Negligent Advice

A bunker broker, representing the owner, whose vessel was fixed on charter to load at Rotterdam for discharge at Durban, advised that the owner should bunker at Durban where the prices were, at that time, cheaper.  As a result of the advice, the quantity taken on at Rotterdam was very much reduced.  When the vessel arrived at Durban, the bunker price had gone up and was in fact more expensive than the price that had been available in Rotterdam.  A more serious problem was that the ship was a VLCC and was not scheduled to discharge at Durban, but at an off-shore facility where bunkering was not permissible. 

The owner made a claim upon the bunker broker for negligence. Although no broker can be held responsible for price fluctuation the failure to realise that the ship would not be able to bunker in any event was clearly negligent.  The Club ultimately managed to negotiate a settlement for approximately USD 18,000.

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