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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

ShipTrails™ is an online Chartering and Sale & Purchase (SnP) marketplace, offering brokerage free automated “click & match” platform; developed to simplify ship tracking requirements for SnP and Chartering transactions. Superior technology and complex algorithms yet simple user interface make ShipTrails™ a useful tool for everyone – whether a ship provider, a ship seeker or a broker.

Ship providers can post the details about available ships and can leverage technology to make their ships visible to a larger client base, ensuring faster conversions. Similarly, ship seekers can post about their requirements to search the availability of required tonnage to plan their business & transportation in an efficient way. Using ShipTrails™, one can save time and efforts in finding a right match. Brokers have special benefits with ShipTrails™ as the platform instantly connects them with other brokers worldwide. Brokers can also generate new business leads using ShipTrails™ platform. They can connect directly with ship providers and ship seekers who would need brokers’ specialised services such as market knowledge, negotiation techniques and their expertise to draft and finalise the contract (Sale Contract or the Charter Party).

ShipTrails™ is developed by people having extensive experience in the shipping industry and who understand the associated problems. ShipTrails™ is designed in such a way that users have a simple and rewarding experience so that they can get most out of it. There are two ways you can use ShipTrails™ to macth your business interest.


Easiest and fastest way is to use the "Search A Ship" function on ShipTrails™ Homepage. Select the most appropriate criteria for your requirement(s) and click on the "Search" button. Leave the toughest job of shortlisting the relevant results to ShipTrails™, while you take care of other important activities in life.


If you think your matching interest is not available through Search function or simply want to let the world know about your business interest, registered members can post the details about their requirement / availability by creating a Posting, following the simple steps mentioned below:

Step 1 : Login into your ShipTrails™ account.

Step 2 : Choose one of the following 'Create Posting' blank forms according to your business interest:

  • Ship Available For Sale, or
  • Ship Required For Purchase, or
  • Ship Available For Charter, or
  • Ship Required For Charter.

Step 3 : Fill up the relevant information in order to enable others to know your interest / requirement.

Step 4 : Select whether you wish to publish your contact details for any registered member to see OR you wish to get contacted only through TrailPost™. This is to let you decide yourself as to who should have your contact details.

Step 5 : Click on “Submit” button to Create Posting i.e. to register your interest.

Step 6 : Go to 'My Active Postings' under 'My Dashboard' and select the relevant created Posting. Click on "View match results' to see the most relevant search results from ShipTrails™ database, which match your requirement.

Step 7 : Select the relevant matched result(s) and contact through a medium, preferred by the Posting owner. DONE!

Based on their core business activity, ShipTrails™ Users are divided among three categories – namely the Ship Provider, the Ship Seeker and the Brokers.

The Ship Provider category refers to the people and companies who have legal authority to provide their ships for various purposes such as to sell or to offer their ships on charter. This category may include the Ship Owners, Bareboat Charterers, Time Charterers, Financial Institutions, Ship Builders, Third Party Ship Managers etc.

The Ship Seeker category refers to the people and companies who are legitimately looking to purchase or charter a ship for various purposes. This category may include the Ship Owners, Bareboat Charterers, Time Charterers, Financial Institutions, Third Party Ship Managers, Cargo Owners etc.

The Broker category refers to the individuals and companies, having specialized expertise to work on behalf of their principals - either Ship Providers or Ship Seekers. Brokers have legal authority to represent and assist their principals to conduct the business activities such as to sell or purchase a vessel or offer tonnage or offer cargo on behalf of the principals.

Successful submission of any of the duly filled 'Create Posting' forms (as metioned above in Step 2 of 'How does ShipTrails™ work?') creates a Posting on ShipTrails™. Any user can create the Posting by submitting required details about his / her interest such as Sale & Purchase (SnP) or Charter a ship. Each of these Postings is saved in ShipTrails™ database as an exclusive entry and is assigned a unique Posting ID, which can be referred when required.

All the Postings go live (visible to other users) immediately after successful submission except for “Ship Available For Sale” Postings, which require to go through our verification process and same shall go live only after a successful verification check. In case of any problem or a correction required, ShipTrails™ Team would intimate the Posting owner through email. Please note this verification check is limited to verifying the non-relevant images (if any) uploaded by the Posting owner.

Members have options to either ‘Archive’ or ‘Edit’ their Postings. Archive option may be used in case the business is fixed and/or user no longer wants to keep the Posting active. Archived Postings shall not be accessible to other ShipTrails™ users and shall not be visible on the Homepage.

Edit option is for obvious use of modifying details about an earlier created Posting. However please note - submitting the modified details of a Posting shall archive the original Posting under ‘My Archived Postings’ section in Member’s Dashboard and a new Posting shall be created of the modified details with new Posting ID, new Posting Date etc. This is also beneficial in case Member wishes to use most of the data of an earlier Posting to create a new Posting.

A Posting is automatically archived after 60 days of ‘Posting Date’ for Sale and Purchase related activities. However, for Chartering related activities, the Posting gets auto archived 30 days after the date selected in sub-section “To Date” of the section “Date Available” or “LayCan” as the case may be. Auto archiving can be avoided by the user, using “Edit Posting” option for the Postings (in this case, as mentioned above, the older Posting shall move into / remain in the ‘My Archived Postings’ section but edited details shall be posted as a new Posting).

Any Posting(s), created by a Member are not visible on logged-in Member’s Homepage to avoid appearance of the own Posting(s) in search results. However, the Member can access own Posting(s) in ‘My Active Postings’ under their 'My Dashboard' menu.

A Member can use the Search function, conveniently placed at ShipTrails™ Homepage for a quick search. In case the Member wishes to place the requirement on ShipTrails™ database, so that other users can access it; the Member can create a relevant Posting after logging in into ShipTrails™ account. After creating the Posting, the Member can access it in ‘My Active Postings’ under their 'My Dashboard' menu. Here, the Member can click on ‘View match results’ to view all the relevant Postings of other ShipTrails™ Members, which match their requirement(s).

Members can access own Posting(s) in ‘My Active Postings’ section under their Dashboard menu. Click on ‘View Posting’ and then ‘Edit Posting’ to edit content of the Posting. However please note - Submitting the modified details of a Posting shall archive the original Posting under ‘My Archived Postings’ section in Member’s Dashboard and a new Posting shall be created of the modified details with new Posting ID, new Posting Date etc. This is also beneficial in case Member wishes to use most of the data of an earlier Posting to create a new Posting.

Members can also edit their archived Postings by accessing ‘My Archived Postings’ section under their Dashboard menu. Submitting the modified details of a Posting shall create a new Posting with new Posting ID, new Posting Date etc. and the original Posting shall remain in ‘My Archived Postings’ section in the Member’s Dashboard.

We (ShipTrails™) have created some Demo Postings, using the data for imaginary demo vessels and demo requirements. These Postings are not the actual enquiries and/or requirements; instead they are created only to guide the new Users of ShipTrails™ of the various aspects related to the usage of our website. Please note that any attempt(s) to contact (through email or TrailPost™) with the Demo Posting Owner are not monitored and shall not be replied to. Over time, these Demo Postings shall be phased out of the system.

When a user subscribes to a specific membership Plan, the user is entitled to avail certain number of Trails™ as per the selected Plan. Trails™ are the number of detailed Postings (of other users) which can be accessed by the subscriber during the subscription period; including access to the options to contact the Posting owner.

Any Member can freely view most details of a Posting to evaluate the preliminary compatibility of its own requirements. Additional details about the Posting, including the contact options (either by (i) viewing direct contact details, in case respective poster has authorized ShipTrails™ to show such information during creation of the Posting or (ii) messaging other members through TrailPost™) can only be availed by consuming Trails™ from the assigned limit.

For example – A user who subscribes to the Prime plan can avail a total of 150 Trails™ for 3 months with a daily usage restriction of 5 Trails™. It means that the user shall be able to see 150 detailed Postings in 3 months period with a daily restriction to view 5 detailed Postings.

Please note:

1. Repetitive view of contact details or contacting through TrailPost™ for the same Posting, within current subscription period (Daily, Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly – as the case may be) shall NOT constitute to consumption of the additional Trails™.

2. Trails™ cannot be accumulated or carried forward which means that unused Trails™ shall expire at the end of subscription period.

3. Creating and/or editing a Posting on ShipTrails™ does NOT consume any Trails™.

ShipTrails™ respects the privacy of all its users and thus provides effective tools to implement the same. We provide all our registered members - an inbuilt messaging facility that can be used to contact other members using ShipTrails™ platform. This messaging facility is referred to as TrailPost™.

When members create the Postings, they get an option to choose whether they would like to publish their contact details to be seen by any user who is authorised to access their Postings or they would like to get contacted through TrailPost™ only. This way, the Posting owner has an option to establish contacts only with selected users, who have contacted them through TrailPost™ without publicly publishing their contact details.

There are different subscription Plans available to suit variety of requirements of the users. These Plans can be found in our Plans section (Go To Plans).

A subscriber of a paid Plan (except for Day Plan) may cancel the subscription within 24 (Twenty Four) hours of making a payment to receive a refund; provided the subscriber has not consumed any Trails™ which were made available after the purchase of Plan. For any Plan subscribed, 25% of the paid amount would be towards the activation & administration charges (non-refundable) and the rest 75% would be refunded if subscriber has requested to cancel the subscription meeting mentioned criteria. There are no refunds, pro-rated or otherwise, after 24 hours or, in case the subscriber has consumed any Trails™, within 24 hours of making payment.

All the payments made on ShipTrails™ except in the manner mentioned above are non-refundable and any amount paid shall stand appropriated. Payment made for subscription of Day Plan is non-refundable. More about our Refund policy can be found in ShipTrails™ Terms of Use.

To cancel your subscription and claim the refund (within above mentioned guidelines), please drop us an email at with Subject – “Subscription Cancellation”; furnishing the payment details such as screenshot of the payment made or payment receipt, received on your registered email.

At anytime, a member is at liberty to either -

  • change the subscription to another Plan or
  • renew the subscription of ongoing Plan;

regardless of whether the subscription period for the ongoing Plan has come to an end or not. Please note, this shall cancel all the benefits of ongoing Plan (including, but not limited to unused Trails™, if any) and new Plan’s features & validity shall be applicable with immediate effect. Due to this change and/or renewal in Plan, there shall be no refund, either full or pro-rated, of the fees paid for the ongoing Plan.

When a member has exhausted the daily / monthly / quarterly / yearly limits of Trails™; additional Trails™ can be availed by purchasing a Day Plan which has a validity of one day. Please note that validity of the Day Plan shall expire at 11:59:59 PM UTC on the day of purchase.

Members are requested to avail Day Plan only after exhausting the Daily limit of Trails™ available with their existing regular Plan. This is because – Day Plan, once subscribed, supersedes the regular Plan and Members shall not be able to use benefits of existing regular Plan until the expiry of the Day Plan.

Each blog is assigned a “Subject Rating” as Elementary, Intermediate or Advanced.


Articles rated as “Elementary” may be comprehended by the readers who may have no exposure in the shipping related subject area, and hence we strive to keep shipping related vocabulary to a minimum in such articles. Shipping subject related words are properly defined when used in the articles and new concepts may rely heavily on pictures or illustrations to aid comprehension.


Articles rated as “Intermediate” may be comprehended by the readers with limited exposure in the shipping related subject area. Certain shipping related vocabulary is often not explained, and same is considered to be understood from the context and usage. We strive to explain the subject-specific jargons, which may otherwise be understood by only experienced shipping professionals.


Articles rated as “Advanced” are intended for readers with more shipping background knowledge and understanding of more specialized vocabulary than is common for intermediate readers. Some subject-specific jargons are likely to be used in the articles without explanation.