At the time a ship is chartered, it might have existing commitments under previous charters. Any outstanding obligations of this type are
usually listed in the charterparty and linked with an ‘expected ready to load clause’ in respect of the new charter. Indeed, there is no objection to the shipowner taking on additional intermediate commitments after signing a new charter, provided that the vessel will be ready at the loading point on the ‘expected’ date. In both cases, however, he will have to take the risk of unexpected delays in fulfilling prior obligations which prevent him from reaching the loading port on time. Exceptions in the charterparty designed to cover the preliminary
voyage do not extend to cover events occurring under previous charters. In the words of Greer LJ, ‘people who have to make engagements in advance necessarily run the risk of the engagements clashing with one another so as to prevent the performance of one or other of
their contracts, and they have to take the consequences by paying damages to the party whose contract they, in the result, have failed to perform’.