one time there would have been around twenty shipping agents operating
in the Port of Swansea – some of them now almost forgotten, such as
Henry Bath, F H Tucker, T R W Mason, Richards Turpin, Simpson Bros.,
Coast Lines, Ambrose Davies & Matthews and Strick Gorchs. Others
remembered from the more recent past include Burgess & Co., T H Couch,
Bethell Gwyn (later Escombe/Inchcape), Cory Bros., Stockwood Rees, C
Shaw Lovell, Stone & Rolfe, Sir James German and Adolf Nielsen.
role of the shipping agent was – and still is – very extensive,
involving liaison with the port authority, the ship’s Master, the
importer or exporter of the cargo, and the owner or charterer of the
vessel, on all aspects of the ship’s visit to port. This includes
arrangements for locking in and out of the dock, berthing the ship,
delivery and shipment of cargo, and attending to such matters as
bunkering, watering, stores and provisions, spare parts, repairs and dry
docking, etc. The agent is also responsible for paying all the bills
associated with the ship’s visit, including locking fees, wharfage, dock
dues, towage and pilotage charges.
old advertisements for various shipping agents at Swansea over the years
are shown below.