.

In the recent times, fuel-powered commercial ships such as oil tankers, containers, and bulk carriers operate in the sea. However, the basic function of ship supply and storage has not changed - taking care of the ship's smooth movement as per schedule and the needs of its crew. The chandlers were in charge of ship supply.

Material Procurement process

A list of the items necessary for a ship's long voyage schedule are is prepared and ordered by the ship store to the management. All the ordered items are reviewed and then sent to the suppliers (chandlers). The chandlers go through the requirement and prepare quotations to be given to the ship's management, including the ship store administrator. All the quotations are compared and the best one is selected based on the criteria set by the management. Then, aclear order is placed on the chosen chandler with all details including delivery schedule.

Advantages of ordering through chandlers

Being situated in the ship and constantly on the move, the ship's crew may not have the time and resources to go to every port or town in search of the large volumes of different material: by procurement through a chandler, they can save time, distance and travel and transporting the goods. Also, as they keep flitting one port to another, the local currencies will be different; the difficulty of dealing with different currencies is overcome by using the services of a chandler. In a typical financial transaction, the ship's owner has a line of credit with the chandler and billed regularly as per the delivery details.

Positive factors of the ship store chandler procurement

In general, the orders are placed under severe constraints on time and quality. It is up to the chandler to make efforts to meet them. With their quality operation systems, most of the chandlers have procured ISO certification on Food Safety Management Standards. They also possess DNV certification. The chandlers endorse HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) towards ensuring safe and hazard-free food products. The hall marks of their services on are: availability (24 x 7), dealing only with branded products, large network covering several ports, rich experience, and adherence to stringent delivery schedules.

Details of material stored

A variety of items needed to be kept in the Marine Stores. The list of items can be classified under different categories. The first category represented all the tools and tackles or technical equipment required for the ship's maintenance.

Tools & tackles

Marine engineer's tools such as hammer & nails, bolts, nuts & screws, caulking iron, hand pump, etc ., valves, pipes, packing, jointing, bearings, etc were other equipment. Also, fenders for ports with open sea loading and unloading. Variety of lubrication agents such as rosin, turpentine, tar, pitch, linseed oil, whale oil, tallow, lard, varnish were also stored. Material for tugging and pulling such as twine, rope and cordage, hemp, oakum were included. Paints and painting equipment, a wide assortment of wire were also stored as part of technical equipment. Boilers and associated spares were also supplied and stored. Oil resisting material and heat resisting material were also included. Insulating material, and electrical equipment to take care of the electrical maintenance such as cables, wires, lamps/bulbs and fuses were stored. Life saving equipment formed a part of the storage. Deck filling accessories were procured and kept. Fire protection equipment formed a critical storage requirement. Welding equipment was kept ready to tackle any emergency requirement. Wire slings, lifting & rigging hardware items, wire rope & chain slings are also supplied

Food items

Non-vegetarian items such as beef meat, pork meat, minced meat, lamb/mutton meat, veal meat, offals, poultry, sausages, canned meat, fishes and fillets, smoked and salted fishes, shell fishes, canned fishes, sauces were stocked.

Bonded store items such as cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, gin, whisky, rum, brandy, cognac, vodka, liquor, wine, beer, and soft drinks are also part of the food for the ship supply.

Vegetarian items such as dairy products, oils and fats, flour products, sugar, breakfast cereals, breads and rolls, sweet and cakes, coffee, cocoa, tea, fruit juices, soft drinks, canned fruits, fruits dried and nuts, frozen fruits, ice cream, frozen vegetables, canned vegetables, dried vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and seasonings were stocked.

Chemical items

All important chemicals required for the ship's upkeep and smooth running were procured from ship chemical suppliers, generally, the chandlers. These include membrane cleaners, carbon removers, penetrol, Metal Brite, discleaners, fuel additives, other additives, sludge breakers, powder/stock sticks, Uniwash, Ecofriend, Rosuds, Fore & Aft, etc.


Items such as stationery and office equipment and hygiene products are also stored.

Ship Maintenance services

Chandlers offer to undertake hull inspection, assessment, propeller work, shaft cleaning, sea chest valve cleaning and even photography. They undertake sewage treatment, oil-water separator, Main/Auxiliary engine maintenance, turbochargers, and air compressors oil purifiers: they have ready stock of the spares required on this front. They also undertake barnical sea growth cleaning with highly qualified scuba divers and provide underwater photographs as well as video-graph.

Other services offered include annual life raft servicing with any sort of classification and survey attached picture after completion of boxing up.