The Different Maritime Charters

There are contacts between the vessel owners of a maritime industry and the clients or charterers who lease their services. These contracts concern the goods that are being transported from one place to another by means of a sea vessel or the water transportation of these certain goods. Legally, these contracts are known as the contracts of affreightment. In this contract, the charterer or leaser agrees to pay an amount for cargo space while authorizing the responsibility of the cargo to the vessel. The following will be the coverage of the said contract by a specific contact:

  • Means of delivery
  • Voyage
  • Delivery time
  • Cargo space
  • Special precautions of the cargo

The different types of charters

The voyage charter

Considered to be the most common among charters, the voyage charter is a contract by a named vessel between named ports for the carriage of a stated quantity and type of cargo. The contract is carried out at an agreed price called freight. This means that the entire cargo area of the vessel is hired for one, two, or more exact voyages.

The space charter

The opposite of the voyage charter; this charter applies when the charterer does not require the use of the entire ship. In addition, the contract will just state out and/or specify what fraction of the cargo is to be used.

Whether you choose the former or latter, the master of the ship, or the agent, will then hand over a bill of freight to the shipper. This bill documents the title of the goods, the size and the weight of the box, and will serve as a receipt.

The time charter

Another common charter arrangement somehow similar to a voyage charter.  The charterer may give directions to the movements and the cargoes carried during a certain decided time period that even falls to certain limitations. Under this type of charter, the vessel owner is responsible for the crew and master employment for the stated duration of the shipping.

The bareboat charter (also called Demise charter)

In this agreement, the charterer may commission the use of the entire ship, and can take control and possession of the whole vessel in a certain amount of time, provided the authorization of the owner. In this contract, the personnel or crew, supplies and repairs, and all the duties of a vessel-owner would be shouldered by the contractor.

After these charters have been carried out, the bill of freight or lading is issued by the carrier to a shipper acknowledging that all goods have been received on board as cargo for shipment to a specific place for delivery where a consignee is usually identified.

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