Although many businesses may be aware that their goods or property need to be shipped by sea and they may have heard the term “ship broking” they may not be aware of how the two tie in. In fact, few people are aware of what a ship broker does or how they help to facilitate ocean freight shipping.

In the simplest of terms, a shipbroker is a person who is responsible for the transport of goods by sea. They also arrange the buying and selling of ships on behalf of clients.

The role of a shipbroker is to act as an intermediary between the owner of a ship and the person who wishes to have their goods freighted by that ship.

In addition to this, when it comes to the buying and selling of ships, a broker deals with the fine details of the transaction. This involves dealing with both the seller the buyer to ensure that both are awarded a fair price for their part of the transaction and then acting in the negotiation. One a price and the various terms have been agreed upon, their role takes on the drawing up of the contract and all other legal matters relating to the property sale and purchase.

Because of these legal aspects of their role, many brokers have legal qualifications and extensive experience which they may have built up over several years of on-the-job training.


Just as is found by many stockbrokers who have to be involved with a variety of worldwide markets, shipbrokers are required to deal with clients and markets throughout the world and therefore, our role requires us to be available on a 24-7 basis.

Elements of the Role

Because of the very complex role that a shipbroker has, they often have to have gained a great deal of experience as well as formal qualifications. In addition, many shipbrokers, such as those employed by Wake Marine have spent many years building up worldwide contracts within the shipping industry meaning that if a sale, purchase or particular freight need arises, they can serve their clients quickly and effectively.

We Are Dedicated To Our Work

brokers handle the buying and selling of existing vessels in the secondhand market or contract new ships S&P brokers promote opportunities and discuss market trends with shipowners, charterers, investors and bankers, as well as reporting on market sales, vessel values, market trends and activity. When a shipowner has a vessel to sell or is looking for a vessel to acquire, the shipbroker will scour the market for buyers, or for suitable sales candidates, discuss with potential counterparties or their broker the main points of the sale transaction and eventually negotiate all of the details, usually based on a standard contract. During such proceedings, shipbrokers not only negotiate the price of the vessel on behalf of their principals but also all the logistical details for the transfer of the title and the vessel itself to the buyers (new owners), including the banking arrangements. During any negotiation minor disputes may occur which are to be handled in accordance with market fluctuation, i.e. the market may be moving in favor of the buyer (vessel price is softening) or in favor of the seller (vessel price is strengthening) giving each party a potential reason to cancel the transaction. When shipbrokers act on behalf of passive investors or financial buyers, they may also have to find time charter employment for the vessel and assist with practical arrangements such as the appointment of ship managers. Some S&P brokers specialize in the sale of ships for scrap, requiring a different set of skills and contacts.