Heavy delay in loading due to shortage of cargo - C(Ore)7

Enquiry: The vessel arrived at loading port 26 August and was still idle due to shortage of cargo. Charterers have advised that loading prospects are 10 October. According to owners' calculation laytime expired 10 September. <p">Having the above in mind, owners would like to send the vessel elsewhere for other employment and claim compensation from present charterers in terms of deadfreight and demurrage from expiry of laytime until vessel sails away. </p">   The member requested BIMCO's advice whether owners were entitled to let the vessel sail and claim compensation. Reply: The most important thing in a situation like the present one is to be careful not to take a wrong step which would all of a sudden put the charterers in a position in which they could claim that it is the owners who breached the contract. First of all, it must be kept in mind that owners can order the vessel to sail away and claim compensation etc. only if the charterers' conduct amounts to breach of contract in the sense that it is apparent that they are not going to supply the cargo. In the handbook on maritime law entitled A Handy Book for Shipowners and Masters (Sixteenth Edition) by H. Holman the position is explained as follows: "The consequences of a charterer failing to provide any, or sufficient cargo, are as follows: 1) If the charterer repudiates the charterparty by failing to provide any cargo, the shipowner may treat the contract as at an end and recover damages for its non-performance. This failure will only amount to repu...


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Merete Lund Greisen
in Copenhagen, DK

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