Voyage Charter

What is
Voyage Charter

A “Voyage Charter” is essentially a contract between the shipowner and the charterer, where the shipowner agrees to transport a specified cargo on a particular route from the load port to the discharge port. Unlike time charters or bareboat charters, where a vessel is hired for a specific period or entirely handed over to the charterer’s control, a Voyage Charter focuses solely on one journey or a series of journeys.

Key Components of a Voyage Charter

  1. The Contract: At the core of a Voyage Charter is the charter party, a formal agreement that details the terms and conditions of the voyage.
  1. Freight Rate: This is the price agreed upon for the transportation of cargo. It can be determined per tonnage, per cargo, or as a lump sum.
  1. Loading and Unloading Terms: These terms specify who handles the costs and responsibilities of loading and unloading the cargo.
  1. Laytime and Demurrage: Laytime is the time allowed for loading and unloading operations. If the charterer exceeds this time, demurrage fees are applied.

Benefits of Choosing a Voyage Charter

  • Cost-Effectiveness: For businesses that do not require regular shipments, Voyage Charters can be more economical than hiring a vessel for an extended period.
  • Simplicity: It offers a straightforward arrangement without the complexities of managing a vessel’s operations over time.
  • Flexibility in Cargo Handling: Charterers can negotiate terms that best suit their cargo handling capabilities and needs.

Voyage Charter vs. Time Charter

While a Voyage Charter is contractually bound to one or a set of journeys, a Time Charter involves leasing a vessel for a specified period during which any number of voyages can be undertaken. This fundamental difference makes Voyage Charters ideal for businesses looking for a direct, journey-specific contract without the ongoing responsibilities of a leased vessel.


Voyage Charters offer an effective solution for transporting goods across the seas without the need for long-term vessel commitments. By understanding and leveraging this type of charter, businesses can optimize their transport strategies to better align with their logistical needs and financial objectives.

Interested in simplifying your freight forwarding needs? Explore how a tailored Voyage Charter can enhance your logistical operations.  

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