Ok so you dont know how to run a voyage calculation. Thats ok. But you MUST somehow work out how to know what the market is doing at any moment in time. Or more importantly you must know how the 'specific' markets for your 'specific' customers are going.
Average broker: Will know that the BDI is up or down and will have a general sence of the overall market sentiment.
Fixing Machine: Will understand his customers specific markets. If for example he has a shipowner client who always has lots of ships open in West Coast South America, the fixing machine will endevour to keep upto date on overall tonnage supply in this area, plus any similar cargoes that have been fixed recently.
If the brokers' main client is a trading customer who often ships 25,000 mt of fertilizers from The Mediteranean to India then the fixing machine must try and always have an idea of the prices in this specific market.
Ways to keep abreat of specific markets
1. check market reports - although market reports usually only report the main market fixtures.
2 Run a voyage calculation every 3 days. Have a matrix of 5 or 10 of your closest customers favourate trade routes. This matrix template is your easy freight rate reference guide. The only change you need to make is your daily Tc (time charter) equivalent figure. (this will make little sence to those of you who are not already shipbrokers)
3. Cant run a voyage calculator? Then you need to be able to speak to people in the know - on a regular basis. A fixing machine will know how to steer daily gossip conversation towards what is important - ie whats the market doing and what are todays freight levels .
A conversation along the lines as follows
Shipbroker talking to a shipowner -
Shipbroker - ' I see you have a ship open in Peru in 3 weeks time?'
Shipowner - 'Yes we do but we have not seen any good paying business as yet'
Shipbroker -Ok - thats not good. I will have a good look around for you'
Shipowner - 'Thank you.'
Shipbroker - Market could be a little softer than last week. Just for my reference what price do you think is achiveable for your ship if we were to fix today.
Shipowner - 'For a trip top the far east?'
Shipbroker - 'Yes'
Shipowner - We are hoping for usd 22,000 but I have a feeling the market may have passed us by.
Shipbroker - Ok - lets see what this week brings. Hopefully we will see some more market cargoes by then end of the week.
Fixing Machine now has a rough idea of what the shipowner needs for his vessel and can spend the next 3 weeks trying to find a cargo. If the shipbroker is smart he will send this vessels description to all his close cargo (chartering) friends - and at the bottom of the message state something along the lines of
"owners rating trips to the far east usd 22,000'.
Anyone receiving this email will automatically aknowledge that this broker has a excellent information regarding this ship and may choose this broker as a channel should they have a cargo that suits
- The Virtual Shipbroker
- 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