21 Mar 2017

Shipping Glossary – Terms you have to know!

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Shipping Glossary


A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.
One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.
When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper’s agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.
ACS (A.C.S.)
U.S. Customs’ master computer system, “Automated Commercial Systems.”
Act of God
An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.
Ad Valorem
In proportion to the value.
To move cargo up line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one booked. (See Roll)
Agency Tariff
A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
Agent (Agt.)
A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are:
  • Brokers
  • Commission merchants
  • Resident buyers
  • Sales agents
  • Manufacturer’s representatives
Aggregate Shipment
Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Awkward cargo
Cargo of irregular size that can either be containerized (packed in container) or non-containerized (without equipment associated with) during transportation. It requires prior approval on a case by case basis before confirmation of booking.
Air Waybill
The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.
All In
The total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.
A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods delivered “alongside” are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship’s tackle so that they can be loaded.
Automated Manifest System. An application that expedites the clearance of cargo for the subsequent release of containers when imported to the U.S. through electronic submission of cargo manifests in lieu of bulk paper manifests.
Apparent Good Order
When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.
Arrival Notice
An advice that the carrier sends to the consignee advising of goods coming forward for delivery. Pertinent information such as BL number, container number and total charges due from consignee etc, are included and sent to consignee prior to vessel arrival. This is done gratuitously by the carrier to ensure smooth delivery but there is no obligation by the carrier to do so. The responsibility to monitor the transit and present himself to take timely delivery still rests with the consignee.
A term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.
To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has traveled.
Bunker Adjustment Factor. Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called “Fuel Adjustment Factor” or FAF.
Bank Guarantee
Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.
Basic Rate / Base Rate
The basic Charge for the carriage of container by sea.
Bay number The row position of the container on the vessel. The containers are numbered from stem to stern: 01, 02, 03……
The width of a ship.
  • Entity to whom money is payable
  • The entity for whom a letter of credit is issued
  • The seller and the drawer of a draft
Berth Terms
Shipped under rate that includes cost from end of ship’s tackle at load port to end of ship’s tackle at discharge port.
A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.
Bill of Lading (B/L)
A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.
  • Amended B/L: B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status; this is slightly different from corrected B/L.
  • B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier’s liabilities and contractual agreements.
  • B/L’s Status: represents whether the bill of lading has been input, rated, reconciled, printed, or released to the customer.
  • B/L’s Type: refers to the type of B/L being issued. Some examples are: a Memo (ME), Original (OBL), Non-negotiable, Corrected (CBL) or Amended (AM) B/L.
  • Canceled B/L: B/L status; used to cancel a processed B/L; usually per shipper’s request; different from voided B/L.
  • Clean B/L: A B/L which bears no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.
  • Combined B/L: B/L that covers cargo moving over various transports.
  • Consolidated B/L:B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L’s.
  • Corrected B/L: B/L requiring any update which results in money or other financially related changes.
  • Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable B/L primarily containing routing details; usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.
  • Duplicate B/L: Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. also known as reissued B/L.
  • Express B/L: Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.
  • Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC); a non-negotiable document.
  • Government B/L (GBL): A bill of lading issued by the U.S. government.
  • Hitchment B/L: B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more than one location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts, hitchment and hitchment memo. The hitchment portion usually covers the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.
  • House B/L: B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.
  • Intermodal B/L: B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L, or Multimodal B/L.
  • Long Form B/L: B/L form with all Terms & Conditions written on it. Most B/L’s are short form which incorporate the long form clauses by reference.
  • Memo B/L: Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.
  • Military B/L: B/L issued by the U.S. military; also known as GBL, or Form DD1252.
  • B/L Numbers: U.S. Customs’ standardized B/L numbering format to facilitate electronic communications and to make each B/L number unique.
  • Negotiable B/L: The B/L is a title document to the goods, issued “to the order of” a party, usually the shipper, whose endorsement is required to effect is negotiation. Thus, a shipper’s order (negotiable) B/L can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions. The buyer must submit the original B/L to the carrier in order to take possession of the goods.
  • Non- Negotiable B/L: (See Straight B/L below). Sometimes means a file copy of a B/L.
  • “Onboard” B/L: B/L validated at the time of loading to transport. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.
  • Optional Discharge B/L: B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.
  • “Order” B/L::See Negotiable B/L above.
  • Original B/L: The part of the B/L set that has value, especially when negotiable; rest of set are only informational file copies. Abbreviated as OBL.
  • Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at time cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as “Onboard”.
  • Reconciled B/L: B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shippers instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.
  • Short Term B/L: Opposite of Long Form B/L, a B/L without the Terms & Conditions written on it. Also known as a Short Form B/L. The terms are incorporated by reference to the long form B/L.
  • Split B/L: One of two or more B/L’s which have been split from a single B/L.
  • Stale B/L: A late B/L; in banking, a B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
  • Straight (Consignment) B/L: Indicates the shipper will deliver the goods to the consignee. It does not convey title (non-negotiable). Most often used when the goods have been pre-paid.
  • “To Order” B/L: See Negotiable B/L above.
  • Unique B/L Identifier: U.S. Customs’ standardization: four-alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine digit B/L number; APL’s unique B/L Identifier is “APLU”. Sea-land uses “SEAU”. These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
  • Voided B/L: Related to Consolidated B/L; those B/L’s absorbed in the combining process. Different from Canceled B/L.
Billed Weight
The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill, i.e, the invoiced weight.
Blind Shipment
A B/L wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.
Block Stowage
Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.
Blocked Trains
Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.
Blocking or Bracing
Wood or metal supports (Dunnage) to keep shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.
Bona fide
In good faith.
Bond Port
Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country. Also known as First Port of Call.
Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.
Booking Number
Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.
Bottom-Air Delivery
A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperatures.
The front of a vessel.
Common term for an ocean going freight container.
Break Bulk
Goods shipped loose in the vessel hold and not in a container.
Broken Stowage
  • The loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages.
  • Any void or empty space in a vessel or container not occupied by cargo.
A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.
Payment by a common carrier to a freight forwarder/broker for the performance of services; compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.
Bulk Cargo
Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count.” Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.
Bulk-Freight Container
A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.
Bulk carriers
A vessel carrying dry, liquid, grain, not packaged, bundled or bottled cargo, and is loaded without marks & number or count.
Bull Rings
Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.
Bunker Charge
A charge assessed by the carrier to reflect current cost of bunker.
A Maritime term referring to Fuel used aboard the ship. Coal stowage areas aboard a vessel in the past were in bins or bunkers.
Bridge Point
An inland location where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.
Bridge Port
A port where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and stuffed into containers but then moved to another coastal port to be waded on a vessel.
C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS.
Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning “cargo and freight” whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.
Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.
A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.
Captain’s Protest
A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.
Freight loaded into a ship.
Cargo Manifest
A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.
Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.
Customs form permitting inbond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same Customs district. Usually in motor carrier’s possession while draying cargo.
Cubic Meter
The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.
Cellular vessel
A vessel designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers.
Certificate of Origin
Document certifying the country of origin of goods which is normally issued or signed by a Chamber of Commerce or Embassy.
Container Freight Station. A shipping dock where cargo is loaded (“stuffed”) into or unloaded (“stripped”) from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.
Charter Party
A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip.
A wheeled flat bed or a trailer constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road.
Cost and Insurance. A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.
Cost, Insurance, Freight. (Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination.
Price includes commission as well as CIF.
Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange
Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection and Interest
Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.
A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.
Clayton Act
An anti-trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.
Clean Bill of Lading
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in “apparent good order and condition,” without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be “cleaned.”
A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.
Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.
Collect (cash) on Delivery; Carried on Docket (pricing); Change of Destination.
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. U.S. federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier’s liability under carrier’s bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.
Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.
Commodity Rate
A rate for shipping a specifically named commodity or commodities to or from a specified location.
Common Carrier
A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.
Common Law
Law that derives its force and authority from precedent, custom and usage rather than from statutes, particularly with reference to the laws of England and the United States.
An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.
Connecting Carrier
A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.
A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.
  • A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply.
  • A shipment of goods to a consignee.
A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.
The combination of many small shipments into one container.
A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others.
Consumption Entry (CE)
The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods into the United States for use in the United States.
What is so called container is a large case for containing goods with specified intensity, stiffness and specifications. When using containers for transportation, we can load in the warehouse of the consigner, unload in the warehouse of the consignee, and need not bring out the goods from the container in the case of switching vehicles or vessels. It can be classified by the containing goods into smallwares container, bulk cargo container, liquid goods container, deepfreeze container, by the manufacturing material into wood container, steel container, aluminum alloy container, glass fiber reinforced plastic container, stainless steel container, by the structure into folded container, fixed container which includes airtight container, open container, framework container, by the weight into 30-ton, 20-ton, 10-ton, 5-ton and 2.5-ton container.
Container depot (Inland depot) The plot for collecting, keeping, piling or taking over empty containers. It is established in case of inadequate yards in loading area or transfer station, and does not handle the take-over of containers or goods. It can be established independently or outside the loading area. The management of this kind of pool should apply to shipping consortia in some countries.
Container Freight Station
See CFS.
Container leasing It refers to the type of business that the possessor leases empty containers to the user. The possessor of containers, the lessor, signs lease contract with the user, or the lessee, which is usually the vessel company or consignor. The lessor provides qualified containers to the lessee for the use in appointed range. There are various ways of the leasing of containers in the world, including run lease, period lease, current lease and navigation area lease.
Container number
The unique identification of a container.
Container Terminal
The handling department for the loading, unloading, exchange and keeping of the container or goods in container transportation. It is consigned by the carrier or his attorney to do the following jobs:
1) The exchange and keeping of the container.
2) The take-over of the less than container load in the container station.
3) Arrange the anchoring of container vessels, load and unload containers, and compile pre-stowage plan for each voyage.
4) Signature of associated freight documents.
5) Compile and sign related documents of the entrance and transfer of the conveyance carrying containers.
6) Examine and maintain the containers, conveyances and loading machines, and clean and suffocate empty containers.
7) Receive, send, store and keep empty containers.
8) Pile empty and heavy containers at the yard, and compile field assigning schedule.
9) Other related jobs.
The container terminal is usually composed of docks, foreland, yards, freight station, conning tower, maintenance department, gate and offices. Sometimes the yard or freight station can extend 5-15 kilometers to the transfer station in town.
Container Yard (CY)
The plot for exchanging, keeping and storing the containers. Some countries do not distinguish marshalling yard and container yard, and call both the yard. The container yard is a part of container loading area, and an area for taking over the containers in door to door way (actually taken over at the “gate” of the loading area).
Container rules of freight conference In some lines the freight conference formulates container transportation regulations for supplier in order to monopolize the container transportation. These regulations are drawn according to the situation in the operating area of the conference. The contents may be different, but have same basic ideas, i.e., the carrier and supplier have same responsibility. The contents include:
1) Container loading harbors, distributing transportation;
2) Explanation of the terminology in container transportation;
3) The duty of the carrier and supplier in various take-over ways;
4) Declare the order of vessels and transport information;
5) The items including bill of lading, batch, harbor and exception articles;
6) Sign the bill of lading;
7) Take over the equipment and count free time and resort charge;
8) Handle the consignment procedure;
9) Calculate and pay the freight;
10) The charging of various items and provisions for rate changing;
11) Provisions for currency system, depreciation and increment;
12) Provisions and charging of inland transportation
Container’s overall external dimentions It refers to the sizes of the maximal length, width and height of the container together with all its permanent accessories. It is a vital parameter in identifying if a container can be switched among vessels, underpan vans, trucks and railway vehicles, and has to be known by transport departments.
Container’s internal dimentions The sizes of the maximal length, width and height of the interior of the container. The width is the distance between the left and right scaleboards, while the length is the distance between the front and rear scaleboards. The parameters determine the internal capacity of the container as well as the maximal dimension of the goods in the container
Containerizable Cargo
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.
Container Load
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.
Cargo that is prohibited.
Contract Carrier
Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.
Corner Posts
Vertical frame components fitted at the corners of the container, integral to the corner fittings and connecting the roof and floor structures. Containers are lifted and secured in a stack using the castings at the ends.
Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)
Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller.
Cube Out
When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.
A country Treasury Department office where duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled.
Customhouse Broker
A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).
Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.
Customs Bonded Warehouse
a public or privately owned warehouse where dutiable goods are stored pending payment of duty or removal under bond. The storage or delivery of goods are under the supervision of customs officers and if the warehouse is privately owned the keeper has to enter into a bond as indemnity in respect of the goods deposited, which may not be delivered without a release from the customs.
Customs Entry
All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise. The importer’s statement is compared against the carrier’s vessel manifest to ensure that all foreign goods are properly declared.
Customs of the Port (Trade)
A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by the various parties.
Cut-Off Time
The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.
Abbreviation for “Dangerous and Hazardous” cargo.
Dangerous Goods
The term used by I.M.C.O. for hazardous materials which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property while being transported.
One leg of a move without a paying cargo load. Usually refers to repositioning an empty piece of equipment.
Deadweight Cargo
A long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 40 cubic feet.
The number of tons of 2,240 pounds that a vessel can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces “light” and the number of tons it displaces when submerged to the “load line.”
A charge delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time. See also: Detention, Per Diem and Storage. See also Detention and Per Diem and Storage.
The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.
Depot, Container
Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.
  • The place to which a shipment is consigned.
  • The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier’s equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.
The removal of cargo from a container. Also known as unstuffing, unloading or stripping.
A change made in the route of a shipment in transit.
  • For ships, a cargo handling area parallel to the shoreline where a vessel normally ties up.
  • For land transportation, a loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.
Dock Receipt
The receipt signed by the container terminal, transfer station or inland station after the receipt of full container load or less than container load under the consignment of the carrier. The dock receipt is compiled by the consigner. If the goods are loaded in more than one container, they should be checked and accepted with packing list, and the dock administrator will not sign the dock receipt until the last container is checked and accepted. If the dock receive full container load, a remark should be made in case of any exception in the appearance. The function of the dock receipt is equivalent to the mate’s receipt in classical transportation. It is the warrant of the consigner to get the bill of lading from the ship company.
A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.
Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.
  • The number of feet that the hull of a ship is beneath the surface of the water.
  • An unconditional order in writing, addressed by one party (drawer) to another party (drawee), requiring the drawee to pay at a fixed or determinable future date a specified sum in lawful currency to the order of a specified person.
Abbreviation for “Destination Rail Freight Station.” Same as CFS at destination, except a DRFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.
Dry Cargo
Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.
Dry-Bulk Container
A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free flowing solids in bulk.
Abbreviation for “Electronic Data Interface.” Generic term for transmission of transactional data between computer systems. EDI is typically via a batched transmission, usually conforming to consistent standards.
Order to restrict the hauling of freight.
Empty Repo
Contraction for Empty Repositioning. The movement of empty containers.
A legal signature usually placed on the reverse of a draft; signifies transfer of rights from the holder to another party.
Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.
Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)
The warrant that the owner or leaseholder of the containers consigns the container terminal, transfer station or inland station to interchange the containers and carrying equipment with container user or his representative. The interchange receipt is signed by the carrier or his attorney to the consigner or consignee, to get the heavy or return the light containers. The interchange items are listed at the back of the first page of the interchange receipt, including the cost of the containers and equipment during the leasing period, the duty in case of the damage or lost of the equipment as well as the contained goods, and the compensation in case of the damage to the third part. The interchange is usually handled at the gate of the container terminal or the station. The equipment include containers, underpan vans, trolleys and electromotors. The interchange receipt can be the “out” or “in” kind.
Estimated time of arrival
Estimated time of departure
Ex – “From”
When used in pricing terms such as “Ex Factory” or “Ex Dock,” it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin indicated.
Notations made when the cargo is received at the carrier’s terminal or loaded aboard a vessel. They show any irregularities in packaging or actual or suspected damage to the cargo. Exceptions are then noted on the bill of lading.
Shipment of goods to a foreign country.
Export Declaration
A government document permitting designated goods to be shipped out of the country.
Export License
A government document which permits the “Licensee” to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.
Freight All Kind.
Free Alongside Ship
Full Container Load, See Full Container Load
Food and Drug Administration
Feeder Service
Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.
Feeder Vessel
Vessel employed in normally short sea routes to fetch or carry goods and containers to and from ocean going vessels.
Forty- Foot Equivalent Units. Refers to container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot containers or TEU’s equal one FEU.
Final Destination (DEL)
End of carriers liability where carrier delivers the cargo to consignee.
Flash Point
A temperature that when certain inflammable cargo reaches will trigger spontaneous ignition. It is an IMCO standard information requirement for dangerous goods.
FMC (F.M.C.)
Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, Freight Forwarder Licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.
Free on Rail
Force Majeure
The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.
Fore and Aft
The direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.
Foreign Trade Zone
A free port in a country divorced from Customs authority but under government control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subject to import duty regulations.
Free Alongside (FAS)
The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment. See Terms of Sale.
Free In and Out (FIO)
Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.
Free of Particular Average (FPA)
A marine insurance term meaning that the assurer will not allow payment for partial loss or damage to cargo shipments except in certain circumstances, such as stranding, sinking, collision or fire.
Free on Board (FOB – U.S. Domestic Use)
Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.
  • FOB Freight Allowed: The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the buyer pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by a like amount.
  • FOB Freight Prepaid: The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the freight charges of the inland carrier.
  • FOB Named Point of Exportation: Seller is responsible for the cost of placing the goods at a named point of exportation. Some European buyers use this form when they actually mean FOB vessel.
  • FOB Vessel: Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.
Free on Board (Int’l Use)
Free Out (FO)
Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.
Free Time
That amount of time that a carrier’s equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Stowage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)
Free Trade Zone
A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties.
  • The price paid to the carrier for the transportation of goods or merchandise by sea from one place to another.
  • Freight is also used to denote goods which are in the process of being transported from one place to another.
Freight Bill
  • A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially.
  • An Invoice.
Freight Forwarder
A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.
See Ships.
Full Container Load (FCL)
Opposite to the less than container load. The consigner is responsible for the loading, counting, pre-stowage and lead seal of the transportation. The uncovering of the full container load is usually done by consignee, but can also be consigned to the carrier. The carrier is not responsible for the damage or short of the goods in the container, unless the consigner quotes the duty of the carrier. The full container load is interchanged by one container. The carrier will complete his job as long as the container has approximate appearance and complete lead seal. The freight bill of full container load should be added an item of “the consigner loads, counts and lead seals”.
General Average
General average is an unwritten, non-statutory, international maritime law which is universally recognized and applied. It is founded on the principle that vessel and goods are parties to the same venture and share exposure to the same perils, which may require sacrifice or the incurring of extraordinary expense on the part of one for the benefit of the whole venture.
General Order (G.O.)
When U.S. Customs orders shipments without entries to be kept in their custody in a bonded warehouse.
Generator Set (Gen Set)
A portable power generator, which converts fuel into electrical power by mechanical means, and from which a reefer draws power. A clip-on generator set is mounted to the front of the refrigeration unit. An underslung generator set is mounted to the chassis upon which the reefer is mounted for handling and transport. The underslung generator set can be either side-mounted or center-mounted on the chassis.
General Rate Increase. Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.
Gross Weight
Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.
A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.
Gross Vehicle Weight. The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.
Hague Rules, The
1924 International Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea. These rules govern liability for loss or damage to goods carried by sea under a bill of lading. Hague Visby Rules are the 1968 revision.
Harbor Master
An officer who attends to the berthing, etc., of ships in a harbor.
Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
A multi-purpose international goods-classification for manufacturers. Transporters, exporters, importers, customs officials, statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international trade under a single commodity code. Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international customs organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings describing the articles moving in international trade. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry [ (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g.: Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibres; Chapter 57, Carpets).] The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. (The U.S. will add digits for tariff and statistical purposes. In the U.S. duty rates will be the 8-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the 10-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is scheduled to supplant the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) in January 1988.)
The opening in the deck of a vessel; gives access to the cargo hold.
Hazardous Material
Heavy-Lift Charge
A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship’s normal tackle.
High Cube
Any container which exceeds 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches) in height, usually 9 feet 6 inches.
Hopper Barge
A barge which loads material dumped into it by a dredger and discharges the cargo through the bottom.
House-to- House
Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipper’s supervision. When the cargo is exported, it is unloaded at the foreign pier destination.
Abbreviation for:
  • Interstate Commerce Commission
  • International Chamber of Commerce
International Maritime Consultative Organization. A forum in which most major maritime nations participate and through which recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities, and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.
I.M.D.G. Code
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The IMO recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods by sea.
In-Transit Entry (I.T.)
Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed.
To receive goods from a foreign country.
Import License
A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.
In Bond
Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.
Incentive Rate
A rate, typically lower than the published tariff rate, assessed for that portion of a consignment exceeding the normal volume.
A set of uniform rules codifying the interpretation of trade terms defining the rights and obligation of both buyer and seller in an international transaction, thereby enabling otherwise complex basis for a sale contract to be accomplished in three letters. INCOTERMS are drafted by the International Chamber of Commerce.
Indemnity Bond
An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.
Placing a port on a vessel’s itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.
Inland Carrier
A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
Inland Clearance Depot
A CFS with Customs Clearance Facilities.
Insulated Container
A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.
Insulated Container Tank
The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.
Interchange Points
A terminal at which freight in the course of transportation is delivered by one transportation line to another.
Used to denote movements of cargo or container between motor, rail or water carriers.
Intermodal Transport
Moving ocean freight containers by various transportation modes. The fact that the containers are of the same size and have common handling characteristics permits them to be transferred from truck to railroad to air carrier to ocean carrier.
Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM)
A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. Required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country.
Abbreviation for “Inland Point Intermodal.” Refers to inland points (non-ports) that can be served by carriers on a through bill of lading.
Irrevocable Letter of Credit
Letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee and which cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.
ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 130 countries, one from each country. It is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 to promote the development of standardization facilitating international trade. ISO’s work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards.
Joint Rate
A rate applicable from a point on one transportation line to a point on another line, made by agreement and published in a single tariff by all transportation lines over which the rate applies.
Kilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.
1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.
The main center-line structural member, running fore and aft along the bottom of a ship, sometimes referred to as the backbone.
A unit of speed. The term “knot” means velocity in nautical miles per hour whether of a vessel or current. One nautical mile is roughly equivalent to 1.15 statute miles or 1.85 kilometers.
Letter of Credit
Loaded aboard a vessel
Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, thence, using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. As example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.
Landing Certificate
Certificate issued by consular officials of some importing countries at the point or place of export when the subject goods are exported under bond.
Lighter Aboard Ship. A specially constructed vessel equipped with an overhead crane for lifting specially designed barges and stowing them into cellular slots in an athwartship position.
See Less than Container Load.
Letter of Credit (LC)
A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time. Some of the specific descriptions are:
  • Back-to-Back: A new letter of credit issued to another beneficiary on the strength of a primary credit. The second L/C uses the first L/C as collateral for the bank. Used in a three-party transaction.
  • Clean: A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.
  • Confirmed: An L/C guaranteed by both the issuing and advising banks of payment so long as seller’s documents are in order, and the L/C terms are met. Only applied to irrevocable L/C’s. The confirming bank assumes the credit risk of the issuing bank.
  • Deferred Payment: A letter of credit issued for the purchase and financing of merchandise, similar to acceptance-type letter of credit, except that it requires presentation of sight drafts payable on an installment basis.
  • Irrevocable: An instrument that, once established, cannot be modified or cancelled without the agreement of all parties concerned.
  • Non cumulative: A revolving letter of credit that prohibits the amount not used during the specific period from being available afterwards.
  • Restricted: A condition within the letter of credit which restricts its negotiation to a named bank.
  • Revocable: An instrument that can be modified or cancelled at any moment without notice to and agreement of the beneficiary, but customarily includes a clause in the credit to the effect that any draft negotiated by a bank prior to the receipt of a notice of revocation or amendment will be honored by the issuing bank. Rarely used since there is no protection for the seller.
  • Revolving: An irrevocable letter issued for a specific amount; renews itself for the same amount over a given period.
  • Straight: A letter of credit that contains a limited engagement clause which states that the issuing bank promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the required documents at its counters or the counters of the named bank.
  • Transferable: A letter of credit that allows the beneficiary to transfer in whole or in part to another beneficiary any amount which, in aggregate, of such transfers does not exceed the amount of the credit. Used by middlemen.
  • Unconfirmed: A letter of credit forwarded to the beneficiary by the advising bank without engagement on the part of the advising bank.
Less then Container Load (LCL) The term opposite to full container load, referring to small goods which can not fill a container. This kind of goods are usually drawn from various locations and concentrated in container transport station or inland station. The carrier puts goods from different consigners into one container, and consign them respectively in the transport stations or inland stations of the destinations. In this case, the carrier is responsible for loading and uncovering, the cost of which is charged from the consigner and consignee. The duty of the carrier is similar to smallwares transportation.
Letter of Indemnity
Guarantee from the shipper or consignee to indemnify carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favorable action by carrier, e.g. sometimes, it is used to allow consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering B/L which has been delayed or become lost (for straight consignment case).
A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
A container ship onto which containers are lifted by crane.
A vessel discharges part of its cargo at anchor into a lighter to reduce the vessel’s draft so it can then get alongside a pier.
An open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways to carry cargo to/from alongside a vessel.
Refers to carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed therefrom.
Limits Of liability
The maximal compensation assumed by the carrier of the damage or short of the goods in container transportation. The following are some regulations of the compensation of full container load: if the number of pieces is not included in the bill of lading, the claim unit is one container, otherwise the unit is one piece. If the damage or lost happens during inland transportation rather than shipping, the compensation is in accordance with the maximal compensation of land transportation. If the containers are owned or supplied by the shipper, and the damage or lost results from the carrier, the claim unit is one container.
Vessel plying a regular trade/defined route against a published sailing schedule.
The amount in degrees that a vessel tilts from the vertical.
Lloyds’ Registry
An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment.
Load Factor
Percent of loaded containers against total capacity of vessel or allocation.
Locking Bar
Device that secures container doors at top and bottom.
Long Ton
2,240 pounds
Individual employed in a port to load and unload ships.
Without packing
Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, i.e., a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for customs purposes. It is also called summary of Bills of lading.
Marine Insurance
Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.
Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.
Marks & Nos
Marks & Numbers placed on packages for export for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, diamond, or cross with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.
Marshalling yard
The plot in front of the container dock for temporarily piling containers in order to speed up the loading and unloading of vessels. Before the container vessel arrives, the exported containers are piled orderly at the yard in preparation for loading; while the imported containers can be piled temporarily piled at the yard to speed up the unloading.
Mate’s Receipt
An archaic practice. An acknowledgement of cargo receipt signed by a mate of the vessel. The possessor of the mate’s receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, in exchange for that receipt.
Maximum Payload
Maximum cargo that can be loaded into a container either by weight or volume.
Measurement Cargo
Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.
Measurement Ton
One cubic meter. One of the alternative bases of Freight Tariff.
Mechanically Ventilated Container
A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.
Memorandum Bill of Lading
An in-house bill of lading. A duplicate copy.
A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destination. Also known as IPI or Through Service.
A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.
Mini Landbridge
An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previously served as an all-water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).
MSN Master B/L Sequential Number – assigned by shipping company
Metric Ton
Synonymous for all practical purposes with “Intermodal.”
Nautical Mile
Distance of one minute of longitude at the equator, approximately 6,076.115. The metric equivalent is 1852.
Negotiable Instruments
A document of title (such as a draft, promissory note, check, or bill of lading) transferable from one person to another in good faith for a consideration. Non-negotiable bills of lading are known as “straight consignment.” Negotiable bills are known as “order B/L’s.”
Not Elsewhere Specified
Net Tare Weight
The weight of an empty cargo-carrying piece of equipment plus any fixtures permanently attached.
Net Weight
Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.
Network liability system
This is another kind of liability system such that the through transport manager assumes the duty. According to this system, the carrier signing the through bill of lading does not assume same duty although he is still responsible for the whole transportation. The compensation depends on the phase. For example, if the damage happens during the shipping period, the international transport regulations will work; if the damage happens during the railway or road transport period, the related international laws or domestic laws will work.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub-sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.
Number of slots The recorded number of the containers on the vessel. The container capacity of a container vessel is shown with twenty-feet equivalent unit.
Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)
A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in-transit.
On Board
A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.
On Deck
A notation on a bill of lading that the cargo has been stowed on the open deck of the ship.
One-Way lease
Lease that covers the outbound voyage only, after which the container is returned to the lease holder at or near destination.
Open Insurance Policy
A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
Open Top Container
A container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin roof so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top.
Operating Ratio
A comparison of a carrier’s operating expense with its net sales. The most general measure of operating efficiency.
Location where shipment begins its movement.
Original Bill of Lading (OBL)
A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as “original” by the issuing carrier.
Out Gate
Transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container leaves a rail or water terminal.
Overheight Cargo
Cargo more than eight feet high which thus cannot fit into a standard container.
Owner Code (SCAC)
Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier’s equipment. A suffix of “U” is a container and “C” is a chassis.
Abbreviation for “Protection and Indemnity,” an insurance term.
Packing List
Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.
A platform (usually two-deck), with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.
Partial Shipments
Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase “partial shipments permitted.”
Per Diem
A charge made by one transportation line against another for the use of its equipment. The charge is based on a fixed rate per day.
Perils of the Sea
Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.
Perishable Cargo
Cargo subject to decay or deterioration.
The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor’s shipping platform.
The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.
A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, thence to the consignee’s facility.
Containers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.
A person whose office or occupation is to steer ships, particularly along a coast or into and out of a harbor.
Place of Delivery
Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.
Place of Receipt
Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.
Plot number
It is composed of six numbers, the first two stand for bay number, the next two for row number, and the last two for tier number. For example, the slot number 0402D1 shows the container is located in the fourth row, the second column from the right shipboard, and on the first storey of the deck.
Abbreviation for:
  • Port of Discharge.
  • Port of Destination.
  • Proof of Delivery. A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.
Point of Origin
The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Abbreviation for:
  • Port of Loading
  • Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants
Pomerene Act, Also known as (U.S.) Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916.
U.S. federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties for issuing B/L’s containing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.
  • Harbor with piers or docks
  • Left side of a ship when facing forward
  • Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight
Port of Call
Port where a ship discharges or receives traffic.
Port of Entry
Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.
Port of Exit
Place where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.
Prepaid (Ppd.)
One of the payment status where freight and charges are required to be paid by shipper before original bill of lading is released to them.
Pre-storage plan The schedule of the loading of the container vessel. The pre-stowage plan is compiled by the foreign vessel agent company according to the ordering list, loading and piling plan of the yard. The containers are loaded after the vessel arrives at the harbor with the permission of the carrier. If the harbor is one of the stops of the vessel, and there have been containers on the vessel, the pre-stowage plan should be compiled according to the reply of the vessel after informing the related information. The pre-stowage plan is composed of the transections of the rows, columns and tiers. The following requirements have to be met in pre-stowage:
1) Assure the intensity of the vertical section and the stability of the vessel;
2) Keep reasonable draught difference, so that the vessel reached the best sailing performance, i.e., convenient to operate and fast;
3) Reasonably utilize the carrying capacity and volume of the vessel;
4) Assure the containers are complete in the house and safe on the deck;
5) Enable the convenience of loading and unloading;
6) Assure the containers to be unloaded in the next harbor are on the top in case of multiple unloading harbors.
​PSS ​Peak Season Charge, charge reflecting foreseeable high demand
A wedge-shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.
An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
A structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored. See also Pier and Dock.
Railroad terminal where containers are received or delivered and trains loaded or discharged. Originally, trailers moved onto the rearmost flatcar via a ramp and driven into position in a technique known as “circus loading.” Most modern rail facilities use lifting equipment to position containers onto the flatcars.
Rate Basis
A formula of the specific factors or elements that control the making of a rate. A rate can be based on any number of factors (i.e., weight, measure, equipment type, package, box, etc.)
Recieving and delivery system
The receiving and delivery systems between the carrier and supplier of full container load and less than container load in container transportation include the following:
1) door to door: the whole process that the shipper loads the containers in the warehouse and let the carrier examine and transfer to the warehouse of the consignee.
2) door to cy: from the warehouse of the consigner to the destination or the yard of the container loading area of unloading harbor.
3) door to cfs: from the warehouse of the consigner to the destination or the station of unloading harbor.
4) cy to door: from the loading port or the yard of the container loading area of the loading harbor to the warehouse of the consignee.
5) cy to cy: from the loading port or the yard of the container loading area of the loading harbor to the destination or the yard of the container loading area of the unloading harbor.
6) cy to cfs: from the loading port or the yard of the container loading area of the loading harbor to the destination or the station of the unloading harbor.
7) cfs to door: from the loading port or the station of the loading harbor to the warehouse of the consignee.
8) cfs to cy: from the loading port or the station of the loading harbor to the destination or the yard of the container loading area of the unloading harbor.
9) cfs to cfs: from the loading port or the station of the loading harbor to the destination or the station of the unloading harbor.
Changing the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.
Red Label
A label required on shipments of flammable articles.
In the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature controlled air circulation within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container.
To transfer goods from one ship to another of the same ownership.
Request for quotation.
To transfer containers from one ship to another when both vessels are controlled by the same network (carrier) manager.
Restricted Articles
Articles handled only under certain conditions.
Revenue Ton (RT)
The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 ton is either 1000 kilos or 1 cubic meter (for metric system). Also known as bill of lading ton or freight ton. It is used to calculate freight charge.
A shortening of the term, “Roll-On/Roll-Off.” A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes.
To re-book cargo to a later vessel.
The manner in which a shipment moves; i.e., the carriers handling it and the points at which the carriers interchange.
Row number The column position of the container on the vessel, also called column number. There are two ways to number, one is to number from the left shipboard to the right, 01, 02……, the other is from the middle to both sides. The left side of the middle is numbered to be odd: 01, 03, 05……, while the right side to be even: 02, 04, 06……
An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.
Seal (Container)
Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.
Sea Waybill
Document indicating the goods were loaded on board when a document of title (b/L) is not needed. Typically used when a company is shipping goods to itself.
The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.
Shipper’s Export Declaration. U.S. Commerce Department document
A string of vessels which makes a particular voyage and serves a particular market.
Service Contract
A written contract specifically relevant to, and required by, the U.S. Shipping Act of 1984. Service Contracts document agreements between a shipper (or a shippers) and an ocean common carrier (or conference) in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo or freight revenue over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or conference commits to a certain rate or rate schedule as well as a defined service level (such as assured space, transit time, port rotation or similar service features). The contract A Service Contract may also specify provisions in the event of nonperformance by either party.
Saturday and Holidays Excluded.
Saturday and Holidays Included.
Ship Chandler
An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.
Ship Demurrage
A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.
Ship’s Manifest
A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.
Ship’s Tackle
All rigging, cranes, etc., utilized on a ship to load or unload cargo.
The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.
Shipped on board
Endorsement on a bill of lading confirming loading of goods on vessel.
Shippers Association
A non-profit entity that represents the interests of a number of shippers. The main focus of shippers associations is to pool the cargo volumes of members to leverage the most favorable service contract rate levels.
Shipper’s Instructions
Shipper’s communications to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery.
Shipper’s liability
The liabilities of the shipper in the container transportation. This kind of liabilities is not completely same as the classical shipping, in which the shipper of less than container load has same liabilities as classical shipping, while that of full container load has the following different liabilities:
1) Assure the transport information to be correct and complete;
2) The carrier has the right to check the goods in the containers, the cost of which is assumed by the shipper;
3) If the custom or other authorities uncovers the containers, the cost and the resulting damage or short of the goods is assumed by the shipper;
4) If the container is not full, or has bad padding or piling, or contains the goods not suitable for container transportation, the resulting damage or short is assumed by the shipper.
5) The damage from the use of unsuitable containers of the shipper is assumed by the shipper;
6) The damage to the property or life of the third part during the period to use the containers or equipment of the carrier is compensated by the shipper.
Shipper’s Load & Count (SL&C)
Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.
Shipside Delivery
A special cargo handling instruction for cargo to be delivered right away at shipside after discharge.
Shipping Order
Shipper’s instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.
  • Bulk Carriers: All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
  • Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships: Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
  • Freighters: Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, Roll-on/Roll-off vessels, and barge carriers.
  • Barge Carriers: Ships designed to carry barges; some are fitted to act as full containerships and can carry a varying number of barges and containers at the same time. At present this class includes two types of vessels LASH and Sea-Bee.
  • General Cargo Carriers: Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.
  • Full Containerships: Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
  • Partial Containerships: Multipurpose containerships where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells. Remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo.
  • Roll-on/Roll-off vessels: Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
  • Tankers: Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid cargo such as: crude petroleum and petroleum products; chemicals, Liquefied gasses(LNG and LPG), wine, molasses, and similar product tankers.
Short Ton (ST)
2,000 pounds
Goods not carried on intended vessel.
Side-Door Container
A container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.
Shippers load and count. All three clauses are used as needed on the bill of lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the cargo is loaded by the shipper.
A vessel’s berth between two piers.
Space on board a vessel occupied by a container.
Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.
A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.
The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold increases stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
A standard numerical code used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.
Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade, based on a hierarchy.
The right side of a ship when facing the bow.
Steamship Conference
A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.
The end of a vessel. Opposite of bow.
Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels and various terminal activities.
A marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.
Straight Bill of Lading
A non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered. See Bill of Lading.
Removing cargo from a container (devanning).
Putting cargo into a container.
Supply air
Cooled or warmed air leaving the evaporator delivered to the interior of the container. Supply air is sometimes called delivery-air.
Supply Chain
A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components. “Just in Time” is a typical value-added example of supply chain management.
An extra or additional charge.
Interior floor in a reefer, so named because of the longitudinal T-shaped rails which support the cargo and form a plenum for air flow beneath the cargo.
The rear of a container.
Tara Weight
In railcar or container shipments, the weight of the empty railcar or empty container.
Tariff (Trf.)
Charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.
Terminal Departure Report
Temperature Recorder
A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.
An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel.
Terminal Charge
A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.
Terms of Sale
The point at which sellers have fulfilled their obligations so the goods in a legal sense could be said to have been delivered to the buyer. They are shorthand expressions that set out the rights and obligations of each party when it comes to transporting the goods. Following, are the thirteen terms of sale in international trade as Terms of Sale reflected in the recent amendment to the International chamber of Commerce Terms of Trade (INCOTERMS), effective July 1990: exw, fca, fas, fob, cfr, cif, cpt, cip, daf, des, deq, ddu and ddp.
  • EXW (Ex Works) (…Named Place): A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.
  • FCA (Free Carrier) (… Named Place): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.
  • FAS (Free Alongside Ship) (…Named Port of Shipment): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment.This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that moment.
  • FOB (Free On Board) (…Named Port of Shipment): An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CFR (Cost and Freight) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CPT (Carriage Paid To) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) (…Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the seller has the same obligations as under CPT, but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • DAF (Delivered At Frontier) (…Named Place): A Term of Sale which means the sellers fulfill their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available, cleared for export, at the named point and placed at the frontier, but before the customs Terms of Sale border of the adjoining country. (continued)
  • DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and to bear any risks caused by failure to clear the goods for in time.
  • DDP (Delivered Duty paid) (…Named Port of Destination): “Delivered Duty Paid” means that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, clear for importation. While the EXW term represents the minimum obligation for the seller, DDP represents the maximum.
  • DES (Delivered Ex Ship) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his/her obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship, uncleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port destination.
  • DEQ (Delivered Ex Quay, [Duty Paid]) (…Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale which means the DDU term has been fulfilled when the goods have been available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation. The seller has to bear all risks and costs including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto.
To Be Nominated. (When the name of a ship is still unknown.)
See Twenty-feet equivelent unit
Terminal Handling Charges; charges to recover costs levied by terminal operators for handling of container.
Tier number The three-dimensional position of the containers on the vessel. The deck and house have different numbering methods. The containers are both numbered from top to bottom, and a “D” is added in front of the number for the deck, while an “H” is added for the house.
Time Charter
A charter party hiring a vessel for a specified period of time or a particular voyage, in which the shipowner provides the vessel and crew while the charterer supplies the cargo. Also known as non-demise charter.
Transport International par la Route. Road transport operating agreement among European governments and the United States for the international movement of cargo by road. Display of the TIR carnet allows sealed containerloads to cross national frontiers without inspection.
The charge made for towing a vessel.
Tramp Line
An ocean carrier company operating vessels not on regular runs or schedules. They call at any port where cargo may be available.
To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another.
Transshipment Port
Place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.
In water transportation, the time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure.
Twenty-feet equivelent unit (TEU)
It is also called twenty-feet conversion unit, which is a conversion unit for counting the numbers of containers. At present most of the container transportation uses containers of lengths 20 feet and 40 feet. In order to uniformly calculate the transport volume of containers, we refer to a 20 feet container as an equivalent unit, and a 40 feet container as 2 equivalent units.
Twist Locks
A set of four twistable bayonet type shear keys used as part of a spreader to pick up a container or as part of a chassis to secure the containers.
Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits. Published by the International Chamber of Commerce, this is the most frequently used standard for making payments in international trade; e.g., paying on a Letter of Credit. It is most frequently referred to by its shorthand title: UCP No. 500. This revised publication reflects recent changes in the transportation and banking industries, such as electronic transfer of funds.
United Nations EDI for Administration, Commerce and Transport. EDI Standards are developed and supported by the UN for electronic message (data) interchange on an international level.
Unclaimed Freight
Freight that has not been called for or picked up by the consignee or owner.
Uniform liability system
This is a kind of liability system such that the through transport manager assumes the duty. According to the system, the carrier who signs the through transport bill of lading assumes whole duty, i.e., the carrier assumes same duty for the damage or short in any transport phase. If the phase can be identified, the through transport carrier can claim for compensation to the actual carrier of the phase.
Removal of a shipment from a vessel.
Authentication of B/L and when B/L becomes effective.
Van pool
The plot for collecting, keeping, piling or taking over empty containers. It is established in case of inadequate yards in loading area or transfer station, and does not handle the take-over of containers or goods. It can be established independently or outside the loading area. The management of this kind of pool should apply to shipping consortia in some countries.
Variable Cost
Costs that vary directly with the level of activity within a short time. Examples include costs of moving cargo inland on trains or trucks, stevedoring in some ports, and short-term equipment leases. For business analysis, all costs are either defined as variable or fixed. For a business to break even, all fixed costs must be covered. To make a profit, all variable and fixed costs must be recovered plus some extra amount.
Ventilated Container
A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.
Vessel Supplies for Immediate Exportation (VSIE)
Allows equipment and supplies arriving at one port to be loaded on a vessel, aircraft, etc., for its exclusive use and to be exported from the same port.
Vessel Manifest
The international carrier is obligated to make declarations of the ship’s crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. The vessel manifest lists various details about each shipment by B/L number. Obviously, the B/L serves as the core source from which the manifest is created.
Voyage Number
The numeric identification of a round trip sailing of a vessel on a fixed trade lane.
War Risk
Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.
A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.
Warehouse Entry
Document that identifies goods imported when placed in a bonded warehouse. The duty is not imposed on the products while in the warehouse but will be collected when they are withdrawn for delivery or consumption.
The storing of goods/cargo.
Waybill (WB)
A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. It is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. The abbreviation is WB. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is NOT a document of title.
Weight Cargo
A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.
Weights and Measures
  • Measurement ton – 40 cubic ft or one cubic meter
  • Net ton, or short ton – 2,000 lbs
  • Gross ton/long ton – 2,240 lbs.
  • Metric ton/kilo ton – 2,204.6 lbs.
  • Cubic meter – 35.314 cubic ft.
Wharfage (Whfge.)
Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.
W.M. (W/M)
Weight or Measurement: the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as “worm.” The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment.
A classification, storage or switching area.
Time based on Greenwich Mean Time
Source: http://www.zim.com/knowledgecenter/help/pages/shipping-glossary.aspx

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