For every mariner aboard ship, there are as many as three to four people working ashore in supporting roles.
Shipping companies employ a shore-based staff to efficiently operate, manage and maintain their fleet. The functions include commercial operations, organizing insurance, purchasing stores, technical maintenance, as well as crewing the ships. Additional support is provided by financial and administrative staff who provide regular financial and technical reports on the ships being operated.
In government organizations, such as the Canadian Coast Guard, professionals working in similar fields — operations, technical and administration — play a vital role in keeping the vessels moving and the women and men crewing them safe.