As per the dictionary definition, the term agent means someone who acts on behalf of another person or business organisations. When it comes to port agents and port agency that they represent, the former plays a very important role as a part of shipping services in the shipping and marine industry.
Ships and the ship’s captain approach a port agency to make sure that proper mooring areas are allotted to the ship and all the pertaining documents are ready and adequately taken care of. Additionally, port agencies also mention all minor and major aspects about the charges of customs and all other government procedures required to be fulfilled by the captain of the ship.
There are several companies that offer exclusive port agency services. The port agents are present physically when the ship arrives to a particular port and then make sure that all the above mentioned procedures are carried out. This ensures reliability from the sides of both parties. Physical presence of port agents ensuring that the responsibility is being taken care of by the company providing the shipping services and from the part of the client, the fact that there is no illegality involved in the ship and its crew anywhere.
Also since the aspect of legality and illegality is involved, it has to be noted that port agents have to have a very clear record – criminally. This is the first thing that is checked after a person, aspiring to be a port agent has been accepted by a company offering port agency services. If a person has the educational qualification but also has a criminal or a police record then that person is disqualified from being a port agent.
This is why it becomes the responsibility of the port agency to make sure that none of its port agents have a prior criminal record. This further adds to the credibility aspect of a port agency. In addition to ships, a port agency also handles smaller boats and yachts. This covers all marine vessels – big as well as small. Another important shipping service that a port agency offers is the cleaning up of garbage and other waste materials from the ports.
Some of the famous companies that offer port agency services as a part of their shipping services include COX, Royal Burger Group (this company caters to clients in Northern Europe) and Chrismare (catering to clients in Bulgaria).
With the help of a port agency, a ship’s owner can relax and be free of all tensions and be completely assured that the normal and routine course of his business will not get disrupted at any point of time.