Trip charterers tell shipowners what they can do with their ship.

In The Wehr Trave [2016] EWHC 583 (Comm) Sir Bernard Eder, sitting as a Judge of the High Court, has held that a trip charterer can legitimately order a further voyage after the conclusion of the primary voyage when that voyage is within the charter trading limits and will be completed within the specified duration of the charter.

Owners submitted that the charter was for a “trip”, ie a journey or voyage from one place or range of places to another. The charterers said that they were free to employ the vessel as they saw fit during the charter period, subject to any restrictions in the charter on the vessel’s employment. Sir Bernard Eder rejected this argument and concluded that under a time charter, including a trip time charter, the vessel would generally be under the directions and orders of the charterer as regards her employment for the charter period.