In an ideal situation the Operations Department should have the opportunity of contacting the agents while the employment is under negotiation and before it is fixed – unfortunately this is not always possible. At the same time the Operations Department should liaise with the appropriate departments within the ship management company to ensure that: The crew mail is despatched to the ship by the most expeditious means, always providing time permits. Any spares ordered and awaiting despatch are sent to the ship, again always provided time permits. Any crew changes are organised well in advance. All arrangements for classification surveys and renewal of certificates are made if required and appropriate. Arrangements are made for stores and lubricants to be put on board, if needed. The Master advises how much cash he needs for advances to the crew. It is customary for members of the crew to draw part of the wages due to them in the currency of the country at which the ship is calling so that they have money to spend on shore leave. Once the vessel has arrived at the loading port the Operations Department will keep in close touch with the agents to ensure: That the notice of readiness has been tendered and accepted. That the loading operations are proceeding as fast as practical. That all the Master’s requirements are being properly and expeditiously met and that any spares, etc. sent from elsewhere have been collected and put on board the vessel. That an appropriate sum has been remitted to the Agents to cover the disbursements for which the owner is responsible and the Master’s cash advance requirements, if any. That the Agents understand and will comply with any instructions which the Shipowner/Manager might have concerning Bills of Lading. Once the ship has sailed, the Operations Department who will repeat all these procedures for the discharging operations. In the case of a time charter the procedures will differ slightly from those for a voyage charter described above.