Deadweight charters. Bulk carriers are sometimes fixed on the basis of a guaranteed deadweight capacity of cargo at certain lumpsum freight. This method of chartering is followed in trades where charterers wish to have freedom of action as to the type of grain they intend to ship, either heavy grain, light grain or a combination of both kinds.
An example of a deadweight charter fixture is as follows:
“US Gulf to Antwerp/Hamburg range –‘Nasena’, 45,450 dwcc, 2,499,000cu ft grain, lumpsum equivalent to $”7.75 heavy grains/sorghum/soya beans, or $8, 70 basis light grain stowing 55 ft fio, 9 days, prompt.”
(The first possible cargo is sometimes abbreviated to “HSS”.) The loading and discharging ranges are specified in the charterparty and the owner guarantees that the ship will have deadweight cargo capacity of 45,450 tonnes and also the agreed grain capacity (in cubic feet volume). The lumpsum freight will be due by charterers regardless of the deadweight capacity or the grain capacity actually used. The stowage factors of grain cargoes can vary, that of sorghum being between 44 and 49 (cubic feet per tonne) in bulk and that for soya beans being between 48 and 52. The stowage factor of HSS averages 50 and this allows the Charterer the option to load any cargo within this stowage factor. In the above fixture, the charterer also has the option, at a higher freight rate, to load light grain (for example, barley, malt or rapeseed) with an average stowage factor of 55 cubic feet per tonne, thus using more grain capacity than cargo deadweight. The actual cargo space or cargo deadweight capacity used by the charterer is irrelevant to the freight earned by the shipowner.