Cargo Disputes: Lesson 1-Overview
When a party ships goods by sea, there are two main contracts that will be involved: (1) the underlying sale contract; and (2) the contract of carriage to transport the goods from A to B. Either the buyer or the seller will organise the contract of carriage, but the carrier might end up in a dispute with either of those parties, so both buyer and seller want to be able to have privity of contract with the carrier. The following diagram shows how that happens.
The diagram also shows what happens at the financial level. A buyer thousands of miles away from a seller doesn't want to run the risk of non-delivery of the goods (or documents representing title to the goods), so they frequently use banks as intermediaries who give cross-undertaking to each other, which makes the process more secure (although not always!).
Because this diagram has lots of moving parts, we recommend you download the dynamic PowerPoint presentation below as well as look at this static diagram. It talks you through each stage.
overview powerpoint (dynamic)
Strickland's Shipping Guide is written and edited by Francis Hornyold-Strickland and Professor Charles Debattista. Francis and Charles are English commercial barristers who focus on shipping law. They work within 36 Stone, a practice group of The 36 Group in London.
Francis Hornyold-Strickland is a commercial barrister practising commercial litigation and international arbitration with the 36 Group in London. He has a particular focus on shipping, international trade and commodities disputes.
Francis is a co-author with Professor Charles Debattista of the latest edition of Debattista on Bills of Lading in Commodities Trade, due for publication in 2020.
PROFESSOR CHARLES DEBATTISTA
Charles practises as counsel in dry shipping and international trade and also sits as an arbitrator in those areas. The leading author of Bills of Lading in Commodities Trade (2020), Charles is described as "a walking encyclopaedia on all things dry shipping and trade, as well as an excellent advocate". Closely involved with drafting several international trade instruments, he was most recently the ICC’s Special Advisor on Incoterms 2020.