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 © 2020 by Virtualshipbroker Contact virtualshipbroker@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Insider guide to Shipbroking - Tip

Shipbroking is the generic term people in the industry use to describe commercial shipping executives. Its the thing you write on your arrival card when you arrive in a new country. The role and the skills arent just reserved for shipbroking companies.

Shipbroking and its skill base are used in the following jobs..

a) Shipbroking
b) Bulk shipowning
c) Freight trading / Shipoperating
d) Cargo chartering

Although there are slight differences in the skill sets the jobs are pretty much interchangeable.

Amongst the 4 headings above are numerous subsets which make up the entire bulk commercial shipping fraternity. Its a wide and varied game. Some segents pay more than others. Some positions are more powerful than others and some are easier to gain entry to than others. At the end of the day entry throws you into the wider industry melting pot and movement is the norm rather than the exception.

Check out my E-book 'Inside Shipbroking' for full explanations and strategies relating to working in all the above environs!


  1. This is a very informative website - I like it (the posts are anything but "rantings"...) Also, as having an amateur interest in economics, I look forward to your further commentary on the BDI as a "pure market."

    Now, I have a question about getting into the industry through one of the "trainee" programs. What do you think of Houston as a place to get started - are there a lot of opportunities? Also, do you think a graduate law degree (J.D) helps in getting into the industry? I'm not sure about practicing law right now, but I became immensely interested in the shipping industry while taking a course in international business transactions. Thanks.

  2. Hi Gus

    Appreciate your comments.

    Maritime Law is a growth business. The number of bankruptcies and non performance issues is a boom for maritiime Lawyers.

    But I sense you are more interested in gettting out of parcticing law. Well I think Houston is has decent sized shipping industry. Mostly around the oli oil. So this involves the movement and brokerage of wet products and tanker vessels. I suspect due to the size of texas there would also be a niche dry cargo indutrsy there to.

    All up - i think there is huge scope for someone of your age and background to get your foot into the door of the shipping industry.

    Let me do a bit of virtual research and see what i can dig up..

    Keep watching the blog and the soon to be finished E-Book will cover all aspects and 'strategies' available for people wanting to get into Shipping.

    My head is throbbing as ive spent 5 straight days putting my thoughts to paper. The book is a still a few weeks away. Im trying to run a half marathon in a few weeks so training, writing, working and playing with my young ones (and wife) is proving a challenge. But its all good.

    Keep in touch.


  3. Hi Gus

    After a little investigation in appears Houston does has a thriving Shipping scene. Mostly in the tanker shipping trade but also dry cargo. One of my old employers has an office there... Lots of Scandanavian and Aemrican firms.

    Anyway.... i think you will find my E-book will be a great resource to help you formulate a plan to get a job in the industry. People sometimes walk of the street asking for jobs but are mostly unsuccessful. I have some useful tips to help give you some background and credibility straight away in order to give yourself the best chance of impressing and hopefully landing a job.

    Just by reading my e-book you will way ahead of the competition. The tips will hopefully be invaluable.


  4. Hello....I've studied International Business in College...Interned at an International trading firm...now I've recently started working in a freight forwarding company in Dubai;

    1) I wanted to know what was freight trading?

    2) My old boss once said that you can trade anything once you know how to ship. Do you think this statement is true?

  5. Hi Ricardo

    A freight trader is a mysterious entity that own neither the ships or the cargoes. they trade both and run a book. They go long or short on cargoes and ships in an effort to make a margin.

    This is the basic defintion. They can be quite complicated and sophisticated business models.

    Yours VS

  6. VS,

    Thanks for the reply. I look forward to your e-book. (keep it affordable for poor students like myself... :-)

    PS. Are "chartering brokers" a subset of shipbrokers?

  7. Hi Gus

    Yes im aware that this book will be of interest to those trying to get into the industry many of those who are poor students...been there myself.

    The book will be priced accordingly...

    Chartering brokers is a term usually used to descrive shipbrokers who work for cargo principals. So of the categories above in my inital post 'cargo chartering' is the same thing.

    Chartering brokers is also a generic term to describe bulk cargo shipbrokers. Chartering is term used for hiring a bulk ship or purchasing space on a bulk ship.

    (there are other types of maritime bokers outthere - customs, container, freight forwarders etcetc that take part in the container and breakbulk trades. The industry has many more players and involves smaller amounts in terms of revenues and salaries.

  8. thanks a lot for providing all the information provided by you.its really a splendid effort by you i really appreciate it.good information and particularly quality one and that too in a nutshell is very very hard to find.looking forward to buy your books.
    thankyou once again.
    anil sharma.

  9. Dear VS,

    I have recently bought your e-book "Inside Shipbrokering" and after going through it 2 times I found it to be resourceful, easy to understand but most of all very encouraging to the aspiring shipbroker.

    I am currently at a crossroad situation in life. Being a female, 33 and had a year's experience in Post Fixture operations with a shipbroker shop, I am in a dilemma as to how I can return to the shipbrokering employment. I had left post fixture operations work after about a year as a result of burnout. Since leaving, I have been working as a logistics personnel in a supply chain company for close to 2 years now and found the work very unchallenging and the tasks menial. There has not been a day that passed by that I did not regret my decision of leaving the previous job.

    I am seriously considering 2 options to pursue the dream as shipbroker:

    1. Earn a postgraduate degree in maritime studies on full time study in just 1 year and quit the current job

    2. Try to pass ICS exams while holding the job and take a longer time to reach my goal ie. 2 years+

    Perhaps you would have a better perspective to my situation.

    Many thanks,
    AC, Singapore.

  10. Hello Ac

    My advice - Get back into the industry at the post fix / ioperations level. Once back in then take on further study!

    Good luck


  11. Hi Mr. VS,
    I'm a fresh graduate with Marjors in International Business from An Australian University. I'm interested in Shipping Industry. I really feel that I know nuts about the industry.
    Where do I start? I'm thinking of studying for logistics for further study and preparing for ICS. Do you think it's a good idea? Or shall I find a job first in the shipping industry? Or shall I get the knowledge first?
    Thank you.

  12. how they calculating BDI Index can you explain breifly?

  13. Hi there! I am actually an experienced realtor and have done well over the last 7 years but am now looking for a possible career change and would really appreciate your advice. I am in my late 30s now, would it be too late to enter this field? I assume I would enter in a trainee program? What is the compensation structure usually like in terms of base salary and commissions? I live in Dubai and I think it's shipping industry is quite strong being a trade hub..

    Also what specific niche would you suggest given the above? Perhaps one with faster potential to move up.

    Thank you so much for any assistance .. Also where can I get your ebook from?

    1. Hi Nate

      You can download the e-book from this very blog!...

      I wrote inside shipbroking just for people like you...

      Good luck and thanks for stopping by...