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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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fixing Machine - Tip 6

Knowing how to run a voyage calculation is a great skill for any broker dealing with clients who regularly fix 'voyage based' business. So what about the majority of brokers out there who's main clients are shipowners and charterers who only ver fix on time charter (not voyage).

Tip 6 - Understand the patterns of trade. Or in other words understand what the market is doing for your clients business at any particlar moment in time.

Remember that the end game here is to be able to strike up meaningful dialogue with your client. A meaningful dialgue is a conversation that will help them make choices. Helping the client in this way build a rapport and respect and will keep them coming back for more over and over again.

Average broker conversation.

Average Broker - 'Hi Mr Shipowner I see you still have your ship open in Rotterdam'.

Shipowner - Yes Mr broker I do. Any suggestions on what I should do?

Average Broker - ah, ah, ah, What do you mean?

Shipowner - I have no cargo and the ship is open tomorrow, what should I do?

Average Broker - ah, ah, I dont know I will keep looking to see if i can find you some cargo.

Shipowner - Ho Hum thanks for nothing.

Fixing Machine conversation

Fixing Machine - Hi Mr Shipowner, I see you still have your ship open in Rotterdam!'

Shipowner - yes Mr Broker I do. Any suggestions on what i should do?

Fixing Machine - Sure! Although Europe seems very quiet on the cargo front we are hearing of lots of activity from the US Gulf. A greek Ship just fixed for a trip from USG to Japan at very juicy numbers. So in my opinion (only) you could do worse than lifting anchor and heading empy to the USG. I spoke to a charterer in Houston yesterday and they seem to feel that the USG will be active for atleast another 2 or 3 weeks which gives you plenty of time to ballst there and pick up a cargo.

Shipowner - Yes you are right. i have been thinking the same thing. Good suggestion. I wont tell other brokers that this is my plan but can you do me a favour. Please market my ship to be open in the USG in 14 days time. You will have the ship exclusively for the next 3 days. After that I will need to tell the other brokers

Fixing Machine strikes again - The more he know how the markets work the luckier he gets!


  1. Thank you. I actually more interested in selling ships, which of your books is helpful in that area?


  2. Hi

    Sale and Purchase shipbroking is a skill withing itself. But at the end of the day it is mostly about fidning buyers and sellers. So 'inside shipbroking' is most relevant in this regard. None of my books cover the actual process of sale and purchase shipbroking as this is not my area of expertise.

    If you have something to buy or sell drop me a line and I can point you in the right direction.