Back to Corporate News
9 March 2016
Service level is key to success in tough market

Jones says BRS has 27% of staff — research and operations — supporting its brokers whereas, he claims, at some rivals it is as low as 12%.

Staying competitive, he says, is crucial in the current dismal dry cargo market, which is “worse than anyone thought”. Said Jones: “Our level of service has allowed us to service big industrial groups and this has gotten us through the bad markets.”

He added: “Things are going to change enormously this year. Companies will be shedding brokers wherever they can. And the policies put in place by a number of money market brokers… where they sort of said ‘you [broker] will get paid if you earn money’ just isn’t going to work and these guys are bailing out. We are getting so many applications from brokers who are not happy with their present situations.”

Surprisingly, Jones says newbuilding broking has not been as hard hit as might appear from the diminishing world orderbook. He estimates worldwide there are no more than 50 pure newbuilding brokers, a lot now mixing it with sale-and-purchase (S&P) and chartering, but those dedicated to the sector have remained very active.

Falling newbuilding prices have reignited interest in specialised ships that are now doable, with BRS, well-known over many years for its marketing of new designs such as the BDelta bulkers family (120 ordered so far), now said to be working on more specialised tonnage like stainless-steel chemical tankers, small LNG carriers, self-unloaders and other more dedicated vessels for industrial shipping, as well as passengerships for which the broker has specialised for the past three decades.

“Last year was a record for our newbuilding department,” claimed Jones.

BRS’ own five leg strategy going forward is for tankers, dry cargo, assets (including newbuildings) and finance, which in future should account for 20% each, and “other” activities, which embrace such areas as marine insurance, yachts broking (but no longer Paris tourist boats, having sold this activity in 2015) some 20%.

Source: Tradewinds

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