Wilhelmsen Ships Service measures success of re-defining traditional ships agency business
Sep. 7, 2010 - Just three months after launching its revolutionary new way of handling ships agency, termed "Ships Agency Re-Defined", Wilhelmsen Ships Service has already secured a number of contracts to provide husbandry services using this globally coordinated approach. Companies including K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Ltd are taking advantage of the standardisation of pricing, service, administration and supply throughout the world, which results in simplified multiple port calls for the customer ‘Ships Agency Re-Defined' expects to reduce administrative and operational tasks for customers and improve their efficiency.
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 approximately 85% of port calls are dealt with by 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, to multiple agents in different ports. Cost control is also hampered by fluctuating prices and unclear deliverables.
Wilhelmsen Ships Service has concentrated on simplifying the process for international customers no matter where their port call is. By having a more standardised 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.
"We have already seen considerable interest in our Ships Agency Re-Defined offer, comments David Tandy, President of Wilhelmsen Ships Services. "Early indications show that our customers are able to streamline their operations and improve operational efficiency".