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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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A word on shipbroking Salaries and revenues

Dry Cargo Markets have been pretty crap for a long time and this means a drop in revenues. I know of at least two large shipbroking companies where only half of their brokers are currently breaking even. The strange thing is that although revenues are down salaries remain firm because finding good, hard working shipbrokers is difficult.

So gimme some numbers vs!

Well in London for example I would guess there are many brokers on around $100,000 pounds a year mark in salary and would be lucky to be bringing in $200,000 in revenue. When you take into account the extra costs a large brokering shop has in terms of rent, insurances, communicatrions, travel etc then profits are slim. In the USA we are looking at similar numbers.

In Singapore where shipbrokers still push for expat packages it is not uncommon to see people earning USD 30k per month (yes that's right) and only making USD 20k per month...so many brokers are infact costing the company money.

I am not sure how long this can last. These situations rely on 'fixing machines' to help prop up the rest of the office.

IMO a current day 'fixing machine' is fixing anything more than USD 500k in any given year. Anything above 300k is a star performer and anything below that is treading water.

All we need is a modest upswing and all this can change....we are at such a low base that a USD 5,000 per day change in the price of chartering a ship can increase revenues by 25 pct.

That's my take



  1. Good day,

    I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your guidance on entering the shipbroking industry. Your blogs were a constant source of inspiration and solace when my career at sea came to end due to a medical problem.

    I have now managed to find a place in the industry as a trainee shipbroker in the crude division where I hope to make a new beginning.

    In this regard, I have a fundamental doubt on how the brokerage is earned for a tanker fixed on a time charter.

    I had come across this statement which said,'Brokerage commission is payable under a time charter on hire'.

    Going by my understanding of the statement, let us assume a vessel fixed on a time-charter for a charter hire of 50,000$/day.

    Assuming brokerage is 2% of the hire, does the commission amount to-

    1. 2% of 50,000 (i.e 1000$) or
    2. 2% of 50,000 per day (i.e 30000 per month) since the vessel is on a charter for a year and hire is generally paid by the charterers every month ?

    Your clarification would be much appreciated.

    Thank in advance.


  2. Hello Krishna

    Number 2....paid for a daily rate but only billable every 15 days...

    thanks kind email


  3. Good day,
    is there anyone, and I am sure there is.. who can explain what are/if any, the differences between being an independent firm's shipbroker than working in a company chartering dept?

    Many thanks in advance