Leading Middle East port agency, Sharaf Shipping Agency, and Ben Line Agencies of Singapore have formed a new global agency for the wet and dry bulk shipping and commodity markets. Waterfront Maritime Services, which started operations on April 1st this year, will be headquartered in Dubai, with commercial offices in Singapore and Miami. These will be supported by operational hubs in Jakarta and the UAE.
Waterfront will have a network of 299 offices across 49 countries, together with third party agents worldwide who have been thoroughly vetted by the group. The company will be owned jointly by Sharaf Shipping Agency and Ben Line Agencies, but will operate as an independent commercial entity. The aim, the partners say, is to meet a growing need for an agency that combines real in-depth regional expertise with a single global approach.
Duncan Ramsay, Chairman of WaterFront and Managing Director Ben Line Agencies, commented: “Ben Line has been providing shipping services across Asia for more than 150 years. We know this business and region well, and we understand the challenges that our customers face in an increasingly complex and competitive global market. WaterFront leverages our strengths and capabilities as a business with Sharaf Shipping Agency, which shares the same commitment to quality, integrity and transparency that we do; providing our customers with global access and solutions that help them to compete.”
Kapil Celly, Executive Director of Sharaf Group and Director of WaterFront, added: “Sharaf is the commanding presence for ship agency services across the Middle East and Africa, as well as the Indian Subcontinent. But our customer base is global and requires global expertise. WaterFront is the means for ensuring that we can extend our quality services for our customers worldwide, and also provides our customers with peace of mind that their cargoes and vessels are being expertly handled by a highly competent agent, wherever they are.”
The company will focus its services on ship owners and operators, charterers, managers and traders involved in the movement of coal, grains, iron ore, minor bulks and project cargo as well as crude oil, clean and dirty products, chemicals and gas.
By specialising in particular commodity trades and offering solutions tailored for each individual customer, WaterFront aims to provide end-to-end control over the shipping supply chain through a single point of contact. WaterFront’s regional and global agency hubs work concurrently to monitor all activities and performance in real-time to ensure that every task is accounted for, every procedure followed, paperwork provided and accounts disbursed.