What is the role of a ship broker?

31st October 2018

A ship broker plays a very important role in the transport of goods by sea, and the broker’s main role is to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible, bringing all the parties involved together and resolving any issues as they occur.


Examples of the type of project we oversee could include matching a UK-based grain merchant that needs to sell 3,000mt of grain to a client in Morocco and who is looking for a suitable ship to transport it with a European ship owner who is travelling to Morocco and is looking for cargo to take back to Northern Europe.


A ship broker usually works on behalf of one of the parties but acts as a mediator between one or more of them. The simplest scenarios to oversee usually involve just a cargo merchant, a ship broker, the ship owner/charterer and the purchaser of the cargo that’s being shipped.


Sometimes things can become more complicated, and that’s when the ship broker’s work is really cut out for them. In some cases, we can be dealing with a cargo seller, who has a broker of their own acting on their behalf, in addition to an intermediate broker, the charterer’s broker, the charterer, the ship owner and then buyer of the goods. It can be a challenge to keep the communication going between so many different parties; all with their own interests, but a good ship broker will have the benefit of experience and a good network of contacts throughout the business.


T.ward shipping is proud to have built up a great range of clients and contacts during out many years’ ship broking experience, throughout the UK and Europe. We are happy to facilitate and oversee all aspects of Shipbroking and charters for your cargo or ship.