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Ship Brokers Fixing Cargo Ships Employment- Reputed Ship Brokerage Firms

Ship brokerage is an integral part of commercial shipping. Ships are chartered every day through shipbrokers for the carriage of cargo worldwide. Ship brokerage firms are located throughout the world. However, London and New York have always been viewed as essential shipbroking centers. In recent years, many U.S. ship brokerage firms have relocated to offices in Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut, and nearby communities. Of course, there is a significant shipbroking presence in Singapore, Hamburg, and other cities. Shipbrokers are often described as:

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Owner's broker: His/Her job is to help arrange the most profitable employment of vessels that the shipowner owns or controls (for example, time chartered ownership), always within the requirements established by the shipowner. Generally, ship owner's brokers are not employees of the ship owner's company, but in some cases may be. Most often, the shipbroker works for a separate company and performs ship brokerage services for its principal, the shipowner. They are the ship owner's agent. Their loyalties are clearly with the ship's owners.

Charterer's broker: His/Her job is to help arrange the most effective transportation of the principal's cargo and/or find the right ship at the right price. In some cases, a charterer will employ in house staff to act as their brokers. However, as is the case of a ship owner's broker, the charterer's shipbroker often is employed by a separate ship brokerage firm. Once again, an agency relationship exists and they are the agent of the charterer.

Competitive broker: This is generally understood to be a shipbroker that sometimes represents ship owners and sometimes charterers.

The shipbroker's basic functions are:
  1. The shipbroker helps its principals find ships and / or charterers / cargoes as the case may be.
  2. The shipbroker must be aware of current freight market conditions and forecast the freight market as best as possible.
  3. The shipbroker may be asked to render an opinion on the business credibility of a potential shipowner or charterer as the case may be.
  4. The shipbroker assists in the negotiation of the charter party.
  5. The shipbroker prepares the formal charter party once a vessel has been fixed (chartered).
  6. The shipbroker may be asked to prepare voyage related documents such as voyage estimates, hire statements, laytime, and demurrage statements, etc.
  7. The shipbroker routinely assists in the invoicing and collection of time charter hire and voyage charter freight, dead freight, and demurrage.
  8. The shipbroker is the communication conduit between the shipowner and the charterer.
  9. The shipbroker is often asked to facilitate the amicable resolution of disputes between the shipowner and the charterer that might arise out of the charter party's performance.
  10. The shipbroker should do whatever else is required of his / her principal if requested.
As we can see, shipbrokers perform many duties, and by no means is the above list exhaustive. Regardless of the function performed, brokers are expected to act professionally and in their principal's best interests. Brokers owe a fiduciary obligation to their principals. It is a service industry that is exceptionally competitive.
The shipbroker is compensated through commissions. The percentage varies. For example, it could be 1.25% of the gross freight, dead freight (if any) and demurrage in the case of a voyage charter, or 1.25% of the hire paid on a time charter.

Brokerage firms routinely have an operations department. Once a vessel is fixed by a broker (on behalf of his /her principal), the operations department will regularly take care of the post fixture work. This includes communicating with principals (owners and charterers), invoicing, preparation and forwarding of voyage related documents, among other duties. Many ship brokerage firms also have a sale and purchase desk (S and P) responsible for brokering the sale and purchase of ships. S and P is discussed in another section of this Guide.

Some Reputed Ship Brokerage Firms Information Available in Below Resources:

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