Indian coal importers to benefit from Wilhelmsen Ships Service's Ships Agency Re-defined concept
With an estimated 142 mt shortfall in coal imports predicted in India in 2011-13, bulk shipping companies are planning a massive increase in their capacity to deliver to Indian ports. As the volumes increase, the opportunities for savings in bulk agency also increase, and Wilhelmsen Ships Service's redefined bulk agency is improving efficiency by simplifying the way multiple port calls are managed.
Wilhelmsen Ships Service recently re-defined the way it manages its international agency operations, providing an upgraded service to bulk customers. As part of the ‘Ships Agency Re-defined' strategy, which was launched last year, all agents' operations now provide a standardised offer in 2,200 ports worldwide.
‘Ships Agency Re-Defined' takes advantage of Wilhelmsen Ships Service's unmatched global network. The company realized that customers need agency support in only two ends: where their head offices are located, and in the ports where their vessels call. Dry bulk operators can have all their port calls in India (and worldwide) managed by one experienced Global Agent working in the customer's location and coordinating all the port calls for that customer. This gives customers the benefits of someone who speaks their language and works in the same time zone.
India is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the coal space. It has replaced Europe as the main consumer of Richards Bay coal with its increasing demand for Indonesian coal and with huge power projects in the pipeline. Wilhelmsen Ships Service is well placed to offer key agency and product solutions for the key stakeholders in the coal supply chain whether owners, brokers or charterers, through its global network which includes a pan-Indian presence with own office locations spanning both East and West coast India, Indonesia, South Africa and Australia.
"The market has welcomed our new approach to ships agency, which we believe will considerably simplify port call operations for bulk operators," comments Frederic Fontarosa, Business Director Ships Agency and Bunkers.
The customer notifies Wilhelmsen Ships Service's Global Agent of expected port calls, who handles the pre-arrival and post-departure phases, developing a closer relationship with the customer and a better understanding of their special needs and preferences, including from a local perspective. The Global Agent also has access to a team of dry bulk specialists based in major dry bulk markets. The Global Agents, port agents and dry bulk specialists team up to ensure the specific needs of dry bulk operators are met, in any port worldwide. The customer's recurring operational requirements are also mapped and integrated into Wilhelmsen Ships Service's operational system. As a result, dry bulk operators experience a consistent high-quality service, even in new and unfamiliar ports.
Improved cost control through predictable pricing is another benefit of Wilhelmsen Ships Service's Ships Agency Re-Defined offer. Whilst the market norm is to charge a highly fluctuating lump sum agency fee, resulting in limited cost control, Wilhelmsen Ships Service has created a price list for their ships agency services, meaning that dry bulk operators know exactly what the price will be and what they are charged for.
In addition, bulk customers can follow their port calls online through a customizable portal. It gives easy access to operational details and electronic Disbursement Accounts.
As well as bulk agency Wilhelmsen Ships Service supplies Unitor marine products, technical services, ships agency services and maritime logistics.