Transportacion Maritima Mexicana, SA. de C.V. v Alia Global Logistics, S.A. de C.V. (M/T “King Gregory”) – SMA 4429, 1 November 2021
ASBATANKVOY – TERMINATION OF CHARTER – DAMAGES – NON-PAYMENT – FAILURE TO PROVIDE CARGO
The contract dispute originated from an ASBATANKVOY Form charter party with extra clauses dated June 17, 2020 (the Charter) between Transportacion Maritima Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (“TMM” or “Owner”) and Alia Global Logistics, S.A. de C.V. (“Alia” or “Charterer”). Owner alleged the Charterer’s non-performance and termination of the Charter, and sought damages in the sum of $ 295,000, plus reasonable fees and expenses. The Charterer acknowledged and promised to pay the Owner this amount but did not do so.
On June 17, 2020, Alia and TMM signed a charter agreement for the M/T KING GREGORY (“Vessel”) to transport a full cargo of jet fuel from Coatzacoalcos to Houston. The Charter required freight as “payable in advance to Owner’s designated bank account before loading.” In addition, laytime was agreed to be “72 hours total… with a USD 19,500 PDPR demurrage rate.”
TMM did not have a suitable vessel for this cargo, so it entered a separate charter with Maersk Tankers. Alia accepted the Vessel, which gave notice of readiness at the load port of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, on June 19, 2020. TMM notified Alia the same day that the Vessel had tendered NOR and requested cargo loading orders. On June 20, 2020, TMM again informed Alia the Vessel was anchored at Coatzacoalcos and was “awaiting berth availability to commence loading.” Alia responded to TMM that the load date confirmation would be June 25, and on June 22, per the terms of the Charter, TMM sent Alia a freight invoice for US $225,000. After waiting ten days for cargo, TMM and Alia agreed to cancel the Charter.
TMM claimed Alia failed its responsibility to deliver the agreed cargo, thereby breaching the Charter. TMM also asserted it fully met its Charter obligations by presenting the Vessel at the load port within the agreed-upon 1 aye an. In addition, TMM alleged it did everything possible to avoid cancellation, including proactively contacting the terminal and supplier when cargo delays were suspected.
TMM also stated Alia agreed to cancel the Charter and agreed to pay TMM US $ 295,000. During the proceeding, Alia did not dispute TMM’s claims or present any counter arguments to TMM’s submissions to the Panel. Alia agreed to pay US $ 295,0OO in correspondence presented to the Panel, however it failed to do so and requested multiple extensions.
The Panel also found TMM suffered damages due to Alia’s Charter violation. TMM met its burden of proof by submitting evidence of chartering the Vessel to perform this voyage and then canceling the charter with Maersk Tankers after the Vessel sat at the load port for ten days waiting for Alia to present the cargo of jet fuel, which it never did. TMM also met the Panel’s request for proof of damages by providing the fixture recap and charter with Maersk Tankers, as well as the banking transaction proving a payment of US $ 275,000.
After reviewing all the evidence presented in the proceeding, the Panel concluded (1) TMM established that Alia violated the Charter by failing to present a cargo to be loaded onto the Vessel; (2) TMM suffered damages as a result of having to cancel the Maersk Tankers Charter; (3) Alia agreed to cancel the Charter; and (4) Alia agreed to pay TMM US $ 295,000.
As a result, the Panel awarded TMM US $ 295,000 in damages for Alia’s breach of Charter.