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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trainee shipbrokers

I was recently asked how long does it take for a junior shipbroker to be trained properly.

Well there are two answers to this. Most companies will tell you that one must be a trainee for 2 to 3 years. The reasoning is that it will take this long to learn all the intricacies of international shipbroking. The average trainee will be able to start fixing ships (with the help of a mentor) after say 18 months on the job.

Ok so whats the real answer - I know I could train almost anyone to be a good shipbroker in about 3 months. That is from inception (not knowing anything about shipping) to being able to front the market predominantly on their own and then start fixing ships.

Why then do companies insist on this 2 or 3 years..?

Few reasons

- Some management genuinly believe it takes this long to train a broker. Most people/companies who believe this have no formal training methodology.

- It is difficult for many people in the industry to accept that shipbroking as a skill can be leanrt so quickly (90 percent of it anyway). if they admit that then they are admitting that what they do as a vocation isnt that difficult after all. What would their wives say?

- Companies dont want to have to pay trainees full shipbroker salaries until they have too. A trainee shipbroker fullfills many a meanial obligation from collating ships lists to attending functions that noone else wants to go to. Firms 'need' low paid juniors who fit into line. Eventually once you have 'done your time' then you will be allowed out of the crib.

Offcourse none of these reasons are 'valid', and infact many companies are doing themselves a huge disservice by buying into this scenario. They could be earning more money, at a quicker pace, and creating employee loyalty at the same time!

So senior managers - Do yourself a favour and hire a trainee, teach them well and quickly. Send any job descriptions here to Virtual Shipbroker and I will be sure to pass them on.


  1. hi

    really good info u hv given

  2. couldnt agree more!! ive experienced this myself. shipbroking is not some dark art that take years to master.. alot of it is self confidence and if you are treated like a halfwit 'trainee' then you are not going to develop much. I found that in general 'training' in shipbroking is exceptionally poor.

  3. The Virtual ShipbrokerDecember 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    yep - that is why my VS dry cargo chartering and shipbroking certificate is becomeing increasingly popular.

    thanks for stopping by

  4. VS
    Interesting line of thought & very true for most industries - existing seniors would ever show newbies all the tricks and information else they would lose their mojo and importance and the top mgmt would realize that the experienced guys are actually not that indispensable & its not 'rocket science'. Do you look at expanding in future to be a sort of recruiter/ middleman for suitable candidates who can be 'fixed' ideally with matching principals requirements - yes on a commisson & addcom :)

  5. VS what do you think.. On an average how much time will a new sale and purchase broker (without any prior knowledge in shipping) conclude a deal ?

  6. Hello Sir,

    I had started my job here in Karachi Pakistan 1 month back as a Trainee Shipbroker, working directly under the Managing Director of a firm.

    Problem is that he is very busy and cannot give me proper time in explaining me the full procedures.

    I like this field and I want to excel in it and choose it as my career.

    For all these to come true I need help.

    Kindly write me on my email and help me out Sir.


    Thank you sir.

    Have a nice day.

    S. Babar Ahmad (Trainee Broker).

  7. Syed Babar Ahmad here sir.

    If there is any certification required or anything virtually distant learning stuff available so do let me know I am up for it.


    Babar (Trainee Broker).

  8. Hi there Syed Babar,

    Im also on the same boat as you are. If you have received any assistance from somewhere please share with me. I will also share with you what I have learned so far .

    My email address is sandile@caluloct.co.za

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Warm Regards,