By a charterparty on Shelltime 3 form dated 2 June 2006, the owners (the “Owners”) chartered the M/T Kos to the charterers (the “Charterers”) for 36 months (plus or minus 15 days at the Charterer’s option). Hire under the charterparty was payable monthly in advance. If unpaid, the Owners were entitled to withdraw the vessel without prejudice to any other claim they might otherwise have had on the Charterers under the charter.
The hire payment giving rise to the claim was due by midnight on 31 May 2008. Payment was not made (presumably an oversight on the Charterer’s part). On 2 June 2008, the Owners gave the Charterers notice of withdrawal. When asked to cancel the withdrawal the Owners would allow reinstatement of the time charter or, alternatively, continuation of the voyage instructions on a voyage charter basis, but at current market rates. Those rates were substantially higher than the rate of hire agreed in the contract. If neither option was chosen, the Charterers would be required to arrange for receipt back of their cargo. In the time taken to decide, the Owners informed the Charterers that cargo currently on board would be stored by them and payment for such storage would be expected at market rates. The Owners claimed for detention for 2.64 days at the market rate of $158,864 per day plus use of bunkers for 2.64 days amounting to $40,415. The Charterers counterclaimed for wrongful withdrawal of the vessel.
The Court held that the Owners were not entitled to hire at the current market rate for the 2.64 days. Unless expressly provided for in the agreement, remuneration for the period until discharge of cargo could not be due as there was no element of accident, emergency or necessity. The Owners were, however, entitled to the cost of bunkers used during the period.