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 © 2009-17 by Virtualshipbroker

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shipping Stocks - What makes a good bet?

Reuters reported Today

Sinotrans Shipping (0368.HK) vaulted 15.1 percent to HK$1.91 after the Chinese shipping group, partnered with DHL [DHL.UL], reported a better-than-expected 146 percent increase in 2008 profit at $347.13 million.
Sinotrans has one of the lowest operating costs among listed regional peers and unlike others can operate profitably even with the Baltic Dry Index at 2,000 points, said UBS in a note on the earnings.

The key point with sinotrans is the 'lowest operating costs' amongst competitors.

Forget future earnings (because they are unrealised) and dodgy asset evaluations, find companies with low debt and low operating costs!



  1. Hi,

    Interesting blog.
    I have a couple of topics I would like to hear your thoughts on:

    a) You mention that the language of the shipping industry is english. Even so, in consideration of your extensive shipping experience, do you feel that learning extra languages (Greek, Chinese etc) would provide a broker with a significant edge. Perhaps other industry "players" will more readily trust someone who can speak their native language.

    b) Wikipedia tells me this:
    "Although some brokers cover more than one discipline, most shipbroking activity can be divided as follows - Dry Cargo Chartering, Tanker Chartering, Containers, Sale & Purchase and sometimes also Demolition sales and Research."

    To what extent is it true that brokers take on such a specialist role and stick with it for the duration of their career?
    Do you have any thoughts on the future prospects of those departments?
    In other words, if I reset your career, is there some particular skill, e.g. Tanker chartering, which you would focus your attention on?

    Thanks for your thoughts, Mike.

  2. Hi Michael (Nice Greek name)

    Now these are some good questions - you are hired! I have covered Languages in my E-book as a one of 10 great ways to differentiate yourself from other brokers.

    a) Yes a scond language will help considerably. You are spot on with the Greeks. They in particular have a strong and unique shipping culture. If you are a Greek living abroad or second generation Greek who has found shipping - then speaking the language will help. be prepared to travel to Greece once or twice a year, say all the right things, be respectful but not 'naive' about the way things are done and then Im sure you will have the support of the greeek shipowning community. Lots of Greeks in London plying there trade.

    Other good languages to learn IMO are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish (South America).

    b) Yes many successful brokers remain specialists. Many are generalists - lots of ways to skin a cat!

    People are making money in all the segments mentioned. What you are asking me is what are the trends and the opportunities as I see it going forward?

    You will need to wait a few weeks for that!

    Keep up the interest - you are on your way


  3. second language - whilst always handy feel far more important to be aware of the culture of the person you dealing with. What works in a western country doesnt always work in others! Maybe some subject matter for the book

  4. Good Point Anon

    You sound like an insider yourself.

    One must be aware of the manu cultural aspects of cross border negotiations.

    I will include some ideas on this in the book. Great tip. Your are hired!