A time charter – is a contract for the hire of a named vessel for a specified period of time. – may be thought of as equivalent to the hire of a chauffeur-driven car (the ship’s crew being “the chauffeur”).

A general purpose dry cargo time charter party will usually incorporate clauses covering at least the basic provisions tabulated below. The provisions may be covered in different charter parties by clauses bearing different names, or by numbered clauses without names.