05/09 FCL Issue 2

An overview of recent legal developments in container vessels

The outlook for the container industry in 2009 remains uncertain. Analysts predict that the year will be challenging, with the tough market environment being characterised by low demand and a significant reduction in freight rates. Asia-Europe liftings have fallen markedly and seem likely to fall even further.

In terms of minimising the impact of the recession and cutting costs, carriers are beginning to look to insert “break clauses” into contracts and switch delivery strategies (i.e. changing from just-in-time deliveries to daydefinite services). Many carriers have had to introduce lay-up programmes and some are even using idle vessels to store empty containers.

In this issue:

  • How do I get out of this contract?
  • Limited space...don't miss your slot
  • Damages for breach of charterparty: a radical re-think?
  • Limitation under the CMR - the "wilful misconduct" exception

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