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COVID-19: Issues under Shipping Contracts

Posted on: 2 April 2020

International law firm Watson Farley Willaims (WFW) has issued an update “Issues under Shipping Contracts”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the world. Numerous people around the globe are locked down at home, companies are trying to adapt, and the global economy is suffering.

“Bulk carrier rates are depressed, though they may be helped by increased demand from China as it exits its lockdown” say the authors Antonis Lagadianos and Evangelos Catsambas, Partners at WFW Athens.

Shipping has also been greatly affected. Bulk carrier rates are depressed, though they may be helped by increased demand from China as it exits its lockdown. The outlook is uncertain for container ships, and it is dire for cruise shipping. Ship scrapping activity is low as scrapyards have closed following the lockdowns in India and Pakistan and the quarantine in Bangladesh. Shipbuilding has also been adversely affected and the effect on ship values remains to be seen. Crew on board a number of ships have caught COVID-19, as a result of which the ships have been quarantined (even the nuclear aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt has seen COVID-19 on the rise, requiring urgent disembarkation of its 4,000 crew). It is also becoming more difficult to carry out crew rotations since various countries, including Singapore, have prohibited or restricted this. These are just some of the issues – other ones that could arise are highlighted in Watson Farley & Williams’ recent article: “COVID 19 – What should we do now?”.

With this in mind, we would like to outline some key issues we have seen under a variety of shipping contracts in light of COVID-19, some of which were touched upon in their earlier article: “Ship Finance and COVID-19”.

Follow this link to read the briefing in full.

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