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What are the responsibilities of a shipping agency?

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It is the responsibility of the agency to safeguard the vessel’s interests at all times. Shipowners and charterers cannot be present at every port of call and cannot physically watch over every aspect of the business and thus hand over certain crucial elements of the business to an appropriate authority. Shipping is an essential link between global trade and development and is a multi-million dollar industry that caters to a global consumer base. Read on for more information.

About the shipping agency 

In shipping, there has to be a mediator between the demand and the supply. And this middle ground comes in the form of an agency that handles transactions for shipowners or charterers. The professional expertise of a shipping agency in Curacao allows the handling of all types of cargo. The duties of an agency can thus vary, with some agents specializing in one field or another. The most common specializations are liner agencies and port agencies but the speciality may also include freight forwarding, hauling, and warehousing services.

About the liner agency 

The duties of a liner, agency consists of activities on the quayside. This agency forms a link between the manufacturers, whose goods need to be shipped, and the shipping lines that carry the goods. A liner agent will complete the paperwork within the complex electronic systems, identify the ownership of the products, and record their marks, weight, and specifications.  

About the port agency 

When the ship calls on a foreign port, there has to be an assurance that things move according to plan. A port agency will ensure that this is streamlined on behalf of the shipowner or the charterer. This includes paperwork, mail, stock and spares, marine fuel, and fresh provisions.

What is a shipping agent? 

A shipping agent is a person who handles all the transactions related to a vessel at every port or dock, it visits on the way to its destination. Some agents handle the ships transactions even at the port of destination. In other words, a Curacao shipping agent is a local expert who acts as a representative of the owner of the ship. He carries out all essential duties, responsibilities, and obligations that are required by the crew of the vessel.  

Responsibilities of a shipping agent 

The shipping agent acts on behalf of the shipowner and provides local knowledge and logistical support. It is the responsibility of an agent to ensure that the needs and requirements of the shipowner are addressed. Typically, the agents have optimal knowledge of the applicable rules and regulations pertaining to a particular port or sector in which they operate. Additionally, agents have a wide range of contacts and work within an establishment that is efficient.

Shipping agents handle all local transactions of a ship that anchors at the port and their duties include:

1. Securing ship supplies and stocks

2. Making arrangements for crew changes

3. Looking after the maintenance and repairs of the ship

4. The berthing process of the ship

5. Taking care of customs declarations and other formalities

Guidelines for choosing a shipping agency 

Here are some guidelines to take into consideration when looking for a reputed and trustworthy shipping agency that will meet all your trade requirements:

1. A reputed and reliable agency 

This entails choosing an agency that is reputed and big enough to handle all shipping transactions.

2. A good network of contacts

You must opt to work with a freight forwarding agency that has an excellent network of contacts in global agencies.

3. Financially solvent 

It is wise to work with a freight forwarding agency that is financially solvent.

4. Proficient at communication

It is always in your best interest to work with an agency that is easy to communicate with and is always there on time. 

In conclusion 

For ships that always sail and visit ports, it is essential to develop good work relationships. This means that they need to have the services of a professional and adept shipping agency to streamline all the related procedures effectively. It is therefore wise to create relationships with specific agencies for quality service and even possible discounts.

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