Unless sooner berthed. These words may be found in older charterparties.
They concern the commencement of laytime. For example, it may be provided that “. . . laytime commences 24 hours after the Notice of Readiness is tendered unless sooner berthed”. This would take account of a situation where the vessel berths at night and the Notice of Readiness can be given only during, once hours. Cargo operation may commence soon after the vessel berths. If laytime is meant to commence only after the Notice of Readiness. is given, the time used for cargo operations before the notice is given, and accepted, may be free to the Charterer, and this may be a disadvantage for the owner. The phrase, “unless sooner berthed”, would prevent this effect. Therefore, although laytime is meant to commence after the Notice of Readiness is given, it may commence earlier, perhaps from the actual time of cargo operations commencing.