Leveraging Technology to Introduce Transparency in a Shipping Agent

Shipping offers a lifeline to global trade and stays crucial to the economy around the globe. Despite the fast tech advancements changing the corporate scene in the past twenty years, the connection between operators, charterers, vessel owners, and shipping agencies has undergone a little transformation. For starters, this relationship is as crucial as it has ever been.

A shipping agent is vital when protecting and looking after arranging and primary services when the vessels are in the ports worldwide. Next, agents source and procure services on behalf of the principal, leading to strained relationships when there is a lack of transparency and insufficient information.

Vital Business Decisions

The increasing cost pressures in shipping since the financial problems have placed additional strain on relations. There are reduced fees used by an agent, heightening the dependence on other revenue streams like discounts from vendors or volume commissions. It has only acted to increase the mistrust of agents by principals, leading to a fee reduction even further in the coming negotiations. ISS CEO Frank Olsen remarked that vessel operators have a hard time getting an excellent overview of the happenings in the local port at any particular time and depend on the shipping agent to help them in the port.

Consequently, crucial corporate decisions are assumed, depending on the data given by an agent. He further remarked that there is a background mistrust from a transactional viewpoint, and the business nature aggravates it.

Understanding the Port

The principal is quite far off from the port and depends wholly on the passion, willingness, and ability to communicate accurately and timely with the port’s call progress. ISS CEO Frank Olsen remarked that the core and consistent factor is information, mainly in the port. You must be aware of what is going on at the different port call stages.

This is vital when making decisions to reduce your prices, save time, change plans, or do something else to boost your business and that of your clients. If you lack transparency throughout the financial and physical operation process, you remain unsure about the process or enhance your decision making.

Choosing a Shipping Agent

Historically, choosing a shipping agent is based on relationships and local reputations, instead of any international criteria. However, during the past two decades, compliance and governance have been more crucial to major shipping firms, with submission from agents with laws often swinging choices. Agents with an international scale could provide an improved value proposition. Although such scale and compliance layers are growing significantly, tech is made to fuel the highest distinction among agents since it offers principals with unparalleled transparency throughout their shipping operations.

Currently, Inchcape Shipping Services is stretching Optic, which is its operating system that takes the lead in the industry. It captures every financial, event, and time information from every port. Optic enables access to owners with the data in real-time through their tablet or smartphone, business resource planning system, or web-dependent dashboard. According to ISS CEO Frank Olsen, you can gauge what is happening with your vessels as accurately and correctly as possible.

If you are solely interested in certain factors throughout a broader fleet or specific locations, you can get the specifics by vessel, port call, or increased aggregation level. It is a widely real-time detail level of what is happening with your properties and your cargo at a specific moment in a given geography.

Final Thought

Through capturing information from over 70,000 port calls globally every year, Inchcape Shipping Services can benchmark costs, operations, and performance parameters. It allows principals to maximize their fleet usage and decrease associated port prices.