Lay Time Calculation

Laytime applies only to voyage charters and is the period of time that the ship has available for loading and discharging operations at port and may include waiting time. BIMCO defines laytime as: “The period of time agreed between the parties during which the owner will make and keep the vessel available for loading and discharging without payment additional to the freight.” Courts, however, have generally construed laytime as the time allowed for the charterer to load and unload. The principles of laytime are similar for dry cargo and tanker charters, although due to the nature of the ships and the very different characteristics of cargo and port operations, there are some fundamental differences in the estimation of laytime. Laytime is agreed and stipulated in the charter party contract. Because the charterer is responsible for loading/unloading operations, the responsibility to adhere to the limits set by lay time lies with the charterer. The agreed time will be compared at the end of the voyage to the actual time as calculated in the laytime statement.

The process for lay time calculation follows a series of steps:
1. Vessel’s arrival
2. Notice of readiness (NOR)
3. Waiting time
4. Commencement of laytime
5. Disruption of laytime
6. End oflaytime
7. Statement of facts