This article attempts to provide you with the very basics of voyage estimation based on a full and complete cargo (as opposed to a ‘part cargo’) loading from one port and discharging at one port.  All aspects of the voyage calculation and supplementary information are simplified as much as possible.

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Receiving & Understanding an Inquiry/ Requirement

You are an Owner. You received an inquiry from a potential Charterer from Houston, TX, USA to Moji, Japan for the carriage of fertilizer. The inquiry reads as follows:

+++
Charterers invite Owner's best for following:

TTL 10,000MT FERTILIZER 5PCT MOLCHOPT,
1SB1SP HOUSTON, USA/ 1SB1SP MOJI,JAPAN
FEB 1~10,2009
FIOST
LOAD/DISCHARGE 4,000MT/4000MT WWD SHINC
NO ADD/NO COMM
+++

Of course, inquiries come in many different degrees of detail.  The above is a very simply inquiry.  Inquiries are always riddled with acronyms and abbreviations and the above inquiry is no different.  The inquiry is for 10,000mt of fertilizer but is subject to 5% more or less (MOL) in Charterer’s option (CHOPT).  That means, the cargo could be as much as 10,500mt and as little as 9,500mt. The inquiry further reads “1sbsp” which means 1 safe berth 1 safe port.  It is the Charterer’s obligation to nominate a safe berth and safe port.  The definition of ‘safe berth’ and ‘safe port’ goes far beyond the text of this article, however, if you would like to read more, here is an article:

Article::
Safe Berth and Safe Port Warranties – Time and Voyage Charterers, Steamship Mutual, June 1999
Link:
https://www.steamshipmutual.com/publications/Articles/Articles/Safe_Port.asp

While the term ‘laycan’ is not stated, it is implied that Feb 1 – 10, 2009 may be a workable laycan.  Laycan is short for ‘laydays’ and ‘cancelling’ which are normally two separate dates (eg. Laydays Feb 1 and cancelling Feb 10).  In general, a Notice of Readiness must be tendered by Owners within the agreed laycan.  The Charterer is not obliged to load any earlier than the layday agreed and thus the vessel would have to wait if it arrived earlier than Feb 1, in this case.  Furthermore, the Charterer could cancel the charter if the vessel arrived after the ‘cancelling’ date, Feb 10, in this case.  For more about laycans, here is an amalgamation of court cases that when read, gives you a good understanding of what a laycan represents:

Article:
Laycan, Nov 28, 2015
Link:
http://caselawquotes.net/L/Laycan.html

FIOST means free in and free out stowed and trimmed.  The costs are from the point of view of the Owner, meaning, the loading costs and discharge costs are free to the Owner.  Furthermore, the cost of stowing and trimming the cargo are also for the cost of the Charterer.

The Charterer specified the loading and discharge rate as “4,000mt wwd shinc” which is short for 4,000 mt per ‘weather working day (wwd)’ and ‘Sundays and holidays are included (shinc)’. Again, how weather working days and Sundays and holidays apply to laytime are beyond the confounds of this article, however, if you wish to read more, one may consult “Voyage Charter Party Laytime Interpretation Rules”:

Lastly, the Charterer has specified that there shall be no Address Commission nor Brokerage Commission.

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