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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A great question - can a shipowner withdraw a ship if cargo is late?

From a reader


Can shipowner cancel the contract or witraw from it if the delay is caused by the charterer (for example: the goods intended for loading are not ready)? The delay prolonged the time beyond stipulated laycan, and the shipowner has next contracted laycan for another charterer so he should cancel this C/P to acheve the next one.

If this is the case, does the shipowner has a right to charge the charter the deadfreight or some kind of compensation for losing time due to chartere's delay?

Thanks in advance.


Anyone help this person out???

Free beer for any right answer..


  1. I think that the shipowner should arrive at the port of loading and pass the NOR to the charterer after which the laytime will commence (subject to the other requirements for readiness as well) and when the laytime expires he will start to accrue demurrage. When the stipulated time for demurrage in the C/P expires he can claim damages for detention (here he can state that the next voyage is ruined due to the delay of the charterer). I realise that this is not the exact answer of the question, but after all the shipowner will be reimbursed with the demurrage money and the sum paid for the detention.

  2. Sounds like the sour sound of demurrage to me. Demurrage is a compensation for the owner, paid by charterer, to compensate owner for any time that exceeds what is previously agreed (Laytime). Most likely in such a case (if they charterer/owner have a good relationship, and they know before the vessel arrive that cargo will be late) the owner can ask to put forward a substitute, with a later laycan(LC). This will give the owner the possibility to get another freight, AND reach the next cargo LC. The chartere might ask for same to avoid demurrage.

    The owner can not normally cancel the CP (as far as I know), and he has no right to get extra money for waiting time except the demurrage mentioned above.

  3. http://www.juridicum.su.se/transport/Forskning/Uppsatser/pierre.doc

    The above master thesis on this problem might give a rather good answer to his question.

  4. The Virtual ShipbrokerSeptember 15, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    I dont like opening attachments

    any chance you can summarise in 30 words or less..?

  5. A bit more then 30 words that I found in his conclusion (The thesis is from a master in International Law at Stockholm Law School, "The duty to provide cargo under a voyage charter party" by Pierre-Jean Bordahandy, Head of research were Professor Hugo Tiberg)


    "This subject has been particularly difficult to understand due to the instability of the contents of the problem, which depends on many interdependent factors such as: the parties, the type of contract considered and the clauses inserted, the type of breach, the law applicable…"

    I think that sums it up rather nicely.

  6. The virtual shipbrokerSeptember 15, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    mmm........it actually leaves me more confused. I hope that masters student founbd another thesis..lol

  7. Owners will be compensated at agreed demurrage rate, some CP's stipulate payment of demurrage after set mumber of days and if not paid in good time allow Owners to terminate wp.

  8. On practice with todays market situation where Chrtrs dictate/persuade Owners to do whatever they want for frt the matter under question wud look like:

    Ows call to Chrtrs and ask - "Shud we search for another cgo or we are still firm with you?" - thats the way .... otherwise no cgo/no moneys/no movements.

    Anyway every particular case shud be considered separately in accordance with terms agreed.

    So we do nowadays !