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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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shipping broker - the many hats

Hi All - Back from a short break.

In both the blog and the books I discuss the fact that shipbroking is the 'industry label' that can be attached to the wider proffession of 'ship chartering professionals'.

So apart from shipbrokers, we also have tramp ship owners, bulk ship charterers and freight traders. The core set of skills are interchangeable.

So to those of you who have sent me private emails wondering if my books (inside shipbroking, Fast track and the List) are suitable material for those wanting to be shipowners and charterers - the answer is a definite YES.

With this idea in mind I will spend the next few weeks writing more about shipowning, cargo chartering and freight trading. The vocations are in many ways more interesting than pure shipbroking - pros and cons for both.

I also wanted to say a quick word about the terrorist bombings in Jakarta Indonesia. There are a number of bulk shipping related fiorms situated within a short distance of both the Marriott and the Ritz Carlton. Both Hotels are a regular choice for the international trading and shipping communities.

We send our thoughts to those, who without fault of their own, found themselves involved in this tragedy. Lets hope for safer times ahead.



  1. VS/MK

    Do you know anything about tanker chartering/broking?

    Best Rgds,

  2. Mk/VS

    My background is in dry cargo broking but I do have good general knowlwdge of the tanker sector.

  3. VS/MK

    For tanker sector, does it require a total differenct kind of skills?

    is it possible for you to open a new post to talk about a few things tanker sector?

    Thanks & regards


  4. Hi MK

    Sure - over the upcoming weeks i will try and make a few posting with regards to tanker chartering.

  5. 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


  6. Hi All

    The previous post was posted by MK a few eeks ago and I accidently deleted it. I have reposted it here and will make a reply now.

    MK - As pointed in in "starting a shipbroking company' there remains many deals doen that involve more than ne broker. But this is becomeing less frequent.

    The example you have given is a good one and yes this happens everyday.

    This is also the reason both charterers and shipowners may speak to more than one broker. Its important that any princapal has access to the entire market. Sometime one shipbroker can effectively access the entire market but more often then not they would need to speak to more than one broker to make sure all the ships in the area and all the caregoes in the area are accounted for.

    Your discussion regarding bunker costs / freight and laycans is releveant only in the fact that this type of decision is out of the hands of the broker. The shipowner and the cargo owner will take all these factors into consideration when choosing the counterparty.

    The role of the broker is to provide them with options.

    When done properly hopefully all deals are WIN-WIN-WIN situations.

    I hope this helps - great question!