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Dry Cargo Charterparties agreement - Time charters & voyage charters

The Contract between one party who has control of a ship and another party who wishes to make use of the ship is known as a Charterparty.

Time Charters

There are numerous various forms, but to give a taste of dry cargo time charters, two types that are commonly used are: -
These two Charters differ substantially in their wording. Generally speaking, the NYPE terms are more advantageous to the Charterer, while BALTIME favours the Owner. Various clauses may be amended or added to for any one fixture.

There are however, countless different c/p forms, several of which are particular to a certain Charterer or trade. On each occasion the Master must carefully check the terms and conditions of the c/p in use. The Master must check: -

a) Description of the ship, including speed and consumption, and advise his commercial operator of any errors or inaccuracies. The Master is to conform as closely as possible to the charter party description, and must alert his commercial operator and / or management office if the vessel is unable to comply, giving reasons.



b) Performance during the Charter must be monitored. The Master is to clarify the governing fair weather clause in the charter party and is to ensure that any bad weather experienced in excess of the charter party fair weather clause, are correctly an accurately logged. Weather maps/reports are to be retained in case of dispute.

c) Similarly cargo performance, where appropriate, must also be monitored (e.g. in cases of self-discharge)

d) There may be a deduction for fuel used in crew service. This is particularly so in NYPE and includes power consumed in galleys, air conditioning, etc. Usually an allowance is agreed at the time of making the Charter, but the Master may have to calculate and prove such a figure.

e) When on time charter, bunkers (and water figures where required) at the start and end of a Charter must be taken and agreed with Charterers. It is essential that these figures also agree with consumption figures during the Charter, as otherwise there may be a claim against Owners. The Master must check for a provision of on-and off hire surveyors’ attendance.

f) The Master must look to see what the Off-Hire conditions are. In some time charters, the vessel will go off-hire immediately there is a break in service, while others may give the Owner a time allowance before off-hire commences (e.g. 3 hours of stoppage before vessel goes off-hire or may give the Owner a time allowance every 6 or 12 months for maintenance purposed (e.g. 48 hours every 12 months).

g) In port there may be a proportional loss of hire if, for example, one or more hatches are not available to Charterers because of their state of cleanliness, crane breakdown, etc.

h) The Master must ensure that any deviations from the direct course between ports are brought to the attention of his commercial operator so that he may take the matter up with Charterers directly.


Voyage Charters

These come in many forms, and are usually based on a particular trade. The Master must particularly look out for:-

a) Loading tonnage’s and any draft restrictions at load and discharge ports.

b) The ship’s ability to load the required quantity.

c) Safe access to the load and discharge ports and berths.

d) Tendering N.O.R and notices required

e) Laytime details

All terms and conditions contained in the c/p and additional clauses. Under a voyage Charter, all of the Charterers instructions will be received onboard via the commercial operator. Any instructions not received through these channels must be reported to the operator immediately.

Some sample Voyage Charters can be found at below: AmWelsh 93 , Gencon 94 , Graincon



Our additional pages contain somewhat larger lists of resources where you can find useful informations

  1. Dry Cargo Charterparties

  2. There are numerous various forms, but to give a taste of dry cargo time charters, two types that are commonly used are: - New York Produce Exchange (NYPE 93) Baltic and International Marine Council (BALTIME 1939 (amended 2001)....

  3. Tanker Time Charters

  4. Specific information such as, parties to the contract, where and when the vessel will be delivered, rates of hire, general permitted cargoes, general trading range etc. ....

  5. Documentation & notices

  6. When a vessel is on Time Charter, bunkers and the majority of port services and costs, etc., are to the account of Time Charterers. However, should Time Charterers default on payment, then these charges may fall on Owners and there will then be a serious risk of the vessel being arrested for debts incurred by the Time Charterer. ....

  7. Function of bill of lading

  8. The Bill of Lading is one of the most important documents that the Master will sign and therefore strict controls on how it is issued are required. Although the B/L is usually drafted by the Shipper and presented to the Master for signature, it is an Owners document. One of its three functions is to act as a receipt for the cargo, so therefore the Master must make sure that the quantity and description of the goods is accurate as he will be expected to deliver the same to the Receiver.....

  9. Seaworthiness for cargo ship, international navigational condition & procedure for Insurance claim

  10. Insurance premiums amount to a very large proportion of the ship’s running costs. Whilst the owner insures his ship against certain risks and may present a claim which will recuperate at least part of his losses, the effect of submitting many claims will have the effect of increasing the insurance premiums for the next year. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to ensure that risks are not taken, that the ship operates safely and that accidents and incidents are avoided....

  11. Masters obligation to follow charterers routeing advise - The Hill Harmony case

  12. The Hill Harmony case involved a vessel on time charter trading trans-Pacific. The Charterers had engaged a weather routing service and the Master was advised to take the shortest northern great circle route, however he deemed it safer to take a more southerly rumb line route. The Charterers were eventually able to prove that the great circle route had been suitable for safe navigation and that the extra steaming time was for the Owners account....





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Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
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