Merchant Navy V/S Ship Brokering


Both ship brokering and the merchant navy have benefits and drawbacks altogether. Merchant Navy involves working on commercial vessels, including different types of vessels, transportation of goods and people by cruise or passenger ships across the world. In the Merchant Navy, various ranks exist, such as engineers and officers of varying ranks, deck side officers, and seafarers. It primarily focuses on the ship’s operation and maintenance for transporting cargo through it.

On the other hand, ship brokering is a profession that involves the facilitation of the buying, selling, and chartering of the ships. The role of a shipbroker is to work as an intermediary to connect the buyer and seller. They have to focus on the aspects of commercial shipping and manage the contracts.

1:- What is the Merchant Navy?

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The Merchant Navy is a part of the maritime sector involving commercial shipping activities and the operational part. It includes the use of ships for the transportation of goods and passengers across the world. Sometimes vehicles and livestock are also transported. It plays a vital role in global trade, facilitating the transportation of goods to different ports worldwide. In the Merchant Navy, professionals are often referred to as seafarers, it involves skilled professionals such as officers, engineers, and rating.

To make a career in the merchant navy, specific maritime education and training are required according to the role the individual may choose. There are some criteria for eligibility that one must meet. It includes physical requirements, medical requirements, and educational qualifications.

2:- Eligibility Criteria 

These are the Eligibility criteria to join the Merchant Navy:-

2.1:- Educational Qualification Requirements 

Educational Qualification (12th)You should have scored atleast 60% in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics in class 12th 
Education Qualification (10th)You should have scored more than 50% marks in English either in class 10th or 12th. 

2.2:- Physical and Medical Requirements 

Criteria for Selection To be declared fit for selection, candidates must be in good mental and physical health, meeting medical standards set by the Directorate General of Shipping, Govt. of India.
Vision RequirementsCandidates for the DNS (IMU) program must have 6/6 vision in both eyes or 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other eye. Color blindness is not allowed.
Certification of FitnessMedical fitness needs certification by DG Shipping-approved company doctors.
Age Minimum- 17 Years Maximum- 25 Years
Height RequirementFor Males -157cm, For Females -145cm

3:- Roles and Responsibilities of the Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy plays a vital role in global trade. The professionals also serve diverse roles that range from deck officers to engineering officers. Other crew members include medical staff, cooks, and catering staff. Deck officers include Captains, Chief Officers, and other Navigational Officers. They are responsible for navigating the ship safely, and maintaining the cargo operations. Engineering Officers include Chief Engineer and other engineering ranks. They ensure the proper functioning of the machinery of the vessels, the propulsion system, and the equipment onboard.

4:- Career Prospects in Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy offers attractive career prospects that include traveling across the globe, adventure, and many lucrative opportunities. The individuals can advance to higher ranks by becoming Chief Engineers or Captains. There are different types of vessels and commanding them provides you with many opportunities. The demand for maritime transport across the globe gives you an advantage and ensures a steady job.

To gain more information about how to join the Merchant Navy you can check out our free guidance series on How to join the Merchant Navy. To check out this series click here.

5:- What is Ship Brokering?

what is ship brokering

Ship brokering is a part of commercial shipping. It is a professional service in the Maritime industry that involves facilitating the buying, selling, and chartering of vessels. In ship brokering, the shipbroker works as an intermediary between shipowners and ship charters. The main role of a shipbroker is to facilitate the buying and selling of the vessel. The broker works to connect buyers and sellers for the facilitation of the transactions and agreement for finalizing the deals. To make a career in ship brokering no specific education qualification is required, but a degree relevant to business, economics, or maritime studies is crucial. You need to acquire a set of skills which includes communication skills, negotiation skills, market analysis, and networking skills.

6:- Types of Ship Brokers 

There are different types of ship brokering according to the requirements of the clients. 

  1. Sale and Purchase Brokers: They specialize in the selling and buying of ships. They help the clients to transfer the ownership of the vessel by negotiating and finalizing the deal.
  2. Tanker Broker: They focus mainly on the chartering of tanker vessels for clients who want to transport liquid cargo such as oil and chemicals.
  3. Dry Cargo Brokers: The dry cargo brokers deal with the chartering of vessels that are used to transport dry cargo such as grains, coal, ores, and general cargo.
  4. Charter broker: They facilitate the chartering of vessels for a specific time. They connect shipowners and charters who need vessels for the transportation of cargo for a specific amount of time.
  5. Gas Carrier Broker: They facilitate the chartering of vessels for the ships that are designed for the transportation of liquified gasses such as liquified petroleum gas(LPG) and liquified natural gas (LNG).
  6. Container Broker: The facilitation of chartering of container ships is done with the help of container brokers. 

7:- Duties of a Shipbroker

Shipbrokers play a vital role in the maritime industry by facilitating smooth and efficient trade or transactions.

  • They perform various tasks that include researching the market, building and managing relationships with ship owners and ship charters, negotiating contracts
  • They have to establish acceptable terms between the seller and the buyer and evaluate the risks associated with finalizing the contract. 
  • They have to ensure the documentation is prepared accurately.
  • They are responsible for resolving the disputes and problems that arise between the transaction and the finalization of the contract.
  • Shipbrokers need to maintain a good relationship with shipowners and ship charters to get a suitable vessel for their client’s needs. 
  • It also involves understanding the requirements of clients and fulfilling their needs. 

8:- Career Prospects in Ship Brokering 

In the field of ship brokering, there are promising career prospects for individuals who are passionate about the shipping industry, have excellent communication and negotiating skills, and can adapt according to the dynamics of the international trade and maritime industry.

Ship Brokering covers various aspects of the maritime sector and it offers diverse opportunities in different sectors of the shipping industry. The commission offered is more than 2-3 times the salary. It can be 1.25% or 1% of the trade you did, it also depends on the company you’re working for.

The commercial shipping sector offers fast career growth in comparison to the Merchant Navy and the promotions are quick. 

For more information, you can check out this free series on Ship Brokering and Ship Chartering.

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In conclusion, both careers offer diverse opportunities. They offer distinct advantages and challenges. The Merchant Navy provides opportunities to explore and gain experience at sea, travel across the globe, and have the potential to become an officer and structured career progression in the maritime industry. On the other hand, Ship Brokering offers a dynamic career path and lucrative opportunities for individuals who acquire strong negotiation skills, adaptability, and communication skills. It offers a better lifestyle and predictable work hours. 

Ultimately, the choice between both career options depends on the individual’s career goal, lifestyle considerations, and preferences.

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

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