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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sign of the times

It made me laugh when a potential new recruit to the industry let me know that many of the largest shipbroking companies require trainees to have a minimum honours degree in something - most likely commerce, trade, law etc.

The funny thing about that is that many of the directors at these companies barely passed high school (not that there is anything wrong with that). You see entry into shipping (chartering) was for hundreds of years the domain of how can i say this without offending??? Ok I can't....Rich kids who were crap at high school.

Rich kids who are smart = Medical Doctor or Lawyer.
Rich kids who are less academic = Shipbroker, Stockbroker, Finance broker etc

(Being academic doesnt necessarily translate into shipping success. Streetsmarts, personablity, and the ability to influence people continue to be he main traits companies look for)

I admit that this old school approach has been changing for 20 or so years.....so requiring a degree, even a higher degree to enter a highly lucrative vocation should not be much of a surprise to anyone....except off course those of us who have enough grey hair to remember when a degree was viewed with suspicion...lol. BTW I have 1 undergrad degree and 2 post grad degrees...so dont shoot the messenger..........

Lots of fun and good luck with your studies

Yours VS


  1. HEY VS!

    Do you ship your books to Germany ?
    And am i only supposed to pay them per PayPall ?

    Thank you !

  2. Hi VS,
    Well i've been associated with the Container Business for the last six years. And even though i knew about Shipbroking, i was always a bit sceptical to enter the field.
    However, must confess that reading your blogs (read all ur posts from 2009-13, in the last 4 days) i've now decided to move into shipbroking. Already have approached a firm, and awaiting their response.
    Also apparently, having an engineering degree and post grad in logistics, i was told i'm a bit over qualified to start from scratch in the shipbroking industry. I will have to undoubtedly start in the post fixture dept, but seems the 6yrs experience in the container business is working against me (i'm 29 yrs old now).

    Anyways.. hoping for the best.
    Also i wanna buy the books you've written. But was not sure if i could get them shipped to India, as i was unable to find your books on any of the local websites.
    Lemme know if you send the same to India.

    Please do continue your blogs.. very informative and enjoyable!

    Mumbai, India

  3. Hi there

    Books are e-books - once you pay you dowload them immediately! And yes payapl is the only way. You can pay with credit card via paypal...


  4. Hello Sir,
    Your blog is quite informative.
    Where to look for buying your books, what all topics are available, how much do they cost, I am master mariner, right now pursuing ICS PQE qualification.

    Best Regards
    Vishal Sharma

  5. Good morning VS

    Very much enjoying the website

    I have a question for you that i was hoping you could answer.

    I am studying with the ICS at the moment and looking to go into 'the industry' however if one becomes a shipbroker what is their long term plan. By this i mean if i started as a trainee, then moved to junior broker and then Broker what is there after that? Does one continue in the same role for the rest of their careers or is there a clear pyramid they can climb within the industry.

    This may sound like a strange question but I've tried to get in contact with a few shipbrokers to ask them directly but have not had a huge deal of success...

    Hopefully be in touch soon!!


  6. there is a crazy concept of job pyramid in many countries, one being India, where a persons status is percieved to be shown by the job title, and not ability or skills.

    The industry in India needs to understand people have skills and abilities, and this put to the grind, creates results, which automatically makes a person rise within the industry. It is deals that count...

  7. please see below about the discrimination affecting Indian culture. I have an axe to grind, as I was invited by ' one of the top 3 shipbroking' companies in India for a position. The western broker was very good and proffesional, but the Indian gentleman with him was not so..... Below article explains what is plaguing in India. As information only... If India wants respect, attitudes have to change... One question the broker asked me was, ' did I go to school??'. This I found actually gave a very good insight into his mentality. Below article explains well...

  8. Appreciate the comments but i try to avoind political discussions as much as I can on the blog. Suffice to say any type of discrimination is imo terrible. I am at time guilty of it myself on occassion...in everyday life....but i try and have more awareness.