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This is the “backbone” of this book, forming the transition towards the core subjects of shipbroking and chartering practice. The charter types influence considerably the revenue side, the cost structure, the risks undertaken, thus the profitability of a shipping company. Understanding the mechanisms behind the vessels’ charter types is a key aspect in the commercial management of ships and for ship management in general. This chapter aims to present the most important types of charter and explain how they function. Emphasis is placed on the most popular types of vessels’ charter, namely the voyage charter, the time charter, the bareboat charter and the contract of affreightment. The text deals with the following: first, fundamental differences between bulk and liner shipping are examined as far as chartering matters are concerned; second, basic chartering principles and charter types are generally discussed forming the basis for a detailed analysis of chartering practice in the following chapters. Obligations, duties, liabilities and rights of the involved parties are briefly discussed per type of charter; third, standard forms of charterparties per type of charter are introduced; and finally, cost and risk allocation per type of charter is examined.
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