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Alibra Shipping: Why boutique brokers still have a place in the shipping universe

A greater attention on clients’ needs is arguably what sets Alibra Shipping apart from many of its giant shipbroking rivals. Indeed, this focus was what triggered Giuseppe Rosano to found the boutique broking shop 12 years ago in the fashionable London borough of Kensington. Since then, as with many other facets of shipping, the broking universe has consolidated dramatically with the biggest names claiming smaller outfits will be squeezed out of business. Rosano, who was with Simpson Spence Young prior to founding Alibra, argues today that smaller brokers still have a place in today’s shipping world.

“Unlike the large shops,” he tells Maritime CEO, “we do not need to have a meeting about a meeting and can adapt to the market swiftly and accordingly. Ultimately, we offer a service to our clients that is unique, which has been tweaked over many years to create the perfect balances.”

Rosano is also quick to dismiss the whole technology making brokers redundant debate, something that has been discussed ad nauseam on social media and at shipping conferences around the world in recent years. Again, Rosano argues tech will serve to actually focus brokers’ minds.

“Whilst technology is something that is constantly and rapidly advancing, it is definitely giving the more experienced brokers a kick up the butt to pay attention,” the seasoned tanker broker says, adding: “I feel it will never make brokers redundant so long as they embrace it and work with it rather than against it.”

On the tanker and dry bulk markets, Rosano feels that after a dire start to the year, things are finally picking up.

“I feel we are seeing the bottom yes, the worst is past us,” he says, cautioning that shipping must always be prepared for geopolitical issues that are beyond its control. “Ultimately not knowing what is around the corner adds to the dynamics of the market,” he observes.

Last year was a highly significant one for Alibra with the opening of an office in Athens, the company’s first overseas post. Established in the swanky district of Glyfada, Alibra Shipping Hellas’s initial focus is on the handy, supra and ultramax dry cargo chartering sphere.

Asked to pick just one sector that he reckons will appreciate the most in the coming 12 months, Rosano is quick to plump for the MR tanker segment.

“The most sustainable appreciation would be in the MR product market as it is manageable, very liquid due to the middle distillates demand and yet still Gucci Prada fashionable,” says Rosano, who was born in London to Italian parents.

Gucci, Prada, South Kensington, Glyfada … could Rosano’s Alibra be any more boutique?

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