In the ship chartering business, the Nomination of the Port does not appear to be a major issue for the shipbrokers involved in the negotiation.
Nomination of the Port is vitally important but seems to be so basic as to warrant very little thought after the business has been quoted. In fact the Nomination of the Port would seem to flow naturally from original quote, to negotiation, to fixture and the voyage orders. The nomination can be given in three ways:
- Identify a named port, such as Singapore, in the quote and negotiation
- Number of named ports, such as Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp (ARA)
- Unnamed port within a range such as Havre/Hamburg Range
Where the charterparty states one or more named load and discharge ports the issue of when the charterer is obliged to nominate a load or discharge port does not arise.
Where, however, the load and discharge ports are described within a range, either named or unnamed such as in (2) and (3) above then the charterer must be ready to nominate the ports in a timely fashion. It is not uncommon to describe load and discharge ports within a range, for example:
In the dry cargo trades:
- 1 SP USNH (United States Port North of Cape Hatteras)
- 1 SP USG (United States Port in the Gulf of Mexico)
In the tanker trades:
- 1-2 SP AG (Arabian Gulf)
- 1-2 SP EUROMED NEOBIG (European Mediterranean, Not East of But Including Greece)
The reason that ranges are frequently used is that this provides an element of commercial security to the trader by disguising the load and/or discharge port, hence the buyer and sellers, from their competitors when the fixtures are reported on the open market.
In addition, where a cargo has not been sold at the time of the fixture, the trader will have the opportunity to sell to receivers in a number of places with a view to maximizing profits.
In addition, there may be a provision for the nomination of a berth within the port but, if not, it may be implied that the charterer would be obliged to nominate a berth within the port chosen. In practice this is frequently done by the port authority unless the charterer, shipper or receiver has their own terminal within the port.