Informative and very captivating blog....
40 years of age and finally, I have managed to get into shipbroking. 25 interviews in 2 and a half months, I have now joined one of the largest brokerages out there (3 months in).
I was originally looking at getting into snp and have ended up on the dry cargo, supramax desk...(foot in the door).
With over 20 years in sales working up to middle management level (no direct shipbroking experience) I am now faced with having to start all over again. Not an issue for someone like myself who thrives on variety, new challenges at work and building good solid relationships with people (which I am sure this industry will satisfy).
I have managed to get my updating limited to mornings and am thereafter able to get on the phones to speak to charterers and shipowners.
Everything so far is going well. A bit more structure to my training would make the whole learning experience that much better...
My questions keep coming and the answers although limited, can be plentiful and very sporadic. Either too much info or not enough and coming from all angles... (Confused? So am I...)
What suggestions would you have so that I can get up and running in the quickest of times and use the information I am receiving in a practical manner?
Is there anything I should be doing alongside my work that would help the process along.
Many thanks for your comments
Wow - great news RJ. Just goes to show that with the right attitude, broad skill set and a little bit of good fortune anything is possible. And well done on being flexible enough to handle starting from scratch again.
Yes the 'learning isn't very structured' is common complaint in shipping and hence the reason i started the VS dry cargo chartering and shipbroking certificate'. Otherwise just stay positive, keep asking questions and the fixing will come!
I work for a company that is going to begin shipping a product from North America to Rotterdam. It will be dry bulk and hydrophobic. We are very new to the ocean freight game, I am curious as to whether we should become a member of the Baltic Exchange in order to educate ourselves and hopefully save some money.
Posted by Anonymous to The Virtual Shipbroker at June 13, 2012 7:06 AM
I respectfully suggest you need to do alot more than that. Considering that freight will constitute a large percentage of the landed cost of your product...and the inherent risk associated with shipping you need to dedicate adequate resources for this function.
Yes you will need people with shipping expertise. If that is going to be you then yes yu need to be educated quickly and this is not always possible. Booking bulk freight is not like booking a container on a liner ship...
The difference - usually 1 million bucks give or take a few dollars.
So yes, get educated, hire shipping people, alternatively hire a consultant, and use a good broker. Joining the baltic exchange is a good thing but its mostly just a professional body. You need much much more.
Great posts - thanks for the contributions!