Mr. Borna Petrovic
First of all, Borna, tell us why you chose a career in shipping?
I come from a country with a long maritime tradition. Growing up in Rijeka, the local port and three major shipyards always dominated the horizon. Coming from a family involved in shipping, it quickly became a real passion.
I understand that you are a specialist in chartering. Can you enlighten our readers on some of the different aspects and roles in shipping?. Let’s begin with the chartering specialist. What does he do traditionally?
A chartering specialist, to simplify, arranges the transport of his clients’ goods from port to port. Being a maritime transport specialist, he/she gives his clients added value by helping them choose the most suitable vessel type, owner/operator, and shipping routes. Experience and knowledge enable him/her to negotiate not only the best rate but also the safest shipping solution for the client. He/she understands specialized shipping contracts and is able to modify them according to the client’s needs. The role of chartering specialist has always been important. Keeping in mind the volatility of shipping markets, it is more important than ever to underline his duty to recommend a reliable counterpart in order to minimize risks to the client and the cargo.
Does a broker do the same or is a broker different?
A broker is, by definition, also a specialist in chartering, and very similar skills are needed. The difference is that the broker acts as a service provider, acting on behalf of his principal, usually the charterer or the owner or both. A chartering specialist like our company, Liburnia Maritime Agency will, depending on our clients’ requirements, act not only as brokers but also take on the role of charterer with all the extra responsibilities that come along from a contractual point of view. This is even more important if we perform total logistics services for our clients, including pre-carriage and on-carriage.
Is a chartering specialist also a freight forwarder?
Major freight forwarders today also have dedicated chartering departments. This is one of the services a freight forwarder provides to his clients. There are, of course, still some companies that are focusing only on chartering services or brokerage. Our company regularly offers total logistic solutions, but chartering remains the core activity and our most important department. Adjusting to the overall changes in our clients’ needs, we built all the additional services around our chartering service (agency, port & container logistics, inland transport, etc.), so we are now able to offer one-stop service.
Tell us about the developments today in shipping since we see that many container carriers, for example, now go ashore. Do breakbulk ship owners also “go ashore”? Do they also, to some extent, try to cut out anyone between them and the client?
Yes, breakbulk shipowners/operators also have the tendency to go ashore and work directly with the cargo interests, although port logistics and inland transport are not necessarily their core business. However, sometimes they might forget the added value which companies like ours can add in the transport chain. Our local knowledge and experience can be the difference between a smooth and difficult operation. We will always try to be one step ahead, and give the owners/operators a good reason to use our services.
What kind of value added services do you believe that you can bring back to Liburnia? (see previous interview with Liburnia https://www.projectcargo-weekly.com/2019/05/30/liburnia-maritime-croatia-comark-slovenia/) It is my understanding that you have been working outside Croatia for some years.
Actually, I started my career in Liburnia Maritime Agency as an agent. For the last 10 years, I have been living in Paris, France working for BRS Brokers, one of the largest and most reputable shipbroking companies in the world. My focus has been on liner shipping, more specifically, MPP/breakbulk and ro-ro chartering. I have now joined a skilled team with a very strong reputation in the project/heavylift sector. I hope the experience and contacts I gained as a broker will be valuable as Liburnia Maritime Agency continues its growth in the international project logistics market.
Are you happy to be back “home”?
I am very happy to be back home, although I will miss Paris. Croatia is a beautiful country with lots of untapped potential. If the right investments are made in our aging port & rail infrastructure, and if we manage to save our ailing shipbuilding industry in a smart and sustainable way, I believe the country could exploit much more of this potential and build up its maritime industry & transport services which are key generators of economic growth.
How is it best for people to reach you?
Here is my contact information with pleasure: