Charterers’ Shipbrokers

Charterers’ Shipbrokers often work exclusively for (and sometimes even be owned by) one charterer, often a large trading house or one of the oil majors, although these shipbrokers will not necessarily bear the same name as their parent company. They could well be independent shipbrokers who specialise in working for a number of charterers, in which case these charterers might retain them on an ‘exclusive’ basis. Some shipbrokers also look after all the post-fixture work for their charterers, thereby sometimes earning a retainer fee as well as the usual broker’s commission, which is 1.25% of the value of the total freight. This exclusivity may perhaps apply only to the trading centre (i.e. city or country) where the broker is situated – eg exclusive for the UK – or he may be totally exclusive on a world-wide basis. Such a totally exclusive broker will not have to share his exclusivity/work with any other broker but an exclusivity which is restricted to one country or region may well mean that a number of ‘semi- exclusive’ shipbrokers may be called upon by the trader to find a suitable vessel. Some shipbrokers who work in this way call themselves direct  shipbrokers, thereby distinguishing themselves from those other shipbrokers whom they approach in the course of trying to locate the right vessel for their principals. Such shipbrokers report directly to the charterers rather than via a competitive intermediary. DO NOT CONFUSE Charterers’ Agents: this name sometimes causes confusion, since it also refers to those port agents who have been nominated by charterers.