Voyage Charter Party

I have written couple of articles regarding charter party contracts and charter party bills of lading so far on my website such as what is a charter party bill of lading?, is it possible to submit a charter party bill of lading instead of a marine bill of lading under a letter of credit payment? and who can sign a charter party bill of lading as per UCP 600? and time charter parties.

Today I would like to explain voyage charter party contracts.

Voyage charter party is a type of charter party contract, which is used in maritime industry when chartering bulk cargo vessels for carriage of specific cargo within a pre-determined route.

Other charter party contract types are known as bareboat charter and time charter.

What is a voyage charter party?

A voyage charter party can be defined as a legal contract, which is signed between the shipowner and charterer, that defines the roles and responsibilities of the parties of the voyage charter.

What are the key concepts of voyage charter party contracts?

Under voyage charter party agreements, shipowners promise to carry a particular cargo on a particular ship on a particular voyage for an agreed sum.

Voyage charter party contract could be signed either for a single or multiple voyages.

The charterer is obliged to furnish the agreed cargo and pay the freight.

Under voyage charter contracts freight amount  usually calculated per unit of cargo carried and earned loading on board but payable by instalments after loading and on discharge.

But sometimes a fix rate would apply.

As a result under voyage charter party contracts freight is calculated either

  • according to the quantity of cargo loaded or carried, or 
  • a lump sum freight (money paid to shipper for a charter of a ship up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo)

What are the rights and risks of shipowners and charterers under voyage charter party contracts?

The shipowner retains all the Technical Operation and Commercial Operation and Management rights and responsibilities under voyage charter contracts.

As a result vessel maintenance and insurance costs, as well as employing the crew and all the costs of the voyage, including bunkers and port charges will be covered by the shipowners.

Risks expressly apportioned to the charterer or within his discretion (e.g. as a result of any right to choose ports or cargoes); and the terms of the contract may specify that the voyage charterer is responsible for the costs and perhaps the risks of loading and discharging cargo.

What are the standard contracts that can be used in voyage charter parties?

Amwelsh 93
Austwheat 1990
Bimchemvoy 2008
Cementvoy 2006
Ferticon 2007
Gasvoy 2005
Gencon 94
Heavycon 2007
Norgrain 89
Synacomex 2000
Worldfood 99