Charter Party

Tags: Glossary

A contract outlining the terms and conditions of a charter agreement.

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What is a Charter Party?

In shipping, a charter refers to the leasing or hiring of a vessel, such as a cargo ship, for a specified period of time or for a particular voyage. A charter is an agreement between the charterer, who rents the vessel, and the shipowner, who provides the vessel for use.


There are different types of charters in the shipping industry, including time charters, voyage charters, and bareboat charters. A time charter is an agreement for the use of a vessel for a specific period of time, usually a number of months or years. A voyage charter is an agreement for the use of a vessel for a single voyage or series of voyages, usually between specific ports. A bareboat charter is an agreement where the charterer takes full control of the vessel, operating and maintaining it for the duration of the charter period. 


Charters are often used by companies that do not own their own vessels but need to transport large quantities of cargo or by ship owners who have vessels available for use. The terms and conditions of a charter are outlined in a charter party agreement, which specifies details such as the duration of the charter, the agreed-upon freight rates, and the responsibilities of the parties involved. 

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