TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS
MARITIME AND TRANSPORT LAW
Astrea advises Belgian and foreign companies in the area of maritime and transport law. Our services are aimed at both cargo interests and ship interests, as well as intermediaries such as shipping agents and stevedores.
We have amassed considerable experience in cases involving cargo damage, collisions and general average, ship leasing, seizure of ocean-going vessels and maritime appraisals. Our services include the giving of advice and the settlement of disputes before the courts.
Several lawyers in the Astrea team have received specific training in maritime law or completed internships at specialist foreign law firms. Because we combine our expertise in transport law with our experience in a variety of commercial law files, we can ensure a precise, practical approach, tailored to your file. In this area, efficiency, approachability and flexibility are our watchwords.
Our firm has access to an extensive international network and has worked on a range of maritime and transport law files in collaboration with specialist firms in key locations such as London, Hamburg, Singapore and Hong Kong.
SEIZURE OF SHIPS, FREIGHT AND CARGO
As the second largest port in Europe, Antwerp is a regular berth for most international shipping companies. Other Belgian seaports such as Ghent, Zeebrugge and Ostend are also used by international shipping companies. Seizure of an ocean-going vessel allows companies to secure payment of most types of claims in the maritime arena. Seizure of cargo and/or bunkers in such cases can also be effective. Our firm is regularly involved in assisting Belgian and foreign clients with these types of seizures, to ensure that the process happens smoothly.
By the same token, shipowners and charterers from within Belgian and from abroad call on us when their ship is immobilised by a seizure order or enforcement instrument.
Given the extremely short time for which ships stay in port and the complications which can occur when ships exceed the normal laytime, these types of seizure require the help of a specialist lawyer who is able to work quickly and decisively. This is exactly the kind of service Astrea provides.
LOGISTICS SERVICE CONTRACTS
Astrea’s lawyers draft contracts to measure for logistics service providers and charterers.
Many companies obtain their logistics services under their own framework conditions. For these companies, we also draft the framework contracts in close consultation with them, and adapt the so-called “operational manuals” as necessary. We prepare measurable Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which can turn the contract into an efficient management tool. This ensures that your depots and warehouse will be run according to your supply chain model.
For logistics service providers we provide all sorts of contracts, from general terms and conditions, to transport or warehousing contracts, to contracts for specific projects.
We provide advice on the legal issues arising from these contracts. When management problems develop into disputes, we assist our clients and defend their interests, before a mediator, court or board of arbitration if necessary.