Ben has left a new comment on your post "Inside Ship broking and Ship broker Fast Track.":
Wonderful website and book. Congratulations! I have finished your book in a day and it has been a pleasure.
I have a question on a typical day for a shipbroker. While I understand every company organises their staff differently, I would like your opinion to reconcile my observations with what I have gathered from your book.
In the latter chapter on 'Orlando', it appears to imply a shipbroker's main task is a fixing machine. During my interview with company B, I saw how fixing a deal is just the start of a long process of servicing the clients.
The shipbrokers (not the operation executive) were in close contact with the charterers to resolve problems such as delays, cargo problems, and ensuring the goods arrive in good condition.
Have the roles of operations and shipbrokers become convergent? Or does the job of the shipbroker continues until the goods get delivered?
Posted by Ben to The Virtual Shipbrokers Books and Information at January 27, 2013 at 6:05 AM
Ben - thanks for a great question. For most of my career as a shipbroker (remember i was also a shipowner and a charterer) I pretty much handled everything from fixing the deals right down to invoicing for payment. This also included doing 90 pct of the postfixture work along the way.
infact for most of the shipbroking fraternity they do not have the luxury of a 'post fixture' department. Most shops are quintessential small business's employing 2 or 3 brokers and one admin staff. So for many doing a full service job is necessity rather than choice. The middle to larger shipbroking companies do have extra staff to help with post fixture and this can be a godsend when time are busy.
The interesting point though is that I know many brokers who work for larger firms who refuse to hand over the post fixture duties to designated post fixture staff. This can be for a variety of reasons but suffice to say that if you have a usd 1 million dollar per year client in your pocket you are loathed to pass any responsibility to anyone else.
So i reckon the circumstances should dictate the systems. It also depends on the client (they may be happy dealing with different people) and depends alot on the quality of the post fix and operational staff. Who would you prefer trying to sort out a complicated stowage problem - a young aggressive dude with nice hair (read shipbroker) or a experienced old master mariner with no hair (postfix boss)?
Pretty easy answer that one!
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