In regular turn. (Also In usual turn). “Turn” refers to the sequence in which the port authorities may allow a ship to enter or berth for loading or discharging. In the case of The Themistocles, 1949, the judge described the meaning of the phrase:
“The vessel might arrive at the wharf reserved to shippers . . . and might then have to wait to be told at which precise berth she is to load. The vessel would then be in turn.”
If the vessel has to wait for its turn to berth, it may be immaterial that the original destination was the port, that is, the charter was a port charter. The ship is not an “arrived shin” unless its turn occurs even though it has arrived within the port limits or at the usual waiting place. If there are no exceptions, laytime will not count against the charterer while the ship is waiting its turn.
The expression “regular turn” is generally found in the older charterparties for the carriage of coal, for example, “The vessel will be loaded in regular turn: not exceeding . . . days . . .”.
The port authorities will allocate a ship a turn (a “rotation number”) depending on its arrival and on its being reported to and cleared by the Customs and other authorities. The position in the sequence, of loading or discharging can also depend on the shore cargo-handling capabilities. For example, in a coal charter “regular turn” may mean the regular schedule of the colliery.
The reverse of “turn time” is when a charterparty states that a ship will load “free of turn” or “free turn”. Laytime (time waiting for a berth) will count against the charterer in the agreed manner.