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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, January 21, 2010

International bulk shipping is about averages not absolutes!

Having been around for 20 years doing this chartering caper I find myself explaining to many clients that a successful shipping voyage is part good planning and part good luck.

Here is something thatmight surpirse the unitiated. I reckon that for every 10 voyages, 7 will have something go wrong (from a chartering perspective). They may not be huge problems but they will be problems none the less.

Despite best efforts many ships run late and miss cancelling. Ships break down at sea, break down at port, get delayed in a Q's, get caught in bad weather etc etc.

Then there is all the things that can happen on the shore like strikes, berth delays, cargo contamination, hold contamination, delays in surveys etc etc....
One can go mad trying to control and estimate all the possible contingencies.

The cost of these problems WILL effect the bottom line for the voyage.

So here is my advice to all of you. Shipping is about averages and never expect perfection. More than that YOU NEED to manage 'expectations' all along the food chain especially if you are from a Cargo based company. Senior executives who have no idea about shipping will blame YOU if something goes wrong. So you need to condition them that THINGS do go wrong whether they like it or not. Equally as important you need to point out to them when things go right (andyou have saved them thousands of dollars).

If you have a bad voyage this month on average your next one will be fine. Thats the point...if over a year things have gone relatively well then you deserve a drink!

Another important point i would like to make is, that from a commercial perspective, a shipowner, operator, charterer makes their money when the deal is fixed. As opposed to when the voyage is underway.

If as a chartering manager for a cargo company I manage to fix a cargo USD 3.00 under the market then why would I sweat on losing 5 hours of laytime?

If as a shipowner I manage to fix a lucrative 5 year contract why would i freak out about a request from a charterer to change one stem from January to February.

Do yourself, your hair color, and your psychiatrist a favour and don't sweat on the small stuff.

Try anyway!


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