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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

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why do many shipowners selectively circulate open positions? Answer...

I have bumper the answer from the previous post so that everyone can read.


Nice feedback everyone.
Gregocebr, Gary and Varun - all spot on.
The main reason is simple supply and demand.

If a shipowner has 20 ships and 7 of his ships are open over the next month in Singapore / Japan range for example - then he / she would being doing themselves a disservice telling the world that they have 7 ships open around the same time in the same place.

Makes more sense to say you have 2 ships open. That way charterers think there are less ships (supply side economics) to choose from then there actually are. "Shipowners hat" - Less tonnage supply means better bargaining position -means higher price.

(same reason in really low market shipowners layup some vessels. Ie to reduce overall supply in the market and thus keep overall prices high)

And as Gary quite rightly points out - charterers can play the same game. Many charterers have more than one cargo but you would never know. They tell the market there is one cargo, quickly fix one ships and abracadbra 2 days later they take a second ship for what looks like the same requirement. Funny that.

Smart play! If they (charterers) had told the market (shipowners) that there were two open cargo positions that would immediately lessen their bargaining positions because more cargo means more demand(for ships)and thus the propensity for higher freight prices.

That my friends is why brokering is not just about matching open ships to open cargoes.
It is also a huge reason as to why internet trading platforms will only have limited use.

And above all else its a huge reason why shipbrokers need to have close relationships with clients. The best brokers have inside information and protect/circulate that information in ways that lead to more deals now and in the future.

Many thanks for the question and the contributions.



  1. VS-
    I stumbled across your blog in researching info in regards to an upcoming internship I have lined up for the Summer. I have read every single one of your blogs and have found them VERY informational.

    I would love to buy your book, but it will have to wait a little as money is tight (college student who personally finances all living and education expenses while working and studying full time). However I hope to read it soon in addition to being a part of your 3 month mentoring program :)

    The internship program entails tanker market broking, sales and purchase, operations and administration, and the consulting and maritime transportation advisory services offered with the company. I will be in New York then transfer to Peru for a total duration of three months. I am hoping to gain some valuable experience during this internship but still wonder what my salary's worth will be once I graduate with a degree in global studies and international business? The question stems from the fact that I live in the southwest (not in a coastal city), therefore ongoing experience within the industry is difficult to achieve as of right now. However I have situated myself with an internship in public policy with an organization that deals with security and competitiveness of North America and am currently working on an economic profile for a trade corridor that runs through Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. I later plan for the Spring semester of 2010 to get experience in lobbying. After I graduate I plan on moving to New York, Texas, Atlanta or Florida.

    All in all, I guess my questions here are, what will be my salaries worth in the shipping industry once I complete this internship given the fact that my actual shipping experience would be only three months, but also with my other experiences and education in mind?

    I know you mentioned a junior broker playing it smart should be making $80,000 after 3 yrs. However I believe I still, will not be at a junior broker's level once I graduate. Perhaps I am underestimating myself and/ or the amount I could learn in the 3 month internship program.

    In addition, am I on the right path for the experience I am attempting to acquire given the state of my current geographical location? Would you have any recommendations?

    VS, thank you once again for this blog. It will be my bible for quite some time to come. :)

    I hope all is well at your end and really hope to hear from you.

    my email is v.flautist@gmail.com

    Thank you in advance, if you actually read this whole message.

    Not so anonymous,
    Maria Victoria

  2. Hello Maria

    Many thanks for the message. Its sounds like you have a very exciting time ahead. All I can say is well done and enjoy the process. Your questions regarding starting salaries is difficult to answer.

    I think what everyone needs to realise is that competition for junior positions is fierce and although your experience is top rate - it probably will not be too different to a number of other top rate prospects..

    What does this mean - I think you should have lowish expectations regarding starting salaries BUT your background should place you at the front of the Q at most shipbrokering / chartering organisations..

    Remember - its all about getting your foot in the door - the first few years salary are important but not too important.

    With regards to your geographical location. In Inside shiprboking i discuss the various roles that shipbroker play throughout the industry - and many of the roles are situated no where near the SEA!

    Lots of options for you.

    Good luck and thanks for stopping by..

    BTW - I will be taking 3 new student for the 3 month 'dry cargo' mentor program sometime in February. I have already got some good interest. If you are keen to register interest - drop me a line.

    i will post more details regarding the program down the track.