supercargo n : an officer on a merchant ship in charge of the cargo and its sale and purchase [also: supercargoes (pl)]
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 HistoryIn 1818, Jean Laffite appointed Jao de la Porta supercargo for the Karankawa Indian trade. http://beta.traveltex.com/tx_cul_je.asp?SN=1904746&LS=0
- Supercargo is a character in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. He is described as a large African-American male who works as an orderly. Supercargo watches over African American World War I veterans who were traumatized by the stresses of war.
- In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Long John Silver refers to the main character as having 'slept like a supercargo.'
- In Alexandre Dumas, père's The Count of Monte Cristo, Danglars is supercargo of the ship of which Edmond becomes captain.
supercargo in Danish: Supercargo
supercargo in German: Supercargo
supercargo in French: Subrécargue
supercargo in Dutch: Supercargo
supercargo in Swedish: Superkargör