Agunsa and the challenge of adapting and innovating as a ship agent

Waldo Caroca, manager of the Agunsa ship agency area, stressed the importance of this activity.

In the logistics chain of the maritime industry, the work of the agency is key because it assumes the representation and coordination of a series of activities that allow the normal operation of a ship in a port.

For this, the agency is invested with the legal representation of a shipowner or a charterer before the local authorities and competent bodies, in the case of Chile: the Maritime Authority, Customs, SAG, Health, and International Police, to name a few. In addition, it must manage and coordinate the activity of the ship and its cargo with the terminals, whether concessioned, private or public.

Agunsa offer all kind of services to the shipping industry.

Agunsa offer all kind of services to the shipping industry.

Agunsa, a company that has a wide range of activities in the maritime and port industry, is precisely “a company that was born to deliver the services of ship brokerage more than 50 years ago,” said Waldo Caroca, manager of this area in Agunsa Chile.

“In the course of the years, Agunsa has diversified its services in different types of services such as cruise lines, general cargo, projects, solid and liquid cargoes, fishing vessels, containers, marine terminals, etc., in which both technological innovation and the growth in coverage point to the company becoming more competitive, with better productivity, consistent and reliable,” says the executive.

Waldo Caroca also highlights that “the company develops this work throughout Chile with its own offices, with a team of professionals and competent and committed staff under its brand, which has been replicated very effectively and with the same quality in Chile, Peru, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador and Colombia, where it has achieved a leadership position in the markets where it operates, covering operational requirements and safeguarding the interests of its customers.”

Innovation and adaptation

It is well known that the world’s maritime industry has not been going through its best moments lately. Therefore, the executive proposes that “in these times one must be creative, innovative and go hand in hand with customers” and, in the area of an agency, this implies “knowing the needs of the customer,” he says.

This sector – Caroca explains – has a lot of administrative and planning development that involves many milestones and variables, which adds to the customers not accepting mistakes. “Then innovation is in the knowledge that we have for the client, the reality of the location where we are operating to systematically form a tool that allows us to adequately plan the activities that a ship or the client will carry out, achieving a quality product and, finally, the service that customers value,” he says.

“Here there is no improvisation of any kind,” says Waldo Caroca, who adds: “here are in house tools, with their own engineering and also other external software, but primarily with what we have been able to develop with long years of experience for the benefit of each of our customers.

“In Agunsa, we are with the customer, we know their realities and their processes. We focus on what they are pursuing.” In this respect, he details: “the client passes the wallet to you to manage and you have to be in process planning, coordination of resources, management and choice of suppliers that will serve that ship, very efficient and effective so that those costs that you indicated to the client to be generated, effectively be that and not ten times more,” he says.

“The consistency in this business is basic and Agunsa has never lost a contract with a customer and has never been fired for doing things wrong, he says.

“We are a part of the logistics chain, which is very important, because we are coordinating with each of the actors: transportation, authorities, tugs, ships and terminals so that the adventure implied in this shipping business is made to customer satisfaction, in all kinds of things, including safety and respect for the environment.”

In the background “ship agents are the radars where the customer is concerned. We are the formal channel of timely information, truthful and as transparent as possible.”

Industry Perspectives

With forty years of experience in the sector from different fronts and knowing the cyclical dynamics of the industry, and considering the current context, Waldo Caroca manifests with certainty that “in Agunsa we knew that the alliances of the container lines was a fact that would come on strongly”.

The key to this dynamic scenario, he points out, is adaptation and readjustment “which is what container lines are doing,” he said.

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