The time allowed by the shipowner to the charterer or shipper in which to load or discharge the cargo. May be expressed in days or hours, or tonnes per day. Laytime may be set in running days (calendar day), working days (excludes Sundays and holydays observed by the port), or weather working days (excludes in addition days where operations are prevented by bad weather). It may be contractually provided that if the charterer or shipper loads/unloads more quickly than is necessary, he will be eligible for payment of an incentive called dispatch money; if the loading/unloading time is excessive however, the charterer or shipper may have to pay a penalty known as demurrage. Also called laydays.

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