International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has reported that a recent claim handled by ITIC involved a fixture identifying a discharge in a north China range designated as “1-2 port(s) Quingdao-Dongying”. This fixture was completed and, later, the same broker was asked by the same charterer to place a further cargo – this time destined for Jinzhou. The broker approached the same ship owner and agreed terms on the basis of the original fixture. An approaching holiday encouraged the broker to fix quickly, which he did. Be he failed to check if Jinzhou was within the designated range – it wasn’t.
ITIC noted that, to maintain flexibility, charterers often request that the ship broker fix the vessels to discharge at a specified number of ports within a defined range. ITIC said that it was important that the broker clearly understood the definition of that range and which ports it included.
When voyage orders were passed, the vessel owners were not happy to proceed to Jinzhou as it was outside the range and located in a potential ice zone. The vessel was not ice-classed.
After discussion, the ship owner agreed to discharge at Jinzhou for an additional $25,000 and full protection against any issue or damage involving ice. With ITIC’s agreement, the ship broker was able to indemnify the charterer.
Whilst intermediaries face many pressures, ITIC emphasized that it was important for agreements to be checked and re-checked, even when haste is deemed necessary.