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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another legal question

A shipowner fixes a piece of voyage business with a named ship - MV Blindhope
(as opposed to fixing the cargo basis a TBN - without having yet decided on which ship will be used).

The new voyage business laycan is 3 weeks away and MV Blindhope is finishing the last voyage before proceeding with full despatch to the load port for the NEW business in question.

Scenario - whilst discharging the cargo in the previous voyage something bad happens. Another ship collides with the MV Blindhope. The result being that the MV Blindhope is no longer able to present itself for the NEW business for which she has been fixed...

Question - Does the shipowner need to provide 'another ship' for the NEW business?

(The laycan is 3 weeks away and there are plenty of ships in the area than can be chartered to fill this cargo obligation...)



  1. If a ship is needed to carry cargo , many ships are placed on subjects , however when a voyage charter party is "FIXED" , the details include the ship involved , charterers do not just hire any ship , a ship is chosen firstly for its specifications and suitability/specifications to carry the cargo , its track record/performance , its certification and validity , its previous port inspection reports .
    If the above ship is unavailable, the whole procedure will have to be initiated again and the next suitable ship that was on subject can be considered .
    Now here's where relationship building and ties will come into play ,no one likes to loose business if the shipowner has a similar sister ship available meeting the rqmts , she can then present her , in my guess she would also have been on subject initially.

  2. hello anon

    nice try but not quite!

    anyone else....?

  3. In this case, the contract is already formed between owner and charterer, but not enforce yet.
    Charterer and owner can either terminate and cancel this contract and therefore owner do not need to send another ship to charterer. However, whether any liabilities / claims incur depend on the terms and conditions of the charterparty.


  4. Hi

    I would think that if a contract is formed then its enforceable!

    Good try - anyone else.

  5. No Owners would not have to substitute her as they fixed a named ship. Doubt there would be any liability for damages unless of course Owners hid the accident when fixing. Then they would be in big trouble.

    The Chrs will be in the driving seat as she will miss her laycan. Unless the mrkt moved up they can take their time and choose an alternative **cough cheaper tnge. Owners of course will be in the dark unless they choose wisely their laycan clause such as Gencon or else fxd with nice/a1 Chrs who would show their intentions and not force Owners to ballast finally to loadport only to hear they are cancelled.

    Have a great day.

  6. Nice answer Gary.

    Lets assume the ship is totally screwed and there is no way she can perform.

    Next question

    What if the charterers fixed MV Scorpio or SUB -does this change your answer?

  7. No. I'd reckon that a liberty to substitute does not impose an obligation. Of course Owners will look at the frt market trend whether it is in their interest to substitute.

    A TBN contract would be a different kettle of fish.

  8. awesome

    what about a tbn contract whereby a ship has just been nominated?

  9. Hmmm I'm beginning to wonder what you have been doing the past 30 years :-):-)

    As for A TBN, well I'd stick my neck out and say Owners would have to provide a suitable similair substitute.

    Nice weekend to all.

  10. There is a different approach when acts of god interfere. Let's say owners' are not in position to substitute the vessel with any sisters, nor they would like as the market hit rock bottom.
    Owners' P&I Club can therefore solve this problem very easily. Owners' would like to perform the job but for reasons absolutely beyond his control, he is constraint.

    In many cases you can go out easily. In other cases you just can't. That's the beauty of the industry.