Distress freight. When a ship is in a berth to load cargo but the cargo offered by shippers does not meet the owner's or charterer's expectations, and the owner or charterer experiences difficulty in securing completion cargo at original freight rates, they may resort to booking cargo at very low rates ("distress rates") to fill up the remaining space rather than be forced to despatch the vessel with vacant space. This may have an effect on the scheduled sailing time: the vessel may continue to receive cargo beyond the sailing time until the cargo compartments are fully loaded or the ship is "dawn to her marks", that is, loaded to the permitted "load lines".

 

Days on demurrage. These are days by which the agreed number of laydays for loading or discharge is exceeded. In some charters a limited fixed number of days on demurrage is agreed, in addition to the laytime allowed. Shipowners are entitled to damages for detention if, after demurrage days have expired, further delay is experienced.

 

Dunnage. Materials such as timber battens, boards, mats, plastic sheets, paper and even inflatable bags may be necessary to prevent cargo from shifting, to prevent sweat damage to the cargo and to separate different lots of cargo.

Delivery orders: At the request of shippers, consignees or endorsees, delivery orders may sometimes be issued by the agents of the shipowner for part of the goods shipped under bills of lading.

Dual rate contract. This is one form of a “loyalty contract” by which a shipper obtains an immediate lower freight rate by agreeing to use a particular carrier’s or conference’s services.

 

Dock charter. A "dock" is an area within a port within which cargo can be loaded of discharged. It can be enclosed by "dock walls" or "breakwaters". In relation to chartering, a dock can be a named destination for the ship to be an "arrived ship" and laytime commencing under a voyage charter or hire commencing under a time charter. A dock, as a destination in a dock charter, is less specific than a berth (a place within a dock or port) under a berth charter and more specific than a port in a port charter.

Documentary fraud. This occurs when a commercial party negotiates with a person who turns out to be dishonest and a cheat. A documentary credit may pay for the commercial transaction, for example, where an honest buyer opens a letter of credit based on negotiations between himself and a cheat. The cheat presents forged documents to the advising bank and is paid. The bill of lading features very prominently in documentary fraud because of its very great importance as a document of title. Because of this potential, alternative systems are being developed, such as the use of "sea waybills" and "EDI" or "Electronic Data Interchange" where data about the goods and the mode of their transport are exchanged by electronic means.

 

Deviation. Under the Marine Insurance Act, if a ship, without lawful excuse, deviates from the voyage contemplated by the policy, the insurer is discharged from liability from the time of deviation, and it is immaterial that the ship may have regained her route before any loss occurs.

Deeptanks. In order to increase the water ballast capacity; many older, multi-deck cargo ships are equipped with deeptanks running from the tank top of the double bottom to the lower or upper tweendeck and extending over the entire breadth. As a rule the deeptanks were constructed amidships forward of the engine room or at both ends. The reason for this was to provide capacity for water ballast, thus improving the draught but with hardly any change in trim.

Dreadage or Dreading clause. Grain is usually carried in. bulk or in bags. In a charterparty for grain cargo, a clause can give the charterer the option to ship general cargo with certain restrictions, such as a minimum quantity, and exclusion of cargoes that may cause damage to any grain loaded.

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.

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