Charterparty Ship Expected Ready to Load

Expected Ready to Load

The words in the charterparty Expected Ready to Load amount to an undertaking on the part of the Shipowner that, at the date of the charterparty, the Shipowner 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 Shipowners had reasonable grounds to believe the Expected Ready to Load date.

A court will not assume that the Shipowners were aware of all circumstances relevant at the date of the vessel’s probable arrival but will consider the information that the Shipowner had or should have had available to him in determining and stating the expected ready to load date.

In circumstances where the Shipowner 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 Shipowner.

The amount of latitude afforded a Shipowner 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 Shipowners.