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Hi. I am a shipping company director, transport academic, author, family man and all round nice guy. I have worked as shipbroker, shipowner, freight trader and bulk charterer, in senior positions, with some of the largest and most disrespected (joke) companies in the world. Ask my advice on all things shipping and you will receive my blunt and always honest answer. Hang around to learn more about chartering and ship broker salaries, chartering and ship broker jobs, chartering and shipbroker recruitment agencies, cheap freight, maritime education, chartering and ship broker qualifications, become a ship broker, tips on how to be a successful bulk shipping executive, philosophy, Zen and the art of shipbroking, and much more. Yours The Virtual Shipbroker (recently proclaimed the guru of shipbroking) Copyright © 2009-17 by Virtualshipbroker

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The plaintive shipowner

I am very pleased to announce that an eminent shipowning friend with 30 years experience will occasionally present his sometimes sorrowful views regarding the plight of shipowners around the world.

SHould make for some interesting reading and some good discussion.


Weather Working Day - if ever there was the argument that God (or any other higher being one may pay homage too) is on Charterers side this charter party term proves it beyond doubt. If you accept that the Charterer and the Shipowner are partners/have a mutual interest in the succesfull outcome of a voyage why is it that the Shipowner alone has to accept the full risk for weather delays? Why is such risk not shared 50/50 between both parties? Then not us forget we are not only talking rain - fog has been claimed as a weather delay, high winds has been claimed as a weather delay as the cargo is being blown into the water or over nearby populace, high humidity when loading urea in the the Arab Gulf (this is my favorite) has been claimed as a weather delay as the humidity makes the urea sticky and impossible to load (wonder if too sunny will be next) .

Then throw in snow, sleet and hail. Also it is not unusual to extend the term so that if your ship is waiting for a berth and the ship on the berth is delayed by bad weather that such weather delays apply to your laytime as well! So not only was the berth not available when you arrived you have the take the weather delays of the ship on the berth and your own weather delays once you are alongside waiting like a polite child.

Charterers may argue that such things should be allowed in the Owners voyage calculation based on Owners wealth of knowledge - the reality is if every little possible delay was allowed for in a voyage calculation no Charterer would ever get a decent voyage rate (except from the desperate of the numerically illiterate) or all shipowners would give up and refuse to fix their ships other than on timecharter basis (No wonder all those wealthy Greek Shipowners always look so relaxed in the Tradewinds photo layouts during Posidonia).

The Plaintive Shipowner




  1. Dear VS,

    Interesting article, forgive me, this might be a silly question - shipping is totally new to me.

    I thought the shipowner was exempted from liability in the event of damage, loss or delay resulting from an "Act of God," - surely this includes incremental weather conditions?

    South African Reader

  2. Hi there.

    Act of god does not include normal weather conditions (even if they are considered inclement).

    The term 'act of god' is usually used by a shipowner (or a charterer) in relation to 'force majeur' and cancelling of entire contracts due to things like tsunamis and other natural disasters.