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Date: 13/02/2013
Who are Ship Brokers?

In the modern world there are easier ways to do business and if there are no such ways then the ever expanding group of business enthusiasts make one. One such group of people are the shipbrokers. In common terms, shipbrokers are the people who act as intermediaries between the ship owners and the charterers who charter these ships for the transport of their cargo or intermediaries of a permanent transaction like buying and selling of ships. They are specialists in their trade and abide by the letter of the law in all their transactions. There are also innumerable brokerage firms that have been established all across the world and have separate departments that specialize to deal in sale and purchase, heavy containers, dry cargo chartering, tanker chartering and also often in demolition sales and research.

Some of the cities that act as major hubs for shipbrokers are London, Oslo, Geneva, New York, Houston, Piraeus, Genoa, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong. As mentioned above, ship broking includes many activities and the major firms that are involved in this, have departments to handle these.

The major areas of interest are numbered like the container broking, dry cargo broking, tanker broking and sales and purchase broking. Sales and purchase is an activity wherein the shipbrokers handle and manage the buying and selling of the existing ships as well as the new ones which are referred in the industry parlance as ‘new buildings’. The process that they generally follow is that of discussions. They discuss the market trends and new possibilities with the ship owners and the potential buyers. In addition to this these brokers are also very instrumental in calculating freight earnings, valuing vessels, and finding ships for specific employment purposes. When a selling of ship occurs the brokers mediate between the owners and the buyers to settle on a reasonable price apart from offering solutions to any problems that might prop up.

Shipbrokers who deal in dry cargo broking are specialists at the task of chartering bulk carriers and are approached by either ship owners who wants employments for their ships or by the charterer who has some cargo that needs to be transported. These brokers have a complete record of the ships in operation and the routes that they take. In addition to this they also have the current location of the vessel as well as the charges of transportation that the concerned vessel demands. Because of having expertise in the market and its trends the brokers are able to advise the ship owners and the cargo owners on how to increase their profits or cut down on their expenses.

The tanker and container broking involve a completely different set of skills and the shipbrokers dealing in these matters fulfil the pre requisites. The tanker broking involves deals on oil, gas, chemical tankers and other oil products. The major points of discussion regarding the brokers of this department are the hire and demurrage. In any case the knowledge of the sea and the ports help the process of these brokers.

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