Voyage Charters

Page 225

Chapter 7

Charterers' Obligation to Provide Cargo

[clause 1 continued]  
… which the Charterers bind themselves to 14
ship … 15
[clause 1 is continued below]

Nature of the charterers' obligation

7.1 The phrase under consideration here states what is, perhaps, obvious: it is the obligation of the charterer to make the cargo available for loading, an obligation which would be implied if not expressly stated. This is particularly important if the provision of cargo is necessary in order that the vessel should be permitted to proceed to the agreed loading place.1 The charterers’ obligation to provide cargo for loading is absolute and non-delegable,2 subject only to the exceptions set out below,3 so it is not sufficient that all reasonable diligence has been exercised to obtain the cargo. The obligation is distinct from, and additional to, the obligation to load within the laydays and charterparty exceptions are normally to be read as protecting charterers only in respect of their duty to load, and not as covering their duty to provide cargo.4

The Aello was chartered to provide a cargo of wheat and/or maize and/or rye at ports in the Parana and to complete loading at Buenos Aires. The charterers wished to load maize. Vessels loading maize at Buenos Aires were not allowed to enter the dock area but were made to wait 22 miles away, until they had obtained a “giro” issued by the customs authorities. No “giro” could be issued until the shippers obtained a certificate from the grain board and had available a cargo ready for loading. The ship reached the anchorage on 12 October but the shippers did not have a cargo of maize available for loading until 29 October. As a result, the vessel was delayed until then in reaching the loading area of the port. The House of Lords held:

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