All ships are owned by someone, managed by someone, operated by someone, crewed by someone, registered somewhere and carry cargo for someone. It is the responsibility of a ship management company to ensure that all these responsibilities are managed properly. The company operates the vessel on behalf of the owner and provides shipping services to those seeking them. They are also typically in charge of crewing vessels.

Maritime experience is not essential for all roles within a ship management company however for particular roles sea going experience is required or advantageous. For roles where seafaring experience is required, the company tends to recruit seafarers who wish to find employment on land rather than going to sea. There are a number of job roles within Ship Management and companies may call them by different titles, but some are included on this map.