What are the advantages of having a port intelligence service in your operations?

  • 30/07/2019
  • 10 minutes

Different segments have specific resources to analyze the market and find solutions from a strategic point of view. The transformations brought on logistics by the Industry 4.0, for example, paint an accurate picture of that.

In this context, port intelligence services have a lot to contribute to the efficiency of logistics operations. After all, they allow for a closer monitoring of several factors.

Considering the importance of the subject for the sector, we prepared this article. Here, we’ll show you what are the greatest advantages related to the practice and how it works. Enjoy!

What is and why is it important to count on port and market intelligence services?

In order to prepare this article, we talked to Emanuel de Andrade Pinheiro, who’s an agency and port intelligence supervisor, and to Cristiano G. Kaehler, agency marketing analyst. Both work at the Wilson Sons Agency.

In short, “port intelligence can be classified as the study of ports, its characteristics and restrictions for the correct use of a ship”, explains Pinheiro. Most of all, it’s about the ability to provide, quickly and proactively, quality information on port logistics and the market. From then on, it’s possible to evaluate the many commercial opportunities connected to those aspects.

Market intelligence, on the other hand, in the context of maritime transport, consists onf the analysis of the cargo that’s moved and its relation to the transports being used. Since the greatest diversity of clients on the shipping agency market works with commodity transport — agricultural, minerals, fertilizers, etc.—, it’s essential to understand the nuances of those markets, its obstacles, as well as its rising points and the decreases of global demands attached to them.

Why is this service important to charterers? How does it work in practice?

When a charterer negotiates a ship for a certain transportation, he or she must have in hand precise information about the characteristics of the ports and terminals in which the vessel will operate. The knowledge of those details is as relevant as the route itself or the climatic conditions foreseen for the period.

Data such as port restrictions, equipment available, and terminal depth are fundamental to guarantee the choosing of a ship that’s adequate for the operation. “Besides, it also helps to avoid costs that would otherwise not have been adequately foreseen, due to lack of information or unpreparedness in planning the transportation”, highlights Pinheiro.

In this sense, hiring this service enables the gathering and the monitoring of several questions which are important to make informed decisions. Imagine an increase of a certain port expense — knowing about it beforehand might help the shipowner in a sea freight shipping negotiation. Another example of how it works in practice is knowing how new merchandise will be moved in a certain port, which might lead a trading company to develop other businesses, and so on.

For shipping agencies, market intelligence is useful to promote the visualization of new business opportunities and also to aggregate value to the charterer’s business.

Why is it worth counting with port intelligence?

According to Pinheiro, for the agencies in general, “the greatest advantage is the possibility of carrying out regular monitoring of cargo transport and changes in the ports that provide support to the ship services”.

For the clients of the agency — shipowners and charterers —, the service is usually offered as an aggregate, so it’s a differential added to the ship services. It might also be hired separately.

Delivering strategic information has a direct impact on operations. Without it, many of the actors in the process wouldn’t know what really occurs in the ports they work at. Information also helps many charterers to understand the main changes that happened and that are foreseen at the ports, the performance of other players, and even the creation of new opportunities.

“By working with precise market information, you can avoid a prejudicial event, thus reducing the financial risks involved in the operations”, affirms Kaehler.

What’s the relation between port intelligence and business intelligence?

The market intelligence area might be used to support the activities of port intelligence, considering both areas are related. By evaluating the port’s moves, for example, it’s also possible to evaluate the cargo markets and their fluctuations.

In parallel to that, studying the characteristics of the ports is important to understand which cargo might be transported and which merchandise is more adequate from a logistics perspective.

In this way, shipping agencies that develop these intelligence services get closer to their clients and are able to aggregate value to the service that’s provided.

According to Pinheiro, through the automation and the debureaucratization of many processes inherent to ship services, “these areas become a tool of differentiation in the market. Besides, for commercial prospecting actions, the integration of both types of intelligence is profitable in the sense of verifying opportunities and mapping clients and markets.”

How do the Wilson Sons port and market intelligence services work?

The Wilson Sons Agency began its activities in 1837 and, today, rises as one of the most important agencies in the country. “Because it has the largest national coverage in the Brazilian coastline, from Rio Grande do Sul to Manaus, it counts on the support of 18 branches to seek regular, precise information. To our clients, we offer this service as an aggregate, enriching the service provided to the ships even more”, explains Pinheiro.

In short, the information and analysis are related to:

  • changes made at the ports;
  • changes in restrictions;
  • situations which might influence dockings;
  • stoppages;
  • any logistics obstacles.

Still in this sphere, market intelligence tries to feed the commercial sector through leads — generated by studies and observations on cargo transportation and on the charterers and shipowners at the ports.

Therefore, “the sector consolidates, qualifies, and sends to the Wilson Sons clients daily updated market data, carefully crafted. From there, we generate regular statistics and market analysis to study and to support our clients”, informs Kaehler.

See? The Wilson Sons Agency has a vast know-how and broad coverage. The information sector is also active in the development of partnerships with great intelligence companies. These organizations act in order to qualify the information gathered and amplify the development of opportunities and information support. Therefore, port and market intelligence complement each other and perfect the segment.

If you want to know more about the Wilson Sons Agency and the services we offer, get in touch with us!