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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 © 2020 by Virtualshipbroker Contact virtualshipbroker@yahoo.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A cool way of looking at things

Time management is an important part of any shipbrokers life. So anytime used not trying to 'close deals' can be a moment wasted.

Here's a cool way I like to think about the negotiation process - and thus manage my time better.

You can use it too

Lets say you have a close client who is a charterer and this charterer uses 5 shipbrokers.

When you receive a new charter order you have

1. A 20 percent chance of doing a FIXTURE (one out of five brokers)

2. When you receive an indication from an owner this percentage (i reckon) goes up to 30 percent chance of doing a FIXTURE. (an Indication is a big deal. But other brokers will also be bringing in a few indications)

3. If you receive an offer from a shipowner I suggest that your chances of doing this FIXTURE go up to say 40 percent. (A broker needs to treat offers very seriously. This means you are getting closer to being in the money!)

4. If you get a counter offer (from the charterer) - then this percentage goes up again to say 70 percent. (yes a counter offer improves your chances by a huge percentage. It means the two parties are now actively involved in a trade and have invested time and effort to take this further).

5. You are fixed on "main terms" (yahooooooooooo!!!!!!!). This means that you have agreed all the main points - but is this time to start popping the champagne? No you are still only 90 percent there.

6. Main terms subjects are lifted (Yahoo.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) - 98 percent (you still have the charterparty to negotiate!)

7. Fixed clean - now you can relax - the deal is complete - well almost anyway. Even when you are fixed clean there is a 1 percent chance that the shipment will not happen. Force Majeur, counterparties walking away from contracts, ships sinking, companies going bankrupt, collissions etc etc - all can happen.

What does this mean? It means you must prioritise your time. When you receive an offer from a client this is more important then sending around an order from another client. If you are in the middle of a negotiation and someone asks you to play golf - what do you say?

Check out this diagram

Play it smart - use your time wisely - and watch your bank account grow.


  1. random question: whats the difference in draft when travelling from the winter zone into the summer zones?

  2. Hi Ying

    The relevance of this question has to do with the draft of the ship in different water densities.

    Each ship has a draft scale telling you how low in the water the ship will sit carrying different cargo weights in different water conditions. As a shipowner (in the past) I just refer to this scale if any doubt regarding the ships ability to meet a ports (and seaways) draft. Its not something a broker needs to worry about too much.


  3. hi have a question which is not clear on my mind.

    after fixing main terms, what does means sub lifted ?

    does it mean both parties(chrtr&owr) confirmation/approval on main terms? is it a process after drawing recap for final check ?

    or am I totaly wrong ?

    Can you clarify ?

    Thnks in advance.