An e-mail error

A charterparty was arranged by a ship broker which included a clause stating that “charterers to declare 15 day laycan latest 30 days prior to the opening day of the first layday.”

In early July the charterer e-mailed the ship broker advising that they were nominating the laycan as the first half of August. The broker overlooked this e-mail and a subsequent e-mail sent by the charterer three days later was also missed.

The broker finally forwarded the laycan nomination to the owners at the end of July, which was too late. The owners advised that they were unable to provide a ship at the nominated loadport within the first 15 days of August at the freight rate agreed in the charterparty. They advised that they had another ship which could load the cargo, but as the market had risen since the fixture was made, this would be at an additional cost to the charterers of approximately US$ 220,000.

The broker made inquiries in the market and determined that it would not be possible to fix with another owner for less than the US$ 220,000, so the charterers decided to fix on this basis and subsequently pursued a claim for this loss against the broker.

It was clear that the charterers’ loss of US$ 220,000 had been caused by the failure of the broker to pass the laycan declaration on to the owners. The broker was liable to reimburse the charterers for the additional costs they incurred, and ITIC reimbursed the broker.

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