The central unit in UNRRA for the compilation of shipping programs was the Ocean Shipping Division, established on 26 June 1944. The responsibility for all cargoes originating in the Eastern Hemisphere was vested in the European Regional Office; cargoes originating in. the Western Hemisphere were the responsibility of the Headquarters Office in Washington.
In the spring of 1945 the Ocean Shipping Division underwent a general revision. There was established the post of Deputy Director, who acted as head of the Division in the absence of the Director, and who conducted UNRRA's chartering operation; an Administrative Office was set up; the Program Officers were transferred to corresponding work in the commodity divisions: The Traffic Section was given branch status and reorganized into a Ship and Cargo Section and a Country Control Section. The Ship and Cargo Section consisted of Traffic Officers responsible for ship allocations and bookings, for livestock shipments, for cargoes originating with the War Food Administration, cargoes originating in Latin America, and for coal shipments. The Country Control Section consisted of seven units as Traffic Desks, set up by country of destination - one for Yugoslavia and Austria, the second for Greece, Dodecanese, Middle East Camps, and Ethiopia, the third for Poland, the fourth for Czechoslovakia and German DP Operations, the fifth for Italy and Albania, the sixth for the Soviet Republics and air shipments to all destinations, and the seventh for China, the Philippines and Korea
The main duties and responsibilities of the Ocean Shipping Division were to:
Plan, direct, and coordinate all of UNRRA's shipping operations.
Maintain relations with governments and commercial shipping officials to keep informed of and develop procedures with respect to obtaining shipping space etc
Propose and effectuate policies regarding transfer of title, labeling, packaging, and shipping of UNRRA supplies and relevant procedure to be followed by procurement agencies, private vendors, forwarders, and shipping representatives.
Negotiate and conclude contracts for operating services in warehouses and for chartering of vessels; arrange for movement of supplies from warehouses to vessels.
Develop, place in operation, and supervise certain special programs, such as movement of waterways craft and fishing crafts to China.
Determine required shipping space and obtain from governments or commercial shipping agencies the vessel space required; develop weekly or monthly vessel programs.
Prepare and issue forwarding orders or snipping requests to the procurement agencies, vendors, forwarding agencies, warehouses or other sources of supply.
Maintain registers of the availability, movement, loading, and shipment of supplies in each loading area.
Maintain liaison with each commodity division.
Program, supervise, and arrange for all shipments by air.
Establish and maintain running inventories which reflect at all times amounts, kinds, balances, and dollar value of commodities in UNRRA warehouses or in transit.