Category: U.S. Maritime Cases

Shipping industry court rulings and arbitration awards under U.S. law.

Macsteel International USA Corp. v. Inter Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. – SMA 4322, 14 Aug 2017

PARTIAL FINAL AWARD - ARREST AND ATTACHMENT OF VESSEL - MARITIME LIEN - DEFAULT IN HIRE - UNSEAWORTHY The vessel was denied entry into a prior port for other charterers’ accounts which subsequently delayed her arrival at charterer’s disport. The panel was tasked to determine the party at fault for the delay and whether demurrage and other damages for barges awaiting the vessel at charterer’s disport for transshipment purposes were to be considered as consequential.
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Thorco Shipping A/S v. Effie Business Corporation S.A. (The “Thorco China”) – SMA 4316, 15 December 2015

NORGRAIN 1973 - FIRE - NORGRAIN EXCEPTIONS CLAUSE - IMPRACTICALITY - REPUDIATED / CANCELLED CHARTER PARTY Due to a cargo elevator, allegedly needed in order for a vessel to discharge bulk cargo, being unavailable due to fire, Charterer cancelled the charter party due to commercial impracticality and a clause in the C/P.
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Wagenborg Shipping v. Rain CII Carbon (The “Azoresborg”) – SMA 4314, 17 May 2017

AMWELSH - CANCELLED / REPUDIATED CHARTER PARTY - MITIGATED LOSSES - BALLAST VOYAGE - SUBSTITUTE EMPLOYMENT - POSITIONING VOYAGE Upon cancelling the charter party during loading Charterer instructed Owner to mitigate losses by seeking other cargos. Owner repositioned the original vessel and had a sister ship sail a ballast voyage to the delivery location of the follow on time charter of the original ship.  Owner claimed for lost income and bunker costs due to repositioning.
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Agathonissos Special Maritime Enterprise v. ST Shipping & Transport PTE, Ltd. (The “Aganthonissos”) – SMA 4315, 31 May 2017

ASBATANKVOY - COLLISION - ALLISION - SHIP TO SHIP (STS) - SAFE BERTHING / SHIFTING - GENERAL EXCEPTIONS - CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE - SEAWORTHY - INCOMPETENCE - LANGUAGE BARRIER - DEMURRAGE - DAMAGES Prior to a Ship to Ship Transfer a supply boat collided with the tanker (“Agathonissos”) it was sent to support.  The Agathonissos subsequently was delayed in lightering the vessel to be lightered (VTBL) which, being needed elsewhere, lightered to a replacement lightering tanker.  The replacement lightering tanker eventually lightering to the Agathonissos after the Agathonissos was repaired.  The owner of the Agathonissos alleged the supply vessel was unseaworthy due to its crew and held the Agathonissos’s charterer liable.  The charterer alleged the same of the Agathonissos.  Charterer also attempted to rely upon clauses 6 and 7 of ASBATANKVOY to deduct time from counting.  Owner pointed to two clauses in the C/P, Clauses 9 and 19 of ASBATANKVOY, within which the charterer assumes the risk and peril of a lightering and neither party is to be held liable under certain circumstances.
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BBC Chartering Carriers GMBH v Primavera Importacao E Expoertacao De Carais LTDA and LT Cargo Transportes E Armazens Gerais LTDA. (The “Nalinee Naree”) – SMA 4313, 18 April 2016

DETENTION - REPUDIATED CHARTER PARTY - DEADFREIGHT - HULL CLEANING - MITIGATED DAMAGES After awaiting several weeks for cargo, the charter party was repudiated and the owner fixed mitigating voyages. Owner claimed for detention, deadfreight, and hull cleaning expenses.
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Tenacity Marine Inc. v Ecopetrol, S.A. (The “Tenacity”) – SMA 4311, 20 April 2017

EXXONMOBILVOY2005 - DEMURRAGE - DELAY DUE TO FOG - WHETHER GALENA PARK A PORT OR IN THE PORT OF HOUSTON - WHETHER HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL A RIVERPORT - RIVERPORT CLAUSE - DISPUTE OVER BURDEN OF PROOF - Charterer Award When charterer deducted fifty percent of a delay due to fog basis an exceptions clause, owner countered that the Houston Ship Channel was a riverport and thus the “Riverport(s) Clause” applied with the weather delay subsequently counting in full.  In addressing this question, the Panel also advised as to where the burden of proof would lie and whether Galena Park was a port.
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Interoceanic Corporation v Helm Dungemittel GMBH and Helm Fertilizer Corp. – SMA 4305, March 3, 2017

FOB SALE - VESSEL ARRIVING LATE - SECOND VESSEL NOMINATED - CONTRACT AMENDED FOR NEW LAYCAN - PRODUCER’S MARKETER CLAIMED DAMAGES FOR ALLEGED EFFORTS TO AVOID PLANT SHUTDOWN - BUYER CLAIMED FOR DEMURRAGE AND DAMAGES DUE TO MISSED OPPORTUNITY A contract was fixed for the sale of ammonium sulfate to be loaded in Pasadena, Texas. After the originally nominated vessel was to miss the laycan, a replacement vessel was nominated. The contract was then re-negotiated with a new window and cargo quantity. Later, the producer’s marketer claimed for damages incurred when several barges were loaded to avoid a plant shutdown. The buyer claimed for demurrage and damages due to a missed opportunity.
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Seatrade Group N.V. v Isabella Shipping Company Limited (The “Santa Catharina”) – SMA 4303, 21 February 2017

TIME CHARTER – VESSEL CRANE FAILURE – UNABLE TO USE 1 HOLD ON THE SHIP – CHARTERER WITHHELD A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF HIRE – OWNER BELIEVED HIRE DUE IN FULL – CHARTERER GOING OUT OF BUSINESS – PARTIAL AWARD FOR SECURITY Although continuing to trade, due to a crane breakdown onboard a time chartered vessel cargo capacity was reduced for a month and a half for which the charterer withheld a pro rata share of hire. The owner countered that as no time was lost, hire is due in full. After the owner was informed that the charterer was going...
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Ellin E.N.E c/o Nereus Shipping v Castleton Commodities Shipping Co. Pte. Ltd. and Phillips 66 Company (The M/V “Romantic”) – SMA 4299, 11 Jan 2017

BPVOY4 - "ALL INCLUSIVE" FREIGHT COVERING ALL COSTS OF VOYAGE - RIVER BERTH REQUIRING STANDBY TUGS Afforded a range of ports within the fixture recap, Charterer directed the Vessel to a river berth wherein due to high current, standby tugs were required. Owner claimed the cost of the standby tugs from Charterer. Charterer pointed to freight being “ALL INCLUSIVE” and thus covering all costs of the voyage inclusive of standby tugs.
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Star Tankers, Inc. v. Chevron Marine Ltd. (The “SN Federica”) – SMA No. 4289, 23 Sep 2016

ASBATANKVOY - DEMURRAGE - NOR VALIDITY - EXPEDITE INSPECTION - SUBSTANTIAL READINESS – “ROOT CAUSE” PRINCIPLE Nearly 38 days after the tender of NOR, charterer inspected and subsequently directed the vessel to repair its anchor chain prior to berthing. The repair took 3 days. Charterer subsequently claimed that as the vessel was not ready the NOR was invalid with the 38 days for Owner’s account.
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