Charterparty Ship Speed and Consumption

Charterparties contain both speed and performance warranties such not only for time charterparties but also voyage charterparties. It has been held, in relation to a time charterparty, that a warranty of performance applies not only at the date of the charterparty but also at the date of delivery of the vessel and thereafter throughout the charterparty period. Therefore, in relation to time charterparties, an ongoing failure to reach the warranted performance generally gives rise to a right to place the vessel off-hire. Similar rights clearly do not exist under a voyage charterparty. It would be very important to read any performance warranty clause carefully to determine whether or not the warranty amounts to a guarantee of a vessel’s performance in which case a right to claim damages may arise if the vessel fails to attain the warranted performance. Many claims are raised in relation to oil tanker voyage charterparties where the vessel has failed to attain the warranted performance and thereby arrives at the discharge port late (or early) resulting in a period of waiting due to berth occupancy. There is no stated case law on this point yet.