Dispute Over Charter Deal Leaves The Vessel Stranded

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Allseas Pioneer, a ship chartered by Allseas, has been moored at Rotterdam since 30 August, and is unable to depart the port because its bunkers have been ‘arrested’ on behalf of a shipowner, confirmed the bailiff that served the injunction, reports The Loadstar.

The bunker issue

UK forwarder DKT Allseas told The Loadstar: “The Allseas Pioneer [itself] is not under arrest. The company is dealing with the bunker issue separately, and this will be resolved imminently.”

However, The Loadstar understands from sources that Allseas is in dispute with Frederiksen-owned company SFL, following failed negotiations to charter a separate vessel named Green Ace. For clarification, Allseas Pioneer is owned by Chinese firm Maoming Huaxiang, according to vesselsvalue.com.

After the Allseas-SFL deal broke down, SFL believed it had entered into a contractual agreement with Allseas and filed for the ‘arrest’ of the Allseas Pioneer bunkers on 26 August, claiming $20m in fees.

The vessel and crew are technically free, but the ship must, in theory, leave behind its 1,000 tonnes of marine diesel and heavy fuel oil.

SFL is incorporated in a Bermuda-based company called SFL Ace 2, which shares its Bermuda address.

Arbitration

According to an industry source, SFL Ace 2 has filed for arbitration in the UK, but the bailiff told The Loadstar Allseas has had to pay a 15% down payment on the money claimed by SFL to cover SFL’s legal costs, should the judge rule against Allseas.

Allseas said that the interruption to the vessel’s voyage would have no impact on its shippers supply chains.

“The Allseas Pioneer is not leaving Rotterdam because Allseas has not yet agreed extended terms with its owner. It is not carrying customers’ cargo, its cargo is purely empty containers. There is no threat to customers’ cargo on this or any other Allseas vessel.”

Documents seen by The Loadstar reveal that Allseas Pioneer is loaded with 1,874 teu, 904 teu in the hold and a further 970 teu on deck. It is thought that a consignment of whisky, had been loaded in Greenock, Scotland, with the shipper using the service for the first time.

A second Allseas Shipping-chartered vessel has also reportedly been detained. The Amo is being held in Teesport by port state control for poor crew conditions, The Loadstar understands. The company denied that the Mongolia-flagged vessel had been arrested, but said it was the subject of a Maritime Coastguard Administration inspection.

“Corrections being carried out [are] under the owner’s responsibility and cost; all customers’ cargo has already been discharged at Teesport and the vessel is empty while it undergoes corrections,” said Allseas.

CEO Darren Wright added: “All our customers are protected at all times. That is our main priority.”

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Source: The Loadstar

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