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Calculating dead freight claim following repudiation

London Arbitration (LMAA, Sole arbitrator 2012)- Repudiation and calculation of net deadfreight claim

The Carrier’s dead-freight invoice (US $231,869.26) represented gross dead-freight US $249,000 less stevedoring US $17,130.26. The Carrier stated that the amount said to be stevedoring also incorporated the port expenses that would have been incurred had the cargo have been loaded. The Merchant maintained that the figure was too low and that the Carrier had not included the notional port expenses in their calculation of net dead-freight. To illustrate its point, the Merchant submitted a copy of an invoice for pilotage for the “vessel [Redacted]” at Houston in February 2010 in the amount of US $6,148.89, observing that there would have been other expenses, such as wharfage, payable for a call at Houston to load the cargo under the booking note.

Held, in agreeing with the Merchant, the figure given by the Carrier as total port and stevedoring expenses which would have been incurred, US $17,130.26, appeared too low. Based on the tribunal’s experience, while that figure was certainly appropriate for stevedoring at Houston, it could not have included port expenses there or at the discharge port. There were, in addition, the stevedoring costs at the discharge port to be taken into account, although these would not have been at the same level as the stevedoring expense at Houston.

The tribunal calculated that the loading and discharging port expenses plus stevedoring at discharge would have been in the order of US $20,000. As no figures in this respect had been put forward by the Carrier, however, and to be as fair as possible to the Merchant, it felt better to take a conservative view and deducted US $25,000 from the amount claimed by the Carrier as dead-freight.

Please note: For further information and a comprehensive understanding of the tribunal’s decision, readers are encouraged to visit

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