Lumpsum

On other occasions, however, the likely loaded commodity may be difficult to calculate in advance. In such events, there are alternatives open to the negotiating parties: The onus can be shifted from the shipowner to the charterer and freight paid on a ‘lumpsum basis’. Here it is up to the charterer to see that the maximum cargo is loaded in his own interest – consistent always with the vessel’s maximum permitted draft and her safety. There is, of course, no financial advantage to the shipowner from maximising cargo intake in this case. Where the cargo consists of awkward shapes and sizes – e.g. general cargo – or where it is uncertain just what can be fitted into a ship’s various shaped cargo compartments for a uniform-style commodity – e.g. packaged lumber – an alternative is for freight to be calculated on either the ‘available cubic capacity’ of the ship’s cargo compartments, or on the ‘cubic quantity of cargo loaded’. Should a charterer/shipper fail to provide a full cargo in accordance with that described in the contract of carriage, a shipowner can claim ‘deadfreight’ which is a form of damages being computed on the basis of loss of freight, less any expenses which would have been incurred in earning it – e.g. stevedores’ costs – and less any advantage taken by the owner from the deadweight unexpectedly available – e.g. extra bunkers. Deadfreight is added to freight earned and, likewise, is usually liable to appropriate commissions and brokerages. The authorities of some (principally developing) nations levy taxes upon freight deemed earned on outbound cargoes (and a few on inbound cargoes as well). It is the recipient of the freight who is liable to pay this tax, not the party paying same, and therefore this charge is frequently levied against the shipowner, being usually added to port disbursements incurred by the vessel concerned, and thus collected via the offices of the port agent.