Shipbrokers are salespeople who act as intermediaries between shipowners and buyers or charterers, setting up transactions and receiving commissions when deals are made. A shipbroker salary can provide considerable financial rewards, but like any other sales position, it all depends on how talented and determined the individual is. Shipbroking is a competitive, global industry so you can expect that it comes with plenty of pressure and a lot of hours.
The experts at the Maritime Industry Foundation post that shipbrokers provide their clients with market intelligence and advice, initiate deals, negotiate the terms and finalize sales and contracts until deals are concluded. They work in the chartering market as well as the sales and purchase markets. As a rule of thumb, there are more charters than sales made, but commissions on purchases are higher. Shipbrokers work for shipping companies, chartering companies and specialist ship brokering firms.
Video of the Day
Some shipbrokers specialize in areas like tanker chartering or liner agencies. They can work in a port or coastal area or at an international shipping service center in a major city like Hong Kong, London or New York. Much of the work can also be done from remote locations, but constant communication with buyers and sellers while keeping an eye on the market is essential.
You don't need a formal degree to become a shipbroker, but you should be familiar with ships and the maritime industry and have good negotiating skills. The team from Marine Insight claims that high school graduates can get a job just as easily as someone who has a master's degree. Someone who has spent a lot of time on ships or who worked at a ship operations desk could naturally transition into becoming a shipbroker, with the right kind of job training and mentoring.
Companies have been known to hire recruits with little or no experience, and they proceed to provide them with ongoing, work-based training. As an alternative, many international colleges and universities also offer shipping-related degrees. Agencies like Clarksons Platou offer a Trainee Broker Program for prospective shipbrokers, and the Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers provides training and exams. These education options can provide invaluable skills and knowledge for shipbrokers.
Shipbroker Salary and Industry
A shipbroker salary can vary widely, according to Comparably; they show a range of $10,349 to $432,495, with an average salary of $62,487. The middle 57 percent group of shipbrokers earn about $62,487 to $185,691. Only the very top echelons can earn salaries on that highest end. The experts at Maritime Singapore Connect share information about a ship charterer salary, posting that these professionals generally earn salaries ranging from $3,100 to $6,500 per month. Again, these numbers reflect base salaries plus commissions. On a yearly basis, this range is $37,200 to $78,000, quite less than the average shipbroker salary.
The writers at Alix Partners feel that the shipping industry is in a "boom" phase, claiming that global freight container rates grew steadily from May 2020 to February 2021. Demand and capability naturally decreased during the pandemic, but as long as ships need to transport goods and people, the industry should continue to grow and people will need to buy, sell and charter ships. As of this writing in October 2021, global shipping is experiencing a shortage of workers and significant delays; as this is resolved, it's likely more staff will be needed.
Consider also: How to Avoid Paying Dealer Freight & Prep Charges
- Maritime Industry Foundation: Ship Broker
- Marine Insight: How To Become A Shipbroker – Everything You Wanted To Know
- Clarksons Platou: Becoming a Broker
- Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers: Home
- Comparably: Shipbroker Salary
- Maritime Singapore Connect: Ship Caterer
- Alix Partners: 2021 Shipping Container Outlook