HomeEducationWhat is a Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) in shipping..??

What is a Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) in shipping..??

VSA stands for a Vessel Sharing Agreement..

A vessel sharing agreement is usually reached between various container shipping lines who agree to operate a liner service along a specified route using a specified number of vessels..

It is not necessary for each of the partners to have equal number of vessels.. The space that is available for loading and discharging at each of the ports of call is shared between the partners..

The quantum of space that each partner gets may vary from port to port and could depend on the number of vessels which are operated or placed by the different partners within the agreement..

Vessel Sharing Agreement

A vessel sharing agreement is slightly different to that of an alliance in that, a vessel sharing agreement is usually dedicated to a certain trade route with terms and conditions specific to that route, whereas an alliance is more global in nature and could include many different trade routes usually under the same terms..

Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiarhttps://www.shippingandfreightresource.com
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Dear Mr Hariesh

    vsa and slot charter . who organize it , the head office of liner or liner agent in anywhere in the world ?


  2. Dear Hariesh Manaadiar, i’ ve read this sentence “The space that is available for loading and discharging at each of the ports of call is shared between the partners.”, and i’m not sure i fully understand its meaning. Is that mean, when 2 Line companies, which are partners signing VSA, have ships going to a same port, at the same time, they will be equally treated in terms of wharf area for mooring, facilities for production, etc??

    Thank you for your reply!

    • Hello Dang, in a VSA, you will generally NOT get two vsls on the same service calling the same port at the same time.. However, in some cases it is possible due to vessel bunching and delays at a certain port.. If such case happens, depending on the port, the berthing will be arranged..

  3. Would appreciate more info on this topic:
    1. is VSA same as Slot Charter?
    2. how are the financial agreements between various entities operating under a VSA?
    3. How is a situation handled when any of the operators does not have bookings equal to his slot share or has more bookings vis a vis his slot share?

    • VSA is not same as Slot Charter. Slot Charter is when a shipping company buys certain number of slots from a carrier. VSA is when carriers in a consortium share their slots in the proportion of capacity contributed by each one. When any of the consortium member wants more than its contribution then it can go for additional slot buying.


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