Owning and operating a freight business is tough work, but operating an import or export company in the Gulf Coast area brings about unique challenges. You have a lot on your hands. Not only are you maintaining capital-intensive vessels carrying cargo, but you need to manage the crew, the documentation, customer relations, the logistics of your cargo and staying on top of government regulations. Choosing a shipping management company may just be one of the most important decisions that can be made for your business. The stakes are high. Consider the following three factors when hiring your next provider of maritime shipping management on the Gulf Coast.
Not all shipping management companies can provide all the services your organization will need. Before choosing a company, be sure to review all services the management company will provide. A quality company should be able to:
- Supervise vessel maintenance and repair
- Supervise crew
- Protect and oversee crew welfare
- Provide a ship superintendent
- Arrange for and supervise the loading and unloading of cargo in port
- Provide a freight forwarder to get your cargo from the dock to its destination
- Maintain all vessel records and documentation
- Coordinate the supply of provisions and other requirements
- Coordinate the cleaning of tankers and cargo containers
To provide the level of service you expect, consider the amount of experience the shipping management company has in the business. It takes decades of working on freighters to be able to supervise a crew. You want someone handling your documentation who has years of experience handling bills of lading, customs certificates and port documentation. Also, consider the experience of the individuals who will be working specifically with your vessels, your cargo and your crew. The Gulf can be an unpredictable place, and your freighter is too important to be the one on which a new company can “cut their teeth.”
You will be working very closely with this shipping management company. Before signing a contract, be sure to ask around about this company’s reputation. You want to choose a company with a strong reputation for being trustworthy and competent. Relationships in this business are key.
Not only do you expect your shipping management company to be responsive to you, but the company should also have excellent relationships with port and custom officials all across the Gulf Coast. You want a shipping management company to know how to procure the best in marine and port security for your cargo. Your company’s contacts should also connect you with the best in freight forwarding and get your cargo moving on a timetable that will lead to customer satisfaction. It’s recommended that you call several port authority personnel to see which shipping management companies they recommend.
Your Next Shipping Management Company on the Gulf Coast
Choosing a shipping management company is crucial for your business. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to a difficult decision—Aztec Marine Agencies, Inc. is a full service provider of maritime shipping management on the Gulf Coast. As a family owned operation since 1991, we can provide the experience and expertise you are looking for with the level of personal care that larger companies simply cannot provide. Contact us today to see how we can take your organization to the next level.
Categorised in: Maritime Shipping Management