Wilhelmsen Ships Service Revolutionizes the Industry

Wilhelmsen Ships Service re-defines traditional ships agency business

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 level of service. 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”.


New Ships Spares Logistics service set to change industry procedures

Wilhelmsen Ships Service has introduced a unique new efficiency to its customers in the form of a Ships Spares Logistics offer with a single point of contact for managing the delivery of spare parts from manufacturer to vessel, with total visibility on data and associated prices. The new service combines the establishment of a central Freight Forwarding Center with an online service, which provides its contract customers with the ability to see the location and status of their orders as well as offering a number of reporting features.

The Freight Forwarding Center is located at Sittensen, near Hamburg in Germany, at the center of some of the biggest manufacturers of ships spares. The location has good access to the European ports, as well as to some of the main international airports reaching the whole world. The Freight Forwarding Center will support the ships service network with specialist knowledge and will manage, control and optimize the transport of ship spares from the supplier to the vessel. The center is managed by Stephan Bennfeldt, who has 18 years experience of handling ships spares.

“The main task of the Freight Forwarding Center is to manage, control and optimize the transport of ship spares from the supplier to the vessel,” explains Stephan. “The system will maximize the benefits of our global network which we will be able to pass on to our customers.”

The company’s sophisticated IT communications system is used for tracking and optimizing the spares logistics with 318 offices serving 2,200 ports worldwide and its products and services. This system will operate the online reporting service to which contract customers have access. These reports include information such as the logistics cost per fleet or per vessel per month, and the supplier due date versus actual release date of spares. Pricing is not only standardized but it is also predictable and transparent.

Hege Raade Solstad, Business Director Maritime Logistics explains, “Our offices and agents around the world are already heavily involved in networking activities, as they coordinate ships agency services, the delivery of Unitor products, technical services and maritime logistics. As these activities have grown over the years, they have established efficient communication links with the Head Office and with each other. These strong links enable us to make the delivery of ships spares a seamless and reliable process.”

Dealing with a central logistics service also removes the risk of unexpected charges that could be levied by some agencies for urgently needed spare parts in remote ports.

President of Wilhelmsen Ships Service, David Tandy summarizes, “Our employees around the world are enthusiastic about these new solutions and we are confident that they will be of significant benefit to our customers.” He adds, “Our goal is to become the world’s leading provider of logistics services for ships spares. We want to establish the most efficient and effective supply chain, managing the process from the manufacturer to delivery to the ship and vice versa for returned goods.”

As part of a dedicated shipping company with over 150 years experience, Wilhelmsen Ships Service understands all the difficulties that have to be overcome in order to streamline the supply chain. The company knows which ports have the best infrastructure to deliver spares, and where there are the fewest obstacles. It also knows the ports where technical backup and assistance is available for installing spare parts, and the ports where the ship owners and operators are likely to get the most cost-effective service.

All Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s port personnel have ISPS clearance (International Ship and Port Facility Security), which means they have easy access to vessels for delivery of spare parts.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s global network coverage along with in depth local port knowledge gives us a unique competitive advantage to deliver a real “door to deck” solution for the maritime industry – “First mile to last mile.”