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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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to stop shipowners and charterers going direct!

Especially after you are the poor unsuspecting soul who has made the introduction!

This great question was posed by MK a few days back and I promised to answer this on a new post.

Harsh truth - this happens everyday and is an extremely annoying part fo a brokers life. Having said that (yes there is always a BUT) a 'Fixing Machine' will avoid this scenario more often then your Mr Average broker.

Why is it inevitable? Few reasons

1) Power. Some principals love this game. No greater show of power than to cut out the broker and let them know about it.
2) Bad service. Sometime the broker has themselves to blame
3) Ease. The principals may become friends, start socialising and sending eachother business related emails.
4) Principal strategy. Quite legitimatley some clients want to keep deals secret and the best way to do this is to not quote brokers.
5) Principal policy. Some large charterers have a policy that for COA's all deals should be done direct.
6) Lack of foresight and appreciatuion on behalf of the principal. In line with the policy principal above many clients fail to adequately 'consider' the ramifications of going direct.
- ie annoying some pwerful brokers
- failing to see that in many cases the brokers actually add value (alot more than the price of commissions)
- Failure to understand that local broking communities need the ongoing support of local principals to keep the industry alive and competative.

Ok - So how to try and stop principals going direct...

In no particlar order

1) Dont introduce them!
2) Always be there together in any meetings
3) Work for a shipbroking company that has power. They will be less likely to cut you out if they are scared of ramifications
4) target clients that arent power hungry sociopaths. In not kidding. Long term succes depends on solid long term relationships. Remember what you were told at school - pick your friends carefully. Many brokers align themselves with the wrong people and it can turn ugly!
5) Spend time actively thinking about how to build loyalty into your relationships. Become friends and condition clients in everyday conversations that going direct is not the right thing

and the number 1 way

6) be good at you job. Always be looking to add value and give them no reason to cut you out of the deal!

Mk - I hope this helps

Happy multiple fixining!


1 comment:

  1. Dear VS,

    Thank you for your reply. This post is very helpful.

    By the way, is it common is shipbroking industry that 2 or more brokers cooperate each other?

    For example, a shipper contact VS shipbroking company looking for a vessel to ship goods. However, all the shipowners which have business with VS shipbroking co. do not have suitable vessels in that area, but MK shipbroking Co. do.
    I'm wondering if VS can co-operate with MK in order to get the fixture and share the commission?

    Under this circumstances, owner can save on bunker cost and they might be willing to decrease the freight. For charterer, this arrangement may fit their laycan.
    For shipbroker, i think this is a good service for charterer or an "added value" service mentioned by you.

    In my opinion, this is a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.

    Please correct me if i am wrong