Free In (FI) / Free Out (FO) Conditions of Carriage
FIOS (FREE IN, OUT, STOWED) :
It is most important to remember that the “Free” reference is viewed from the Ship Owners point of view – not the Shipper’s. Some Shippers get caught out when they read the word “Free” as they incorrectly believe that it refers to them.
Freight rates quoted on a FIOS basis specifically exclude all aspects relating to cargo handling operations. The ship is only responsible for expenses arising as a result of the ship calling into the port, i.e. tugs, pilots and light dues etc. Another very important consideration when booking cargo on FIOS terms is that the ship does not bear any responsibility for the speed of loading or discharging.
Usually the rate agreed includes a fixed “free” period of time for loading/discharging operations, after which time a daily demurrage is incurred. Obviously this is of paramount importance where port congestion or stevedoring performance is uncertain. There are many overseas ports which fall into this category and particularly where vessel demurrage rates can vary significantly, depending on the size and type of ship nominated to undertake the particular project.