How Port Agents Are Using Software to Succeed

When it comes to operational efficiency, we know all too well that one of the biggest challenges for Port Agents is becoming lost in their inbox. With fixture coordination primarily being organized via email, the quantity of emails an individual Port Agent is expected to manage can quickly become problematic. Added to the problem of sheer volume, however, is the issue with fixed-term payments that result in tight margins and faster turnaround times. In short, the mix of jobs being fixed at speed and the volume of emails going back and forth is a perfect recipe for missed opportunities, mistakes, and ultimately profit declines. 

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Ship in shipyard managed by port agents with software

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A New Competitive Advantage: Digital Transformation 

While the challenges facing Port Agents can seem insurmountable, the steady uptake towards digital transformation has made vast improvements in operational efficiency. Indeed, smart email platforms over the last decade have already set the wheels in motion for more streamlined workflows and far less lost revenue than traditional methods. 

Software, however, is more than just a road to more streamlined workflows. It has also given Port Agents that have made the jump to smart email platforms a competitive advantage. Traditionally, it could be very difficult to stand apart from the competition, all of whom did similar work in similar ways. Now, with software providing more security, fewer mistakes, and simpler routes to the prioritization of emails, choosing a Port Agency to work with has become more nuanced.


Key Software Opportunities for Port Agents 

One of the cornerstones for Port Agent success is running efficiently and on time. Not only does this increase the chance of repeat custom from Shipowners and Charterers, but it also keeps cash flow running smoothly. 

A Port Agency that is sluggish and inaccurate is one that very quickly faces a ripple effect of further problems down the line, often resulting in fewer jobs and less ROI. With that in mind, smart email platforms need to have some core features to help Port Agents realize their goals and remove the common bottlenecks. 


Document Management

document management

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Whether it’s a bill of lading or a packing list, paper trails within shipping are both crucial and numerous. Traditionally, these documents have remained steadfastly paper-based and all-too-easy to misplace or reference incorrectly. Software solutions, however, can solve these common document management problems with intelligent features. For example, a good document management system will always ensure you’re working on the most recent version of a document, eliminating the stressful process of determining which version needs updating or referencing. Similarly, with clever tagging features, many document management softwares can help Port Agents effortlessly and quickly create packages of documents that can easily be shared. As part of SEDNA’s smart email platforms, we offer Flexdocs for simple and swift document management. 


Email Management 

messages and emails

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Emails are the crux of many businesses, and Port Agencies are no exception. The problem, of course, is that traditional email platforms weren’t built for the magnitude and complexity of modern-day correspondence. For Port Agents, this reliance on classic email platforms can be a major roadblock to success, though happily, it doesn’t have to be this way. With email software features like email prioritization, auto-tagging, integrations with other software, and optimized collaboration functionalities, Port Agents can really benefit from an email-led solution both internally and externally. 


Speed-Focused Solutions 

clocks showing time

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The old adage of time being money has never been truer than when it comes to the shipping industry, and Port Agents know this all too well. With so much to manage, including coordinating fixtures, port calls for the crew, and endless documents needed for every vessel and job, Port Agents need software to speed up every facet of their operation. One focus of a good Port Agency software should include ultra-fast and boolean search functionality for emails. This would remove the very common problem of searches via traditional email platforms returning after minutes—or in some cases hours—and grinding operations to a halt. Similarly, with quick composition features and integrations, emails and documents can be created and sent faster and with greater accuracy, securing more fixtures with time usually spent finding, waiting, and writing. 


Integrations for Speed and Accuracy


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Whether it’s a general tool like Sharepoint or shipping-specific integrations, Port Agents need to be able to pivot effortlessly between platforms and share vital information quickly. Not only can this allow for reduced mistakes when it comes to transferring data, but it also means Port Agents can spend more time doing the work that matters without needing to dedicate time to an entire unconnected network of tools. 


How SEDNA Maximizes ROI for Port Agents

Intelligent email solution

“SEDNA’s ‘one mailbox, one-team concept’ has strengthened the communication and collaboration of our teams across the board.”

Commercial Manager, MONSON


While software has without a doubt smoothed out the operational efficiency for Port Agents and the shipping industry at large, it’s safe to say that it’s a field of SaaS that’s become all the more sophisticated in recent years. At SEDNA, we’ve made it our business to know the barriers to success for Port Agents and strive to add real value to our intelligent email solution. With SEDNA, you can reduce email volume by up to 95%, enjoy automatic email prioritization, seamless integrations with the tools that matter to you, and unmatched speed. Work with greater accuracy and security and spend less time on manually organizing folders, documents and writing emails. Instead, let SEDNA do the behind-the-scenes work while you focus on the tasks that really matter. 


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