Chartering is an activity where, a charterer who owns a cargo employs a shipbroker to find a ship to deliver the cargo for a certain freight rate. Freight rates may be on a per-ton basis over a certain route or alternatively may be expressed in terms of a total sum per day for the agreed duration of the charter.

A charterer may also be a party without a cargo who takes a vessel on charter for a specified period from the owner and then trades the ship to carry cargoes at a profit above the hire rate, or even makes a profit in a rising market by re-letting the ship out to other charterers.

Depending on the type of ship and the type of charter a charter party is used to record the exact rate, duration and terms agreed between the ship owner and the charterer.

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