Charterparty Ship Expected Ready to Load

The words  in the charterparty  ‘expected  ready to load’ amount  to an undertaking on the part of the owner that, at the date of the charterparty,   he honestly  and on reasonable  grounds  expects  that the vessel will be ready to load on or about the date  indicated. One of the issues to determine is whether or not the owners had reasonable grounds to believe the expected ready to load date. A court will not assume that the owners were aware of all circumstances relevant at the date of the vessel’s probable arrival but will consider the information that the owner had or should have had available to him in determining and stating the expected ready to load date. In circumstances where the owner undertakes enquiries of third parties, such as port agents, it is unlikely that he would be responsible for the negligence of those third parties, in the provision of information, provided that the owner had grounds upon which to believe that the information provided was reasonable. Introducing the term ‘about’ in the context of expected ready to load will increase the degree of latitude on the part of the owner. The amount of latitude afforded an owner for the introduction of the word ‘about’ will depend upon the length of the approach voyage, likely prevailing weather conditions and so on. Clearly the shorter the approach voyage the less the latitude or error allowed on the part of the owners.