This chapter discusses contracts for the carriage of goods where the person requiring goods to be carried by sea (called the `shipper’) has booked space on a ship by entering into a contract of carriage with the carrier rather than chartering a whole vessel. The chapter deals initially with the common law approach to contracts of carriage by sea before showing how the Hague Visby Rules apply to the rights and duties of both shipper and carrier arising under such contracts.
This chapter discusses situations wherein the shipper will only form a contract to book space on a ship. In such a case, the person requiring the goods to be carried, called the ‘shipper’, enters into a contract of carriage of the goods with the person having possession and control of the ship, the ‘carrier’. The carrier need not have title to an absolute interest in the ship; he or she may be a charterer having at most only possessory title, and the shipper may well pass his or her rights in the goods along with his or her rights against the carrier to a third party. Although the terms ‘shipper’ and ‘carrier’ are used here, the parties concerned would often be more accurately described as the ‘cargo interests’ and the ‘ship interests’.