The mooring service is one of the technical-nautical services ancillary to navigation, along with pilotage and towage, provided to ships to guarantee their safe transit, manoeuvring and layover in ports. Therefore, this service is in the interest of both the ship user and the port community and, more generally, of society as a whole.

It is primarily established as a provider of a public service of general economic interest.
Boatmen professionally berth the incoming ship to wharves, piers or buoys, secure the vessel to the moorings, monitor the situation to ensure that the moored ship will be safe throughout its stay, take action if the need arises or during an emergency and cooperate with the ship’s crew during the departing ship’s unmooring operations, releasing the vessel from its moorings and waiting for it to move safely away from port waters and has taken to sea.
The main purpose of the Technical-nautical services is to satisfy the needs of public interest such as, first and foremost, that of guaranteeing safety of navigation in ports and in adjacent waters, and therefore the safety of ships, port infrastructures, persons and the environment. This is clearly stated in order no. 75/2006 of the Port of Ravenna Harbourmaster’s Office which specifies, among other things, that:
Considering the general public service obligations (continuity and universality on the basis of an organisational model consistent with maritime/port safety in accordance with the agreement by the Maritime and Port Authority) and the specific ones that the Group must comply with, such as:

  1. Control and action on mooring ships in the port in case weather-sea conditions should change and for any other sudden or extraordinary event that puts them at risk;
  2. Assistance or Rescue services to ships and persons under dangerous conditions in port waters and in those adjacent to them;
  3. Recovery of floating objects hazardous to navigation.”