Time Charter Redelivery

It is up to charterers to arrange their employment of the vessel so as to ensure that she will be in the right geographic place, free of cargo, to be redelivered to owners on or before the expiry of the agreed charter period. For many years it was thought that, if completion of the last voyage was delayed with the result that charterers redelivered the vessel late, the only damages payable on top of the charter rate of hire would be the difference between the charter rate and the market rate (if higher) during the excess period or ‘overlap’ (The PEONIA 1991). In the recent case of (The ACHILLEAS 2008) it was held by arbitrators (by a majority) and also by the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal that owners were entitled to recover, in addition, their loss of profits under their next fixture (a charter for some 191 days), which their intended subsequent charterers had cancelled due to the vessel’s failure to be placed at their disposal by the agreed cancelling date. (In the meantime the market for such a vessel had gone down by around US$8,000 per day and the new charterers agreed to take the vessel on the same terms as originally agreed, but at a rate reduced by US$8,000/day.) Owners recovered damages for late redelivery from the first charterers of US$8,000 X 191.458 days, or US$1,364,584 (after giving credit for the additional sums earned during the overlap period). In July 2008 the House of Lords unanimously reversed the decisions of the three previous tribunals. This means that the law is now what it was previously understood to be under The PEONIA.