PANAMA CANAL DRAFT RESTRICTIONS… The Panama Canal Authority has been closely monitoring the water levels of lakes Gatun and Alhajuela in order to determine if draft restrictions are to be needed as a result of an “El Nino” weather event. This weather phenomenon typically results in a reduction in rainfall in the area, causing the water levels of lakes Gatun and Alhajuela to fall below average levels. The Panama Canal has prepared a daily adjusted short and long range forecast in order to predict lake water levels. If it is determined that draft restrictions are necessary the appropriate parties will...
ELECTRONIC RELEASE SYSTEM (ERS) - CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA (COGSA) - CONTAINERIZED GOODS - BILLS OF LADING - LOCAL AGENTS - Shipper Award An electronic release system was implemented at the MSC terminal in Antwerp, Belgium with intention to streamline processes and remove paper release notes. An electronic PIN would be provided for each container once a bill of lading was presented in order to take delivery of cargo at the terminal. However when two of the shipper’s containers were misappropriated, the parties disputed whether the carrier had met their requirement of submitting a valid “delivery order” upon receipt of the bill of lading.
PETITION TO CONFIRM AWARD – CONSECUTIVE VOYAGE CHARTER – VESSEL DRY DOCKED WITHOUT MUTUAL AGREEMENT - IN TURN CARGO NOT PROVIDED – MATERIAL & REPUDIATORY BREACH – Owner Award Owner petitioned to confirm an earlier arbitration award in which the arbitrators held that the Charterer had breached the Charter by not providing cargo for the Vessel. Charterer argued that the arbitrators had acted with complete disregard of past precedent in assessing damages against them and filed a cross-motion to vacate the award.
ESTABLISHING MARKET VALUE - TORT OF CONVERSION - DAMAGES - SUPPLY CHAIN - Buyer Award While the Vessel was en route to the discharge port, the Vessel was withdrawn from the Contract Carriers’ service when they defaulted on hire and the cargo of river sand onboard was sold to mitigate the Owners’ losses. However, the Buyer argued that this constituted a tort of conversion and filed for damages against the Contract Carriers and the Owners basis an alleged market price of the sand.
ASBATANKVOY – PARTIAL FINAL AWARD – PARTIAL DEMURRAGE COLLECTION -- DELAYS AT OTHER PORTS EXTENDING FROM COLLISION AND REPAIRS – Owner Award Due to a collision in port Owner was required to repair the Vessel. Because of the delay the Owners contended that they should receive partial demurrage payment for the period after the collision. Charterer believed that a full hearing covering the entire voyage should be concluded before judgement can be passed on the demurrage from any single part of the voyage.
GENCON – LENGTHY LOAD PORT DELAYS – DEMURRAGE -- VALIDITY OF BILLS OF LADING – CARGO LIEN – Owner Award In this dispute significant load port delays led to the Owner and Charterer negotiating an addendum including supplemental compensation. Charterer did not establish a line of credit on time with Owner subsequently deeming the Charterer’s agents’ bills of lading invalid and exercised a lien on the cargo for the outstanding demurrage.
SUEZ CANAL . . . The new Suez Canal which is due to open on 6 August 2015 will increase the capacity of the existing canal allowing ships to pass north and south concurrently. The long term goal is to increase the daily average of transiting vessels from 49 ships presently to 97 ships by the year 2023, and increase the permissible draft to 66 feet. The waiting time is expected to be shortened to three hours (as opposed to the current 8-11 hours) and transit time will be cut to 11 hours (instead of 18-22 hours). www.suezcanal.gov.eg/nc.aspx PANAMA CANAL...
COLLISION -- TWO-YEAR LIMITATION TO COMMENCE PROCEEDINGS -- EXTENSION REQUESTED -- Defendant award A dispute arose after two vessels collided. In the course of negotiations, the Claimant issued an application for an extension to commence proceedings, but only after the expiration of a two-year limitation for claims filing passed. At issue was whether the Claimant’s extension request was reasonable.
TRIP CHARTER – BERTHING DELAY – VESSEL GROUNDING – SAFE BERTH -- BUNKER CONSUMPTION – CHARTERER’S RIGHT TO ACCESS SHIP’S GENERATORS -- Partial Owner Award In this dispute, Owner claimed damages for survey costs and delay in discharge due to an insufficient draft at the berth causing the vessel to touch bottom. Charterers counterclaimed for overpaid bunkers and wanted compensation for denied access to the vessel’s generators to power shore grabs.
DEMURRAGE -- MISSING DOCUMENTS – OWNER’S CLAIM NOT PROVIDED – TIME BAR -- Buyer Award This dispute centers on determining the documents considered necessary to file a valid claim in order to avoid a time bar. In this case the seller was requesting demurrage payment while the buyer refused believing the claim had received a time bar.