Consequently, the date is one day earlier to the east of the “IDL” than to the west and this, of course, affects vessels trading trans-Pacific. A ship proceeding eastwards from Japan towards the North American Continent will therefore “gain” one day upon crossing the IDL. A ship transmitting in the opposite direction will “lose” one day. It is important to take this into consideration when calculating estimated dates or arrival and cancelling dates involving voyages across the Pacific Ocean. But wherever ships are in the world, if travelling generally eastwards or westwards, small time differences are eliminated by adjusting clocks and watches by one hour, either forwards or backwards, when passing from one time “zone” to another, these time zones being identified in the world map of any good atlas. Most meridians are straight, but some, like the IDL are “bent” here and there so as to make all one country (or state in the USA) in the same zone. So exactly how is dry-cargo chartering affected by “time” Perhaps most importantly during chartering negotiations. Ignoring daylight saving schemes (such as the UK’s “summer time”, when time is advanced by one hour from GMT) when it is 1200 hours in London it is 0700 hours in New York and 2100 hours in Tokyo. Thus, in any of these centres a dry-cargo executive is in the middle of the working day when one of his counterparts is between breakfast and the office and another is thinking of going to bed. There is thus little point in making firm offers with reply times where there is little chance of principals being contactable. Cases of emergency are another matter and all shipping people tend to be prepared to sacrifice sleep and convenience at one time or another. It is, of course, vital to state in firm offers not only what the offer expiry time is, but in whose time it is to be expressed. “Reply 1200 hours” could be misinterpreted. “Reply 1200 hours London time” is clear.