Cessation

CESSATION: Generally, dry-cargo laytime ceases simultaneously with the termination of cargo-operations – i.e. as loading is completed. Occasionally, however, special cargo work such as trimming, lashing or securing will be necessary, the time for which would reasonably be added to laytime. Most charterparties are silent also on the effect on laytime of time taken for reading drafts, perhaps an essential activity before bill of lading weight can be assessed. Usually, Charterers will recognise this activity as essential and include same as laytime, especially since it normally involves a relatively short time. Every now and then, however, a draft survey is seriously impeded by, for example, bad weather, and there might well be a dispute between the parties unless the contract specifies whether time devoted to ascertaining a vessel’s draft should count as laytime or not. Armed with a statement of facts and the relevant charterparty, the calculator having reached this ‘seventh stage’ can move on to using a ‘time sheet’ to compile the laytime calculation. A time sheet is a document showing laytime utilised, taking into account all the factors mentioned in this Lesson, before arriving at a balance of despatch money in favour of charterers, or demurrage money in favour of owners/operators. They are based on information supplied from the statement of facts as interpreted by the relevant laytime clauses in the governing contract, themselves interpreted by knowledge of the law relating to laytime. Damages for Detention: If charterers fail to abide by the provisions of a contract and, as a result, permitted laytime is exceeded, shipowners are normally entitled to reimbursement for their loss, if any. One method of reimbursement could be by claiming ‘damages for detention’, however this could be a lengthy and costly legal exercise. Consequently, most parties to a shipping contract avoid the problem by negotiating a daily level of ‘liquidated damages’ –i.e. ‘demurrage’ – for the time spent in excess of agreed laytime.