Chairman’s Message

 We live in an increasingly interdependent world where goods, services, human resources, finances, data and innovations flow from one end of the world to the other. The shifting geopolitics in Europe foretell a shift in the power axis of the world.
I believe we are on the cusp of a new era. At this point of change, we need to affirm our vision and realign with our core values. Our core values of excellence, perseverance and integrity have helped us weather every storm and made us reach where we stand today.

2023 – Bringing Plans to Fruition
As we step in 2023, I am excited to see all that we have planned for the year ahead come to fruition. The Strategy Meet at Zanzibar was a great success with the heads of all business verticals across products like Sea Freight, Airfreight, Warehousing, Logistics, NVOCC, Freight Forwarding, Agency Networks, New Focus Areas came together to put forth their strategies for market capitalization for the year ahead.

Lessons from FIFA 2022
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar was filled with enthralling moments. The final match between Argentina and France was one of the best games in football history. It was the Argentinian captain Lionel Messi’s last chance to lift the prestigious yet elusive FIFA World Cup before his retirement.
At this tournament, Argentina’s start could not have been worse, with a defeat to Saudi Arabia in the opening game. However, he managed to steer his team to a victorious finish to lift the golden cup of joy!

The 5-Point Leadership Goals – Messi Style
Hailed as the GOAT or the greatest footballer of all time, there are many things that we can learn on leadership from Lionel Messi.

  1. Pass the ball
    Perhaps the greatest lesson that we learn from Lionel Messi is passing the ball in leadership. Messi has displayed a spirit of sacrifice to bring glory to team rather than himself. The true impact of a leader is the number of people you have assisted to progress in their lives.
  2. Set excellence as your standard
    Messi demands excellence of himself and how he relates with the team. As a leader you must have a standard that you live by which people will see and that excellence will create records for itself.
  3. Dribble when you have to
    A leader takes responsibility for making a difference in the game. Messi has in many times dribbled past 3 or 4 opponents in order to create a goal opportunity or to score himself. Being able to stand up and create a difference is a leader’s mandate.
  4. Get up, shake it off and keep on playing
    Messi tends to keep playing and not complain too much. How you conduct yourself on the field of play will determine how many people will follow you.
  5. Stay fit to play
    You cannot set records until you participate in the opportunity to set records. In order to be able to set records, a leader must be fit. Leadership requires courage, determination and strength but above all you need to stay fit in order to stay on the field.

I am concluding with a quote and I hope to make it my mantra for 2023. I hope you will make it too!

“Every year I try to grow as a player and not get stuck in a rut. I try to improve my game in every way possible.” – Lionel Messi


Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai’s largest free zone, is one of the world’s most modern free zones. Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) is the flagship free zone of DP World and is an integral part of DP World, UAE’s integrated business hub. Companies looking for a base in the Middle East region will find Jebel Ali Free Zone as the ideal location. The Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) is a community and ecosystem where industries such as logistics, electronics & electrical, automotive, food and agriculture, e-commerce, petrochemicals, and many more thrive. It offers customizable manufac- turing plots, light industrial units (LIUs), warehouses, offices, and ready-to-move-in showrooms. Apart from this, it provides a dedicated area of over 3.4 million square meters to SMEs, multinationals, and businesses.

Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) ‘s proximity to Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum International Airport has helped it become an ideal hub for global trade and a well integrated business setup solution provider.

Jebel Ali Port and JAFZA are a winning combination

One of the biggest advantages of Jafza is its proximity to the Jebel Ali Port. It is the largest port between Rotterdam and Singapore, and can handle all types of cargo, including breakbulk, through its 1.4 million square meters general cargo terminal.

  • It has a quay length of 5 km with 27 berths, and a 1.2 million sqm GC Yard makes it ideal for efficient export and import of building materials.
  • The region’s busiest port offers the construction sector a seamless and transparent supply chain to transport raw materials or the end product.
  • It provides construction companies access to over 3.5 billion existing and potential consumers in the MEASA region.
  • The port also provides value-added services like assembling, warehousing, transport management, manufacturing, and fabrication facilities.

Jafza is continually attracting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinationals owing to facilities that will help set up their base in the free zone and expand the reach of their products in the Middle East and Africa, its senior official says.

The multimodal transportation model at JAFZA

Ebtesam Al Kaabi, head of sales at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), says that DP World has invested heavily to ensure that sea, land, and air connectivity is offered to customers.

  • A logistics corridor connects the Port with Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.
  • A dedicated sea-air customs bonded corridor connects a sea-air box within 45 minutes of discharge. This benefits clients in any industry, including the building materials and construction sector, and helps to reach their customers efficiently.
  • Soon-to-be-completed Etihad Rail will have a depot within the Jebel Ali facility and will help connect UAE to the GCC region.

This multimodal transportation model has ensured that the free zone supports 12,300 port customers.

Jebel Ali Port holds the key

Jebel Ali Port’s expansive reach to over 150 ports and 80 weekly services to large high-growth markets help free zone companies meet the growing regional and global demand for construction materials. The port’s growth figures over the last ten years demonstrate its competen- cies. From 2011 to 2021, the port handled combined volumes in containers and breakbulk of up to one billion metric tonnes of iron & steel and construction material.

Competitive ocean freight rates, operational flexibility, landside conversion, land for storage, and logistics facili- ties are some of the key features that have led to the growth of the Jebel Ali Free Zone. The free zone has evolved into a trade catalyst and an intelligent business communi- ty that offers unprecedented growth opportunities and market access.


It has been a tumultuous two years for the global logistics industry. Global supply chain disruptions, port congestion, capacity shortages, increasing ocean freight rates, material and staff shortages, and geo-political crisis have challenged shippers, ports, carriers, and logistics providers. It has adversely affected business competitiveness. According to DP World, the ongoing inflation and geo- political crisis will constrain the global supply chain for the next five years. The logistics and supply chain are continually evolving to get materials and products from origin to destination more quickly and efficiently.

Top five tools which will help the industry to navigate 2023

Flexible logistics strategies these last few years have been marked by a tremendous economic impact due to the pandemic in which the flow of goods and demand forecasts are often challenging to predict due to multiple factors affecting consumer habits. Therefore, in a landscape of increased uncertainty, the supply chain must gain agility with flexible logistics strategies with improved resilience. This is possible with an emphasis on the role of data analytics to attain end-to-end visibility in supply chain operations to quickly identify disruptions and take the necessary counter measurements. The key to building flexible logistical strategies would be:

  • Big data analytics for prediction.
  • Internet for Things: IoT devices help in real-time object identification & tracking, ensuring items’ safety, delivery time frame, and other supply chain assistance.
  • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for intelligent workflow automation and new customer experiences.

In 2023, the industry will increasingly leverage these capabilities to boost its overall productivity further.

The blockchain

Blockchain technology can increase the security,efficiency, and reliability of all tracking and data management forms. The logistics industry benefits from decentralized ledgers, more innovative inventory management, and alleviating many global trade bottlenecks, including procurement, transportation management, track and trace, customs collaboration, and trade finance.

The logistics sector, which remains fairly paper-heavy, especially in the documentation of custom clearance and other processes, is likely to change in the future. Blockchain solutions will enable paperless cross-border transactions. With this technology, product history can be captured as it moves to the end customer, making transactions foolproof and significantly reducing trade barriers.

Green logistics

Sustainability is the order of the day in the logistics sector. Customers have been willing to pay extra for more sustainable options in the last five years. In UAE, strategic plans have been made to achieve Net-Zero emissions by 2050.

There is a growing trend towards the circular supply chain, which aims to encourage companies to reuse certain waste and products returned by customers to recondition them and bring them back to the market. Only 8.5% of society’s total material consumption is recycled or reused now. Nonetheless, this will gradually change as logistics enterprises continue capitalizing on opportunities across all supply chain segments to step up their sustainability efforts. This will drive companies to explore more ways to make their products greener, starting with their supply chains. Moreover, the region’s long-term goals are to transition to climate neutrality in the next three decades.

In 2023, these collaborative robots will be critical to improving worker safety, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Plenty of companies have upscaled their supply chain with such a holistic integration.

The shift to autonomous vehicles & equipment

An autonomous vehicle that can drive itself with fewer human interventions is being set as another new trend in the logistics industry. Autonomous cars do take advantage of using AI-based technology to optimize travel routes too. Autonomous technology is expected to benefit drivers and bring additional safety. Beyond 2022, it’s almost certain that autonomous vehicles and equipment will maintain their position as a leading trend in the logistics and supply chain sector. In anticipation of a booming lithium-ion battery market to enable the shift to autonomous vehicles, DHL launched the region’s first compliant facility for EV batteries and other dangerous goods.

By 2050, electric vehicles are predicted to make up more than half of all cars on the road, including those used in the logistics industry, which will significantly improve energy use, reduce emissions and benefit the environment. The 23,478-square-metre EV and battery logistics hub in Dubai features a 652-square-meter EV battery storage area, which can be expanded to 2,000 square-meter to support future growth. The hub paves the way for a circular EV economy, where batteries can be stored, recycled, repaired, and processed at the end of life to ensure long-term sustainability. Moreover, it facilitates the antici- pated shift to electrified transport, especially for last-mile delivery.

Enhanced human-machine collaboration

Integrating robotics in logistics helps decrease human error and increase productivity reasonably. Rather than robots replacing humans, they will complement them, especially in manual work and repetitive tasks, thereby bringing in the required efficiency. This digitalization is expected to make jobs more attractive, creating a win-win situation for both employers and employees.

This collaborative shift, where humans and machines work together, will help

  • Deliver speed and efficiency.
  • Provide safer work environments and employees’ well-being.
  • Help employers to re-assign employees to manage higher-value tasks.

Automated storage, delivery & retrieval are the steps to this trend. Delivery drones are the dream “last mile automation” being pursued by a few companies.

Looking forward to 2023

In the Middle East, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to hit $50 billion by 2025. This is an opportunity for logistics players to expand their regional operations further over the year ahead. Regional infrastructure, air, and road capabilities have been invested in meeting the growing global trade demand. These are already driving growth in fulfillment operations across the region.

Logistics operators are already planning by utilizing early intelligence, tools, and technologies to stay ahead of anticipated disruptions, such as fluctuations in oil prices and geo-political tensions. With the digitization of the logistics industry, there will be more changes in the coming years. Logistic companies will leverage technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud, automation, robotics, block- chain, big data, and IOT to provide their customers with intelligent and innovative logistics solutions.

Furthermore, logistics companies will also have to rethink their business strategies to survive in the rapidly evolving logistics market. While uncertainty continues to be a significant concern, integrating innovative technologies and adapting to the changing environment will be the key for today’s leaders to navigate the challenges.


Office Assistant
Operations, Abu Dhabi
Awarded by Roshmer Farook – Assistant Manger Operations


Operation assistant
Awarded by Don Raveendran -Manager , Warehouse operation


Forklift Operator
Awarded by Suresh Sivadas – CFS Supervisor


Operation Assistant Airfreight
Awarded by Baiju Sadanandan-Manger Air Freight


CSS Bahrain took part in the Project Logistics Alliance Meeting, which was held at the Hilton Tallinn Park in Tallinn, Estonia, from the 9th to the 12th of October, 2022. At the 5th Annual Meeting of the Project Logistics Alliance, Amal Hareendran represented CSS at this prestigious event.

This year’s Project Logistics Alliance (PLA) conference had over 70 delegates from 50 companies. The platform brings together PLA network members from various countries under one roof and provides immense networking opportunities. The discussions touched upon the various projects handled by the PLA network members during the past year and the future project opportunities across the worldwide network.

Project Logistics Alliance

The Project Logistics Alliance (PLA) was founded in 2016 by industry experts around the globe to address the special demands of project freight forwarding for small and mid-sized enterprises. An independent network designed to form a global alliance of project cargo experts, the Project Logistics Alliance, connects the best people, agents, and companies in the industry in one network. PLA works with a mission to build on the expertise possessed jointly by its members, thereby focusing on maintaining high-quality service and furthering the unique knowledge required to service the project forwarding industry appropriately.

By creating a platform on which solely industry experts can communicate and collaborate, PLA aims to be the pinnacle towards which the industry aspires. Other attempts to form networks like this have encountered issues with knowledge and expertise diluting due to a lack of entry requirements. Many networks are pay-to-join with uncapped numbers on membership which may result in exceedingly high memberships of unproven quality.

The Project Logistics Alliance aims to mitigate this by enforcing strict entry barriers and qualification requirements to join. Membership applications are subject to a rigorous application process. The PLA requires applicants to demonstrate a track record of projects and prove that they are financially sound. By enforcing strict application requirements, the Project Logistics Alliance ensures its community consists of a global network of approved and qualified members. PLA membership is limited to two members per country; however, larger markets are allowed more representation to ensure sufficient coverage. The members can offer a wide range of project-logistical services.

Hareedran had a tightly packed schedule with meetings with numerous PLA network members, inlcuding Aditi Ailavajhala from Germany, Cristina Molina (AC Project & Forwarding, SL from Spain, Roberto Santarossa from FCL Argentina, George Kwakwa-Sarpong from OMA Logistics Ghana, Rok Strukelj from Centralog Croatia and Slovenia. On the second day, he had discussions with other agents, including Margus Rool from Transocean Eesti Oü, Estonia, Mustafa Özcan from Logistics Plus, Turkey, and others like Abhijeet Vikram Singh of Pt Total Movements International, Indonesia. On the last day, several strategic meetings were lined up with agents like Brett Malcolm from CEA Projects Co. Ltd, Paolo Franco from Partnerships Manager United States, Coadou Philippe of Philco International, France, and several other agents.

A perfect networking platform to build synergies

The guests kicked off the event with a cocktail reception. The next day was a long one with 1 : 1 meetings. CSS met with other PLA members across various regions during this excellently organized conference. The three days were choc-a-block with meetings with agents from across the world. CSS established relationships with PLA members of other regions to engage in project opportunities in the Middle East region and beyond


The CSS Group set foot in Oman from the year 2016. Operating under the registered name of Comprehensive Consolidated Trade and Shipping LLC in Oman, the base office is in the commercial and administrative capital city, Muscat. The company has opened a brand-new office space to conquer this burgeoning market. This is in line with the group’s growth and expansion plans. The swanky new office space is within the same complex.

CSS Oman is in its growth phase and is developing its core competency as an ocean consolidator and diversifying into a full-fledged freight forwarding and logistics provider offering complete range of freight forwarding and logistics services. Backed by a small yet focused team of 10 professionals, the vision and drive is to develop CSS Group as the best logistics company in Oman in terms of customer satisfaction, reliability, profitability and with a sustainable growth.

The Sultanate of Oman, Known as the Pearl of Arabia, simultaneously surprises with its diversity of landscape, history and culture – and encapsulates the epitome of the Arabian experience.

Sultanate of Oman is one of the prominent Arab states, located on the south-eastern edge of the Arabian Penin- sula, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman at the Musandam Peninsula in the north of the country, it borders the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. Oman shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, and it shares maritime borders with Iran and Pakistan.

Oman covers an area of 309,500 km2, making it slightly smaller than Poland, or about twice the size of the US state of Georgia.

Today, the country has a population of 4.5 million people (in 2020), of whom 61% (2.7 million) are Omanis and rest is consisting of multinational expat community.

The Omani Economy

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Oman is expected to reach USD 91.02 Billion by the end of 2022, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. Oman’s GDP growth is projected to grow at 4.3 per cent in 2022 supported by increased oil production and continued recovery of non-oil economic activity.

Oman’s economic stability and modern commercial system make the county an attractive hub, especially for logistics and trade in the Middle East. The government of Oman has entered into significant international trade agreements, which have increased foreign direct investment and enhanced opportunities for small and medium businesses.

Ocean and Air Freight Volume Growth through Oman’s Sea Ports and Airports

Ocean volumes : Oman’s ports reported an increase in the volume of bulk, general and liquid cargo by 5 per cent during the first half of 2022, reaching 42.76 million tonnes, compared to 40.61 million tonnes in 2021, according to the latest data issued by the Ministry of Transport, Communi- cations and Information Technology.

The container volume through the major ports: Sohar, Salalah and Duqum collectively reported a growth of 2% in the first half of 2022 reaching 2.58 Million TEUs compared to 2.53 Million TEUs during the same period in Year 2021.

Air freight volumes : Statistics at Muscat have remained strong throughout the pandemic and the figures for the first half of 2022 show air cargo throughput 67% higher than the same period in 2021 and it has recovered around 63% of 2019 volume for the same period.

Oman is pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialisation and privatisation, with the objective of reducing the oil sector’s contribution to GDP. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik has endorsed the launch of the future vision.

The blueprint for the economic and social development of the Sultanate, named ‘Oman Vision 2040’, is applied from 2021 through to 2040. The key components of the govern- ment’s diversification strategy are tourism, shipping and logistics, mining, manufacturing and aquaculture.

Major Trade partners and commodities imported into and exported out of Oman:

Among the country’s major trading partners are the United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and India. Its trade relationship with Qatar increased significantly after 2017, when the latter came under blockade by its neigh- bours and sought new trade partners. Oman has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 2000, and it enjoys duty-free trade with the other members of the GCC and with the United States.

Crude oil, refined petroleum, and natural gas account for most exports, while imports consist mainly of machinery and transport equipment, basic manufactured goods, and foodstuffs. Exports in the nonoil front products, mainly chemicals are also on the list.

CSS Oman office address is as follows:

Comprehensive Consolidated Trade and Shipping L.L.C

P.O Box 815, Hatat Complex, Building A – 121,

Wadi Adai, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

Phone.: +968 2 4566 0094, Fax.: +968 2 456 6093


As we enter the 28th year of our operations, we realize that it has been a long, arduous, and relentless journey. The CSS Group has gone from strength to strength under the able leadership of our founder Chairman, Mr T. S. Kaladharan. He has carved a place of prominence in the business realm as a well renowned and respected entrepreneur in both the Middle East and Indian sub-continent. CSS has earned tremendous goodwill across the globe amongst agents, network partners, customers, financial institutions, shipping lines, airlines, customs, warehouses, professionals, employees, and other key stakeholders in the supply chain industry



Kala is how he is known by his people. It is undebatable that he is the uncrowned king of good times in this business. He believes in living the good life along with his entire team of professionals and employees whom he considers as an extended family.

It is in this spirit of camaraderie that this year’s Strategy Meet was organised at The Sea Cliff Resort and Spa, in the exotic destination of the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania. Almost 60 participants from all the CSS Group offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and India landed on the 17th of November at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar in their Boeing 737 max airplanes and checked into their beachside resort rooms

The evening was filled with dancing and revelry when everyone joined together with Kala’s family and brought in his birthday with cake cutting, aperitifs, scrumptious live grilled appetizers, and alfresco beachside dining along with the champagne, drinks and spirits.

Brainstorming for the Year Ahead

On 18th November, we got back to business with our COO, Ms CK, opening the meeting by inviting all participants to present succinctly prepared PowerPoint presentations within the allotted time slots.

In fact, the 7-7-7 rule of strategy was met perfectly for the Strategy Meet.

So, what are these?

The 7 steps to holding a strategy meet are:

  1. Choose attendees
  2. Set a date
  3. Gather information
  4. Establish an agenda
  5. Moderate and listen
  6. Take notes
  7. Follow up

This followed by setting the 7 key elements of strategy:

  1. Have a vision
  2. Make a mission
  3. Initiate SWOT analysis
  4. Recognise core values
  5. Define medium and long-term goals
  6. Aim for objectives
  7. Write down action plans

The 7 requirements to conduct a professional strategy meeting are:

  1. Breaking the ice
  2. Setting clear expectations from the meet
  3. Open communication
  4. Establishing ground rules for behaviour and conduct
  5. Encouraging full participation
  6. Using visual and audio methods to convey the message
  7. Brainstorming ideas

We crossed all the checkboxes of this 7-7-7 rules thanks to the participation and contribution of each and everyone involved including the organizers, attendees, resort staff and the management.

Heads of all business verticals across products like Sea Freight, Airfreight, Warehousing, Logistics, NVOCC, Freight Forwarding, Agency Networks, New Focus Areas made brilliant and in-depth presentations. These presentations were followed by healthy brainstorming sessions, team building activities with a multi-cultural and well-experi- enced audience. The top management team discussed the points. They gave their inputs on expectations, and strategies were mutually accepted, going forward into 2023. The corporate group photo session was held at the elegant foyer of the resort.

A vote of thanks along with the new mission and vision statement of the group was presented by the Chairman and he congratulated everyone on their performance and commitment to CSS.

On the last evening in Zanzibar, we organized a beach party. Everyone had a gala time with dancing, lavish dinner, drinks, and a DJ party. The air was lived with shouts of laughter, bonhomie and merriment, the perfect way to enter the Christmas season ahead!

As they say, those who party together, stay together!


In the last two years, last-mile delivery services have witnessed a massive change and growth. This shift has seen last-mile delivery service providers adopting electric two and three wheelers for their services. Last-mile delivery service providers can ride electric mobility for sustainable and greater business growth. Electric two wheelers in the price range of INR 80,000 to 100,000 are most famous for logistical operations and last-mile delivery. At least 80,000 electric two wheelers have been added to the country’s last-mile two wheeler delivery fleet of 450,000 – 500,000 vehicles this year, according to industry estimates.

EV makers are focusing on the B2B business segment

Much demand today in the EV segments, especially when it comes to electric two wheelers and three wheelers, is driven by the logistics market. Greaves Electric Mobility, which sells EVs under the Ampere brand, has seen a five times growth in offtake of electric two wheelers to e-commerce, logistics, and FMCG companies, its executive director and CEO Sanjay Behl said. B2B sales account for 10% of Greaves’ total sales, up 5% a year back.

Electric fleet providers such as Zypp, Electrev, Zyngo, and Yulu Bike are ramping up their capacity and increasing orders to EV makers.

  • Zypp Electric started operating a fleet of three wheeler trucks six months back and has about 100 vehicles now.
  • Electrev Mobility providing last-mile delivery services to e-commerce and FMCG companies, started with 300 EVs, and it now plans to add another 2,000 EVs to its fleet.
  • Zyngo has created a fleet of 1,200 EVs in a short span, and by March 2023 they plan to add another 1,800 units.
Cost-effectiveness of e-vehicles

At a time when petrol and diesel costs are sky-high, electric vehicles are continuously proving to be the alternative solution. Using electric vehicles for last-mile delivery services ensures a significantly lower operation price. “Converting to electric does not involve any costs for any e-commerce companies; in fact, it helps reduce their operating costs,” said a logistics company executive.

A leading business newspaper in India, The Economic Times reviewed the price list of Amazon, which shows the payout for EVs to be lower than that of petrol or diesel vehicles. Despite e-commerce giant Amazon shutting down various businesses, they continue to double down on converting their delivers fleet to electric. Amazon is prioritizing more orders with fleet operators that have electric vehicles in their fleet.

Over the last two years, several last-mile delivery service providers have shown interest in adopting electric mobility in India. While India is still at an early stage of adoption, electric two and three wheelers are demonstrating some tangible potential in the last-mile transportation ecosystem, said Manu Kohli, cofounder of Electrev Mobility. In FY22, the Indian EV industry witnessed a three-time growth. EV sales in the current fiscal year are expected to grow further, with last-mile logistics service providers expected to contribute more. “As our main customers push aggressively for e-vehicles, we have been increasing our procurement of e-vehicles Kohli said of Electrev Mobility.


Ensuring safety in ports and berths is one of the most important issues in maritime law. Many standard forms of time charter parties contain an express warranty of safe ports whether it’s a load port or discharge port or berth by the Charterer. The Baltime 1939 (Revised 2001) Charter Party, expressly states that “The Vessel shall be employed in lawful trades for the carriage of lawful merchandise only between safe ports or places where the Vessel can safely lie always afloat within ….”. Similarly, New York Produce Exchange Form 1946 (NYPE 1946) states that the Vessel is to be engaged in lawful trades “between safe ports and/or places”. With regard to Voyage Charter Party Agreements, the express obligation towards the port’s or berth’s safety is not always stipulated.

The most classic definition that is being used to identify a safe port (or berth) is the one given by Sellers J. in Leeds Shipping vs. Société Francaise Bunge (The Eastern City) [1958] 2 Lloyds Rep. 127, where he said “A port will not be safe unless, in the relevant period of time, the particular ship can reach it, use it and return from it without, in the absence of some abnormal occurrence, being exposed to danger which cannot be avoided by good navigation and seamanship”. This definition has become a starting point in examining the problem of safety in judicial courts and arbitration proceedings. When a claim is filed against the Charterer for nominating an unsafe port or berth, the Court examines the following which is based on the aforementioned definition.

  • Whether that particular ship can proceed to a port, use it, and return without being exposed to danger.
  • If not, whether good navigation and seamanship could have helped to avoid the danger.
  • If not, whether the danger stemmed from any event other than an abnormal occurrence in the port.

Particular Ship : while nominating a “Particular” port or a berth, consideration shall be given to the “particular” ship involved and the particular condition she is in. The particu- lar port or berth must be safe for the particular ship, taking into account her type, class, dimensions, features, laden or ballast, etc. The particular port or berth must be safe not only for the particular ship but also for its crew as well. During the outbreak of Covid– 19 or Ebola, many ports and berths were considered unsafe since the crews were likely to get exposed to these health hazards. The safety of the port or berth may also get affected by the season or time of the year, or even may be due to civil and political issues.

Relevant Period of Time : It indicates the entire period of time when the ship is using, staying, and returning from the port/berth. In practice, the charterer is considered liable, if an unsafe circumstance exists, at the time of the charter- er’s order, despite it being remedied prior to arrival.

Safety : Physical risks include the grounding of the ship due to rocks, bars, submerged objects, hidden wrecks, berth characteristics, etc. whereas political unsafety includes the risk of war, epidemics, terrorism, etc. and also the risk where the ship is being blacklisted or detained at a subsequent port.

Abnormal Occurrence : The charterer is not in breach if the cause of any danger is due to an abnormal occurrence. A port will therefore only be unsafe if the danger flows from its own qualities or attributes.

Good Navigation and Seamanship : The charterer shall not be liable when the danger was avoidable by ordinary good navigation and seamanship. If more than ordinary skill is required to avoid danger, then the port will not be safe.

This being said, each claim of the unsafe port dispute requires a unique analysis of the evidence that is likely to be relevant. A ship owner has his own duties and obligations in response to an order from the charterer. Any order given by a charterer directing a ship to an unsafe port is a breach of the charter party and the owner is not obliged to follow it. However, if the master reasonably obeys the order and the owner suffers loss as a consequence, it will be entitled to damages.