All charter parties are bilateral contracts?

All charter parties are bilateral contracts, that is, they are agreed to by both parties – the owners and the charterers – but it is important to realise that it is extremely rare for both parties to agree to be mutually bound by a blank form of charter party without any amendments. Many owners and charterers frequently use ‘proforma contracts’ as the basis for future negotiations, i.e. previous fixtures which had been negotiated and all their terms agreed upon, so that a new negotiation would only have to require agreement on basic relevant changes such as rates of freight and demurrage or hire, lay/can dates, vessel’s description (unless the same vessel is carrying the next cargo), cargo’s description and quantity.