Travel: Special Needs at Sea comes ashore

Niche provider seeks partners for network
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DAVINA BEACH, Fla. – Andrew Garnett’s company, which is  mostly known for the work it does on cruise ships, wants to expand its HME rental business to towns and cities across the country.  

“We’ve been turning away customers for years who want to rent equipment in other parts of the U.S.,” said Garnett, president of Special Needs Ashore.

Garnett founded Special Needs at Sea in 2007 to supply HME to travelers on cruise ships and in port cities, as well as at resorts, theme parks and convention centers. Now, he wants to create a network by partnering with local HME providers to offer mobility equipment, oxygen and other HME needed while traveling. Customers who contact Special Needs at Sea will get equipment from network providers. Special Needs at Sea will take the orders and deal with payments and customer service. 

That sounded like a good deal to Craig Yager, owner of Dickinson, Texas-based InterMED Medical Supply and Mobility. Yager, a Special Needs at Sea agent for the port of Galveston, says taking advantage of Special Needs at Sea’s contacts and letting them handle the customer service aspect works well for him. 

“It’s basically created another revenue stream for me,” said Yager, who attributes about 5% of his income to Special Needs at Sea rentals. “In these uncertain times, with things like competitive bidding, you have to explore all your options.” 

Garnett has created a website at for providers who want more information about becoming agents. He says he’ll check credentials and spend time getting to know potential agents, but doesn’t have any specific criteria.