The ICS Shipbrokers series - meet our members

Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Gijs Kampschoer is an assertive Ship Sale and Purchase (S&P) Broker with Rotterdam-based brokers Friday & Co. Shipbrokers. Gijs enjoys what he describes as a diverse role, taking a lot of energy from his contact with both clients and colleagues alike. So much pleasure does he derive from his role that he says it 'does not feel like work at all' - a fact he attributes largely to the office atmosphere created by Friday & Co. owner and ICS Netherlands Chair, Rod Schlick.

ICS Rockstar Shipbroker series - Gijs Kampschoer MICS

How does what you do fit into the overall shipping picture/landscape?

We buy and sell vessels on behalf of shipowners. In this work, we are primarily interacting with buyers and sellers and other brokers representing clients outside our firm. Perhaps the trickiest part of the role is that everything we earn is based on commission, only paid after the successful delivery of the vessel.

To increase the chance of delivery, a broker must first and foremost stay positive and then tackle any problems that may arise on the rocky road of vessel transactions. To do this, it's essential to have a good network of shipping professionals such as vessel surveyors, class surveyors, lawyers, notaries, co-brokers etc.

Still, there's always a chance you could work on a project for 10 months or more, only to find the door closed at the last moment if the sellers do not approve the sale. That's usually a one-way ticket to the closest bar. Whatever time of day it may be!

Has studying with the ICS experience helped you in your professional work/career? In what way?

Being a ship sale and purchase broker is my first full-time job. S&P brokers provide a very specialised service. Often, you are so focused on your own little niche, you don't realise what's going on in the outside world. The ICS helped me to develop a broader perspective of the wonderful world of shipping, showing me that S&P is only a tiny cog in a massive engine.

As a new member of the Institute, what would encourage you to keep up your membership year after year?

The members are the strength of the Institute. I think it's important to encourage membership retention. Meeting other members from all over the world at internationally focused events would encourage me to continue my membership. For this, I would like to see the Institute organise more events internationally so that members from all over can come together. Also, access to relevant market information and shipping news would be a big plus as well. Free or discounted subscriptions to for example Lloyd's list, Baltic Exchange reports, relevant databases, etc would be a great way to add even more value.

Based on your experience so far, is there anything you would like to see improved/changed at the Institute?

I've had the chance to attend shipping courses at the ICS, BIMCO and Copenhagen Business School. When comparing these, the short answer is that I cherish the Institute. I've been very fortunate in my association with it - especially in my early days in the industry.

If there is anything that can be improved, I think the Institute could consider the way in which education - and exams in particular - is delivered. It's a very traditional method. I believe online examinations would provide students with a great opportunity to show what they have learned with increased efficiency, while sparing the examiners from having to decipher and correct answers. It seems like a win-win scenario to me.

What piece of advice would you give to those thinking about studying with the ICS?

That's easy - do it! Another piece of advice I might add is that nothing beats the ICS Prep in Warwick! If you are doing S&P, ask Simon Ward if you can do the lecture in the courtyard.

Anything else you would like to add/share?

I really enjoy reading the stories of the Secret Broker in the Shipping Network magazine. This guy is like the Stig from Top Gear - no one knows who he is.

"Some say that on really warm days he sheds his skin like a snake and that for some reason he's allergic to the Dutch. All we know is… he's called the Secret Broker."

Can I get to meet him??


We will see what we can do Gijs! ;)