Trip charter. When a charterer wishes to employ a vessel for a voyage but does not wish to take the risk of having to pay demurrage, for example, he may charter the vessel on time-charter terms but specify the voyage and the expected duration of the voyage.
This would also be common if the charterer wishes to fix the vessel for a number of consecutive voyages or for a round voyage from port of loading to port of discharging and back. The charterer would pay hire in the usual way as in a time charter, instead of freight, and the contract would be treated as any time charter. While the contract is on time-charter terms, so much of the essential character of a voyage charter is incorporated in it as to make the described voyage the paramount feature of the entire contract. ”
Before such a chartering practice became prevalent, the time charter was for a specified period of months or days. Now, such employment of a vessel is referred to as “period charter” or, in some instances, still as “time charter”. For example; reports in Lloyd’s List on the same day in September 1990 were:
Ayiassos-delivery Rotterdam, Sept 13-20, trip via US Gulf, redelivery Taiwan, $10,700 per day.
El Flamenco-delivery Japan, ppt, round voyage via Australia, $8,250 per day.
Nephele– Nephele-delivery retroactive to passing Cape Passero, Sept 6-9, five to seven months’ trading, $8,400 per day.
In the first report, the vessel is being fixed for a loaded voyage from the US C Golf to Taiwan, and the Charterer undertakes to hire the vessel from delivery in Rotterdam, the laycan being between 13 and 20 September. The Charterer probably intends taking it in ballast to the US Gulf. The “trip charter” is on time-charter terms. In the second report, the vessel is being fixed for a “round voyage” from Japan to Australia and back to Japan, with prompt delivery (that is immediately) also on time-charter terms. In the last report, the vessel is fixed far a “period” or on “time charter” from the instant between 6 and 9 September when it passes Cape Passero in Sicily.