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Friday, July 5, 2013

A question from a reader..


learningshipping has left a new comment on your post "Shipbroker commissions.": 

Hi, I am a shipbroker based in the Philippines. I am actually an old timer in shipbroking, but more of an snp shipbroker than a chartering broker. I am not an expert in chartering problems.

I am having a problem deciding whether a situation my shipowners are in is a case of deadfreight or a breach of contract.

It is said that when the charterer advises the shipowner that he cannot load any cargo
on the vessel, this becomes a breach of contract and not deadfreight because the shipowners can still mitigate his losses by finding a substitute cargo.

But what if the vessel has waited at the load port for more than 30 days (laytime agreed is only 5 days and a complete voyage would only be 15 days), shouldn't that
be considered deadfreight because the time lost is already equivalent to more than one voyage. In other words, the ship owner does not have any time to mitigate his losses.

Would appreciate your comments.

This will help me determine how much brokers commissions I deserve to get. If it is deadfreight,
I believe I should get 100% but if it is a breach of contract, according to clause 15 of gencon, I can only collect 30% from the party at fault.

More power to you!



Bobby - excellent question and here are my thoughts...

Simple really - This in my opinion is a breach of contract. If the charterer took 30 days to notify the shipowner that no cargo will eventuate and the ship waited in good faith for that time - then the shipowner should be able to sue for the total amount of freight and any losses for waiting 30 extra days (detention).

The shipowners has been given no opportunity to mitigate so they should sue for the full amount i reckon.

So at the end of the day your commission will need to be claimed when and if the parties go to court and the amounts are settled. 

A deadfreight claim (again in my opinion) is only if part of the contract has actually been fulfilled (or started).

If anyone else has a different take own this matter - feel free to contribute

Good luck Bobby and thanks for the email