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Home > Blog > What does a Ship Broker Do?

What does a Ship Broker Do?

Although many businesses may be aware that their goods or property need to be shipped by sea and they may have heard the term “ship broking” they may not be aware of how the two tie in. In fact, few people are aware of what a ship broker does or how they help to facilitate ocean freight shipping.

In the simplest of terms, a shipbroker is a person who is responsible for the transport of goods by sea. They also arrange the buying and selling of ships on behalf of clients.

The role of a shipbroker is to act as an intermediary between the owner of a ship and the person who wishes to have their goods freighted by that ship.

In addition to this, when it comes to the buying and selling of ships, a broker deals with the fine details of the transaction. This involves dealing with both the seller the buyer to ensure that both are awarded a fair price for their part of the transaction and then acting in the negotiation. One a price and the various terms have been agreed upon, their role takes on the drawing up of the contract and all other legal matters relating to the property sale and purchase.

Because of these legal aspects of their role, many brokers have legal qualifications and extensive experience which they may have built up over several years of on-the-job training.

Elements of the Role

Because of the very complex role that a shipbroker has, they often have to have gained a great deal of experience as well as formal qualifications. In addition, many shipbrokers, such as those employed by Wake Marine have spent many years building up worldwide contracts within the shipping industry meaning that if a sale, purchase or particular freight need arises, they can serve their clients quickly and effectively.

Just as is found by many stockbrokers who have to be involved with a variety of worldwide markets, shipbrokers are required to deal with clients and markets throughout the world and therefore, our role requires us to be available on a 24-7 basis.

Regulation

Although many universities offer formal Shipping Business Degree courses, many shipbrokers have simply learned and honed their crafts during their work and experience. However, the industry as a whole does have a regulatory body which ensures that the highest standards of legal, ethical and environmental practices are adhered to. This body is called The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and their role, in addition to regulating the industry and the various shipping companies who operate within it, is to offer a variety of advanced qualifications.