A freight contract is a contract in which the carrier undertakes to transport goods by sea in return for the freight and the shipper undertakes to pay the freight. The elements of this contract can be listed as follows; 1-) Transportation must be done while being in the sea.2-) Transportation work must be done with a ship.3-) A transport of goods has to be undertaken. Anything that is not contrary to the mandatory provisions and is movable can be the subject of the contract. Passenger carriage and the carriage of the passenger’s baggage are not covered by the freight contract. Passenger carriage contract is applied for passengers. The transportation of animals and the transportation of inanimate human bodies are also subject to the freight contract.4-) The carrier must have acquired possession of the goods. In this way, the goods come under the care and protection of the carrier. The carrier must take care of this item. In case of loss or damage to the goods, the responsibility belongs to the carrier as a rule.5-) Transportation must be done for a fee, more specifically for a freight fee. Free transports are not considered as freight contracts.
Parties of the Freight Contract
There are 2 parties to the freight contract: the carrier and the shipper. Carrier; is the person who undertakes to transport cargo by sea. On the other hand, the shipper is the person who has signed a freight contract with the carrier or on whose behalf or account a freight contract has been concluded and undertakes to pay the freight (ie transportation fee) in exchange for the transportation of goods by sea. The goods to be transported do not have to belong to the shipper, and a freight contract can be made for the transport of goods belonging to someone else by sea. For example, the freight forwarder may also have the title of shipper.
The freight contract is defined in Article 1138 of the Turkish Commercial Code as follows: Carrier, in return for freight; a) By allocating the goods, all or part of the ship or a certain place to the shipper, in the voyage charter contract;b) It undertakes to transport the goods distinguished in the Kırkambar contract at sea.
As it can be understood from the definition of the article, the freight contract is divided into two as “charter” and “Kırkambar” contracts. In the voyage charter contract, all or part of the ship is allocated to the shipper in return for freight. If half of the ship, 1 in 4 or a certain number of holds are allocated, there is a “partial voyage charter” here. In case the entire ship is allocated to the shipper’s cargo, a “full voyage charter” is in question. This allocation is deemed to have been made excluding the cabins. In the Kırkambar contract, the carrier carries a distinguished item. In summary; A voyage charter is made to allocate a part of the ship to transport, and a forty-barrel contract is made for the transport of a certain item.There is no specific form requirement in the law for the establishment of the freight contract. A contract is formed when the parties verbally declare their will to each other. In practice, freight contracts are made in writing due to the importance of the transported cargo.
Fullfilment of the Freight Contract
In order to execute the freight contract, the vessel agreed in the contract must be prepared for the journey, the goods to be transported must be loaded onto the vessel, and the vessel must be made available at the loading port on time. The freight contract is fulfilled by making the journey, unloading the goods at the end of the journey and delivering them to the consignee. In transportation, -if agreed in the contract- the agreed ship must be used. It cannot be transported with a ship other than the ship specified in the contract. In addition, the carrier cannot load the goods on another ship without the permission of the shipper. In such a case and if a loss occurs as a result, the carrier will be liable for this damage. The carrier is also obliged to prepare the ship to be used in the performance of the transportation debt. It is necessary to choose a seaworthy ship for transportation and act accordingly. A suitable ship should be selected in which sea and in which seasonal conditions this transportation activity will take place. E.g; There are different conditions for a transportation business to be carried out in the Sea of Marmara and a transportation business to be carried out in the Indian Ocean, and the ships should be determined according to these conditions.
When the ship will be ready for loading is determined as a certain date range in charter contracts. In addition, a deadline is set. This is called the “cancelling date”. If the ship is not ready for loading on the termination date, the other party shall have the right to terminate the freight contract.
As a rule, the shipper and the shipper are not obliged to load the goods. According to Article 1143 of the TTK, the loading work is the responsibility of the carrier. In addition, the shipper and the shipper are also given duties regarding the loading of this cargo. The shipper and the shipper (these may be the same person or different persons) must make a full and correct statement about the goods to the carrier. It is very important to state the type, quantity, signs that distinguish the goods from other loads, if it is dangerous, and to tell the weight of the load correctly in order to stack it correctly. In case the ship sinks or capsizes as a result of false declarations, the shipper will be liable for the damage. The shipper shall also be liable to persons whose goods are on board due to unlawful acts and whose goods are damaged for this reason.