An Interesting development in the world of Shipbroking? Or just another entrepreneurial idea. I usually wouldn't touch this topic but a few people have contacted me asking my advice regarding the terms and conditions (if you can call them that) for a proposed new shipbroking company intent on world domination. They are currently advertising in tradewinds and they go by the name of "About Shipbroking Ltd"
here is the crux of the idea / proposal
(what they are sending potential employees by email without proper vetting)
1. They are looking to revolutionise shipbroking
2. They intend to be the largest shipbroker in the world across all markets
3. There is no salaries
4. You do all the work locally but hand over between 15-30 pct of commission to the parent company
5. In return they let you use their brand name and use their computer systems and back up staff
6. They domicield in the shipping tax haven of Greece
7. No mention of company structure or set up of management and how much control they do or do not exert
8. Bonus and share shcemes that reward loyalty and performance
9. They plan to hit the gound running 1st May 2012
This section is quite interesting
DESCRIPTION OF EMPLOYER’S AND EMPLOYEE'S DUTIES
Subject to the supervision and pursuant to the orders, advice, and direction of employer, employee shall perform such duties as are customarily performed by one holding such position in other businesses or enterprises of the same or similar nature as that engaged in by employer.
Duties to be split as follows:
Position database update. Chartering or S&P.
Post fixture service.
Each party to provide and pay for the following:
Office in Greece. Local office (or work from home).
Fast internet connection in Greece. Fast internet connection locally.
System server in Greece. Laptop or PC.
Phone expenses in Greece. Phone expenses locally (SKYPE).
Shipbroking software. Local taxes on compensation.
Travel and representation expenses Pensions and health insurance.
for shipbroker dinners or big events Travel and representation
representing the company, always expenses for local or own client visits
subject to management approval.
If these above main terms involved can be of your interest, then please indicate your firm interest latest ........... 2012 in order that our new appointed managing director then can email you the full contract terms.
Board member About Shipbroking LTD
So my read on this situation is as follows
A few shipping entrepreneurs with an idea and some cash have the following idea which for the boss's means very little ongoing work but the promise of passive cashflow moving forward.
1. Set up an office in the tax free haven of Greece
2. Employ 3 or 4 admin staff, rent a nice but small office
3. Invest in a fairly good shipbroker software package, servers etc
4. Convince brokers that there is a benefit from using said companies name, share info resources and back office staff
5. The tempting bit is there is not investment needed
6. The less than interesting bit is that brokers are basically working for commission only and if they do fix they need to give about shipbroker between 10 and 30 percent
7. Shipbrokers pretty much on their own in terms of cost, travel, training etc.
Look - my first impression is that this idea is quite interesting but then i realised a few things
1. this is pretty much a commission only deal where you keep most of it but you also do most of the work
2. How will the parent company split geographic and market regions. What if I choose say Singapore and another 10 people also want Singapore?
3. How will the standard of service / ethics / training be monitored? Companies run on reputations. If anyone can become a rep in an area how can i be sure the companies reputation will not be sullied and will not effect my business?
4. How will these guys in head office stop internal competition. Anyone in the markets should ask Platou or Clarksons or SSY how easy it is to get keep nice relationships between their own offices? This is not easy as they all compete for a limited amount of business...
5. A problem for About Shipbrokers is how do they stop brokers fixing outside their computer platform ie they use the About Shipbroker name to market their business and then when a lucrative client comes along they set up a separate email system and fix without About Shipbrokers being aware?
6. How does about shipbrokers stop brokers taking all the info, all the big clients and just leave when it suits them?
7. Who are "About Shipbrokers"? The name Torben Jensen is a famous shipping name but who are the backers and the other board members? Is this the Armada, clipper Torben or someone else??
There are many more questions here....the reason i know these issues is because I've thought about starting something similar under the VS banner but came to realise that the idea would be out of control pretty quickly.
Leading shipbrokers work very hard to guard reputations and create business's. They also reward employees with proper salaries not commission only deals. If you really want autonomy start your own business and keep all the spoils
The idea imo is a little bit too clever and lacks substance.
......thats my take anyway - Maybe we should call them ABOUT FACE SHIPBROKING...speak to the hand!
- The Virtual Shipbroker
- 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