503. Canadian Transport Company Limited v Court Line, Limited (the “Ovington Court”) [1940] AC 934

Time Charter – Special wording of clause 8 making Charterers liable for bad stowage.

The Facts

Wheat in bulk was shipped from Vancouver to the United Kingdom or the continent.

Clause 8 of the charterparty read as follows:” the Captain shall prosecute his voyages with the utmost despatch and shall render all customary assistance with ship’s crew and boats. The Captain (although appointed by the owners) shall be under the orders and directions of the Charterers as regard employment or agency; and Charterers are to load, stow and trim the cargo at their expense under the supervision of the Captain who is to sign bills of lading for cargo as presented in conformity with the Mate’s or Tally-Clerk’s receipts. Owners to give time Charterers the benefit of their Protection and Indemnity Club Insurances.”

On outturn, the cargo was found to be damaged due to improper stowage.

Bill of lading holders held the owners liable. Owners sought to recover from Charterers.

There were two issues: the effect of clause 8 in respect of bad stowage and whether the owners’ claim against the Charterers was reduced by virtue of the Charterers having the benefit of owners’ P & I cover.

Only the first issue is dealt with in this summary.

 

Findings

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