Running Days expression, including a stipulation as to the number of hours in a day has given rise to some uncertainty. On one interpretation, the charterer could be allowed to spread their 24 available hours across a number of days according to the habitual length of the working day in the relevant port. Therefore, definition of working day is changed to take account of the concept of working hours as well. Besides, the hours have to be consecutive or interrupted only by excepted days.
Working Days of 24 Consecutive Hours and Working Days of 24 Running Hours
Courts have also considered the correct meaning of the expressions working days of 24 consecutive hours and working days of 24 running hours. Generally, these expressions mean a full 24-hour period without interruptions arising out of the length of the working day but excluding days such as Sundays and holidays on which work is not normally done. Working Days of 24 Consecutive Hours and Working Days of 24 Running Hours expressions will give rise to considerably less confusion than those which may be interpreted by reference to the number of working hours in the day at the relevant port.
The words running days are deemed to mean the same as consecutive days. In practice, the expression running days would appear to have little to distinguish it from days on its own in so far as it will mean any day including Sundays and holidays unless excluded expressly or by custom. It is not necessarily obvious what is meant by a day or a working day or a running day, it will be clear why many charter-parties do not rely simply on the use of those words.
In charter-parties, it is very common to find abbreviations such as SHINC (Sundays, Holidays Included) or SHEX (Sundays, Holidays Excluded) and variations. If the calculation of the amount of time allowed is simply a function of the number of days of a particular type specified, then once the type of the day has been identified it can easily be established how much laytime is available. However, in dry cargo charter-parties, laytime often has to be calculated not only by reference to the type of day but by reference to the quantity of cargo worked. Therefore, the laytime is usually determined by dividing the total cargo loaded by an agreed loading/discharge rate per day. As the actual amount of cargo loaded is not known until loading is complete, the exact amount of laytime is not known when the charter-party is fixed. For example, 60,000 mtons of cargo is loaded and a loading rate of 6,000 mtons per day for the ship is agreed in charter-party, the laytime will be 10 days for loading. Different loading/discharging rates may be agreed at the loading/discharging ports to reflect the cargo-handling ability of loading/discharging ports. This rate is a rate for the whole ship. A ship may have many holds which may be of different sizes. If all ship holds are loaded simultaneously, the smaller holds will be completed first. In order avoid this problem, which particularly arises on ships with different-sized holds, a charterer can agree a rate per workable hatch per day. With an empty ship of 5 holds, at a rate of 1,000 mtons per day per workable hatch, the laytime for the ship is calculated by dividing the amount the largest hold will contain by the daily rate. Largest hold should be completed last, and the formula recognizes this. For example, a ship has 5 holds, the largest of which has 10,000 mtons capacity. The smallest hold has 4,000 mtons. With a discharge rate of 1,000 mtons per workable hatch per day, the laytime is 10 days. If a rate of 8,000 mtons per day was agreed for the same ship to load 40,000 mtons, the laytime would be 5 days. At first, the load rate would be the same as 1,000 mtons/workable hatch/day. After 0.5 day, the smallest hold would be full. Then 8,000 mtons must be loaded into only 4 holds. This is equivalent to 2,000 mtons per workable hatch per day.