International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has highlighted the costly consequences of a shipping pool manager’s failure to accurately describe a tanker, leading to a substantial claim by charterers.
The pool manager misdescribed the tanker as being acceptable to a specific oil major, even though he had received an email from the head owner prior to fixing which stated that it had rejected the vessel. This email was overlooked by the pool manager when the tanker was fixed for a spot voyage to load ultra-low-sulphur diesel.
The fixture recap contained a clause stating, “To the best of owner’s knowledge at the time of fixing, vessel is not unacceptable to following oil majors…” The list referred to a number of companies, but did not include the specific oil major. The pool manager, however, had mentioned during negotiations that the tanker should be acceptable to this specific oil major since it was not excluded.
The charterers could not sell the cargo and had no other option than to put it into storage. They claimed $250,000 in damages, a claim which was settled by the pool manager, who was duly reimbursed by ITIC.