(try to) explain shipping to kids Part 2

On this Friday afternoon, with sun showing up again, do you really want to go through a full market report full of data, questionable fixtures? Well of course you can still go on BMTI, on which you’ll find few useful information or the today’s BALTEX, or call here.

If you’re in a different mood, like trying to understand what you do for example, on daily basis at the office, then let me propose you again another try to explain shipping to kids, part 2.

Not that long ago, last friday to be precise, I was sharing with you a chat I had with my kids, they were wondering, about my brokers’ job in shipping. Remember, I was explaining them about the cat & mouse game and the cats and dogs fight. If you missed it, you can still find it here. I thought I made myself clear enough. Apparently not, as my oldest one, came back to me to try to get more explanations, while we were having diner.

She well understood the concept of the cat and mouse game and cats and dogs fights. She did not have to go to far away, just remember back few years ago while she was watching Tom & Jerry episodes with Spike, aka Butch Killer. (In case you’re getting lost, you can have a look at this famous Classic

Far to be completely stupid (she has lot of genes from her mother), she challenged me to get clearer explanations about the “Aim and Art of Shipping” (yes believe it or not she used exactly these words “Aim and Art of shipping“).

Then because nice movies are better than long explanations, I asked her to have a look at this video -lasting less than 3 minutes-, before getting into details.


She did it and then here you have what I told her:

“Darling, this video is the best summary about the “Aim and Art of Shipping”.

You see. The cake in this video is not sitting in the consumer’s plate. The consumer still want to have a bite in this cake and he needs in a way or the other to have the cake ending in his mouth. Likewise, my business is the same, just put it in a wider scale. The commodity is sitting in a port, in the country where it has been produced. This port is miles away from where it is supposed to be used or needed. Like the hungry man in the video, we need to find a way to make the cake (or the commodity) ending in the right mouth (or port). Some people would simply grab the cake with his hand and eat it. In shipping theorically you just need a ship loading, steaming, discharging. Done.

Practically, Joseph’s Machine made a whole complete, complex mess to get his commodity (the cake) moving from the plate A (Loading port) to the plate B (discharging port) to end up in his mouth. Joseph’s Machine just simply made an allegory on the “Aim and Art of Shipping”.

Aim is to move cargoes (cake) from port A (plate A) to port B (Port B) with a ship.

Art is everything in between the both ends.

In other words

Theorically very simple,

Practically setting a complete mess to reach your goal“.

She looked again the video and got back to our diner, without a word. Then instead of asking me for the salt which were standing on her opposite side of the table, but right close to my left hand, she simply stood up, walked, grabbed the desired salt, got back to her place, sat and helped herself. I’m sure Lilla (my daughter) understood 100% what I tried to explained her.

The next challenge is to make sure we find the way to make Shipping attractive for the next generation. You have the whole week-end to think about it and share your solutions. Thank you in advance for your input, I need to open up again the dialog with my teenager.



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