Port agents serve as intermediaries between ship owners, port authorities, and shippers. He must use all of his knowledge, expertise, and ability to ensure that the ship's arrival at the destination port goes smoothly and efficiently.
As long as port laws are susceptible to constant revision, a port agent's job will never be the same again, and this is true even when dealing with the same ship. For the ship and its cargo consignors to function regularly, a port agent must be prepared to deal with a wide range of scenarios and possess excellent problem-solving skills.
Port Agency or Port Agent - what's the difference!
The port shipping agency handles all port and husbandry services and the Master and crew's needs. The charterers, commonly known as Principal and the ship's owners, are represented by a shipping agency or agent in port. The port agent's responsibilities include:
- Completing relevent documentation.
- Releasing or accepting items on behalf of the Principal.
- Clearing the ship with the port and other authorities.
Qualities of a good Port Agent:
For Port Agency Services, the primary source of revenue is the arrival of a seagoing vessel to execute cargo operations or technical repair, if applicable. The agent must have an adequate understanding of seatrade principles and technical background on how and for what purpose different kinds of ships are built and how various cargo types are put into her holds to execute his tasks appropriately.
Agents must be prepared to deal with various scenarios and possess strong problem-solving skills to avoid escalating conflicts and resolve them quickly, enabling the ship and cargo consignors to continue operating regularly.
Tips for choosing a great Port Agent for the right ship husbandry services?
All aspects of ship maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and care of the ship's hull, rigging, and equipment are included in ship husbandry. You may use this service on any ship, including navy ships, commercial ships, and cargo ships. Still, you'll want to be sure the firm you're working with can maintain your vessel. Keeping your ship or vessel correctly might cause immigration and customs laws problems, or a crew change at the port may not go as quickly as possible if it is not maintained correctly.
If you don't know what you're looking for, it might be challenging to locate port services. Making the incorrect decision might result in lost goods or delayed deliveries that would harm your bottom line.
Here are a few best tips to choose the port agent for the best ship husbandry services:
The exact size of the container:
The best port agent makes sure that you get large enough containers to fit them if you are transferring heavy objects. It can be overwhelming that you need a 50' container. Still, you get to know that only 30' containers are available at the last moment.
It is essential to choose a reputed port agency that delivers temperature-controlled containers. They know what you need for containers and ensure that your selected freight provider has these containers that all firms may not give.
It is important to determine whether a company is licensed and registered to conduct freight forwarding services or not. Failure in this area may lead to insufficient insurance coverage and limited recourse if a contract is breached. If a Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) numberis not easily obtainable from a reputable company, you should be suspicious.
There are various ways to keep tabs on your shipment's progress. Live tracking applications and email notifications will be included in this. Suppose you're transporting essential or priceless objects. In that case, these instruments might be comforting. Get in touch with the vendor to discover whether these tools are even possible and how much additional costs may be involved. In some cases, these instruments may be purchased separately, while in others, they are included in the price of the service
Proper loading mechanism:
Some firms only provide one service, while others offer a variety of possibilities. Different companies provide a variety of cargo loading options, such as:
- Drop and pull: It is the simplest but most costly method since you have days rather than hours to pack, and the container is hauled to the port by the shipping firm.
- Warehouse loading:
These items are packed and loaded into the warehouse before being transported to the port.
- Live load:
In this, your goods are picked up from your home or place of business and transported to the port after you have finished packing, frequently under the pressure of time.
Before utilizing these services, better try to understand what you're getting yourself into.