Tips to Start a Career in a Shipping Company

Tips to Start a Career in a Shipping Company

Numerous job options are available in the shipping sector, which is essential to international trade. Joining a shipping firm may be a tough and fulfilling career choice, regardless of your interest in corporate jobs, marine operations, or logistics. To assist you in navigating your way into this exciting sector, here are some crucial pointers.

1. Understand the Industry

a. Research the Sector:

Learn about the different types of shipping companies, such as container, bulk, and tanker shipping. Understand how global trade, economics, and environmental regulations impact the industry.

b. Know the Key Players:

Identify the major shipping companies and their areas of specialization. This knowledge will help you target your job search effectively.

2. Educational Background

a. Relevant Degrees:

Consider degrees in maritime studies, logistics, supply chain management, or business administration. Specialized maritime academies offer courses tailored to the shipping industry.

b. Continuous Learning:

Stay updated with industry trends and regulations. Short courses or certifications in maritime law, safety, and environmental management can be advantageous.

3. Gain Practical Experience

a. Internships:

Seek internships in shipping companies or related fields. This hands-on experience is invaluable and can often lead to full-time employment.

b. Entry-Level Positions:

Don’t hesitate to start with entry-level jobs, such as a deck cadet or a logistics coordinator. These roles provide a solid foundation for understanding the industry.

4. Develop Relevant Skills

a. Technical Skills:

Depending on your role, skills in navigation, ship operation, logistics software, or freight management might be necessary.

b. Soft Skills:

Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are crucial in the dynamic shipping environment.

5. Networking

a. Industry Events:

Attend maritime conferences, seminars, and workshops. These events are great for learning and networking.

b. Professional Organizations:

Join maritime or logistics professional organizations. They offer networking opportunities and resources for career development.

6. Understand International Regulations

a. Safety and Environmental Laws:

Familiarize yourself with international maritime laws, safety standards, and environmental regulations like the International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines.

7. Career Path Planning

a. Set Clear Goals:

Determine what area of shipping interests you the most and set career goals accordingly.

b. Seek Mentorship:

Find a mentor within the industry who can provide guidance and advice based on their experience.

8. Be Prepared for Challenges

a. Physical and Mental Demands:

Understand that some roles, especially at sea, can be physically demanding and require long periods away from home.

b. Adaptability:

Be prepared to adapt to different cultures and working environments, especially in international shipping roles.

9. Leverage Technology

a. Stay Tech-Savvy:

Embrace technological advancements in the shipping industry, such as digital freight platforms and blockchain technology.

10. Apply Strategically

a. Tailor Your Application:

Customize your resume and cover letter for each application, highlighting relevant experience and skills.

b. Use Online Platforms:

Utilize job portals and LinkedIn to find opportunities and connect with industry professionals.

c. Search by Route for Work:

Explore opportunities in specific shipping routes or regions that interest you. This targeted approach can help you find specialized roles that match your skills and preferences. For a more focused search, you can use the feature to search by route for work, allowing you to pinpoint jobs that align closely with your desired shipping routes or geographical areas.


Establishing a career in the shipping business involves a combination of education, real-world experience, and in-depth knowledge of the sector. You may successfully navigate your way into a rewarding profession in the fast-paced shipping industry by paying attention to these pointers. Keep in mind that the keys to your success in this vast and dynamic profession are perseverance and a readiness to learn.

Leave a Reply