Drawing a blank

A shipbroker in Scandinavia was instructed by his principal to confirm re-delivery of a ship to its owners. He sent the notice of re-delivery to the owner’s broker in the Far East by e-mail, and requested confirmation of receipt. The owner’s broker received the message, but when he viewed it, it was blank. However the system confirmed receipt to the Scandinavian broker. The owner’s broker had no idea what the message concerned. The charterer’s broker assumed that the re-delivery notice had been received and accepted. The owners refused to accept re-delivery of the vessel and a substantial claim was made against the Scandinavian broker.

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