Types of Ship Chartering

Merchant ships exist to carry cargoes. Very few shipowners, apart from certain oil majors, have a proprietary interest in the goods that their ships carry. They are therefore economically dependent on others hiring or ‘chartering’ their vessels. There are two main forms of charter. Firstly, we have the voyage charter, whereby the vessel is chartered to proceed to a particular port or ports to load cargo and then carry it to a designated port of discharge or range of discharge ports in exchange for the payment of freight. The second type of charter is the time charter. As the name suggests, under this type of agreement the charterer hires the vessel for a specific period of time, paying hire for each day, hour and minute that the vessel is at his service. The most commonly used dry cargo time charter is the New York Produce Exchange form, 1946 version.