How to become ship broker

Easy Guide on how to become ship broker

Shipbrokers are people who act as intermediaries/negotiators between ship owners and charterers.
Ship brokers are just like Real estate brokers who acts as middle man between buyer and seller and help both of them to fix the deal.
Similarly Shipbroker acts as middle man between Ship Owner and Ship Charterer.

Ship Owner as the name suggests is the Owner of the ship, whereas Ship Charterer is a person who hires a ship for particular voyage to transport cargo from port A to port B.
Ship Brokers can also be found in the sale and purchase of ship, helping buyers and sellers in negotiation.

How to become ship broker

For Course booking contact us on +91-9568629006 or [email protected]


Key Skills & Qualification from a Ship Broker

Degree/diploma in Commercial Shipping degree or similar commercial qualification.
Client management/relationship skills.
Experience with clean/dirty/products/oil.
Strong personal drive with entrepreneurial nature.

Ability to negotiate is vital as this is a principle skill requirement in Ship Brokering.
Accounting and numeracy skills understanding ability.
Excellent presentation skills will be required.
Good verbal and written skill in english language.
Knowledge in Microsoft office, ie Word, Excel and using Gmail.

Types of Ship Brokers

Dry Cargo brokers- Dry Cargo brokers are typically specialists in the chartering of Bulk carriers

Types of ships engage in bulk cargo business


Panamax and 


Tanker broking – Tanker brokers are people who are specialists in oil tankers.

Types of ships engage in oil/gas cargo business

Crude oil carrier

Gas carrier

Oil Tanker

Product carrier

Chemical tanker

Container broking – Container brokers are people who are specialists in container ships.

There is one more Ship Broker other these types of broker who is called as Sale and purchase broker

Sale and purchase – Sale and purchase brokers are also called as S&P brokers, they generally  handles the buying and selling of new or used ships

S&P brokers main role is to analyze the market trends and best advise to the ship-owners, report on sales, value vessels, calculate freight earnings, advise on finance and try to find ships for specific employment opportunities.

When a ship is sold, brokers usually negotiate on behalf of the buyer and seller on price,second thing on which negotiation happens is terms & conditions

Brokers also resolves any disputes which might arise between Owner and Charterers.

Role of the ship broker


The role of the ship-brokers is to find suitable ships for the cargo which his client (the charterer) wants to transport from one port to another.

This function requires an :

In-depth knowledge of ship and cargoes

Information about Ports

Loading and discharging of various cargoes on different ports

Weather patterns

Demand and supply of ships

One of the main task for a ship broker is to manage e-mails which he receives from( cargo and ship position) from a hundred sources ,sometimes broker needs to handle over a thousand emails in a day.


Fixtures’ concluded

market reports

Deep information about ports is required, the economic situation and government policies of the country where loading/discharging is happening

Weather and forecast as it plays vital role in calculating laytime

The shipbroker tracks the shipping market closely and act as the ‘eyes and ears” of the owners and the charterers.

Information about the Port position

Vessel availability


Even though both the parties enter into an agreement and there are arbitrage facility available, ship-broker are also approached to help resolve any disputes that may come up in spite of the precautions.

Whenever there is legal disputes between owner and charterer it takes lot of time and money both parties normally accepts unbiased solution from a broker, both parties avoid going for costly litigation.

Usually the parties approach to judicial/other dispute resolution after the intermediaries fail.


Ship brokering houses have their own research team,their work is to collect data and analyse them.

Analytical reports are then pass on to their clients

The Baltic Exchange every day publishes information on fixtures concluded with the help of and some leading ship brokers

The broker is advise on the ongoing market rates and availability of cargoes/ships etc.


Required Information:

Charterer’s & Shipper’s market reputation and their background

Type of cargo, quantity, stowage factor of the cargo

Loading port and discharging port

Loading and discharging rates

Commission details

Laycan (shipment date)

Charterer’s and Shipper’s reputation

Last few shipments , business address and contact details, (PIC)person in charge

Cargo position if it is in the port or when it is expected to arrive

Possibilities to improve loading/discharging rates

Address commission applicable or not


Fixture starts with the process of negotiation.

Ship owner quote’s his rate

Ship owners initial rate offer to be sent to the charterer for final counter

If the rate offer match with charterer, complete terms and conditions of the charter is passed to the ship owner for review

Charterer may agree or change some terms which must be sent to the ship owner for confirmation

Agreement is concluded once both agree to term and conditions

Ship’s details including ships certificates is collected and sent to the charterer

The final fixture recap is prepared and both the parties confirms it

Final confirmation that all subs lifted

Charter party is signed by both parties

The fixture is now complete.


The Ship Broker job after fixture is to ensure that the charterer/ship owner has nominated an agent at the ports

Ensure that the LP (load port) agent has received the nomination from ship-owner in order to nominate the ship with the port

Monitor the agents, stevedores, shipper,

Monitor cargo movement in port on a daily basis

Status of B/L (Bill of lading) drafts are confirmed in time

Loading speed, loading berth, weather conditions must be monitored entered in log book and reported on daily basis

Ship owner and charterer must be informed daily either by email or any other communication method about current stage of loading process

NOR ( Notice of readiness)+SOF(Statement of fact) must be  completed upon completion of loading

Status of demurrage occurred or not

After the cargo is completed receive, check & send freight invoice


Extra checks required in loading port

Payment of freight and commission  

A copy of swift transfer is ready

Discharge port agent (DPA) receives the nomination together with ETA

Monitor the ships ETA to discharge port and waiting time /queue on a daily basis

Monitor and report discharging process, holidays, weather conditions etc

NOR+SOF must be checke for demurrage

Final calculations of discharge port demurrage must be calculated and payment

Below are listed some of the big ship brokering houses

1. Clarksons

2. RS Platou

3. Braemar Shipping Services

4. ICAP Shipping

5. SSY

6. Maersk Broker

7. Poten & Partners

8. Gibson

9. BRS  Barry Rogilano Salles 

10. ACM Shipping

How much does a ship broker earns ?

The salary of a ship broker mainly depends on

1. Company and its package policy;
2. Qualifications of the candidate

3.Past work experiences
3. Performance in the catogery
4. Performance in the company

Ship broker also earns incentive/bonus on every fixture he does for his company.

At an entry level dry cargo shipbroker would earn around 15000-20000 per month

And with experience he may reach upto 1.5 to 2 lakhs per month.

You may send your number in the comment section or email to us on [email protected] to get admission in top commercial shipping maritime college in India

For more information contact us on +91-9568629006

Related Read : Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers (ICS)

Related Read : Clearing and Forwarding agents


Senior Master Mariner

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