Who enforces safety at the ports?

Whether you call them a harbour master or a harbormaster (both names are accurate in spelling and one in the same), you must understand the important role they play in maritime shipping. The harbour master is perhaps one of the most important individuals at the port. As the person in charge of overseeing the port, the harbour master enforces all of the rules, regulations and laws at the port. Among their duties, the harbour master conducts inspections of containers and vessels at the port to ensure that all rules are being properly kept.

On safety and security issues at the ports, the harbour master remains the first line of defense. After first investigating criminal activities at the port, the harbour master might hand the investigations to law enforcement officials. For those who ship ocean freight containers, the harbour master also ensures safety at the ports during the loading and unloading of freight. He is also responsible for providing security at the ports to limit theft of freight. And the harbour master monitors any pollution issues at the ports as well. Thus, when it comes to ensuring the safety of cargo at the ports, the harbour master plays a crucial role that all shippers should recognize.

Many of these individuals belong to a trade group known as the International Harbour Masters Association. The IHMA unites these workers and promotes the safety and efficiency of ports all around the World. It was founded in 1936 and there are currently 200 members who are citizens in over 40 nations.