Who is?

Hi. I am a shipping company director, transport academic, author, family man and all round nice guy. I have worked as shipbroker, shipowner, freight trader and bulk charterer, in senior positions, with some of the largest and most disrespected (joke) companies in the world. Ask my advice on all things shipping and you will receive my blunt and always honest answer. Hang around to learn more about chartering and ship broker salaries, chartering and ship broker jobs, chartering and shipbroker recruitment agencies, cheap freight, maritime education, chartering and ship broker qualifications, become a ship broker, tips on how to be a successful bulk shipping executive, philosophy, Zen and the art of shipbroking, and much more. Yours The Virtual Shipbroker (recently proclaimed the guru of shipbroking) Copyright © 2009-14 by Virtualshipbroker

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why Shipbroking

7 reasons why shipbroking is a great Job

1- Its a highly paid niche skill. Low supply and high demand = high salary!
2- Travel
3- Status
4 - Not complicated
5- Low barriers to Entry. No formal qualifications, no large outlay.
6 - Work is interesting. Everyday is different.
7 - You can live anywhere and work from anywhere.
8 - You can create a business and a lifestyle that suits your personality.

41 comments:

  1. Heaps of compelling reasons to become a ship broker! One question though... why is there low supply if there are low barriers to entry? Is is simply due to lack of awareness, or are there other factors?

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    Replies
    1. because not everyone can make it, even the ones that think they can..you have to be incredibly thick skinned...incredibly..one thing, you may sign up for it but when your screamed at shouted at and sworn at, however it makes you feel you cant give in...no tears as they say and trust me its easier said than done

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    2. In todays terrible market - times are tough for newbies - mostly because oldies are stressed and agitated. But yes its no job for the faint hearted. Thats why the rewards are very high.

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  2. Hi there. Lack of Awareness is a biggie. Still when I say im a shipbroker people stare with a blank face. Stay in touch with the blog and ill be giving tips on how to get your foot in the door.

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    1. Hello I want to learn from you,
      I bought 2 books from you and still need to learn more, Would you send me your phone number? email address? skype account? or check your email as I have sent you a message at your email box, Please check and reply me...

      Regards,
      Ahmed

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    2. Sorry but no phone number, no skype because im anonymous! and yes i have recieved your email and reply to you soon. I admire your enthusiasm

      Delete
  3. Nice blog pal, Im a crude oil futures trader and with the Nymex floor going down im trying to get involved in the physical side of the industry, and I think that shipbrokerage could be a good start..

    Great blog, looking foward.

    Geoff Manneck

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  4. Thanks for the kind words. I will be putting together a comprehensive guide to getting into the industry in the most effective way. Keep an eye out for updates. The big centres for the physical movement of wet crude products remain London, New York and Singapore.

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  5. I've been trying to find a comprehensive list of Ship brokers so that I can get in touch with people and hopefully get an internship at the very least. Is there anything like this out there?

    Jonny

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  6. Jonny

    I have a book called 'the shipbroker list'!

    Cheers
    VS

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  7. thinking about changing ships from finance to shipping- been dreaming about it but havent got a gut to act. I think I am ready to move on and your blog seems to be the right place to start. thanks!

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  8. btw i am also big on Alain de Botton thesedays

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  9. Heey Virstual Shipbroker,

    I have been in the field of port operations for more than 6 years or so.
    Please advise how difficult is to jump into shipbroker position....
    thanks
    dalmat

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  10. Hey there!

    What a great blog, exactly what I needed!! Would you be so kind to help me by giving me some thoughts on something?

    Here's the deal: I am a business consultant from Oslo/Norway working with strategy & operations, but I want to shift to a new challenge in life. So after a long thought process and many conversations with friends from different industries, I have set my mind on going into Shipbroking!
    I'm 31, results-oriented, analytical, good with people and cultures, and speak 4 languages (English, German, Norwegian, French). Also, ironically enough, I lived almost all my life in port cities (Hong Kong, Sydney, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo), so maybe that is an underlying trend that I didn't pick up on until now ;)

    My questions are as follows:
    1) Would you consider me, from an employer perspective, as an interesting profile to enter into shipbroking?
    2) Are there skills that I can leverage from my consulting background over to shipbroking?

    Thanks again for this brilliant blog, gave me some great food for thought!!!

    /Chris

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  11. Hi Chris

    You have some great skills and assets. Dont just think about shipbroking though. Your work and academic background could be better suited to management and other shipbroking / chartering related jobs. Check out Inside Shipbroking. It will open up the world of possibilities!

    Best Of luck
    VS

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  12. Hey there,

    Thx for you feedback! Could you just specify a bit what you mean by "management and other shipbroking/chartering related jobs"? The reason I set my sights on shipbroking was because of 1) being able to work from anywhere in the world, 2) with a fascinating product/service, and 3) with every workday being different.

    I'll make sure I pick up a copy of inside shipbroking for further research!

    Cheers,
    Chris

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  13. I would like to know how I can be a ship broker in Singapore. I would like to venture into this new career,out of my desire for ships and the marine.

    My background has been finance and Pr.

    Thanks,
    Nina

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  14. hi vs

    nice blog in terms of content but i d choose another
    blogging platform with more features and embellished
    templates ,colors ect but maybe it's a females point of view cause noone else is complaining,anyway
    i was wondering how do you get your firm to join the email circulation.

    Do you contact major shippers and ask them and also are there any recourses that are industry specific to register your company like the baltic excg but without the costly subscription
    also what about resources for contacting banks templates-forms
    thanks a lot

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  15. I have no idea how to change blog formats. Seems to hard but thanks for the tip...

    You have lots of questions and there are many answers. i think the best advice you need is that 'you need to spend money to make money'. Shipping is highly lucrative and contracts can be huge. Therefore if you see merit in baltic Exchange membership then you should think about taking it out.

    Many of your other questions (and more) are answered in 'starting a shipbroking business'.

    Check it out when you get the chance

    Thank you for stopping in!

    VS

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  16. Hi VS

    Thank you for such a well written blog. I need some guidance from you. I am working as a Consultant in one of the Big 4 Consulting companies for around a year or so. However, my role here is neither challenging nor exciting. Recently, I received an offer after several rounds of discussion with a Shipbroking company.

    I am an engineer and have further completed my MBA. Would the role of shipbroker be suitable for me as I have no experience in this field at all. I am sure that what you have explained in this article is exactly as per my tastes.

    Another question, I need some more explanation from you to the question that if it is a low entry barrier profession then why is the supply low.

    Finally, how much does one get paid as a percentage of deals they close? Or is it not linked to the deals you do? Ive read your post about brokers getting upto 30% of revenue that they generate. Is that true?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Regards
    Maanu

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  17. Howdy Maanu

    Anyone can be a broker. You just need some smarts and some energy...You are over qualified if anything.

    Low supply - good question. The main reason is that the industry is quite secretive. Also it must be said that the Industry is also extremely competative and at time stressful. So I would say that there is a highish attrition rate for junior shipbrokers.

    Get past the first 3 years....and even if you want to leave you can't!

    Most brokers have a very healthy base wage. The bonus structure depends on the firm involved. 40 percent of revenue above costs in not uncommon.

    cheers
    VS

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  18. dear vs,
    i am a graduate of maritme studies in greece.I am a really hard worker and very passionate about shipping but i believe that i lack of communication skills and i am not so much an extroverted personality.do you think tha i could succeed as a shipbroker?? would you recommend a ship operation career rather than a shipbroker? And finally,is a ship operator paid as well as a shipbroker?I am looking forward to hearing from you.
    thank you in advance

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  19. Hi Virtual Shipbroker

    I am not going to sound very original based on the comments that I read but anyway I'd like to congratulate you on your blog which is very well written and even a bit captivating. I can't really remember how i ended up here but I've stayed much longer that I usually do on such websites. I don't know if it's the casual but insightful way you write or the feeling i had that all my questions were answered before I can clearly formulate them in my mind, but there is something which makes this site difficult to leave.

    However there was one question that I asked myself and that I havn't seen yet (well I havn t read aaaaaalll the posts on the other hand but well..): I for one am lucky enough on the money front, my job pays well and is even kind of exciting to some extent, so among the good points that you listed about shipbroking the one that struck me was travel (ranked 2nd in the list!). Because that's what i m missing in my job! but as a shipbroker why, when and where do you travel?? for how long? is it kind of adventurous, do you go to original places, or is it just the usual business trip?

    This is what would make a difference with most jobs in my humble opinion.
    Thanks in advance and keep on the good work :)
    Clement

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  20. Hi VS

    I am currently an officer in the british army but will be leaving in early 2012 (This may seem a long way away but I am a big believer in plan early). I am starting to look at new careers and wanted something that was varied, challenging with potential for personal development and international travel.

    Ship broking seems to fit the bill but i am unsure about my best route in. I have no experience of the industry so am considering doing an MBA in shipping. Do you think this is useful or relevant? Or is there some more suitable course to do?

    I am also interested to know how they view older applicants as I will be 34 when I leave the army.

    Really useful blog. Many thanks in anticipation.

    Andy

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  21. Hi

    Thanks for the post. You could be a little old to get into shipbroking especially with no maritime background.

    An MBA in shipping is great but will suit you more in a management role rather than broking and trading whose trainees tend to be in their early 20's and willing to accept low pay early on.

    Sorry - wish I could offer some better advice.

    If you have contacts in the shipping industry then thats a whole different story.

    Brgds
    VS

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  22. i'm a recruiter focused on maritime sector and ship brokers and charterers are who i deal with, alongside freight traders and oil traders.

    one question i have is that if i'm looking into joining the industry myself, what's the best way to go about it? there's the dry cargo, offshore, chem oil etc.

    keep up with the blog, i googled and chanced upon it. are you still in the industry with a company or your own company etc?

    S

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  23. I REALLY LIKE UR BLOG.I DID MBA IN DEC 2008,GOT INTO DRY CARGO CHARTERING BCZ NOT MANY JOBS FOR BUSINESS GRADUATES WERE AVAILABLE.I M WORKING IN AN OPERATOR HOUSE FOR 20 MONTHS NOW AND HAVE MANAGED TO DO 6 FIXTURES IN THIS PERIOD,M GOING TO APPEAR IN THE UPCOMING ICS EXAM JUST TO GAIN BETTER KNOWLEDGE OF OVERALL SHIPPING.CAN THIS MBA DEGREE + WORK EXPERIENCE + ICS HELP ME GROW IN THE FIELD????IF YES WHAT OPPORTUNITIES I CAN HAVE 2 YEARS DOWN THE LANE???LOOKING FOR UR ADVISE AND COMMENTS.TKS

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  24. Hi VS,

    I am wondering in the line of shipbroking, whether there is any discrimination against females?

    You see, I'm interested in this line, but I've heard that companies often preferred males due to the need for shipbrokers to engage in "entertainment"..

    Is this true? And if it is, may I know what sort of entertainment is in store usually?

    BTW, u have a great blog, keep it up! :)

    Cheers,
    nat.C

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  25. Slash - sounds like you are licking goals. You have all you need to be a top chartering / broker. If you wanna get into managment an MBA would be great. Not many shipping ceos have MBA's. Many have no degree at all but this is changing fast. Bottom line is this. You can make millions with what yu already have just by being a great broker and great trader. You can hoever move up into CEO level quicker by having an MBA. Best wishes

    Natc - I have made your post into a new thread. Please check the main page of the blog.

    Cheers
    VS

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  26. why is vs posting with the anonymous name????

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  27. Yes its me slash - sorry that im posting as anonymous. My laptop is getting fixed and I am on a rented one and for somereason wont allow me to enter blogspot and post without being anonymous. Reminder I can moderate this blog so I would never let anyone reply using my name

    cheers
    VS

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  28. hi, i have been a chemical/cpp broker and im starting my own shop. could you guide me where i can find proforma CP of Asbatankvoy. FYI i have put my first vsl on subs (on my own venture!). Subs should not be a prob but need the Asbatankvoy CP. would highly appreciate if your assistance.

    cheers
    MJ

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  29. hi and congratulations for how simply your blog explains thing and shipbroking. what i would like to ask is if the ICS professional qualification is more preferable than an MSc in shipping as far as the needs of the market for executives are concerned

    thank you in advance,
    vf

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  30. Hi and thanks for stopping in..

    They are both equally important...no real difference..

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  31. Informative and very captivating blog....

    40 years of age and finally, I have managed to get into shipbroking. 25 interviews in 2 and a half months, I have now joined one of the largest brokerages out there (3 months in).

    I was originally looking at getting into snp and have ended up on the dry cargo, supramax desk...(foot in the door).

    With over 20 years in sales working up to middle management level (no direct shipbroking experience) I am now faced with having to start all over again. Not an issue for someone like myself who thrives on variety, new challenges at work and building good solid relationships with people (which I am sure this industry will satisfy).
    I have managed to get my updating limited to mornings and am thereafter able to get on the phones to speak to charterers and shipowners.

    Everything so far is going well. A bit more structure to my training would make the whole learning experience that much better...
    My questions keep coming and the answers although limited, can be plentiful and very sporadic. Either too much info or not enough and coming from all angles... (Confused? So am I...)

    What suggestions would you have so that I can get up and running in the quickest of times and use the information I am receiving in a practical manner?
    Is there anything I should be doing alongside my work that would help the process along.

    Many thanks for your comments

    RJ

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  32. Thank you VS for your prompt and encourageing response.

    I keep motoring on.... The mentoring you offer through your course and support through your books may have to be the structure I have been looking for.

    Just mulling it over before making a decision.

    RJ

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  33. hello VS,

    I have marine background, sailing as Third Officer in FG vessels. I want to switch over my career in shore jobs specially building my career in ship chartering or broking. I have graduation in b.sc nautical science from india. Planning to register myself For ICS exams from this months. Please suggest me about career and job prospects for near future as ship charterer or broker.

    Thank you,
    please reply

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  34. Hi
    I am a Economics and Business student in my second year of study at university in the UK. I was just wondering what the best course of action would be for me now if i was to commit to becoming a shipbroker, what would the best skills that i could get to make my CV stand out and what is the best experience i could get to prepare me? is the fact that i do not do a maritime related degree an issue and what level of education do brokers usually look for?
    Enjoy your blog please reply

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  35. Hello,
    I am currently pursuing MICS in ICS London. Is it good?

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  36. Hi VS,

    Been reading your blog for a couple of days and you sound insightful. Being a chief officer in the merchant navy, i have a 17 yrs sailing exp. im 34 yrs now and am interested in getting into something else. Since i have been sailing only on container ships i would like to know what job prospects i can look forward to in chartering and Brokering. Will i have to join also as a Trainee Broker and what wages can i expect. im living in Delhi and there are a couple of brokerage firms here but i dont know which ones are good for hiring. I havent done any additional courses. would you recommend getting into brokerage for me.

    Tks
    Pari

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