Dry Cargo Charters

In dry cargo charters this is most often stated as so many tonnes per day whilst in tankers it is customary to refer to a total number of hours. This clause will define the ‘day’ whether Sundays and holidays are excepted  (SHEX) or Sundays and holidays included (SHINC).  In most cases it will refer to “weather working days” Tanker charters are invariably SHINC and have no reference to weather. The financial aspects of the charter are next, first being the all-important rate of freight which is most often per tonne but in some cases it will be a lumpsum.  The clause will spell out when freight is payable (e.g. on completion of loading, on completion of discharge etc) where it is to be paid and in what currency (most often US dollars). The other financial aspect is demurrage which, it will be recalled, is a form of liquidated damages for exceeding the amount of time allowed for loading/discharging. In many dry cargo charters there is provision for despatch money which is a ‘bonus’ paid by the owner to the charterer if the ship is finished in a shorter time than allowed.   Despatch money is usually at half the demurrage rate; there is no provision for despatch money in tanker charters. Then follow various protection clauses dealing with such matters as strikes, war risks, ice, general average* and bills of lading. Most charters have an arbitration clause which should spell out where arbitration should take place.  There is usually a commission (brokerage) clause and it is important to give a name(s) as well as the amount (percentage) if full advantage is to be taken of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act 1999.