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

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rated tonnage

One of my current students has asked the question...what is "rated tonnage"?

Fairly simple really - Rated tonnage is any market ship that is being circulated with the owners rate idea attached.

Everyday thousands of ships are circulated through the markets giving the salient points.

Brief description
Where she is open

Very few however come 'Rated'.

Here is an example of a ship being circulated (and rated)


MV Delpiero 23,456 dwt, built 2001, pan flag, 5/5, 4 x 30 tn cranes - open Gibraltar 5-10 December

Wanting trips to the far east and rating same at USD 16,400 per day


Above is an example of a ship that carries a rate from the shipowner. The rate is a generic rate and makes the basis for initial discussions should a charterer be interested in her.

Another instance where we use the words 'rated tonnage' is when a charterer calls for 'rated tonnage only'.
This means that a charterer with an open position does not want brokers and shipowners to send him/her ships without rates attached. They are saying "if you send me a ships description with no rate idea I will ignore the message".

Smart idea - it makes the broker work hard to get the shipowners rate ideas and it also makes the shipowner declare his hand early. This works in a soft market. In strong markets its not so easy.

Follow on question for anyone out there

Why aren't all ships rated? Why is it that shipowners refuse to put rates on ships being circulated in the market?

Be good to see some replies - join in...


(note: when we talk of rated tonnage - in general we are talking about time charter not voyage charter)


  1. Hi VS; Been reading your blog for some time now - very interesting and v. informative as well.
    Shipowners would rather not list a rate because it puts a ceiling on what they might receive. Why ask for 16.4 when they might get 17.1, and if a charterer offers less they can try to negotiate up. Let the charterer tip thier hand first. -BJK, NY

  2. Howdy BJK - thanks for the contribution.

    Yes - its called foreplay. Its the dance of the capitalist. Who will play their hand first.

    The other issue is this - shipping markets as we know change every minute of every day. There is inherant volatility. Therefore if a shipowner takes the plunge and puts a rate on his ship (for the open market) and then over the next few hours the market changes.....he can then look silly if he then tries to change his rates (confuses the markets).

    So it is a very delicate balance.

    There are occassions however where it IS deemed appropriate to put a rate on your ship (if you are a shipowner)!

    Ideas anyone?

  3. Hello VS

    I'm a new member and new in the business as well, studied about it though.
    It also may be appropriate in oversupply the owner to rate his vessel in such a price that he attracts charterers more easily. Is that right?

  4. Hi there - thanks for joining in.

    Yes in a dropping market (over supply) the shipowner maybe forced to play his hand early. This means being aggressive in marketing of ships. If the shiponwer feels that all he wants to do is fix his ship quickly - he may be forced to rate his ship and rate it cheaply.

    It may be an excellent strategy especially if the market continues to fall over the coming weeks....

  5. Hi VS,
    I totally agreed,ship-owner always want to get higher than market value..
    But however there is also physical market price if the owner agree with todays spot market price may not list a rate..
    But if he wish to increase the prices (especially if the market cont.to fall)he might go rated,let's say he has couple of vsl with same tonnage.
    Accordingly when next week other vsls become open he can declare''Hello my dear i fixed last week M/V XX @ 16.4 usd''such a great strategy..
    Awaiting your spirit.

  6. There is nothing wrong or inappropriate with Maiden Voyage picture. And it appeals to your market groups 16 - 80. Got my attention.