Wilhelmsen Ships Service re-defines traditional ships agency business
• Wilhelmsen Ships Service is revolutionising the way ships agency is handled
• A globally coordinated approach offering customers a streamlined and simplified way of handing multiple port calls
• One point of contact optimising communication flow
• One bank account for all port calls
• Efficiency, reliability and simplicity for the customer
• Largest global network of own offices
• Predictability of cost through fleet contracts
Wilhelmsen Ships Service is introducing a key new offer into its range which is set to change the way that ships agency services are provided.
Service Agreements offer the customer the ability to use the same agent in handling their multiple port calls, replacing the prevailing custom of businesses dealing with local agents using a different agent in each port. Wilhelmsen Ships Service has established this through the evolution of a sophisticated IT communication system, which the company has been able to implement as a result of its global reach and international network of offices, the largest of its kind in the world. Wilhelmsen Ships Services has 320 offices in 72 countries, servicing 2200 ports.
Today the market consists of approximately 85% of local ship agency companies. The disadvantages of dealing with a different agent at each port are clear. Defining the tasks to be done, following up to ensure requirements are met, and receiving operational and disbursement account reports in different formats for each port is a burdensome task. Instructions need to be repeated, and to multiple agents in different ports. Cost control is also limited by fluctuating prices and unclear deliverables.
Wilhelmsen Ships Service has concentrated on developing a new offer which simplifies the process for international customers no matter where their port call is. By having a more predictable and structured way of managing multiple port calls, customers will experience a predictable agency performance and less administrative work. This in turn will reduce operational and administrative costs and improve efficiency.
By entering into a Service Agreement with Wilhelmsen Ships Service the customer will have a single dedicated expert, a Global Agent, to coordinate all port calls handled by the company. This global coordination opens will streamline operations, cash transactions, documentation and communication flows.
There are big savings to be made by ship operators, managers and charterers of vessels in using the same agent in multiple ports. Dealing with one company on a worldwide basis will streamline the customer's operations and bring about economies of scale. At the same time, port operations will still be handled locally by specialists with personal knowledge of the port and fluency in the local language, who have contacts with all local service providers.
Despite the dramatic progress that has taken place in the way the world's trade has been handled over the last few decades, there have been no significant changes in the way ships agents operate until now. Wilhelmsen Ships Service's new solution is a significant new development in this sector.
Summary of the benefits of the new Service Agreement
• Consistent service level. The customer's operational needs always catered for in any of the 2 200 ports Wilhelmsen Ships Service covers.
• Improved communication, with one point of contact for all port calls worldwide working in the same time zone and speaking the same language as the customers.
• Increased efficiency in administering of port calls. One point of contact reduces the need for duplicating instructions.
• Safe and efficient cash transactions: instead of paying each port office directly, customers use a single bank account for all port calls worldwide.
• Easy access to online job information: Service Agreement customers can log onto an online portal in Virtual.Agent where they can see operational details and electronic disbursement accounts information for all port calls, as well as historical data.
• Improved cost control: a predictable pricing structure with clearly defined deliverables ensure that customers know what they are charged for and get no unpleasant surprises.
The allocated Global Agent oversees all ships agency requirements:
• The Global Agent coordinates all the customers' port calls handled by Wilhelmsen Ships Service, anywhere in the world.
• By teaming up with the port agents, the Global Agent ensures that knowledge of individual customer needs is shared across ports worldwide.
• Appointments are sent to the Global Agent who will work with our port agents to ensure that customer requirements are catered for during port operations as well as in the pre-arrival and post departure phases.
• Services delivered in port are still always executed by our experienced local port agents.
"This new offer makes the best use of our worldwide network" comments David Tandy, President of Wilhelmsen Ships Services. "We believe that this offer will help our customers streamline their operations and improve operational efficiency".
Photo: Frederic Fontarosa, Business Director Ships Agency and Bunkers, Wilhelmsen Ships Service