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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shipowning - a wonderful business

Ok time to discuss some of the wonderful aspects of working (being) a shipowner and freight trader.

Having effective commercial control of an asset worth up to usd 200 million dollars is an intoxicating idea. Having control of 50 of these animals is even more thrilling.

A shipbroker working as a shipowner is the decisison maker. Sure you will have management to run things past but at the end of the day the decisison of where to send these goliaths of the sea, is made by the inhouse shipbroker.

Think about this for a minute

- The vessel is probably worth millions of dollars and has taken 3-4 years for a shipyard to build.
- Some vessel are six stories high and the lenth of 3 football pitches
- Your commercial decisions directly effect the life of bewteen 20 -30 people onboard the ship. The master and his crew are your effective servants for the passgae of each voyage, and YOU will decide where they spend Christmans, birthdays and religious holidays.
- The cargo you have agreed to carry (by way of negotiation) is also worth millions of dollars. Once the Bill of Lading has been signed, the shipowner takes effective control of the precious cargo. You need to make sure the cargo arrives safely. Big responsibility!
- Grains feed nations, coal, iron ore and oil power nations, the list goes on.

As a shipowner it is sometime easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Cargoes and terms are merely words on a recap of the deal done. The master and his crew are only given cursory thought when a crew list is passed down the line to the charterer. The vessel itself may never have eyes set on it by management and the broker making its every decision.

When I was a shipowner (freight trader), on occassion I would sit back and consider the amazing system that was at work for which I was lucky to be an important part. Great job if you can get it!



  1. respected sir
    i have completed my B-tech in mechanical engg: this year and i am planning to do an M-tech in marine engg: management but the thing is that i have only an outside view of this marine field and i want to be a chartering professional or a ship broker ...i need to know wheather this course can take me there ...i am not expecting immediately but at least after a few years of experience will i get there ...I'll give you the link about the course and university pls check it.....please please guide me as i don't know any one working in this field


    by the way i read all your articles and i am extremely thankful to you for sharing an insiders view

  2. Hello Jay Kay

    I have had a bref look at the website and it looks like a fantastic degree you are studying. Is it perfect for shipbroking? No. Your study is engineering based and not so much commerce. economics and shiproker based. Very good degree but if you are looking for a job in shipchartering you will need to beef up your resume in different ways.

    Best of luck

  3. sir if u don't mind can you tell me what kind of engg: jobs will i land at after this course and i have heard that once we understand the whole scenario about shipping and if we have the right aptitude then we can change the lane into this business or is it that we have to pass some exams to do this kind of business...which is right sir....hope i didn't pester you shooting one question after the other

  4. Dear Jayakrishnan

    If you have the right aptitude you can do anything. Once you leave university which is an 'insitution' and enter the real world you will soon see that no one can answer these questions for you. In the real world people get hired for hudreds of different reasons. Business is not like accounting or Law or medicine whereby once we have a degree we are now registered proffessionals who will automatically find work. Shipping and business in general does not work that way. Some of the worlds most successful business people have no education whatsoever.

    So in short - no matter what degree you do there are never any guarantees. What you need to do though is give yourself the best chance of landing the dream job. A degree in Engineering in my opinion is not the best way to become a shipbroker. You could be lucky and get a shipbroking job but your chances are slim.

    The best way remains to get a commercial shipping degree. There are hundreds out there.

    Good luck


  5. Hello VS. I have only just started reading your blog a couple of days ago when i stumbled onto it while googling for info on the shipbroking career.

    Im a 2nd year student doing my bachelors degree and will graduate at age 21, the end of next year if everything is smooth sailing: http://www.amc.edu.au/maritime-and-logistics-management

    just like jaykay, im wondering if this degree is suitable to help me be a succesful shipbroker or should i continue with a masters. Im an overseas student on a visa studying in Oz. would you advice me to stay in Australia and search for a job here or go somewhere else. Shipping industry in my home country is not very big.