The maritime industry is a wide ranging and unique industry where one business discipline can cover so many different sectors. Realistically, a Ship Owner and Operator cannot be expected to be an expert in accountancy, technology, Law, human resources, communication, marketing and engineering, which are just a handful of the sectors that his/her business will straddle. Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of Consultants, who specialise in one area and can advise the ship owner or other shipping business. Normally employed by an independent consultancy firm or as a sole trader, these consultants offer a deeper level of expertise than it would be feasible to retain in-house, especially if the speciality is needed comparatively rarely. As in other industries, the specialist consultant offers professional advice or service, for a fee. Larger consultancy firms usually cover a wide range of sectors within the industry. As examples, consultancy services offered could include advice on engineering, design and implementation, marine warranty surveys and software, port layout.