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March 28, 2024


What is laytime in shipping?

Laytime is the period of time granted to a vessel for loading and unloading cargo at a port. It represents the duration, typically in a number of days, for which the ship is allowed to remain at the port facility to complete these operations. Laytime is typically agreed upon in charter party contracts between the shipowner or operator and the charterer, who may be the cargo owner or a freight forwarder.

When does laytime commence and finish?

Laytime commences upon arrival of the vessel at the agreed-upon loading or discharge berth. It ends when loading or unloading is completed. It's important for all parties involved to accurately track laytime to avoid potential disputes over demurrage or detention charges.

How to calculate laytime

Calculating laytime involves considering various factors such as the type of cargo, the capacity of the vessel, and any specific terms outlined in the charter party agreement. The calculation typically begins with the date and time of arrival of the vessel at the port and ends with the completion of cargo operations. Any delays caused by factors beyond the control of the charterer, known as "non-working time," may be excluded from the laytime calculation.

To calculate laytime accurately, professionals often rely on standardized formulas and industry best practices. It's essential to understand the terms and conditions of the charter party agreement, including any clauses related to laytime, demurrage, or detention, to ensure compliance and mitigate financial risks.

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