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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shipping Markets

See that markets are at low levels but remain firmer.

Ship Scrapping at record levels and new orders are virtually non existent.

I remember at the height of the market we saw a plethora (yes i know a few big words) of new shipbuilding yards arise from no where, and my feeling is we will see many disappear at the same speed.

Also interesting to see that capital markets are still tight and much more private money seems to be circulating for shipping investments. The current state of play in Europe is not helping this climate and should the Greeks do a runner....then who knows what will happen. Most of the contingencies have already been factored into markets but until IT actually happens no one knows for sure where this mess will leed.

Maybe 'short term pain" for "long term gain" is something we all need to get used too..

Also see a new report saying the strongest growing economies over the next few years promise to be Mexico, Chile and Australia. So in every bad market...there are always a few that buck the trend.


The role of a shipbroker

An open question to the experienced shipping fraternity out there...

What is the role of a broker? Sounds like a simple question doesn't it....so let me flesh out the scenario a little.

It seems to me that due to the improvement and ease of communication, over the years, and also due to the boom market of the 'naughties' the ship chartering markets have morphed into 'one broker' markets.

20 years ago most deals contained 2 brokers - each representing (taking) a side.

So these changes, so it seems to me anyway, has made the role of brokers into facilitators and mediators - looking to keep both parties happy and somehow steering both towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

I wonder if this is the way the system is supposed to work? In many other commodity trades 'each principal' MUST have its own broker....the reason being is simply because negotiation SHOULD be adversarial...it should be a fight where brokers know who they are representing (no conflict of interest), and then in the wash up....a deal is reached.

Think of it a bit like the law, or a democratic parliament....both sides using everything they can to win!

As it stands, many brokers, in many deals are swinging in the wind, more politician than prize fighter...

I make a call out there to the shipowners and charterers who refuse to have more than one broker involved in any deal....

Who is your broker working for? You OR the other party?
Are you sure this is not 'false economies'?

Having worked as both principal and broker over many years I have seen how easily a broker can influence a negotiation....and i can tell you that when i negotiate these days, whether its a chartering deal, buying a house, buying insurance, trading equities, I always make it a priority to know who is on my side!


The Virtual Shipbroker

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ship chartering corruption makes headlines

An example of alleged corruption in our industry. This is not the first or the last time you will here of this kind of behaviour....unfortunately if one were to dig a little similar types of relationships would pop up quite regularly me thinks!

Having said that must point out these are only allegations and this was reported in the news over the last week or so.


Oil giant BP has suspended a senior executive alleged to have taken cash payments in return for awarding multi-million pound contracts to a shipping company, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.Related News & Articles

OIL giant BP has reportedly put its global chartering manager Lars Dencker Nielsen on leave of absence as it investigates claims made by a whistleblower earlier this year that a senior manager offered favourable freight rates to a shipowner in return for cash.

BP Plc (BP/) said it’s investigating charges of bribery and corruption in a unit that charters oil tankers. The newspaper added: “The Danish national is alleged to have offered favourable terms to one of BP's shipping suppliers for cash. The allegations, under investigation, were brought to light by a whistleblower describing himself only as a BP employee.” ENERGY goliath BP said today it is investigating actions of its global chartering manager, after media reports alleged that he had taken bribes. An anonymous informant sent a letter to Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley and the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office saying that tanker contracts were awarded on preferential terms in exchange for cash payments to a BP employee, the Daily Telegraph reported today. “We can confirm that the chief executive’s office did receive a letter,” BP spokeswoman Sheila Williams said. “BP conducts its business to the highest ethical standards. We take all allegations of this sort extremely seriously and always investigate them.”

The allegations add to BP’s legal problems after the company this month agreed to a $7.8 billion payout to victims of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst in U.S. history. BP Shipping Ltd., the world’s second-largest charterer of tankers, said on Aug. 16 it lost $143.6 million in 2010 because of “challenging market conditions” and lower hire costs for tankers.

BP is the world’s third-largest hirer of tankers that carry crude oil after Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., according to Poten & Partners, a New York-based shipbroker and maritime consultancy. The company’s shipping division chartered 422 crude oil tankers for single voyages in 2011, or 5 percent of all tankers reported as hired to the market.


Interesting stuff..

If anyone else want to be a whistle blower - send me an email and ill sell the story to Murdoch...

Thats a joke off course


A happy student

Just in from a current student of my VS chartering and shipbroking certificate


Having read numerous articles on the net , the ICS books as well as other so called ‘bibles ‘ like Maritime Economics by ‘the’ Martin Stopford of Clarksons, am the first to admit that the words don’t ingrain themselves the way your exercises do .

With your experience of ‘mentoring’ , you have a structured manner of introducing one topic after another which is difficult otherwise for us"..

Arun Nair - Australia


Thanks for the message Arun and yes key to the course is the structure....it flows in a way that hopefully makes sense, building on your knowledge on step at a time.

For those of you who are interested next intake will be September or October 2012