In practice, it is customary to establish a regular sea line of container ships on the basis of a contractual package that includes these different models of slot contracts. As with the SCA, the swap agreement will allow the charterer to benefit from space on a shipping line on which it does not operate a vessel. There will be no division of the operation of the line between the parties. Unlike agreements for the joint supply of a maritime service, there are two models of slot agreements allowing a maritime operator to join the line service with another armament. These two types of niche agreements are particularly different in the way the contractor has access to the service. While the Slot Charter Agreement is characterized by expensive access to the market by the other party (I), the swap agreement is based on a logic of trading slot machines between the parties (II). Finally, the charterer will have space on its partner`s ships while preserving its commercial independence. It introduces itself to its customers as an operator of the line and broadcasts its own network. A shipowner operating on a line A exchange slot machines with another operator whose ships operate on a B line. This type of agreement allows shipowners to optimize the coverage of the ports served by exchanging their respective transport capabilities. The originality of this slot agreement lies in the fact that each of the parties alternates and vice versa supplier and charter.
In practice, each party receives compensation for each ship in the fleet operating on the line in exchange for its slots. This allocation to partners` vessels is based on the space available to partners. The objective of slot agreements is to enable partners to offer regular shipping without having to bear the costs and risks of opening and operating a shipping line on their own, while remaining commercially independent. A large majority of “slot machine contracts” are dedicated to the development and management of regular marine services. It is possible to distinguish between agreements that should allow the partners to jointly operate the line (section 1) and the agreements by which one party will join the operation of one line by the other (point 2). Sometimes these different models can be mixed into the same set of contracts (section 3).