The digital gift of navigation

  • 30/01/2024
  • 11 minutes

The world is in full evolution, driven by digitization and the increasing use of data in decision-making. In the maritime and port sector it would not be different. In recent years, the industry has undergone an intense digital transformation that is dictating the new directions of the entire sector. 

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As this scenario progresses, shipping companies have embraced agility as a necessity to quickly adapt to market changes and seize opportunities. “The scenario is more agile. Therefore, those who have more information have more advantage”, says Renan Queiroz, commercial manager of Wilson Sons Shipping Agency.

With the increase in the flow of navigation in international trade, the ability to make assertive decisions in short periods of time makes all the difference. “It is no longer only necessary to ensure that the ship enters and leaves the port within the shortest possible time and cost, it is also necessary to invest in data and market intelligence, contributing to our customers making tactical and strategic decisions in order to optimize their operations.”

And the scenario tends to get even more intense with regard to digital transformation due to the players’ search to align the decrease in the carbon footprint of maritime operations with the increase in operational and financial efficiency. “There is a window of opportunity for Brazil, due to our vocation to create innovative and sustainable solutions.” Check out the following interview and learn how the Wilson Sons Shipping Agency contributes to the future of shipping.

Navigating a sea of data

As the global economy grows, the maritime sector keeps pace. Data from the World Trade Organization indicate that the modal already accumulates more than 90% of the entire international flow of goods, contributing to the sustainable development of countries. 

However, this intensification of the navigation flow brings significant challenges, with a call for increasingly faster and more efficient responses. The increase in ships for the optimization of freight, the rationalization of call times, the reduction of the carbon footprint, the specificities of transport of each cargo and all the legislation of the region of operation are part of the list of issues faced by shipowners and charterers from all over the world. “Imagine the operator of a fleet of ships, or a charterer with each of their hired ships calling at different ports each day. In this scenario, every minute lost can represent substantial costs. The details of logistics operations make management challenging. It is in this context that the shipping agent comes in.”

Due to this complexity of factors, the use of technologies capable of interpreting massive volumes of data and combining scenarios provides more productivity to maritime operations. With a highly specialized team, Wilson Sons Shipping Agency is at the forefront of this transformation. The company currently has the largest coverage of the Brazilian coast, through its 19 branches that serve more than 60 port terminals in the country, in addition to having commercial offices in Europe and China. “We are the largest and most experienced shipping agency in the country. Our robust knowledge of the entire Brazilian region allows us to act as facilitators in the logistics planning of charterers and shipowners.”

All this expertise is the result of more than 185 years of experience in the segment, a trajectory that is intertwined with the very History of Brazil and its international relations. “A historical example was our contribution to the Japanese immigration movement, managing the ship Kasato Maru, which docked in the Port of Santos at the beginning of the last century, in 1908, and brought the first official group of Japanese immigrants to Brazil”, recalls the executive.

Faced with the challenges of modern navigation, the agency plays a key role, acting as an intermediary between ship operators, charterers, ports and all their interveners, ensuring safer, more efficient and sustainable operations. 

“The flow of navigation in Brazil is growing, accelerated by super agricultural crops and the increase in the production of other commodities, such as iron ore. Our mission is to support this logistics chain, ensuring the efficiency of each port operation. This translates into sustainable growth for our country.”

With an operation focused on the national territory, the business has been developing over the last few years a set of solutions that add value to maritime operations, providing predictability and efficient communication with shipowners and charterers around the world. “Shipping agents have an important vantage point for observing trends, cargo volumes and market demands. By sharing market insights and analysis, we help clients make more assertive decisions for their operations, including their fleet logistics and resource allocation. Because of this, Wilson Sons has been systematically investing in technology. One of them is WS Connect, a platform created by the Shipping Agency exclusively for its clients.”WS Connect is a tool that has several functionalities such as real-time line-up, on-time tracking of the ships served, dynamic reports and statistics with data and analysis referring to various commodities and Brazilian ports, as well as news and updates from the sectors related to its customers. The adoption of this online platform by companies saves time and makes it easy to access information that can be accessed via the website on the computer or the application on the mobile phone.

“The maritime industry is a complex ecosystem, so efficiency and local knowledge play crucial roles. With a complete view of the ports of Brazil, and taking advantage of digital tools, we offer a platform where our client can access real-time information from their ships, updated port restrictions, interactive market reports, among other functionalities in the palm of their hand. In addition, we periodically pass on information that signals maintenance shutdowns, dredging situation, and draft change, for example. In this way, we can positively influence the operation of each ship and add value to the entire global logistics chain.” 

Shipping Agency: customized solutions for each operation

An inescapable element of Wilson Sons Shipping Agency culture, the advisory posture is a source of competitive advantages for its partners. “The shipping agent plays a crucial role for the proper functioning of the international logistics chain, acting as an essential link between shipowners, charterers and the various players involved in the call of a ship”, says Renan.

From the beginning, the agency seeks to anticipate and manage situations that may interfere with each operation, such as the weather. “If rain is expected in the region close to the call of a bulk carrier, for example, there may be a delay in the operation and the anticipation of this information to our partners is crucial so that they can make better decisions.”

On this foundation of transparency and proactivity, its solid relationships of trust were built, the executive evaluates. “We have a posture of looking from the perspective of the client, having them as the center of our actions, whether they are the charterer or the shipowner. When we exercise this perspective, stressing the use of data, we can collaborate in making more strategic decisions for the operation of each ship.” 

In fact, the strategic approach of sustainable growth based on transparency and responsibility are commitments of Wilson Sons whose mission is to develop and provide solutions that customers perceive as high value in a sustainable and innovative way.

Going forward, Renan assesses that the change factor will be the only constant. “Navigating the future will require agility, commitment to sustainability, and the ability to embrace digitization. The future of navigation is digital and has already begun.”Would you like to achieve a level of excellence in your operation? Request the contact of an expert and have the Wilson Sons Shipping Agency as your partner.