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The claim of O for demurrage against Horatio is not tenable and has no legal basis to prosper. The extended docking of the Flying Dustman in the port of Montebuffo was due to the fault or negligence of its (Flying Dustman's) master and under the general law on tort the fault of the latter is the fault of the ship owner…
Loading and unloading of cargoes in piers must be fast and efficient. Parties who cause the slow pace of the turn-over of those goods do not contribute to the smooth movement of harbour activities and must be penalized. Imposing the sanctions will be an incentive for shippers, consigners and other parties to make use of port facilities and equipment with the needed efficiency especially within the context of global modernization. Cargo owners are therefore charged with the duty to see the expeditious and orderly loading and unloading of their merchandise and are liable to pay demurrage for any delay in that connection. The payment of such demurrage may not be imposed only in cases of fortuitous or unforeseen events and force majeure or in instances where the guilty party is the carrier which includes its ship captain or master. (Becerra, Robert J. THE DEMURRAGE DILEMMA. December 24, 2007. ShippingDigest. [internet]). In the case at bar, the guilty party is the master of Flying Dustman and his accountability to compensate for the damage is solidary with the owner of the ship. Horatio has thus nothing to do with the demurrage.
It must be importantly noted that the contract between O and Horatio is one of voyage charter where the legal obligations are the burden of the carrier or the ship owner. ...
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