Fresh off the headlines of its $3.7m investment in rival shipbroker Braemar, Lightship Chartering is expanding its operations in the US and Latin America.

Lightship chief executive Sune Fladberg confirmed to TradeWinds that the growth-minded Denmark-based company has acquired boutique Miami-based dry cargo shop Marita Freight & Trade, effective earlier this month.

“We can confirm we have recently taken on the commercial team from Marita, including the owner, Mara Perdomo. They are bringing in vast experience from the Latin American market, thus they fit our expansion plans perfectly,” Fladberg said.

“In Miami our ambition is to increase our presence in the US but also to utilise the location as a gateway to the Latin American market. With the people joining we are now eight brokers but we have an ambition to grow even further in the region.”

Lightship opened a Miami office in 2022 with four brokers formerly on the staff of BRS Shipbrokers, headed by Peter Spiller.

Managing director Perdomo founded Marita in 2015 “with a focus on providing the most comprehensive, tailor-made and personal value-added services to ease the demands of your dry bulk cargo shipping and trading activities”, she told clients in announcing the Lightship development.

“We have loved delivering creative solutions to you with passion and diligence,” she added.

“We are happy to share that we are excited about this new chapter.”

Perdomo said she and colleague Jair Salgado will continue under the Lightship banner, with operations in Miami and Geneva.

On the news of the Braemar investment, Lightship told TradeWinds that it plans to boost its broker headcount to at least 250 worldwide over the next five years. It said it employs 110 brokers currently.

In December, TradeWinds reported that Lightship was hiring 10 brokers from three rivals for its office in Singapore, which it said would boost its business in the Far East and the Pacific region.

Subscribe to Streetwise
Ship finance is a riddle industry players need to solve to survive in a capital-intense business. In the latest newsletter by TradeWinds, finance correspondent Joe Brady helps you unravel its mysteries

The hires were not named but Lightship described them as “reputable and well established”.

Fladberg told TradeWinds this has now expanded to 12 brokers from four different shops.

The Singapore office, which handles bulkers of up to panamax in size, opened last year and is managed by Thorbjorn Mangor Zorn, who joined from Ifchor.

Lightship operates from offices in Beijing, Singapore, Dubai, Athens, Geneva, Copenhagen, Oslo, London and Miami.