New port agency model proves attractive to bulk shipping markets
Following a strong take-up of its services since its February 2017 launch, global ship agency company WaterFront Maritime Services (WaterFront), has added a further three regional ship agency companies, Ultramar (West Coast South America), ACGI (West Coast USA and Canada) and Royal Burger Group (Northern Europe), as network partners.
This expansion increases the volume of vessels handled by the WaterFront network to over 46,000 port calls per annum, and takes the total number of local offices to 413 in 66 countries, allowing the organisation to provide end-to-end solutions to its clients. WaterFront specialises in the handling of dry and liquid bulk cargoes and vessels and has formed its network by bringing together leading regional agencies with proven expertise in providing agency services to charterers, owners, operators and ship managers worldwide.
Effective from today (20 July, 2017), WaterFront customers will be served by Ultramar across its ports and terminals, operating under the name Ultramar Agencia Maritima Ltda in Chile, Transtotal in Peru, Remar in Ecuador, C.B. Fenton in Panama and Naves in Colombia. Through ACGI, the WaterFront network now also covers West Coast USA and Canada, including key ports and terminals throughout British Colombia, Washington State, Oregon and California. Royal Burger Group, will service vessels calling at ports across Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania, providing WaterFront clients with local services and expertise in Northern Europe.
Terry Gidlow, Chief Executive Officer, WaterFront Maritime Services, commented:
“We are building a global network to serve key dry and liquid bulk trade routes, which means deliberately targeting specific countries and ports rather than trying to fill the map for the sake of being the biggest service provider. As such, we deliver the best of both worlds by combining the breadth of a global agency with the depth of regional agencies.
“Our focus is on creating value for our clients in both the load and discharge ports, accomplished by having the local relationships and commodity expertise to enhance the cargo, vessel or crew turnaround in port, reduce port costs and to mitigate local risk on our clients’ behalf. The addition of Ultramar, ACGI and Royal Burger Group brings us one step closer to covering all of the key global dry and liquid bulk trade routes.”
Each vetted network partner in the WaterFront network provides quality ship agency services alongside access to real-time port and commodity data, and a demonstrable commitment to the highest levels of corporate compliance, ethics and service standards. WaterFront acts as a global service provider by utilising its tailor-made IT system, enabling its hubs in Dubai and Jakarta to coordinate all ship agency and husbandry tasks provided in port in real-time. WaterFront also processes, aggregates and sanitises port and commodity data to find specific, actionable solutions for individual clients.
Ultramar, ACGI and the Royal Burger Group join WaterFront’s existing network, including its two shareholding partners, Sharaf Shipping Agency and Ben Line Agencies, which cover the Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the Far East. Regional heavy-weights Alpemar Shipping Agency in Argentina, Unimar in Brazil, Naves Ship Agency Services in Colombia, Biehl & Co. across the US Gulf and East Coast North America, and Casper Port Agency in the United Kingdom, make up the remainder of the network across locations.
Duncan Ramsay, Chairman of WaterFront and Managing Director, Ben Line Agencies, commented:
“The speed at which we have been able to grow the network is proof that there is significant appetite for a global ship agency offering that creates tangible value. Importantly, this new ship agency model also enables similarly-minded, highly professional outfits to leverage the expertise and resources of their peers worldwide while providing clients with access to consistent and reliable services at load and discharge ports. This collaborative, transparent and mutually beneficial approach to working is providing a boon to our industry, and ensuring that we can all add value for our customers as the global shipping industry evolves.”
WaterFront is headquartered in Dubai with commercial offices in Singapore and Miami, as well as operational hubs in Jakarta and Dubai.
Source: WaterFront Maritime Services