Port or berth charter? Effect of ‘time lost’ provision.

In Freight Connect (S) Pte Ltd v Paragon Shipping PTE Ltd [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 184, the Singapore Court of Appeal has recently considered whether owners can recover for time waiting at berth under a voyage charter. A berth charter was initially concluded but due to delays the charterers requested a replacement vessel be provided. The owners offered a replacement fixture which was accepted. The fixture was a port charter with a time lost clause. The vessel suffered delays in berthing at the loading port. The charterers contended that laytime did not start as NOR could not be given until the vessel berthed and that the time lost clause was inoperative until a valid NOR had been given. The Court of Appeal in Singapore has upheld the decision of the High Court in rejecting both arguments. The second charter was clearly a port charter and in any event the time lost clause operated independently of whether a valid NOR had been given.