George Maronidis, Managing Partner, represented a shipping carrier in this case. This decision dealt with a case where the maritime carrier has supplied a shipping container to a merchant and the shipping container has been used beyond the time agreed. In such cases the question arises in an increasing number of maritime carriage contracts whether this extra usage entitles the container supplier (usually the shipping carrier) to require additional payment from the merchant (receiver or freight forwarder) and if yes in what legal basis.
The question is of significant importance all the more so the actual regime of container demurrage is still to be determined not only under Greek law but also at an international level. The court has made clear, for the first time in Greek maritime case law, that the maritime carrier should be compensated for any loss of profit suffered due to the delay in the return of the containers. Moreover, it emphasized that this should be considered on the basis of the provisions of the Greek code of private maritime law for the ship demurrages, as the supply of a shipping container to a merchant has a similar nature to the contract of a supply of a vessel to a voyage charter.