Laytime not fixed. The period of time can be expressed in the charterparty in a number of ways.
If the laytime is “fixed” this leads to considerable certainty in assessing the time used for the cargo operations. Laytime can be fixed by express words in the charterparty or by reference to the rates of loading or discharging cargo. It is when the laytime is not fixed that problems may occur. For example, the, timeavailable to the charterer for cargo operations may be referred to the “custom of the port”. The owner may be quite unfamiliar with the working customs and practices of every port. In any case, if the charterer is the shipper, the working practices in a port of loading are better known to him. While the position where laytime is neither fixed nor calculable may require the period of laytime to be “reasonable”, the uncertainty of such terms in a charterparty has led to their unimportance in modern chartering.