Instantly Mr. Francis (owner of the ship) received a message to consign 10 containers of engineering equipments to Southampton, before reaching New York.

The ship docked in New York on 7th November 2008. When the ship was being anchored, it happened to hit against a dock wall, due to apparent negligence of the ship’s master. Consequently 40 crates of medical equipments, valued at around £40,000 were totally ruined.

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The subsequent inquiries revealed that navigating officer and master of the vessel, who were mainly responsible for the safety of ship and cargo, were in an inebriated state during the time of occurrence of accident.

The shipping law is a combination of customs, precedents, legislations, and ratio decedent. The subject matter of the same is ownership and operation of ships travelling through the high seas which confers rights and imposes duties on the respective parties. The transportation of goods along the high seas is primarily based on contracts or agreements between the ship owner on the one hand, and the party consigning goods, on the other. Anyway, these agreements are grounded on archaic customs and antiquated precedents prevailing in the industry.

As already mentioned the transportation of goods through high seas is mainly based on contracts or agreements between the ship owner and the consigner. These types of contracts are otherwise termed as “Charter Parties”. The term Charter Party is derived from the Latin word “Carta Partitta” which means “divided charter”. As per the classification the charter party is divided into three types which are “Demise charter”, secondly, “Time charter” and finally “Voyage charter.” 1

It is the charterer who appoints the master and the crew of the ship. The charterer himself affects the repairs etc. In summary the charterer acts as if he is the owner of the vessel during the period of the contract.

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