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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

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shipbroker trainees - be careful

From a reader.


Since its my first post here, congratulations for the interesting blog. One question none did.

I am about to start in an office, no salary in the start.(yes, it happens too, not always rosey). My future boss suggested that my bonus will be 10% on commissions from fixtures i deal. He said that this is the bonus percent in the market but i couldnt crosscheck it. Could you answer what is the basic bonus or how it is calculated in general, not for experienced pros that can negotiate it.

thanks in advance,

best wishes to your blog


February 21, 2010 11:22 AM

The Virtual Shipbroker said...

Be very careful. Your boss could be a crook. If you have no experience whatsoever then how will you do any deals? It could take you 2 years to put a deal together so how will you live?
If i was you I would negotiate a minimum wage. Dont expect any income for atelast 1 maybe 2 years!
If it is commission only - then 10 percent is terrible. Commission only should be 50 percent.

If you do not take the job - drop me a line with the name of the company involved please! Firms taking advantage of people will only give the industry a bad name!




  1. hello,

    i am shocked to read such a message. unfortunately people who would like to take advantage of situations a/o people are everywhere.

    i have been almost out of a decent job for more than 8 months now and i have hell of exerperience. beside this i have received more than 50 job offers (like the one our friend mentioned) during this period and declined them all without thinking twice. because the company that you are going to work also matters. a brokers' unique capital is his/her name. if u have a good name and if u can maintain it like that you will not have so much problem in finding another job.

    therefore my advice to u my friend: take great care to keep a good name, especially in your very first footsteps in shipping.

    best regards

  2. thank you very much for the answer.

    The office i mentioned is a competitive brokering one. i have an educational background in shipping plus few experience. if the office has good clientele, although new, i might succeed a fixture some-when. Is really 50% of the commission passed to the employee that dealt the fixture? That would be dreamy. I am in Greece, and squeezing juniors if ever hire one is tradition. But with a 10% from handys you cant make a living unless you represent many fleets or cargoes of course.

    keep up this good blog


    February 22, 2010 3:42 PM
    The Virtual Shipbroker said...


    No 50 percent commission is not normal but neither is commission only. The only way I owuld consider commission only is if I were experienced and the company paid me 50 percent. otherwise i would start my own business!

    If the office has good clientel the problem you will have is that the current brokers will not let you near the good clients. Especially if they too are earning commission only.

    C'mon you Greeks pick up your game. if you cant afford people then dont hire them. if you can then pay them properly!

    Greece may be in some financial trouble but the shipping sector isnt!


  3. Hi VS,

    Thanks so much for offering such an informative site into the opaque, those fascinating, world of shipping. My question is shipping related, but not in regards to broking. Given that you are very knowledge about all matters maritime, can you offer any insight/advice into the viability of a career in the bunkering industry?

    While the benefits of a career in shipbroking are outlined on your site, entry-level positions are very difficult to come by, but I have come across a few bunker trader trainee openings recently. However, I am having a difficult time gathering info. about this field. It seems quite interesting as well, at least to an outsider. How does it compare to chartering or shipbroking in terms of prestige, travel, and compensation? What do you make of the future of the bunker trading industry? Any info., advice, or commentary would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again

  4. Hi VS,

    I have been working for a shipbroker in India for the past 2 years as a post fixture operations executive. I now plan to work in the UAE as a Trainee shipbroker for better prospects. Kindly advise what i should be looking for in terms of Salary, compensation and if you could guide me with a few good shipbroking compnaies in the UAE.


  5. Hi VS,

    Well i have gone through your blogs got lots of info. regarding ship brokering, I am working in a shipping company at operational level basically on Crude oil tankers and want to shift to ship brokering industry,with a hope that one day i will succeed, just wanted to know if i do ship brokering courses and start looking for a junior broker job, will it be an advantage on my side that i have experience at operational level??? since to get a job i have to offer something to the company .
    and I am from India do have anything to share regarding ship brokering industry in India ???
    I will be very thankful to you .

    With Regards

  6. Hi VS,

    Does anyone know if there are regular gatherings of brokers in Singapore, e.g. every Wednesday night at a certain pub or restaurant?

    Cheers, Ubique

  7. The Virtual ShipbrokerDecember 9, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Top 10 most nights..

  8. good day v s ,
    me presently sailing as a third mate on merchant ships . i completed mine bsc nautical science and a certificate program in shipping n logistics , i like to be a part of the ship brokering. plz advice where start and where to apply . many thx

  9. Hello VS
    I am a recently graduated my Nautical Science degree and want to become a shipbroker what should I do..