The Freight Service 1

cargo, charter, port, space, vessel, ship, forwarder and usually

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

13. Seaworthiness.—The ship is described in most charter parties as "tight, stanch, strong and in every way fitted and provided for such a voyage." In other charters all this is summed up in the word "sea worthy." The clause or word has been generally interpreted to mean that the owner can be held responsible for any damage resulting from a defect in the vessel or its management. An insufficient crew, an un qualified captain or engineer, or a faulty engine makes the vessel technically unseaworthy. So also leaky hatches, ill-smelling hold, or a breakdown, thru care lessness, of the refrigerating machinery, resulting in damages to the cargo.

Tho the bill of lading issued by the common car riers does not usually contain a "seaworthiness" clause, the courts have held that this is always implied in the contract.

14. Destination of a trip charter it is not always necessary to indicate the port of destina tion of the cargo. Frequently vessels are chartered for "one safe port on the continent between Havre and Hamburg, both inclusive"; or, "French Atlantic range"; or "U.K. (United Kingdom) range"; or, "U.K.H.H. (United Kingdom, Havre, Hamburg) range." No definite port is indicated. The vessel starts on its journey and "calls for orders" usually at Cork, on the south coast of Ireland. Ships from the Argentine or Cape Town usually "call for orders" at the Cape Verde Islands, or the Azores, where they can also coal.

The purchaser of the cargo decides where the ship shall go. The cargo of cotton, wheat or some other staple product is sold while en route on the exchanges of Europe, Liverpool, Antwerp, Rotterdam or Ham burg.

The current charter rates can be found in the ship ping reports of the newspapers or of such trade papers as the Shipping World, Shipping, Shipping Gazette, Fairplay or Lloyd's List. The following extract from a report of "The Freight Market" taken from the magazine Shipping may serve as an illus tration: 15. Berth traffie.—Before the cable and telegraph made it possible for vessels to be directed from a central office to the ports where freight was waiting tonnage, the only way in which a master could fill his ship, was by "putting her on berth." This is still done to some extent by ship-masters or owners. The "good ship" is advertised to sail "on or about" a certain date for a more or less definite destination, and all those who have freight for that port, or way ports, may make use of her. Sometimes this method

is still used when a fairly profitable charter has been concluded for only part of the ship's capacity.

A certain amount of speculation takes place in this kind of traffic. Not infrequently brokers will charter a vessel in order to put her "on berth" in a port where freight congestion has taken place.

16. Freight freight forwarder, or seaboard broker, combines many comparatively small shipments into one large shipment and then contracts with a steamship company for its dispatch. Some times, especially for freight to destinations not reached by regular lines, the forwarder will charter a tramp and load it with a miscellaneous cargo. The shipper of moderately sized lots tilts shares in the benefits of low rates and good service.

Frequently forwarders are speculators in freight space. They contract ahead for a certain amount of space when rates are low, trusting to their regular flow of cargo to fill the space thus contracted for. Goods are shipped under the name of the forwarder and consigned to his agent in the port of destination. This agent breaks up the shipment and reships each lot to its inland destination. The agent acts also in the capacity of customs broker and attends to all necessary details. Shippers who have little experi ence in making foreign shipments arc thus relieved of all worries connected with the technical details of making a foreign shipment.

Some forwarders will forward goods "freight col lect," or even C.O.D., but this is not generally done. Others discount manufacturer's drafts on foreign cus tomers, thereby acting as bankers. This is done on a much larger scale in Europe than in this country. The forwarder usually does not actually "carry" the exporter himself, but rediscounts the draft with a bank.

The charges of forwarders are as a rule reasonable, considering the value of the services which they ren der. The freight forwarder proved his usefulness most strikingly during the war. The constantly changing rates and the unwillingness of steamship companies to reserve space made personal representa tion at the ports necessary. Frequently forwarders secured space for their clients by paying a slightly higher lighterage and having their cargo ready for loading alongside the vessel instead of letting it lie for months on the docks waiting for space, as much other freight did at that time.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6