Wilhelmsen Port Services introduces innovative financing model for port call payments

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Wilhelmsen Port Services (WPS), in collaboration with Round Fort Capital, announces the launch of a ground-breaking financial service that eliminates the need for prefunding of port calls and canal transits, and potentially releasing double or triple digit million USD of working capital. This pioneering initiative marks a significant industry milestone by offering a more efficient and flexible payment solution that addresses the traditional financial and operational challenges faced by ship owners and operators.

“With the introduction of our Port Cost Financing model, we are not only responding to the needs of our customers but also pioneering a shift towards improved financial practices in the maritime industry,” says Marius Johansen (pictured), VP Strategy, M&A and New Growth in Wilhelmsen Port Services. “This initiative represents a significant leap forward in our commitment to enhancing operational efficiency and financial health for ship owners and operators globally.”

Prefunding has long been the industry standard, requiring customers to advance funds based on Proforma Disbursement Accounts (PDAs) before port calls. This model often results in locked working capital, increased capital costs, and a heavy administrative workload. In stark contrast, the innovative Port Cost Financing model introduced by Wilhelmsen and Round Fort Capital enables customers to manage port call payments globally without the need for prefunding, thereby improving cash flow management and reducing operational risk.

Key benefits of the new payment solution are said to include:

– Simplified operational workflow: Customers can significantly reduce the number of transactions they manage annually—from potentially thousands to as few as four—maintaining full control over their processes without the burden of numerous settlements.

– Enhanced cash flow management: The clear overview of port costs provided under the new model allows for better planning and timing of settlements.

– Improved working capital: By eliminating the need for prefunding, the new service frees up significant amounts of working capital, thus enhancing financial flexibility.

– Competitive financing access: Customers benefit from lower financing costs, making it easier to manage port call expenses efficiently.

– Operational risk mitigation: The removal of funding-related risks ensures that port operations are smoother and more predictable.

Wilhelmsen Port Services’ Port Cost Financing offer stands out as the first comprehensive financing solution for port and crew services on a global scale. It uniquely allows payments post-Final Disbursement Account (FDA) settlement, applicable worldwide and across various types of port calls—including those not directly managed by Port Services. This flexibility, combined with favourable credit terms and payment structures, sets a new industry benchmark for financial and operational efficiency.

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