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Wednesday, October 17, 2018



The majority of fixtures now include some form or other of early loading rider clause. A typical example of such a clause is as follows:

“In the event charterers agree to load vessel prior to commencement of laydays, all such time to be credited against any time vessel is on demurrage. For purpose of this claim, time to count when vessel is all fast at the loadport.”

The wording of some of these clauses is not always clear when defining how time saved at the load port is to be calculated. The effect though is usually the same, i.e. time from when loading commences until commencement of the original laydays is to be added to the agreed laytime.

Some clauses such as to be found in the Shell clause stipulate that charterers shall have the benefit of time between commencement of loading, others, however, provide that time shall count from when vessel is all fast. Given that the effect of these clauses is that the agreed amount of laytime will be increased it is preferable that time should count from commencement of loading.

When looking at this type of provision in rider clauses it can be said that the idea as such may be acceptable in the sense that owners have the benefit of such early loading in that the vessel presumably will be made available for its next employment at a correspondingly earlier time. Should charterers opt for early loading it is assumed that the vessel will not be unduly delayed at the discharge port(s) otherwise owners' remedy of demurrage will be adversely affected.

We have come across situations where the vessel has not only commenced but also completed loading before beginning of the agreed laydays. In these circumstances it would seem unfair that charterers should be entitled to add to laytime also the time when the vessel had finished loading until the beginning of laydays. Therefore, owners may wish to consider the addition of the following wording to an early loading clause:

“Notwithstanding anything elsewhere herein contained, if the vessel completes loading prior to commencement of laydays, no time shall be added for the time after such completion of loading”.