The stock concept within the
shipping industry will vary from ship to ship, and company to company. It will
be affected by factors such as; ship type, current legislation, and ship
owner’s preference among other things. The general stock concept is similar to
an expenses system utilising accumulated or pre-paid expenses, due to the fact
that unused stock can be though of as a pre-paid expense.
Any unused consumables in
stock (spare parts etc.) can be thought of as credit, so long as they remain unused.
This is due to the fact that they are already in place and have been paid for
during the accounting period, meaning that at the start of the next period they
are still in place ready to use but will incur no additional charges. This is
different to crewing and repair costs; once they have been paid for work
carried out the cost cannot be retrieved. This leads to careful consideration
of when to take on stock, as inclusion in the ongoing accounting period would
lead to the appearance of high costs; especially if a ship had taken stores
just before the end of the previous accounting period.
In businesses which have large
stocks of materials such as the shipping industry, it is important to keep a clear
record of all unused stocks on ship as well as carrying out regular reporting on
the unused stock so that its value may be accurately calculated. This is especially
important with stock that’s value may fluctuate over longer periods of time, such
as lubricating and fuel oil.
In the case of companies that operate
large groups of sister ships it is common to keep the majority of spare stock ashore
in warehouses at hub locations, from which the stock can be easily accessed by the
ship if, and when required. Whereas essential spares required for the day to day
operations of the ship, or in case emergency repairs are required are more commonly
kept onboard the ship itself. A good level of reporting must be kept on these stocks,
so that all concerned are aware of consumption and when re ordering may be required.