Time Charter Party

The preamble of a time charter is similar to that for a voyage charter but usually contain more information such as bunker capacity, grain and bale cubic capacities.  The most important additional piece of information is the ship’s speed and fuel consumption which is often an area of dispute between time charterers and shipowners. The ship’s present position is provided for as in a voyage charter party. Then the all important period of hire which may be relatively short, perhaps for only one voyage when it will be referred to in the market as a “trip time charter”. Alternatively the period can be for several months or even several years and an area of potential dispute is over the final voyage in a period charter. Immediately after the period of hire the charter will state the place of delivery and the charterers will endeavour to negotiate delivery at the precise place at which their business is due to start. Next will be stated a first date for delivery and a cancelling date and in some charters the words laydays and cancelling date will be used although the use of the word “laydays” here is not strictly correct. Trading limits are next to be mentioned, the owners may stipulate the geographical limits within the ship is permitted to trade, or may seek to exclude certain countries for political reasons. Cargo Exclusions There are some cargoes which shipowners do not wish to be loaded in their vessels.  During negotiations, the parties will agree a minimum and a maximum quantity of bunkers to be on board at delivery and at re-delivery and how the price will be determined.  Too great a quantity of bunkers can be just as much of a problem as too small a quantity.