Opinion: maritime booking as a tool to protect shipments
By Manuel Vial, maritime law attorney for Araya & Cía.
Emission of reservation information by transport operators can be vital when the time comes to respect established slots for shipment deliveries, especially for fruits. With this back up, compensation can be requested in the case of any damages caused by delays.
In Chile, the contract for maritime carriage of goods, as in all other types of transport, is of a consensual nature. This means it only works with the agreement of all parties. Likewise, the same norm indicates one way to accredit the existence of such a contract is through the bill of lading.
Another tool that allows confirmation of a contract is called the booking note or space reservation by the shipping company or corresponding transportation operator, which establishes the main conditions of the agreement.
In this regard, it is necessary to have this document, which reaffirms the transport conditions, clarifying inconsistencies that can appear in the bill of lading. On the other hand, unlike the bill of lading, the booking note establishes the departure and arrival dates. As a consequence, this information will be useful as back up in the eventual case of delay in arrival, whether it be for the company's insurance or in legal action arising from the situation.
In conjunction with shipping instructions, the previously mentioned allows full appreciation of the will of each party, leaving clear the established condition of the maritime goods transport contract.
It is very useful to have a space reservation emission or booking note to help determine agreement conditions for all parties. It is a practical instrument to require completion of transport obligations such as departure date and temperature by the carrier.