A call to all the ship agents
Ship Agents and Efficient Port Calls to Nigerian Ports and Terminals!
2020 was a very tough year for global trade and the shipping industry. Shipowners, ship managers, and cargo owners need to worry about improving the odds for profitability in 2021.
Nigeria’s ports and terminals can be an interesting place to do business. This environment like many others requires passionate, professional, and reliable Ship Agents to help navigate the waters.
Shipowners, managers, and cargo owners need to think more about finding a partner or agent that is sensitive enough to appreciate the real cost of a port call in terms of time and efficiency to the principal and the supply chain as a whole.
Shipowners, managers, and cargo owners need to work with agents who can bridge the gaps between them and local authorities, communicating effectively with crew from different nationalities. Communicating clearly all the time to ensure that delays caused by ineffective communications are avoided.
They need agents who are passionate about problem-solving, and transparency. Agents who are not just interested in providing a service, but ones who care enough about earning the principal’s trust through the development of mutually respectable professional relationships, and a deeper understanding of the delicate nature of the supply chain.
There are many agents out there, but very few truly appreciate the need for mutual trust between them and the principal. Very few truly understand the liabilities that exist in the agency agreements that bind an agent to a principal and vis-versa.
Ship agents are extremely necessary to shipowners, managers, and cargo owners. Their operational responsibilities, commercial responsibilities, and liabilities to the supply chain are invaluable.
There is a need for ship agents in West Africa to raise professional knowledge and service standard bars. A re-orientation and more training within this service sector is required. There is a need to audit this service industry in Nigeria with a view to properly cataloging gaps, and then finding ways to improve the quality of the services currently offered.
The author is the MD of GOG Marine Limited. GOG Marine Limited is a Ship Agency service provider at Nigerian Ports and Terminals.