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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Starting your own ship broking business

Hi All

Over the next little while I will be doing a number of posts regarding the topic: Starting a shipbroking business'.

Question: Can anyone start their own shipbroking business?
Answer: Yes

This is the beauty of shipbroking. Anyone can start a shipbroking business tomorrow if they so wish. As alluded to previously unlike other brokerage industries, shipbrokers do not need any formal qualifications nor do they need industry accreditation. Hence - low barriers to entry. I cant emphasise enough how important this is. A few other industries out there thay may proclaim low barriers for high rewards but they usually high risk ventures like online Forex trading (risking your own money).

Maybe the commodity broking business (although dont quote me as I am not overly familair with that industry)?

Big Word of caution though. This information does not necessarily mean YOU should drop everything, and dedicate your life to shipbroking.

Although barriers are low, there is a high probably that only a small proportion of you will be able to make a go of it by yourself. Why? Mainly because it is a competative industry. But there are other reasons aswell.

So begs the question - Who then in my opinion, and under what circumstances, are those well placed to start a shipbroking business?

I will try and answer those questions over the coming days.

The Virtual Shipbroker


  1. Hi,

    Right now Im a student at a maritime college aspiring to be a shipbroker when I graduate. I am currently writing a business plan about a ship brokering company in one of my classes. I picked this idea for a paper because I wanted to know more about ship brokering before making it a set career. Through out my research process I came across your blog, to say the least it has helped out alot. Apart from setting myself apart from the competition, what other ideas would you recommend I add for this business plan?

  2. Michael thanks for dropping in. My book has a business plan in it - all my ideas are there for you to take advantage. I am glad you enjoy the blog


  3. Michael - why dont you send me a private email and seeing though you are a poor student maybe I can help you out with some extra information.

  4. hey,
    sorry for taking awhile with the email but my computer is having problems with the outlook on this blog. could you contact me at my seperate email? mvogdes@yahoo.com

  5. hi virturer

    I was just passing by ur blog and felt interesting to share my views. Me working in gulf as shipping person, thinking to star brokerign company. why am i doing this.

    1) I knew many cargo movers and traders around globe

    2) Ship owners are known to me as i was working and sharing welll rapport with them.

    By keeping nly above, can i start broking company.pls note tht i dint mean starting as big as others, but starting broking channel in small ways.

  6. HI Virtual Ship Brooker

    while i commence i'd like to congratulate you for your effort to create a point where individuals intrestesd in this field can stay in touch and share more.
    ok iv been intrested more in the shipping industry for a whie now and would like multiple guide lines.Tough your long term relationship with that business:
    a.which courses would you reccomend me to pursue in the maritime world thus guiding me throoug the most recognised schools
    b.If i intend to open my own agency what challenges would i recieve so as i can be prepared for them
    c.Any other rlated information to assist me

    id highly apprecaite it if yo0 could reply me through abdulhalimken@gmail.com because i also have other questions to ask in pvt after you'v brocken the ice

    Thanking you in advance

  7. Hi VS,
    What do you think about those online websites that show open tonnage here, open cargo there ect... They require a $500 membership in average; is it worth it to join? Is the internet finally breaking the backbone of the shipbrokerage industry that heavily relies on connections and relationships?

  8. Howdy - I have written alot aboput those websites in my blog - do some surfing under the terms 'really bad websites"

    Basically all of them are in the main a waste of time. You will find that after subscribing....

    No one is getting it right sofar - one day maybe...


  9. Hi everyone - I am working as Software Developer in Marine Consultancy firm. I also intend to start a ship broker agency/company/organization. Since most of my colleague are mariners - captain, chief engineer, superintendent, they have said only one thing - it is an area where business is done through long time association, contacts and thorough understanding of transactions. What is your opinion

  10. Hello Sandeep.

    I would never suggest that a software developer with no commercial shipping connections should give away his career and try and start a shipbroking company.

    If you have close friends or family that work as chartering executives with cargo companies or with shipowners then that is a whole new ballgame.

    I hope that helps.


  11. How should I begin? I live in PerĂº, close to the Callao Port, ive been doing a thesis about the topic, but I have not been succesfull about the first step. What I'm supposed to do, call by telephones every shipwoner I find on the web? I'd like you to help me please.. Regards..

  12. Hello In Peru!

    Thanks for your post. I have written 'Starting a shipbroking company' for people like you. Check it out when you get the chance - Wishing you good luck!

  13. Ship brokering is all about having a network! Anyone likes to get in this business should start getting to know people such as cargo movers, captains, other brokers and charterers. Without knowing nobody, knowing maritime law and chartering rules very well will not get you anywhere. Once you know people you start fixing vessels and learning everything while growing your business.

  14. Thanks Anon - what you write is very true my friend!

  15. VS, what is the cost of all your three books and can it be shipped to me in Lagos, Nigeria? send an email to me, zukoker@yahoo.com

  16. informative postings

  17. Hi there

    cost is listed and all books are fully downloadable e-books so no shipment is necessary. The only issue with Nigeria is Paypal. I only accept paypal so you will need to see if you can accept a paypal account.


  18. Hi Mr The Virtual Ship Broker

    I am a graduate from Singapore Polytechnic studying Diploma in Shipping Business. My first job I worked as Chartering Assistant for around 2 years and then I moved on to Technical Executive in another Company. My Boss (when I was still a Chartering assistant then) recommended me to go Ship Brokering as he thinks I am cut out for it. I applied for Maersk but was rejected.

    Do you know of any Companies in Singapore who is willing to accept me in as a Ship Broker? chongkaiwen@gmail.com

  19. Hi Mr. Virtual Shipbroker, in so many different ideas/concept, can you formulate your own about chartering and marine contracts? can you depend it?

  20. Hi guys,

    I am also interested in starting a shipbroking company. I have thought about founding a start up with people having the same goal.

    Our advantage is that we will have no costs given that each person will work from home at the beginning, and I assume that we all come from different parts of the world, so we will have an international presence.

    I am sure we might go forward if we share our knowledge, skills and ideas.

    If you have any interest in becoming co-owner of a young international shipbroking company, feel free to share your interest.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Hi,

    I would be interested in discussing this with you further.

    My background isn't shipbroking but I have founded and run a Derivatives / Forex trading company and I currently have a vested interest in a bullion trading company. My main involvement in this industry has been in Business development including building contact / client lists and negotiating terms with clients.
    I'm currently looking for a career change and i'm fascinated with shipbroking ever since I had an internship at Galbraith's.. To ensure I can hit the ground running i'm currently studying for the ICS foundation diploma with Dry cargo chartering as my major.

    I would like to discuss being involved and contributing to a startup as this would be a great point of entry plus I believe my experience in creating and running new companies could be very valuable to the organisation.

    I'm based in Melbourne but i'm also a UK citizen so being based in Australia would i'm sure help the time zone scenario for customers based in this side of the world.

    If you wish to discuss further then I would be happy to provide my email address and I look forward to hearing from you



    1. Hi P H,

      Feel free to drop me an email.

      redtigers35 at msn.com


  22. Hi,

    Good Suggestion for beginner of shipbroking business.

  23. hi there
    i am also having interest in ship broker, by profession i am a marine pilot can it work for me? yes please drop me a email here is my email address praise.ncane@gmail.com

  24. Hello ,
    By profession I am a marine engineer ,want to explore more career option if something there for me and any knowledge which I can share ,let me know ,my email id manish6131@gmail.com

  25. Hello Sir,

    I am 26 yrs old female & currently I am working for a shipping company in crewing department.
    I am interested in starting a shipbroking/Chartering Business. I applied in several Chartering companies for a job but no luck.
    Now I have decided to start with my own chartering company.
    I have consulted people from shipping industry regarding same, but they replied for a female it is difficult to start a Chartering business & secondly I don’t have experience in Chartering.
    But I have big Hope that I can do really well in chartering.

    Can you please guide me with this ?
    Initially can I start this business from home ?

    Thanks in advance.
    Kind regards