Voyage Charters

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Chapter 6

The Cargo

[clause 1 continued]  
… and there load a full and complete cargo (if shipment of deck 10
cargo be agreed same to be at Charterer’s risk) as stated in Box 12 11
[clause 1 is continued below]

Obligations: mutual and prior to loading

6.1 In the absence of a different agreement being reached between the parties, there is a mutual obligation upon the charterers to ship the cargo and upon the owners to receive it on board at the agreed loading place. The owners are under a prior obligation to bring the ship to that agreed loading place and the charterers are under an absolute and non-delegable duty to provide a cargo for loading, such that charter party exceptions would normally be read as protecting charterers only in respect of their duty to load, and not as covering their duty to provide cargo, although they might cover the latter if sufficiently clear and distinct words were used.1 This is particularly so if the provision of cargo is necessary in order that the vessel should be permitted to proceed to the agreed loading place.2

Meaning of a “full and complete” cargo

6.2 A full and complete cargo is one which, when properly stowed, occupies the full volume of the ship’s cargo spaces or utilises her full deadweight capacity. It is normally sufficient compliance with the obligation that either deadweight or volume should be fully used,3 although this may be displaced by special provisions of the charterparty and provision is often made for expansion or contraction of cargoes.

Only ordinary cargo spaces to be used

6.3 Only those parts of the ship ordinarily used for cargo are to be used for loading. Thus, the charterers have no right or obligation to use passenger or crew accommodation for carriage

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of cargo; even where the charter provides that the charterers are to have “the full reach and burthen of the ship”, the owners are entitled to the use of the passenger space for their own account.4 Nor are the charterers entitled or bound to load cargo in bunker space.5


6.4 The owners are obliged to provide sufficient ballast to enable the charterer to load a full cargo of the type described in the charterparty. They are also entitled to take on other cargo as ballast, where necessary, provided that it occupies no more space than ordinary ballast.6 The charterers have no right or obligation to provide ballast,7 although that is subject to the express terms of the charterparty.8

Stowage and broken stowage

6.5 The cargo must be stowed in accordance with the express terms of the charter, if any, and otherwise in accordance with any relevant customs of the port, or in accordance with good practice. Where the failure to load a full cargo results from bad stowage, the liability will fall upon the party responsible for stowing the cargo.9 Where the charterparty is in terms which permit the charterers to supply cargo which can only be stowed in a manner which leaves empty spaces between the units of cargo, the charterers must, in order to fulfil their obligation to provide a full and complete cargo and in the absence of contrary agreement, supply other cargo within the terms of the charter to fill the gaps.

A charterparty provided for shipment of “a full and complete cargo of sugar or other lawful produce”, and stipulated that any broken stowage should pay “as customary”. The charterers provided a full cargo of logs, which left room for broken stowage upon which the owners claimed deadfreight.

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