London Arbitration 19/22
The subject vessel was chartered to carry a shipment of aniline from China to Houston.
Relevant charterparty clauses provided:
“Upon arrival at customary anchorage at each port of loading … the Master … shall give the Charterer … notice … that the Vessel is ready to load …”
“If vessel load/discharges at a China River Port, the customary anchorage shall be nearest local river port anchorage (and not at CJK Customary anchorage) provided vessel can enter the port/berth directly upon arrival at CJK. Should the vessel not be allowed to enter the river port upon arrival, then vessel to tender NOR at CJK Customary anchorage and time to count at NOR+6 but excluding shifting time to enter river port.”
At all material times until the vessel went to the loadport it was at a Shanghai shipyard. The loadport was further up the river Yangtze than Shanghai, but the CJK anchorage was past the mouth of the river. Until the vessel sailed to the loadport it was between that port and the CJK anchorage.
The notice of readiness was tendered at 00.01 on 21 March while the vessel was still at the Shanghai shipyard. The owner claimed demurrage of $148,616.55.
The owner claimed that notice of readiness was tendered at Shanghai because there was no waiting space at the loadport, the berth was occupied, and the anchorage at CJK was congested. They argued it was implied that if the vessel were not able to enter the loadport, and the anchorage at CJK was congested, the vessel could tender notice of readiness at a location equidistant or nearer to the loadport than the CJK anchorage.
The charterparty clearly stated that a valid notice of readiness could only be given once the vessel was at the customary anchorage for the loadport, or if it was not available then at the CJK anchorage. There was no evidence that the CJK anchorage was too congested for the vessel to have anchored there. The owner’s claim was dismissed, and they were ordered to pay their own as well as the charterer’s costs with interest.