Turn. This refers to the sequence in which a vessel is available for laytime when other vessels are meant to use the same cargo-handling berth or when cargo is available.
In the former situation, the vessel may a arrive at the port, fulfil all the requirements of an “arrived ship”, be legally and physically ready to load or discharge, give Notice of Readiness and then have to be informed by the port authorities when it is to berth to load or discharge the cargo. For example, the vessel’s turn may depend on the vessel’s arrival being reported to the Customs authorities.
The word can be found in older charterparties and also in some modern charters for the carriage of coal. The word has other extensions. For example, “turn time” is the period before the vessel is allowed to berth; “regular turn” is the order in which the vessel berths, depending on its being reported to Customs. “Free turn” means that the waiting time before the vessel’s turn to berth or to load/discharge commences counts as laytime. Usually, laytime does not count when the vessel is waiting for its turn.