A tidal change

In early 2011 a ship agent at a tidal port in Japan was asked to provide a tide table to enable the owner of a ship to calculate the permissible drafts for the dates his ship was due to berth at the port. The ship agent duly scanned the tide table and sent it electronically to the owner. The ship arrived at the port with a draft of 8.56m, but was informed by the port authorities that the permissible draft was only 7.8m.

Unfortunately it emerged that the agent had inadvertently sent the owner the tide table for 2012 instead of 2011. The two tide tables were kept together in the same file, and during scanning the corner of the tide table had folded over, thereby obscuring the year. The excess draft meant that the ship could only discharge for about 4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. The ship had to shift anchorage three times during the four days it took her to discharge, which was twice as long as it should have taken had the shifting not had to occur. The owner claimed the pilotage and towage costs involved in shifting to the anchorage three times, plus two days hire, additional bunker consumption, additional stevedoring, which totalled USD 143,000. It was agreed by the owner that some of the costs would have been incurred in any event, and the claim for additional costs was settled at USD 120,000.

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.