Voyage Charters. Categories. Last updated 06-Oct-2014

The term charter-party is generally understood to be a corruption of the Latin words carta partita, the two parts of this and other instruments being usually written in former times on one: piece of parchment, which was afterwards divided by a straight line cut through some word or figure so that one part should fit and tally with the other as evidence of the original agreement and correspondence, …
Lord Tenterden, Abbott, Shipping, 5th ed.

Consecutive, Slot and Space charters

Originally featured for a single voyage, voyage charter contract can embrace several voyages either consecutive, then called a ‘consecutive voyage charter’, see for example Suisse Atlantique Sociètè d’Armement Maritime S.A. v N.V. Rotterdamsche Kolen Centrale [1967] 1 AC 361 and Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd v Adamastos Shipping [1957] 2 W.L.R. 968; or occurring at irregular intervals, also called an ‘intermittent voyage charter’, see as an example The Oakworth [1975] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 581.

In some instances parties agree to utilise tonnage, which may be one or several vessels, to transport large consignments of certain commodities on series of periodic voyages. Such contracts called ‘tonnage contracts’ or sometimes contracts of affreightment, or simply COA, see as an example The Kriti Rex [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 171, where under the COA the owners were to provide refrigerated vessels to load cargoes of fresh green bananas and other fruit at Big Creek in Belize, Puerto Cortis in Honduras and Manzanillo in the Dominican Republic for carriage to Portsmouth and Zeebrugge during certain period of year.

Professor William Tetley, Q.C. mentiones the following categories in his Glossary of Maritime Law Terms, 2nd Ed., 2004.

Consecutive voyage charter [Fr.: "contrat d’affr√®tement pour voyages successifs"] [Span.: "fletamento por viajes consecutivos"] [Ital.: "noleggio per viaggi consecutivi"] [Gr.: "Fortlaufende Reisecharter"] - A consecutive voyage charter party is a voyage charterparty for a determined number of consecutive voyages.
Slot charter - A charterparty whereby the shipper (infra) leases one or more "slots," each capable of holding a 20-foot container, aboard a container ship.
Space charter [Fr.: "contrat de tonnage"] [Span.: "COA"] [Ital.: "contratto di trasporto di carico parziale"] [Gr.: "Raumchartervertrag"] - A space charter, or a "contrat de tonnage" as it is known in French (sometimes confusingly called a "contract of affreightment" (COA) in English), depends, like any contract, on its terms. It can resemble a charterparty (i.e. a lease of a ship or ships) or a contract of carriage. It is a contract whereby a capacity of carriage is put at the disposal of the shipper (infra) for the carriage of his goods during a period of time under particular terms and conditions. Whether it is a contract of hire or a contract of carriage or even a contract of agency like a freight forwarder’s (infra) contract, depends on its terms.

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