The Importance of a Vessel Brokerage Service

  • Vessel brokerage is a relatively new concept in the world of maritime transport. The primary function of a vessel broker involves assisting ship and boat owners to effectively buy or sell vessels according to their requirement. The function usually involves an in-depth knowledge of ship and cargoes, information about ports and warehouses, methods of loading, supply of ships, and weather conditions amongst other aspects. (Information credit: Mako Africa)


    With the emergence of technologically advanced methods of digital communication, the network of vessel brokerage firms have doubled, who are now able to access a larger inventory of used boats for brokerage purposes. This has also broadened the number of advantages that vessel brokerage should offer.


    1. Source of Information: Traditionally, especially in years gone by, vessel brokerage firms had a smaller reach, limited by a few contacts and having information about only the essentials. The advent of advanced communication services has changed this drastically. Modern vessel brokerage firms take advantage of seamless digital communication methods and have access to a much broader spectrum of information.  Because large quantities of data can be transferred globally at the click of a button, brokers are now being able to provide relevant and useful information like market reports, economic situations, government policies and so on.


    2. Advisory Services: Part of a vessel brokerage firm’s activities involves tracking the market closely. This information can be pretty useful to many owners and marketers to formulate future business strategies. Vessel brokerage firms usually have large research departments that constantly collect data on a wide range of parameters for analysis. Analytical reports based on these findings are important for the respective clients and associates on a day to day basis. Brokerage firms also keep track of possible future trends of availability rates to be able to serve their clients better. 


    3. Dispute Resolution: There is a high chance for disputes to arise when conducting business dealings, especially when it’s done across countries, cultures and different political conditions.  Although there is a dispute resolution mechanism included in each contract, parties look forward to vessel brokerage for solving any problems by providing specially formulated solutions.


    The changing market for vessel brokerage

    The changing market dynamics of vessel brokerage is dependent not only on the demand and supply of vessels but also extends to other factors. Because of the latest communication methods, businesses are able to spread like wildfire, with the perception of the business owners changing with every business they see. Other factors like political, economical, financial, government policies are of great importance and are studied in depth to ascertain their impact on the market. Market sentiments play an important role here, as any unsubstantiated rumours may vitiate the client’s decision.


    The world of maritime travel is generally slow to adapt to modern technology. Vessel brokerage firms adopt all the resources available to optimize the time and effort involved. The presence of such brokers has made the work of charterers, boat owners and large organizations easier globally.