Firm Order. This term can be used after a charterer (or charterer’s agent) has entered the market with an order indicating that he requires a ship usually for a cargo (voyage charter) or for a period.
The charterer’s order is usually placed in the charter market when he is investigating the possibilities far transport of the goods over which he has control. When he is prepared to commence firm negotiations for transport, his order may commence with the words:
FIRM ORDER. CHARTERERS ARE NOW FIRM AS FOLLOWS . . .
If the charterer is still negotiating some details of the goods transaction, the FIRM ORDER may be qualified with words indicating the details still outstanding, such as “ . . . LETTER OF CREDIT FOLLOWING . . .” As in “FIRM OFFER” the word “FIRM” indicates a fixed, positive commitment.