Non-utilization of cargo carrying capacity on a vessel.
Deadfreight is payable on cargo agreed by charterers to be shipped but not actually shipped. As a rule, it is up to the master to declare in writing the maximum quantity of cargo his vessel can load. If charterers fail to ship the quantity of cargo declared by the master, the compensation for the quantity of cargo “short shipped” is called deadfreight. The space or deadweight capacity that the charterer has failed to use, but on which freight is nevertheless due, is regarded as being “dead” or lost.
Deadfreight is the compensation payable to the shipowner not only because of the cargo short-shipped by the charterer but also if the nature of the cargo prevents the full capacity of the ship to be used. If, for example, the shape of general cargo is such that some of the ship’s space in the cargo compartment is wasted, this is termed “broken stowage” and deadfreight would be payable for the reduction in total quantity caused by this.