Harbor Lab hosts its first global Port Agent Summit in Athens


Harbor Lab, the disbursements account maritime software company, has held its first exclusive Port Agent Summit in Athens last month. The two-day event brought together Port Agents from 22 different countries to gain deep insights into Harbor Lab’s future plans to develop solutions that will enhance their capabilities to deliver quality services, expand their clientele, and explore new market opportunities.

Port Agents are Harbor Lab’s closest partner, and have been integral to the company’s journey so far in its aim of revolutionizing the port cost management process.

As the maritime industry evolves, two key priorities have emerged: automation/ digitalization and environmental responsibility. Being a technology-driven company, Harbor Lab plans to support Port Agents and Principals alike in optimizing their processes in these priority areas through digital tools.

The summit marked the launch of Harbor Lab’s online marketplace, a key part of its strategy to help democratize local port markets through digitalisation. The marketplace, a platform that brings together Principals that seek a wide range of in-port services with Agents and Vendors that are ready and available to offer them, empowers agents through exposure to new business opportunities with access to a high quality audience, and seamless communication with Principals.

Agents were also provided with strategies on how to excel on the Harbor Lab platform, including actively maintaining their profiles, responding promptly to communication, and delivering exceptional in-port services.

One of the major announcements at the summit was the introduction of the evaluation tool. Recognising the need to support local Agents in expanding their market share, Harbor Lab is equipping them with the means to stand out. This tool will enable Agents to differentiate themselves based on quality rather than price. Principals will also have a reliable mechanism to trust and engage with new Agents based on evaluations from their peers.

To support the industry through its decarbonization and environmental targets, Harbor Lab introduced the concept of ‘Green Agents’ at the summit. To help Agents differentiate themselves in competitive environments, Harbor Lab is promoting environmentally friendly practices, such as adopting electric vehicles or modern/green launches. The company will support ‘Green Agents’ by connecting them with Principals interested in reducing in-port emissions and providing reports to measure their environmental impact.

A panel discussion brought Principal stakeholders into the spotlight. Moderated by the Chief Operational Officer of Harbor Lab, Alexandros Trachanas, the distinguished speakers, Capt. Nikos Svoronos (Agents Manager of Starbulk S.A.), Capt. Costas Constantinidis (Operations Manager of GoldenPort Ship Mangement Ltd.), Mr. Michalis Michaloliakos (Head of ICT/Cyber Security Strategy & Business Development of TMS Group) and Mr. Simon Hinsen (Senior Commercial Manager of Zeaborn Ship Management), shared their perspective on the above matters.

Speakers emphasised the importance of the Agent evaluation tool, which combines performance metrics and real-time reviews to foster transparency. Increased efficiency from the digitalization and standardization of the Statement of Fact (SoF) and the potential competitive advantage that the adoption of greener practices can bring to Agents in the future, were also praised.

The summit’s interactive format allowed Agents to voice their opinions, share the challenges they face, and collaborate on solutions to tackle daily issues. Harbor Lab says it remains dedicated to transforming the maritime industry, hand in hand with Port Agents and Principals.