Exclusive Client

Shipbrokers are naturally keen to secure ‘exclusive’ accounts, not only does the brokerage these create provide valuable financial underpinning to their company, but working for an ‘exclusive’ principal enables the broker to exercise his or her full professional potential in terms of providing a continuous flow of market information and expert advice. Principals operating competitively sometimes tend to push their brokers into a purely ‘dealer’ role. Few can afford to rely totally on ‘exclusive’ accounts, however, and most brokers compete against others for additional income. It is therefore important for Shipbrokers to circulate details of new business – ‘orders’ – as soon as possible, and to maintain good and close contact not only with those principals providing business, but also with ‘correspondent’ brokers and with those representing Shipowners, whose vessels they may need to fix. Even when there is no particular order to quote, it is advisable to maintain chartering and shipowning relations current and good-tempered, in order to foster relationships and, hopefully, to make it easier to conclude future business. Certain Shipbrokers specialise in finding and fixing cargoes for the ships of exclusive and semi-exclusive client Shipowners, maintaining a list of ‘open’ tonnage expected to become available in the weeks ahead and, just as other Shipbrokers circulate details of available cargoes, so they circulate this ‘tonnage list’ to Chartering Brokers and their principals, in their quest to locate suitable cargoes. The larger Shipbroking companies will probably have broking staff representing both Chartering and Shipowning clients, as well as those acting in a competitive capacity.