Tuesday morning 8:30am Feb, 2012 and many offices are still closed.
White collar employees are ‘trapped’ in traffic on their way to catch up with their morning tasks with a bleary eye'.
The above scene stands for many but not for all!
In shipping business we have to be all time alerts and work ‘strange’ unusual hours - often from 4 am in the morning--to search and to discover the suitable vessel or the firm cargo.
80-90 per cent of cargoes are transported via sea routes by ocean going vessels and this makes our business a real, tangible business.
Shipbroker's role is a catalyst in shipping cargoes around the globe and this is a unique call.
Too often, competition is fierce and the long hours of work is exhausting, especially when many shipbrokers are racing to get the same cargo -especially in a poor freight market -
In a flourishing market, there is great demand and appetite for more vessels/ tonnage capacity to cover plenty of cargoes available and anyone can and is fixing anything making good money -even the cowboys of the market -
Regrettably, but interestingly enough, Shipping has its peaks and its lows.
Nowadays, once again, we are experiencing a down spiral cycle, (similar to the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s).
This shipping crisis though is different from the previous decades. Is not only the vessels’ oversupply and the scarcity of cargoes trading - movement but we are experiencing an unprecedented collapse in the banking system, the Europe’s financial turmoil and the withdrawal and closure of many credit lines!
No wonder for this is a new shipping recession it is part of the excitement our business offers.
In difficult periods like this, challenge is what keeps our hearts pounding with passion and thirst for achievement and accomplishment.
For it is in this challenging times the shipbrokers -worldwide- who must prove their role significance with showing their focused and inexhaustible hard work and intelligence by providing once again more than it is expected.
Vessels’ owners are very much worried for their vessel’s employment opportunities and the scarcity of options in their goal to keep the propellers running at all times.
Profits are getting squeezed, sometimes close to non existent and often the aim is becoming merely the survival, in certain trading areas and or cases.
Prompt paying credible charterers is owners’ a major concern also which a shipbroker must provide sufficient evidence and information for.
Strategic planning and repositioning of vessels is also a matter to contemplate seriously.
Those Shipbrokers who rely in their personal experience from their day in- day out hard work have better control over their business and do always consult well and accurately their clients.
Well experienced and dedicated hard workings Shipbrokers are the only professionals a ship-owner, a Charterer or a Shipper can rely on in getting the right information for planning the future or the next fixture.
A reason why Shipbrokers should be reading a lot what is going on internationally.
They read financial papers and magazines, political papers, environmental/climate changes reports so they would at all times have a clear understanding on how to interlink together all important information and datums for comprehending how the shipping industry is or is going to be affected.
As I aforesaid Shipping business is tangible and a very real business. Ships are daily transporting millions of tons of cargoes from one country to another every day, and YOU, THE SHIPBROKER - have made it happen!
Professional shipbrokers are not wasting a minute of their day and work pretty intensive for many hours as it is an International business.
Disappointing and frustrating enough when dates change, or when a cargo is postponed.
A successful shipbroker inspires himself and never lets the market’s downturns spoil his moral.
No matter the level of expertise he or she has he(she) always has the beginners mind and treat clients with passion to win their business!
In every call he(she) is making he(she) is transpiring this passion and enthusiasm.
But most important of all is the code of ethics he(she) applies in his(her) daily routines!
Disciplined and ethical 'his word is his bond' endures and overcomes successfully anything with 'clean hands'.
Since we all are emotional these days due to the unpleasant developments in the world economy and the soft market this article is dedicated -as a special tribute- to our special world wide colleagues, our special fellow and associated hard working shipbrokers, who support us since S.T.I.C was established in 1997 until today.
Special thanks to all!