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 © 2009-14 by Virtualshipbroker

Monday, October 20, 2014

An excellent question about bunkers

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Dear VS,

Good day to you!

I recently graduated with a degree in Economics, and am a Trainee with a large Shipbroking firm. Am really new to the industry, and I’ve got a question for you:

In view of the current falling bunker prices, what do u reckon will the market respond, from the perspective of 1) the shipowners, and 2) the charterers (aka the cargo owners). 

Obviously the VOY equiv rates (converted from TC rates) will fall. Will owners respond by increasing the TC rates? Is only APS rates affected, only DOP, or both will be affected? From the other perspective, what will happen to the VOY rates as well?


Thanks, and will really be glad to get a response! 

unquote

Thanks for making contact and a good question. Yes the prices of bunkers (the fuel that powers ships) has been smashed over recent months. 




As to how the market will respond? well pretty simple really. Bunkers are a cost of doing business (for the shipowner). Therefore when a shipowner rates (calculates a price) for a piece of voyage business, with low bunker prices brings a lower price. This is unavoidable. Because shipping is a fairly pure market a shipowner must reduce prices as input costs reduce. If they don't they will lose the business to the competition. 

So yes voyage rates will fall. TC rates aren't imo overly concerned with prices of bunkers. TC rates (time charter rates) reflect the balance between the supply and demand for vessels. A small reaction could be that with smaller input costs ship owners may be more willing to take the longer road to somewhere and avoid canals that have fixed costs. This will suck up supply and potentially push up tc rates. But rates are already so low and shipowners already doing this so I doubt any impact.

Your question about aps vs dop (on a tc basis) is a good one. APS rates (including BB's) should be a little cheaper because the cost to ballast includes bunkers. DOP rates on a tc basis should remain the same.

Keep rockin

VS


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can anyone help with Pavels' excellent question?


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Hi!
Tell me pls something like 'del Canakkale via BlSea redel EMed - 6k daily' can be automatically considered as DOP rate? I mean if the owner finished his previous biz let's say in Piraeus and then he ballasted his vessel to Canakkale to hold it there idle waiting for new proposals. In this case Canakkale can't be actually called as 'last port of discharge'. So can this 'del Canakkale via BlSea redel EMed' still be considered as DOP?
P.S. Hope my definitions and explanatios are clear. Many thanks.

Unqte

Go on - I dare someone to answer! Lets get interactive here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Fredrikson - A shipping billionaire

From a reader

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Hey VS,

I love your blog! Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough, but no other website out there provides the value that yours does. I instinctively get the feeling there isn't a better site in terms of shipping than yours, because I love this industry and have scoured the web for hours looking for shipping websites.

I have a quick question for you, as you are someone I respect and you also have tons of insight into this industry. What separates the average joe from someone like Mr. Fredriksen? His family was working class, but he still managed to build an empire for himself.

He "started trading oil in the 1960s in Beirut, bought his first tankers in the 1970s, ran crude oil for Iran in the 1980s." How do you go from simply trading to buying tankers worth millions upon millions of dollars? Why Beirut? Did he go for the connections?

I'd be very appreciative of any insight you could give here!

Best regards,

James

Unqte


Good question! I will write an answer in the next day or two. If any readers want to have a go at the answer shoot!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

commission only?

 
Hi VS

Im new in this game as a shipbroker and have been in the business as a broker for 12 month now.

I did my first fixture after 6 month and since I have kept on going and I have accumulated for about 100.000 USD.

I have been offered a new contract where there is a amount of fixed cost, after I have passed that amount I will get commission in different stages.

Example: fixed cost per year 50.000 USD , after that will I get commission at 15% and when I from 100.000 I till get 17% and so on

Is that common, that you have a fixed amount you have to pass before you will get your commission ?

And can you tell me how a contract for a shipbroker normally is salary wise?

Best regards
JE
 
unqte
 
Hi JE
 
Many thanks email.
 
I am a little confiused by your email. Are you saying you do not get paid at all until you cover your fixed costs? How do you eat and live before you crack the usd 50,000?
 
VS
 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Im still here!

An extended holiday in FIJI

So shoot me!

Will post something interesting (i hope so anyway) very soon..

Thanks all the messages - slowly replying to all..

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Cup and other inconveniences

I am in the privileged if not slightly annoying (to others) position of being able to support a number of countries in this world cup.

I reserve the right to claim which ever country (of my multi origin background) suits at any particular time.

There is my country first....I was born here and I am a proud citizen. We aren't the best at football but we punch above our weight..

Then I have Dutch, Belgium and English Heritage...(amongst a few others that dont play football)

With that mix I should have been a better footballer but I do alright running around on the weekends with an increasingly older cohort if people trying to hold on to whats left of our youth.

My son goes ok at football. Is it too young (8 years old) to expect my son to be proficient at tiki taka, juggling and be able to run for 45 minutes...



I really need a parenting handbook. I dont want him growing up as neurotic as me..

++

Shipping markets - ok there is no two ways about it. markets are CRAP! After early 2014 positivity the entire market has shat itself along with the collective morale of anyone long on ships!

We are seeing lots of manoeuvres amongst those with too much tonnage. The wise head owners are looking at accepting / re negotiating freight rates DOWN. If not the expose themselves to counter party bankruptcies especially if the doldrums set in once again...

Did i just say 'bankruptsies'? Shit I thought we were past that...

Stay positive people!!!!

Oh - Im picking Belgium to raise the cup in 6 weeks time...

VS

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Advice for trainees

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Dear VS
 
good to hear you are still on, me and a friend (in Northern Europe), just started as trainees on different bulk shipping companies so we are part of this whole new way of life and heavy drinking style:
 
Compulsory as my boss said once.
 
Anyway, we are both going at some point to the chartering department, and we both were loooking at your blog and books.
 
Since we are not 100% related to the broker part of the shipping industry, but still very close to the whole thing, i would like you to recommend us, which of your books will be helpful for us taking into account we are in the chartering department?. as owner and charterers of course.
 
thanks for your guidance
Peter
 
 
Unquote
 
Hi Peter
 
Yes the world of bulk shipping is a baptism of fire for young people. My advice is yes partake in the social side and yes it is expected in most 'shipping scenes' around the globe. But imprtantly stay balanced. Keep fit and have hobbies outside of shipping. Don't let the social side eat you up and spit you out 20 kg heavier, with a drinking problem and 3 divorces.
 
Best book for you is Inside Shipbroking and / or Fast track. Both will give you lots of perspective in terms of why things happen and how you can make the best fo your first few years in the industry.
 
Otherwise have a drink or two on me!
 
VS

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Big Apple

Have a friend of the blog looking for an entry level shipping documentation candidate in New York..

Anyone interested drop me a line..

VS