Shipping Terms—FOB, FAS
#1. Seller agreed to ship by sea 10,000 tons of potatoes FOB Tacoma, Washington, to Buyer in Japan. Buyer designated the SS Russet to take delivery at pier 7 in Tacoma. On the agreed-upon date for delivery, Seller delivered the potatoes to pier 7, but the ship was not at the pier. Because another ship using the pier was slow in loading, the Russet had to anchor at a mooring buoy in the harbor and Seller had to arrange for a lighter to transport the potatoes in containers to the ship. The lighter tied up alongside the Russet, and a cable from the ship’s boom was attached to the first container. As the container began to cross the ship’s rail, the cable snapped. The container then fell on the rail, teetered back and forth for a while, and finally crashed down the side of the ship, causing the lighter to capsize. All of the potatoes were dumped into the sea. Buyer now sues Seller for failure to make delivery. Is Seller liable?
#2. Suppose, in Question 1, the contract had been FAS Tacoma. Would Seller be liable?
Effect of the Bill of Lading
#6. Seller in Bombay sells 5,000 bales of cotton to Buyer, C & F (Incoterms 2010) Liverpool. Seller transports the cotton to the Bombay harbor and to the ship designated by Buyer, the SS Allthumbs. Due to an error in counting, only 4,987 bales were loaded. The ship’s bill of lading, however, shows a quantity of 5,000 bales. Seller then signs over the bill of lading to Buyer in exchange for payment in full for the cotton. When the Allthumbs arrives in Liverpool, the quantity error is discovered, and Buyer sues the ship for the lost value of the missing bales. Is the ship liable? Would it matter if Seller admitted that the error was not the ship’s fault, but that of Seller?