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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

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A tip for shipbrokers and shipowners

Ok - in the spirit of the Tradewinds article here is a tip for shipbrokers and shipowners when dealing with SOME charterers. Not all charterers mind you. This post does not refer to experienced charterers but rather the 'less than experienced' kind.


Many importers and exporters have no idea when it comes to chartering. They may bluff a little but truth is they just don't get it - this despite spending millions on shipping. These types of charterers include mining companies, agri business's, many trading companies, importers and the like.

They think (wrongly) that organising a bulk ship is like booking in a shipping container. How hard can it be... right?

Anyway - these are also the guys that many shipbrokers and shipowners fail to understand properly and this means lost opportunities. (Ignorance is a service providers best friend)

Many shipping people just can't help themselves when it comes to jargon. The quickest way to turn off a potential client is to start using terms like 'shinc', shex', 'disponent owners' etc etc. Many customers do not even realise that they are called 'charterers' in shipping speak.

So rule 1....know who you are speaking too and use appropriate language. Dumb it down. Instead of saying SHINC explain that 'the port never sleeps'. Instead of saying 'charterer' - use what how they see themselves ie either as an EXPORTER or IMPORTER. Instead of using 'charterparty' call it a 'shipping contract'.

Those kind of things go along way. Its called empathy! In my travels I organise information lunches where I would spend 1 hours talking about shipping jargon. Make it fun (over a beer and wine) explain concepts, terms and even tell them how the process works, including all the players from shipagents through to stevedores. When you open up this WORLD to non shipping people - they get hooked and you inturn hook a customer.

Rule 2. Depending on the situation don't always call yourself a broker or a shipowners. To many mining companies I refer to myself simply as a 'shipping company' or a 'shipping consultant'. The term 'broker' conjures 'commissions' and 'people of ill repute' even in Freuds day. Use when appropriate. Shipowners you should be pitching yourselves as JV business partners helping 'clients' (not charterers) build new markets. At the end of the day the shipping component can make up 15-30 percent of a clients 'landed costs'. If this isn't fodder to build a 'business relationship' then I don't know what is.

So there you have it - one for the other side (my side).

VS

3 comments:

  1. Hi Vs, thank you so much for your advice in the blog. Gained insights to the Shipbroking industry through your blog.

    However, I would need your advice as to my career choice. I just graduated and am offered a shipbroking position at ICAP Singapore and also as a graduate trainee position in transaction banking in a highly reputable bank.

    Please advise me as to the choice to be made. What do you advise on the exit options and prospects as a shipbroker, if I were to take a change? The salaries I am offered for both are similar though...thx VS!

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  2. Great post as usual. I actually love to explain the chartering process to any buyer/seller or trader and indeed once they start to 'see' its amazing and indeed these are the kind of people who usually turn out to be loyal customers. On the other hand, unfortunately, there is a large group out there who are just plain ignorant and refuse to be 'enlightened' :-)

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