AskDefine | Define supercargo

Dictionary Definition

supercargo n : an officer on a merchant ship in charge of the cargo and its sale and purchase [also: supercargoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. extra, additional, in addition to the normal. Especially on a ship filling a crew position that is normally not used on such a voyage.

Extensive Definition

Supercargo is a term in maritime law (adapted from the Spanish sobrecargo, one over or in charge of a cargo) that refers to a person employed on board a vessel by the owner of cargo carried on the ship. The duties of a supercargo include managing the cargo owner's trade, selling the merchandise at the ports to which the vessel is sailing, and buying and receiving goods to be carried on the return voyage.
He or she has control of the cargo unless limited by his contract or other agreement. Because a supercargo sails from port to port with the vessel to which he is attached, he differs from a factor, who has a fixed place of residence at a port or other trading place.

Supercargo in History

In 1818, Jean Laffite appointed Jao de la Porta supercargo for the Karankawa Indian trade.

In literature

supercargo in Danish: Supercargo
supercargo in German: Supercargo
supercargo in French: Subrécargue
supercargo in Dutch: Supercargo
supercargo in Swedish: Superkargör
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