Voyage charter. Under a voyage charter shipowners undertake to put a named vessel of a certain description at the disposal of a Charterer for the carriage of a full cargo or part cargo from one or more ports in a specified range of ports to one or more named ports of destination or ports within a specified range at freight rates and conditions agreed between the two during negotiations before the fixture.
The vessel is being used for a single voyage. If the employment of the vessel is to be for more than one voyage, this can be on “consecutive voyages”. Voyage charters are common for bulk cargoes, and in the tramping service.
The shipowner provides the ship at an agreed port for loading at a certain date (see “Laycan” and “Cancelling date”). The owner is completely responsible for all costs, even cargo handling costs, if the vessel is chartered on “Liner terms” or “Gross terms”. The costs can include: fuel, port and canal charges, stevedoring, hold cleaning, dunnage, commissions, agency fees, freight taxes, extra insurance, etc. If the vessel is chartered on “FIOST” terms, the cost of loading and discharging is not borne by the shipowner. The charterparty expressly provides which costs are borne by the owners and which by the charterers. In the absence of any clauses the only costs to the charterers are the freight costs. However, the charterer can also become liable to legal costs and compensation should there be a breach by him of the terms of the voyage charter. The shipowner under-takes to carry the cargo to the nominated destinations) and must care for the goods while they are under his control.