Consecutive Hours

The question remains, however, is ‘working time saved’ the same as ‘laytime saved’? With laytime described as ‘a day of 24 consecutive hours’ it will be the same. Otherwise, if one is involved in apportioning ‘working time’ in the manner shown under 5.4 above, then despatch should be apportioned in the same manner. You will readily see that ‘despatch on all time saved’ favours the charterer whilst ‘laytime saved’ or ‘working time saved’ is better for the owner; the ‘fairness’ of one versus the other is a perpetual debate. The owners naturally say that as laytime excepts certain periods like Sundays and holidays, then despatch should be on the same basis. The charterer counters this by arguing that a ship is earning all the time she is at sea regardless of which day of the week it is so that getting the ship to sea that much quicker should reward the charterer for every day without exception. One final word about despatch; it should be borne in mind that some markets (e.g. bulk sugar) are based on laytime far in excess of the time actually required to perform cargo operations. It is, therefore, important for shipowners to take this into account when negotiating business and to reflect the ‘saved’ time as a ‘despatch expense’ in a voyage estimate. Normal or Non-reversible Laytime: If nothing is specifically mentioned in the contract, and where loading and discharging port laytime allowances are separately assessed, it can be taken that laytime is ‘normal’ or ‘non-reversible’. Thus laytime for loading port(s) and for discharging port(s) are assessed entirely separately and it is possible even to calculate, claim, negotiate and settle the load port(s) despatch/demurrage sums before even a vessel has reached her discharge port(s).