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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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some good news for readers of the blog

Hi All.

Over the last year and a half many people have asked me if I could start a shipping forum so that people can share views on various topics within the shipping industry.

You will have noticed that I recently ran an online poll asking for feedback on this very question.

The replies were interesting. As I thought - there are many people out there eager to connect and have meaningful discussions about the shipbroking and chartering Industry. Equally however, many others share my concern that any real discussion will be limited by the reticence of those already in the industry to open up about the way things are done.

International shipping has always been secretive. Remember the mantra - Big Money, Big Ego's, Big Opportunities! It is for this reason that meaningful discussion from industry heavyweights will almost always be limited.

Others have tried to start a meaningful 'commercial' shipping forums and all of them have been dismal failures. Some forums work well especially the ones that allow seafarers and operational personal to swap stories. On the contrary - getting Shipbrokers and chartering executives to talk shop in an open manner is about as likely as middle east peace (although we do hold out hope for that!)

The only way I see that happening is if I throw a million dollar party on a yacht in the Carribbean - free booze and get the guys to start chatting sometime after 12 am! That could be very costly (but also quite entertaining - would need a few sober lawyers onboard just incase things get out of hand)

So what doses this mean? Well I still think there is room for meaninglful dialogue. I also think that my blog has gone some way in breaking down some of the percieved biases for the shipping establishment. Shipping is a huge business and IMO the industry has nothing to fear from being more open about the way things are done. Shipbrokers should also be less fearfull of social media. Its here to stay and enbrace it they should.

How many shipping / shipbroking companies do you know that hire

1. Marketing managers
2. Strategic marketers
3. Strategic analysts (identifying trends)
4. Social media / web  experts

In 15 years from now - most will...

In such a changing world, socially and technologically speaking this is an oversight.

Anyway - enough of my glancing into the future.

Heres the good news...............

One of the good friends of this blog has offered to start a "Virtual Shipbroker" Facebook page. We are still working on how it will work but I envisage that it will allow readers of the blog to connect in a more interractive way then the blog currently allows. Its not a forum but its a start.

We are still working on exactly how it will work but its something to look forward too..

Keep your eyes open for further details



  1. The way shipbrokering works right now is all about marketing, as technically is quite simple. the cellular ships are getting bigger and bigger .At the moment an 8000TEU's (about 50k mt dwt) is considered a standard .With the widening of the panama canal in one hand and the new orders, with an average of 12000teus to 140000 teu’s on the other, I bet even coal will soon be containerized. At the speed the containerships are growing, in the future even oil will be shipped in tank containers (iso 4275)!!!! This story of economic of scale will sooner or later absorb the ocean shipping all together. Nowadays the large grain houses are negotiating with liners their quotas, on a regular basis... With the globalisation, few big companies will have in-house agents all over, to handle their feeder services north-south, while the large ships will prevail over the east west trade (Asia-America-Europe). I think the shipbrokerage will simply disappear in the future!!! It just a thought!

  2. Kamel

    Bulk Carriers size and number of units is growing at fast pace too - its not just containers. Large grain houses have moved some cargo by containers for many many years and already they have agents all around the world so nothing new hear.

    Like any market containerisation is also cyclical - build too many - market floods and this will leed to dropping rates and scrappings.

    I still dont know a container ship that can load 100,000 mt of iron ore in 1 day!

    Shipbroking is the worlds second oldest profession. I dont see it going anywhere anytime soon.

    Good discussion though


  3. VS has a very valid point on speed of load/disch of bulk cargoes on dedicated bulk carriers. and to support the argument, large bulk houses/ oil majors have enough invested in the existing supply chain model to move to a containerisation mode. what would happen to the mega oil terminals, tankers, capes etc.