Role of Shipbroker

  • role of a shipbroker

The value to you of an established, specialist broker such as DSB Offshore Ltd

What does a shipbroker do?

As shipbrokers, we mediate between two parties to a contract, typically buyers and sellers, or charterers and owners. We act on behalf of our client (sometimes exclusively) and occasionally another broker represents the other side.

How do shipbrokers work?

As specialist shipbrokers we’re involved in all stages of the contract – from marketing vessels, through negotiating sales contracts and charter fixtures, to attending closings and inspections. All the time, we’ll help solve commercial issues, organise payments etc.

  • In a sale, our responsibility only ends with the ship’s successful delivery to its new owners
  • In a charter, we stay involved until the off-hire survey is completed

Almost all ship sales take place with the involvement of brokers. We’re in a unique position to provide hard-to-come-by market information to clients. Keeping our fingers on the pulse, we can advise on rates, using previous business as a benchmark; and guide you on what to expect in today’s market.

Why trusting your broker is paramount

Trust and confidence between shipbrokers and their clients is paramount. Brokers like our own, trained in the ethics of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, hold to ‘Our word is our bond’.

Vessels are expensive assets, so deciding to buy, sell or charter requires deep consideration and an understanding of all available possibilities.

Shipping is a truly international market and with this come complexities of language, region and legislation. We act as guides and supports through this.

We earn money through commission paid at the fixture of vessels on charter or the conclusion of a vessel sale.

Why it’s wise to use a shipbroker, even with so much information available online

As shipbrokers, we aren’t just ‘vessel finders’ or ‘vessel advertisers’. And what you pay us should be considered more than simply a finder’s or marketing fee.

Versus internet brokers, we provide added value. Plus elements of consultancy, including offering you different approaches and innovative solutions, based on our experience. While committed and working hard to conclude deals for you, we pride ourselves on our integrity and will be prepared to discourage you from concluding a deal if we consider it may not benefit you. We value our long-term relationship with you rather than the quick profit that might be made at your expense.

New owners and new vessels appear on the market; ships move around the world from contract to contract. It’s often only brokers who have the time and resources to follow these developments and do the research. The vessel we present you with could be the crucial asset that helps you secure a contract.

As established brokers, we:

  • Understand vessel owners, how to approach them, the specifics of their culture and environment, and what pressure is OK to apply and what isn’t
  • Can very often communicate in clients’ own languages
  • Work outside normal office hours – to account for different international time zones
  • Know the track records of players in the market, helping you avoid time wasters and those who might otherwise damage your business
  • Act quickly – crucial when you’re putting together a tender with a tight deadline
  • Mediate between competitors with a poor relationship (sometimes crucial in sale and purchase), acting as a buffer and even as the ‘fall guys’

Keeping it confidential

We always strive to keep your confidence, and will make discreet enquiries on your behalf without disclosing your name until you wish us to. Many vessel sales are ‘off market’, so clients don’t give rivals the impression they are struggling financially when disposing of these assets. Likewise if you’re entering new markets, and making ground-breaking acquisitions, the news won’t reach your competition through us.

How we can save you time and money

As shipbrokers, we work on a ‘No cure, no pay’ basis.

Vessel acquisitions and sales are often beyond the normal operations of a company that may have no dedicated department for this.

We’re prepared to help with bids, during the tender phase. We’ll support your estimating departments with their work at the time they’re most hard pressed. In exchange, we’d expect that if and when your company wins the contract, we’ll be used as the broker.

It is industry standard that the broker’s commission is paid by the owners.