Air and Ocean Freight Abbreviations

Shipping Abb.

AbaftA point beyond the mid-point of a ship’s length, toward the stern relative to an object or point of reference (‘abaft the fore hatch’).
Abaft the beamFurther aft than the beam: a relative bearing of greater than 90 degrees from the bow: ‘two points abaft the port beam’.
AbandonAn action wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.
AbatementA discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.
AbeamOn the beam, a relative bearing at right angles to the centerline of the ship’s keel.
Able Bodied Seamen
Some modern references claim that AB stands for able-bodied seaman as well as, or instead of, able seaman. Able seaman was originally entered using the abbreviation AB instead of the more obvious AS in ships’ muster books or articles. Such an entry was likely to avoid confusion with ordinary seaman (OS). Later the abbreviation began to be written as A.B., leading to the folk-etymological able-bodied seaman. The correct term, able seaman, remains in use in legal documents, in seaman’s papers, and aboard ship.
Able Seaman
An Able Seaman (also AB) is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. An AB may work as a watch-stander, a day worker, or a combination of these roles.
AboardOn or in a vessel (see also ‘close aboard’). Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of transport.
Above boardOn or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.
Above-water hullThe hull section of a vessel above waterline, the visible part of a ship. Also, topsides.
Absentee pennantThis is a special pennant flown to indicate the absence of a commanding officer, admiral, his chief of staff, or officer whose flag is flying (division, squadron, or flotilla commander).
Absolute bearingThe bearing of an object in relation to North. This can be either a true bearing, using the geographical or true North, or magnetic bearing, using magnetic North. For more information see ‘bearing’ and ‘relative bearing’.
AcceptanceA time draft (or bill of exchange) which the drawee (the person or organization, typically a bank, who must pay a draft or bill) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity. Drawee’s act in receiving a draft and thus entering into the obligation to pay its value at maturity.
Acceptance (1)An agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.
Acceptance of GoodsThe process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment the carrier bears responsibility for the consignment.
Accessorial ChargesCharges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency or destination/delivery.
Accommodation ladderA portable flight of steps down a ship’s side.
Account Party/AccounteeThe purchasing party, the importer, the buyer involved in any transaction.
Acknowledgement of ReceiptA notification relating to the receipt of e.g. goods, messages and documents.
AcquiescenceWhen 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.
Act of GodAccidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane, which are usually quoted as ‘force majeure’.
Act of ManIn water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.
Act of Pardon / Act of GraceA letter from a state or power authorising action by a privateer. For more information see ‘Letter of marque.’
Ad Hoc CharterA one-off charter operated at the necessity of an airline or charterer.
Ad ValoremThis is a Latin term meaning ‘according to value.’ Import duty applied as a percentage of the cargo’s dutiable value. Ocean Freight can be assessed based on the value of the merchandise as well.
AdmiralThis is a senior naval officer of Flag rank. In ascending order of seniority: Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy). The term derives from the Arabic, Amir al-Bahr (ruler of the sea).
AdmiraltyA high naval authority in charge of a state’s Navy or a major territorial component. In the Royal Navy (UK) the Board of Admiralty, executing the office of the Lord High Admiral, promulgates Naval law in the form of Queen’s (or King’s) Regulations and Admiralty Instructions.
Admiralty CourtA court which has jurisdiction over maritime questions pertaining to ocean transport, including contracts, charters, collisions, and cargo damages.
Admiralty LawAdmiralty law (also referred to as maritime law) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offences. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities which operate vessels on the oceans. It deals with matters including marine commerce, marine navigation, shipping, sailors, and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea. Admiralty law also covers many commercial activities, although land-based or occurring wholly on land, that are maritime in character.
AdriftAfloat and unattached in any way to the shore or seabed, but not under way/power. It implies that a vessel is not under control and therefore goes where the wind and current take her (loose from moorings, or out of place). Also refers to any gear not fastened down or put away properly. It can also be used to mean ‘absent without leave’.
AdvanceTo move cargo up-line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one initially booked.
Advance Against DocumentsLoad made on the security of the documents covering the shipment.
Advance NoteA note for one month’s wages issued to sailors on their signing a ship’s articles.
Advanced ChargeA charge paid by a carrier to an agent or to another carrier, which the delivering carrier then collects from the consignee. Such charges are usually for agents’ forwarding fees and incidental expenses paid out of pocket for account of the shipment by an agent or other carrier.
AdventureShipment of goods on shipper’s own account. A bill of adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship that carries goods at the owner’s risk.
Advice of ShipmentA notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and contains details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is usually enclosed and sometimes, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.
Advice, Letter ofThis document is sent by one party to another to whom a shipment has been sent, on consignment or otherwise. It involves a description of the goods sent, the carrier or other type of transportation being used, the date of departure, and any additional pertinent data. Note: (Bankers use the term letter of advice when notifying interested parties of such actions as the opening of credits, the drawing of drafts and the payment or non-payment of drafts.)
Advising BankA bank operating in the country of the seller which handles Letters of Credit on behalf of a Foreign Bank.
Advisory CapacityA term indicating that a shipper’s agent or representative is not empowered to make definite decisions or adjustment without the approval of the group or individual represented.
AffiliateA company that controls, or is controlled by another company, or is one of two or more commonly controlled companies.
Affreightment, Contract ofAn agreement made by an ocean carrier to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.
AfloatThe condition of a vessel which is floating freely (not aground or sunk). This is a term more generally used to describe vessels in service e.g. ‘the company has 10 ships afloat’.
AftTowards the stern (of the vessel).
Afternoon watchThe period of duty/working hours (or ‘watch’) on board a vessel between 12:00hrs to 16:00hrs.
Against All Risks
An insurance policy which provides coverage against all types of loss or damage as opposed to specific ones.
Agency AgreementThe carrier line appoints the port agent and defines the specific duties and areas of responsibility of that agent.
Agency FeeThis is the fee payable by a ship-owner or ship operator to a port agent.
Agency for International Development
This is also known as USAID, an American Federal Agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.
Agency tariffA tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
AgentA person authorised to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agents are: brokers, commission merchants, resident buyers, sales agents or manufacturer’s representatives.
Aggregate ShipmentNumerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
Agreed ValuationThe value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight shipment.
Agreed WeightThe weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or a certain number.
AgroundSaid of a vessel resting on or touching the ground or bottom of a waterway.
AheadForward of the bow.
AhoyA cry to draw attention on board. This is usually a term used to hail a boat or a ship, as ‘Boat ahoy!’
AhullWhen the boat is lying broadside to the sea. Also to ride out a storm with no sails and helm held to leeward. Also to ride out a storm with no sails and helm held to leeward.
Aid to Navigation
Any device external to a vessel or aircraft specifically intended to assist navigators in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation.
Air WaybillA bill of lading for Air Transport. This covers both domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. Technically, it is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport which serves as the receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.
All HandsThe entire ship’s company, including officers and enlisted personnel.
All InThe total price to move cargo from its origin to its destination; inclusive of all charges, as opposed to detailed charges of Seafreight + + +.
All night inHaving no night watches.
All WaterTransport exclusively by water.
AllisionA collision between a moving vessel and a stationary object.
AllotmentA share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier or an agent, for the purpose of the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.
All-Risk ClauseAn insurance provision that all loss or damage to goods is insured except any that is self-caused. For more information see All-Risk Insurance.
All-Risk InsuranceA clause included in marine insurance policies to cover loss and damage from external causes, such as fire, collision, pilferage, etc. but not against innate flaws in the goods, such as decay, germination, nor against faulty packaging, improper packing/ loading or loss of market, nor against war, strikes, riots and civil commotions. For more information see Marine Cargo Insurance.
AloftThe point above the ship’s uppermost solid structure; overhead or high above.
AlongsideBy the side of a ship or pier. 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.
Alternative RatesThe privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.
Always Afloat
This is a widely used contract term requiring that a vessel should not rest on the ground. In some ports the ship is aground when approaching or at berth.
Always Within Institute Warranties Limits
Insurance term.
Ambient TemperatureThe temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.
AmendmentA written notice of a change in the terms of a letter of credit. The amendment becomes an integral part of the original letter of credit.
American Bureau of Shipping
This is one of several classification societies; with a mission to promote the security of life, property and the natural environment, primarily through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities (i.e. vessels). The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), first chartered in the State of New York in 1862 to certify ship captains. It is a classification society, with a mission to promote the security of life, property and the natural environment, primarily through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities. At the end of 2006, ABS was the third largest class society with a classed fleet of over 10,000 commercial vessels and offshore facilities. ABS’ core service is the provision of classification services through the development of standards called ABS Rules. These rules form the basis for assessing the design and construction of new vessels and the integrity of existing vessels and marine structures.
American Bureau of Shipping (1)
This is one of several classification societies; with a mission to promote the security of life, property and the natural environment, primarily through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities (i.e. vessels).
American Terms
A (Marine Insurance) term used to differentiate between the conditions of American Policies from those of other nations, principally England.
AmidshipsIn the middle portion of a ship, along the line of the keel.
AnchorAn object designed to prevent or slow the drift of a ship, attached to the ship by a line or chain; typically a metal, hook-like or plough-like object designed to grip the bottom under the body of water. For more information see ‘sea anchor’.
Anchor ballA round black shape hoisted in the forepart of a vessel to show that it is anchored.
Anchor buoyA small buoy secured by a light line to the anchor, designed to indicate the position of the anchor on the sea bed.
Anchor Chain or Anchor CableThe chain connecting the ship to the anchor.
Anchor DetailA team of men who handle ground tackle when the ship is anchoring or getting underway.
Anchor LightWhite light displayed by a ship at anchor. Two such lights are displayed by a ship over 150 feet (46 m) in length.
Anchor RodeThe anchor line, rope or cable connecting the anchor chain to the vessel. For more information see ‘Rode’.
Anchor WatchA consignment of crew tasked with ensuring that the anchor is holding and the vessel is not drifting. It is very important during rough weather and at night. Most marine GPS units boast Anchor Watch alarm capabilities.
AnchorageA suitable place for a ship to anchor; usually an area of a port or harbour.
Anchor’s AweighThe term used when an anchor is just clear of the sea bed.
AndrewTraditional lower-deck slang term for the Royal Navy.
Anglian Container Services
(A.C.S. )
This is the container services business operated by MSC (UK) Ltd, with primary business activities including container storage, cleaning, repairs, conversions, customisations and reefer pre-tripping.
Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee
(A.S.D.I.C. )
A type of sonar used by the Allies for detecting submarines during the Second World War.
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Any Time, Day or Night, Sundays & Holidays Included
A chartering term referring to when a vessel will work.
Usually refers to a rating that applies to an article regardless of weight.
Apparent Good OrderWhen freight appears to be free of damage; so far as a general survey can determine.
Apparent WindThe combination of the true wind and the headwind caused by the boat’s forward motion. For example, it causes a light side wind to appear to come from well ahead of the beam.
AppraisementDetermination of the dutiable value of imported merchandise by a Customs official who follows procedures outlined in their country’s tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.
Arbitrary (ARB)A stated amount of money over a fixed rate for transit to one destination to make a rate to another point further along, for example: $1400 for Boston-Antwerp + $140 ARB for Rotterdam).
ArbitrationThe process of referring to an agreed person for judgment on issues of a dispute; without requiring the use of courts.
Arbitration ClauseA standard clause to be included in the contracts of exporters and importers, as suggested by the American Arbitration Association. It states that any controversy or claim will be settled by arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association.
Arc of VisibilityThe portion of the horizon over which a lighted aid to navigation is visible from seaward.
ArmamentA ship’s weapons.
ArrestThe procedure whereby, in common law jurisdictions, a ship (and sometimes cargo and/or freight) may be seized by an admiralty court at the institution of or during an action ‘in rem’ – against a thing rather than a person – (infra) to provide pre-judgment security for the plaintiff’s maritime claim.
Arrival DateThe date on which goods or a means of transport is due to arrive at the delivery site of the transport.
Arrival NoticeA notice from the ocean carrier to the ‘notify party,’ indicating the vessel’s estimated arrival date; identifying shipment details such as number of packages, weight, and container number; and indicating when free time expires. Often includes a freight invoice.
Articles of WarRegulations governing the military and naval forces of UK and USA; read to every ship’s company on commissioning and at specified intervals during the commission.
AshoreA vessel that is on the beach, shore or land.
AssignmentA 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.
Assignment of ProceedsA stipulation within a letter of credit in which some or all of the proceeds are assigned from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.
AsternToward the stern; an object or vessel that is abaft another vessel or object. For more information see Port Side for diagram of all the ship’s directions.
Asylum HarbourA harbour used to provide shelter from a storm.
Athwart, athwartshipsAt right angles to the fore and aft or centerline of a ship; A direction across the width of a vessel.
Atlantic Container Line
A container carrier operating large RORO (Roll-On Roll-off) ships between Europe and North America.
Atlantic Container Line (1)
A container carrier operating large RORO (Roll-On Roll-off) ships between Europe and North America.
Automated Broker Interface
This is the U.S. Customs’ computer system which brokers use to file importers’ entries electronically. An electronic system allowing customhouse brokers and importers to interface via computer with the US Customs Service for transmitting entry and entry summary data on imported merchandise.
Automated Broker Interface (1)
This is the U.S. Customs’ computer system which brokers use to file importers’ entries electronically.
Automated Commercial Environment system
The U.S. Customs’ master computer system to replace the Automated Commercial System.
Automated Commercial System
This is the U.S. Customs’ master computer system, which is being replaced by the Automated Commercial Environment system (ACE).
Automated Manifest System
This is the U.S. Customs’ computerized system used to automate the flow of customs-related information among customs brokers, importers, and carriers. A part of Custom’s Automated Commercial System (ACS), controls imported merchandise from the time a carrier’s cargo manifest is electronically transmitted to Customs until control is relinquished to another segment of the ACS.
Automated System for Customs Data
The Automated System for Customs Data is a computerised system designed by the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) to administer a country’s Customs. Currently there are three different generations of ASYCUDA in use: ASYCUDA 2.7, ASYCUDA++ and ASYCUDA World. All of them were built using different paradigms and solutions available at the time of conception, being ASYCUDA World the most recent one and less used so far (early 2009). UNCTAD’s premise was to build a computer system to assist customs authorities (or their local equivalent) all over the world to automate and control their core processes and obtain timely, accurate and valuable information to support government projections and planning.
Automatic Identification System
A short range coastal tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. Information such as unique identification, position, course, and speed can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist the vessel’s watch standing officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements, and integrates a standardized VHF transceiver system such as a LORAN-C or Global Positioning System receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyrocompass or rate of turn indicator. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more tons, and all passenger ships regardless of size. It is estimated that more than 40,000 ships currently carry AIS class A equipment.
Autoridad del Canal de Panama
(A.C.P. (Spanish))
The Panama Canal Authority.
Avast – Stop!A command to cease or desist from whatever is being done.
AverageA common marine insurance term. An early meaning (c.1500) of the word average is ‘damage sustained at sea’. The root is found in Arabic as awar, in Italian as avaria and in French as avarie. Hence an average adjuster is a person who assesses an insurable loss. Marine damage is either particular average, which is borne only by the owner of the damaged property, or general average, where the owner can claim a proportional contribution from all the parties to the marine venture. The type of calculations used in adjusting general average gave rise to the use of ‘average’ to mean ‘arithmetic mean’.
Average AdjustersIn general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.
Avoirdupois PoundA measure of weight or mass equal to 0.4535924277 kilograms.
AwashA vessel that is so low in the water that the water is constantly washing across the surface.
AweighThe position of an anchor just clear of the bottom.
Aye, ayeThe reply to an order or command to indicate that it, firstly, is heard; and, secondly, is understood and will be carried out. (‘Aye, aye, sir’ to officers). Also ‘yarr’.
Azimuth CircleAn instrument used to take bearings of celestial objects.
Azimuth CompassAn instrument employed for ascertaining the position of the sun with respect to magnetic north. The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.
B/L Port of DischargeThe port where cargo is discharged from its means of transport.
Back and fillTo use the advantage of the tide being with you when the wind is not.
Back HaulThe return trip of a means of transport which has provided a transport service in one direction.
BackstaysLong lines or cables, reaching from the rear of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.
BaggywrinkleA soft covering for cables (or any other obstructions) that prevents sail chafing from occurring.
Balance of TradeMaterials solely carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. In vessels usually sea water is carried as ballast in tanks, specially conceived for that purpose. (See also Ballast).
BallastMaterials solely carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. In vessels usually water is carried as ballast in tanks, specially conceived for that purpose.
Ballast bonus
Ballast Bonus’: special payment above the chartering price when the ship has to sail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port.
‘Bareboat’. A method of chartering of the ship, leaving the charterer with almost all the responsibilities of the owner.
Baltic and international maritime council
The world’s largest private shipping organisation based in Copenhagen, which has been in operation since 1905. BIMCO promotes proper shipping practices and opposes objectionable and unfair import charges, claims, etc. It claims a worldwide membership of 2720, including ship-owners, managers, brokers, agents and others involved in the shipping industry. BIMCO holds observer status with a number of United Nations (UN) organs.
BankA large area of elevated sea floor.
Bank GuaranteeA guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.
BanyanTraditional Royal Navy term for a day or shorter period of rest and relaxation.
BaplieAn EDI message sent to convey the Bayplan on occupied and empty slots in a certain vessel at a particular time.
BarLarge mass of sand or earth, formed by the surge of the sea. They are mostly found at the entrances of great rivers or havens, and often render navigation extremely dangerous, but confer tranquility once inside.
Bar pilotA bar pilot guides ships over the dangerous sandbars at the mouth of rivers and bays.
Bareboat CharterA charter in which the bare ship is chartered without crew; the charterer, for a stipulated sum taking over the vessel for a stated period of time, with a minimum of restrictions; the charterer appoints the master and the crew and pays all running expenses. For further information see Demise Charter.
BargeA flat bottomed inland cargo vessel, with or without own propulsion, ideal for transporting goods on canals and rivers.
BarratryAn act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud.
A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 60F.
BarrelmanA sailor stationed in the crow’s nest.
BarterTrade in which merchandise is exchanged directly for other merchandise without use of money. Barter is an important means of trade with countries using currency that is not readily convertible.
Base RateA tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges or base tariff rate.
BayA vertical division of a vessel from stem to stern, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20 foot position, even numbers indicate a 40 foot position.
Bay PlanA stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.
BeachingDeliberately running a vessel aground, to load and unload (as with landing craft), or sometimes to prevent a damaged vessel sinking.
BeaconA lighted or unlighted fixed aid to navigation attached directly to the Earth’s surface (lights and daybeacons both constitute beacons.)
BeamThe width of a vessel at the widest point, or a point alongside the ship at the mid-point of its length.
Beam endsThe sides of a ship. ‘On her beam ends’ may mean the vessel is literally on her side and possibly about to capsize; more often, the phrase means the vessel is listing 45 degrees or more.
BearA large squared off stone used for scraping clean the deck of a sailing man-of-war.
Bear down or bear awayTurn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit.
BearingThe horizontal direction of a line of sight between two objects on the surface of the earth.
For more information see ‘absolute bearing’ and ‘relative bearing’.
BeatingSailing closer to the wind than about 60° (see also reaching, running and tacking).
Before the mastLiterally, the area of a ship before the foremast (the forecastle). The term is most often used to describe men whose living quarters are located here, officers being quartered in the stern-most areas of the ship (near the quarterdeck). Officer-trainees lived between the two ends of the ship and become known as ‘midshipmen’. Crew members who started out as seamen, then became midshipmen, and later, officers, were said to have gone from ‘one end of the ship to the other’.
BelayTo make fast a line around a fitting, usually a cleat or belaying pin.
An order to halt a current activity or countermand an order prior to execution.
Belaying pinsBars of iron or hard wood to which running rigging may be secured, or belayed.
Belly CargoFreight accommodation located below the main deck.
BendA knot used to join two ropes or lines. For more information see hitch.
Bending-momentIt is the result of vertical forces acting on a ship because of local differences between weight and buoyancy. The total of these forces should be zero; otherwise a change of draft will occur. At sea the bending moment will change as a result of wave impact which then periodically changes the buoyancy distribution.
Note: The maximum allowed bending moment of a vessel is restricted by the class bureau to certain limits, which are different under port and sea conditions.
Beneficial cargo owner
Referring to the importer of record, who physically takes possession of cargo at destination and does not act as a third party in the movement of such goods.
BeneficiaryThe entity to whom money is payable
The entity to whom a Letter of Credit is issued
The seller and the drawer of a draft
Bermudan rigA triangular mainsail, without an upper spar, which is hoisted up the mast by a single halyard attached to the head of the sail. This configuration, introduced to Europe about 1920, allows the use of a tall mast, enabling sails to be set higher where wind speed is greater.
Berne GaugeRailways: the most restrictive loading gauge (standard measure) or the lowest common denominator of loading gauges on the railways of continental Europe.
BerthThe place beside a pier, quay, or wharf where a vessel can be loaded or discharged.
Berth (moorings)A location in a port or harbour used specifically for mooring vessels while not at sea.
Berth (sleeping)A bed or sleeping accommodation on a boat or ship.
Berth Liner ServiceThis is a regular scheduled steamship line with regular published schedules (port of call) to and from defined trade areas.
Berth or Liner TermsThis is an expression covering assessment of ocean freight rates generally implying that loading and discharging expenses will be for the ship owner’s account, and will usually apply from the end of the ship’s tackle in port of loading to the end of the ship’s tackle in port of discharge.
Berth TermsShipped under a rate that does not include the cost of loading or unloading.
Best Bower (anchor)The larger of two anchors carried in the bow; so named as it was the last, best hope.
Between the Devil and the deep blue sea
For more information see Devil seam.
BilgeThe bilge is the compartment at the bottom of the hull of a ship or boat where water collects so that it may be pumped out of the vessel at a later time.
Bilge keelsA pair of keels on either side of the hull, usually slanted outwards. In yachts, they allow the use of a drying mooring, the boat standing upright on the keels (and often a skeg) when the tide is out.
Bilged on her anchorA ship that has run upon her own anchor, so the anchor cable runs under the hull.
Bill of ExchangeUsed in connection with Letters of Credit, akin to a bank cheque. This is also known as a draft in the U.S.
Bill of HealthThe Bill of Health is the certificate issued by local medical authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or in the ports of call. The Bill of Health must have been communicated before departure by the Consul of the country of destination.
When a vessel has ‘free pratique’ (i.e. a clean bill of health), this means that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health certifying that there is no question of contagious disease and that all quarantine regulations have been complied with, so that people may embark and disembark.
Bill of Lading
A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company that moves freight between specified ports for a specified charge. This is usually prepared by the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, serving as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.
There are many different types of B/Ls:
Bill of SaleA document that confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.
Bill to PartyCustomer designated as party paying for services.
Bimini topOpen-front canvas top for the cockpit of a boat, usually supported by a metal frame.
BimmyA punitive instrument.
BinnacleThe stand on which the ship’s compass is mounted.
Binnacle listA ship’s sick list – the list of men unable to report for duty traditionally given to the officer or mate of the watch by the ship’s surgeon. The list was kept at the binnacle.
BittA post mounted on the ship’s bow, for fastening ropes or cables.
Bitter EndThe anchor cable is tied to the bitts, when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. The last part of a rope or cable.
Blanket BondA bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.
Blanket RatesA rate applicable to or from a group of points. A special rate applicable to several different articles in a single shipment.
Block StowageStowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary movement.
Blue PeterA blue and white flag (the flag for the letter “P”) hoisted at the foretrucks of ships about to sail. Formerly a white ship on a blue ground
BoardTo gain access to a vessel.
BoatA relatively small, usually open craft or vessel designed to float on, and provide transport over, water. An inland vessel of any size.
Boat-hookA pole with a hook on the end, used to reach into the water to catch buoys or other floating objects.
Boatswain or bosunA non-commissioned officer responsible for the sails
BobstayA stay (wire/chain) that holds the bowsprit downwards, counteracting the effect of the forestay. This is usually made of wire or chain to eliminate stretch.
BobtailA common American term, meaning the movement of a tractor, without trailer over the highway.
BogieA set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels under a container.
BollardFrom ‘bol’ or ‘bole’, the round trunk of a tree. A substantial vertical pillar to which lines may be made fast. Generally on the quayside rather than the ship.
BolsterA device fitted on a chassis or rail car to hold and secure the container.
Bona FideLatin for in good faith; without dishonesty
Bond PortPort of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country (first port of call).
Bonded GoodsDutiable goods upon which excise duty has not been paid – i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending use. The bond is the agreement entered into by the owner of the dutiable goods with the Customs and Excise Authority in which he promises to pay the duty when the goods are released for final distribution or use or in the event of them being lost or stolen.
Bonded JackyA type of tobacco or sweet cake.
Bonded WarehouseWarehouse approved by the Customs Department and under bond or guarantee of compliance with revenue laws. Goods are held until duties are paid and are normally stored in a bonded warehouse.
BoobyA type of bird that has little fear and therefore is particularly easy to catch.
Booby HatchA sliding hatch or cover.
BookingArrangements with a carrier, often a shipping line or airline, for the acceptance and carriage of passengers or freight. A space reservation on a vessel for carriage of goods at previously agreed for terms and conditions.
Booking NumberThe reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to the completion of a bill of lading. It is also the common reference for the carrier, the client and the terminal, truckers, etc..
BoomA spar attached to the foot of a fore-and-aft sail. During certain sailing maneuvers, the boom moves rapidly from one side of the boat to the other.
Sailors must take care not to obstruct this movement with their head. Failure to do so can give one insight into the origins of the name “boom”…
Boom Vang or VangA sail control that lets you apply downward tension on a boom, countering the upward tension provided by the sail. The boom vang adds an element of control to sail shape when the sheet is let out enough that it no longer pulls the boom down. Boom vang tension helps control leech twist, a primary component of sail power.
BoomsMasts or yards, lying on board in reserve.
Bottom Air DeliveryA 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.
Bottom Side RailsStructural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of a container.
BottomryPledging a ship as security in a financial transaction. Money can be borrowed against a ship, or its equipment, repaid with interest upon the ship’s arrival at port, and forfeited should the ship sink.
BowThe front of a ship.
Bow ThrustersA small propeller or water-jet at the bow, used for manoeuvring larger vessels at slow speed. This may be mounted externally, or in a tunnel running through the bow from side to side.
BowlineA type of knot, producing a strong loop of a fixed size, topologically similar to a sheet bend. It is also a rope attached to the side of a sail to pull it towards the bow (for keeping the windward edge of the sail steady).
BowseTo pull or hoist.
BowspritA spar projecting from the bow used as an anchor for the forestay and other rigging.
BoxA colloquial shipping phrase. A common term for an ocean-going freight container.
Box CarA closed rail freight car.
Boxing the compassTo state all 32 points of the compass, starting at north, proceeding clockwise. The phrase is sometimes applied to a wind that is constantly shifting.
BrailTo furl or truss a sail by pulling it in towards the mast, or the ropes used to do so.
BrakeThe handle of the pump, by which it is worked.
Brake horsepower
The measure of an engine’s horsepower without the loss in power caused by the gearbox, generator, differential, water pump, and other auxiliary components such as alternator, power steering pump, muffled exhaust system, etc. ‘Brake’ refers to a device which was used to load an engine and hold it at a desired RPM. During testing, the output torque and rotational speed were measured to determine the ‘brake horsepower’.
Break bulk
Break bulk
BreakbulkPalletised packaged goods that are not containerised. To break bulk is to unload and distribute a portion or all of the contents of a rail car
BridgeA structure above the weather deck, extending the full width of the vessel, which houses a command centre, itself called by association, the bridge.
Bridge PointAn inland location where the cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.
Bridge PortA port where the cargo is received by the ocean carrier and stuffed into containers and then moved to another coastal port for loading onto a larger vessel.
Bring toCause a ship to be stationary by arranging the sails.
Broaching-toA sudden movement in navigation, when the ship, while scudding before the wind, accidentally turns her leeward side to windward. The term is also used to describe the point when water starts to come over the gunwhale due to this turn.
Broken StowageThe loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages.
Any void or empty space in a container not occupied by cargo.
BrokerA person or firm that establishes a connection between a buyer and a seller. Brokers operate in many fields: insurance, steamship transport, securities, drafts, and other phases of foreign trade. Not only do brokers bring buyers and sellers together, but they help to negotiate and close contracts and agreements between them.
BrokerageFreight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by the ocean tariff.
Brussels Tariff NomenclatureThe old Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. This has now been replaced by the Harmonised System.
BufferThe chief bosun’s mate (in the Royal Navy), responsible for discipline.
Bulk Cargo / Bulk FreightGoods that are shipped loose – not in packages or containers (e.g. grain, coal, sulfur).
Bulk Freight ContainerRefers to a container with two or three portholes on the top and discharge hatches in the doors; allows the container transport of free-flowing bulk commodities such as grain, iron ore and coal.
Bulkhead1. Upright partition dividing compartments on board a vessel. The functions of bulkheads are:
To increase the safety of a vessel by dividing it into compartments.
To separate the engine room from the cargo holds. To increase the transverse strength of a vessel.
To reduce the risk of spreading fire to other compartments.
2. A vertically mounted board to provide front wall protection against shifting cargo and commonly seen on platform trailers (road cargo).
3. A partition in a container, providing a plenum chamber and/or air passage for either return or supply air. It may be an integral part of the appliance or a separate construction.
Bull RingsCargo-securing devices mounted in a floor of containers that allow lashing and securing of cargo.
BulwarkThe extension of the ship’s side above the level of the weather deck.
BumboatA private boat selling goods.
Bumpkin or BoomkinA spar, similar to a bowsprit, but which projects from the stern. May be used to attach the backstay or mizzen sheets.
An iron bar (projecting out-board from a ship’s side) to which the lower and topsail brace blocks are sometimes hooked.
Bunker(Tank) spaces on board a vessel to store fuel.
Bunker Adjustment FactorAdjustment applied by shipping lines to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.
Also known as Bunker Contribution or BUC, and also Fuel Adjustment Factor, or FAF.
Bunker ChargeAn extra charge added to an ocean carrier’s freight rates. Also known as FAF (Fuel Adjustment Factor).
BunkersA maritime term referring to fuel used aboard the ship. Bunker fuel is technically any type of fuel oil used aboard ships. It gets its name from the containers on ships and in ports that it is stored in; in the days of steam they were coal bunkers but now they are bunker-fuel tanks.
For more information see HFO.
Bunting TosserA signalman who prepares and flies flag hoists. He is also known in the American Navy as a skivvy waver.
BuntlineOne of the lines tied to the bottom of a square sail and used to haul it up to the yard when furling.
BuoyA floating object of defined shape and colour, which is anchored at a given position and serves as an aid to navigation.
BuoyancyThe upward force extended by the vertical component of integrated pressure acting on the hull below the waterline; usually calculated as being equal to the weight of the water displaced by the hull.
Buoyed upLifted by a buoy, especially a cable that has been lifted to prevent it from trailing on the bottom.
Bureau of Export Administration
The primary U.S. Government export control authority.
Buyer’s MarketA ‘buyer’s market’ is considered to exist when goods can easily be secured and when the economic forces of business tend to cause goods to be priced at the purchaser’s estimate of value. In other words, a state of trade favourable to the buyer, with relatively large supply and low prices.
By and largeBy means into the wind
By the boardAny items to have gone overboard.
C.C.C. MarkChina Compulsory Certification; A compulsory safety mark for many products sold on the Chinese market.
It became effective on May 1st, 2002. It is the result of the integration of China’s two old compulsory inspection systems, namely ‘CCIB’ (Safety Mark, introduced in 1989 and required for products in 47 product categories) and ‘CCEE’ (also known as ‘Great Wall’ Mark, for electrical commodities in 7 product categories), into a single procedure.
C.E. MarkThe CE marking is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE marking certifies that a product has met EU consumer safety, health or environmental requirements.
C.F.S. Receiving ServiceThe term ‘CFS Receiving Services’ means the service performed at loading port in receiving and packing cargo into containers from CFS to CY or shipside. ‘CFS Receiving Services’ referred herein are restricted to the following:
Moving empty containers from CY to CFS
Drayage of loaded containers from CFS to CY and/or ship’s tackle
Issuing dock receipt/shipping order
Physical movement of cargo into, out of and within CFS
Stuffing, sealing and marking containers
Ordinary sorting and stacking
Preparing carrier’s internal container load plan
C.I.F. & C.A price which includes commission as well as CIF.
C.Y./C.F.S. (House to Pier)The term CY/CFS means containers packed by the shipper off a carrier’s premises and delivered by the shipper to the carrier’s CY, all at shipper’s risk and expense and unpacked by carrier at the destination port CFS.
CabinAn enclosed room or compartment on a vessel.
CableA large rope.
Cable lengthA measure of length or distance. It is equivalent to (UK) 1/10 nautical mile, approx. 600 feet; (USA) 120 fathoms, 720 feet (219 m); other countries use different values.
CabotageA French term, also used in English, to refer to the coasting trade, shipments between ports of a same nation.
Cabotage is often governed by statutes, requiring, for example, that only ships flying the flag of the coastal state concerned may engage in the coasting trade between ports of that state, unless ‘waivers’ are obtained from the government of the state.
CageThe transportation of goods by truck to or from a vessel, aircraft, or bonded warehouse, all under customs custody.
CallThe visit of a vessel to a port.
Call SignOne of the earliest applications of radiotelegraph operation, long predating broadcast radio, were marine radio stations installed aboard ships at sea. Merchant vessels are assigned call signs by their national licensing authorities.
In the case of states such as Liberia or Panama, which are flags of convenience for ship registration, call signs for larger vessels consist of the national prefix plus three letters (for example, 3LXY, and sometimes followed by a number, i.e. 3Lxy2).
CanisterA type of anti-personnel cannon load in which lead balls or other loose metallic items were enclosed in a tin or iron shell. On firing, the shell would disintegrate releasing the smaller metal objects.
Canoe SternA design for the stern of a yacht which is pointed, like a bow, rather than squared off as a transom.
Capacity/WeightThe total internal container volume (LxWxD) or weight limitation.
Cape Horn FeverThe name of the fake illness from which a malingerer is pretending to suffer.
CapesizeA vessel whose large size prevents it from entering the locks of the Panama Canal and thus forces it to pass around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.
CapsizeWhen a ship or boat lists too far and rolls over, exposing the keel. On large vessels, this often results in the sinking of the ship.
CapstanA large winch with a vertical axis. A full-sized human-powered capstan is a waist-high cylindrical machine, operated by a number of hands who each insert a horizontal capstan bar in holes in the capstan and walk in a circle. Used to wind in anchors or other heavy objects; and sometimes to administer flogging over.
Captain’s ProtestA document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port. It shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for the reimbursement to the insurance company.
Captive RegisterA register of ships maintained by a territory, possession, or colony primarily or exclusively for the use of ships owned in the parent country; also referred to as an offshore register, the offshore equivalent of an internal register.
Ships on a captive register will fly the same flag as the parent country, or a local variant of it, but will be subject to the maritime laws and taxation rules of the offshore territory.
Although the nature of a captive register makes it especially desirable for ships owned in the parent country, just as in the internal register, the ships may also be owned abroad. The captive register then acts as a flag of convenience register, except that it is not the register of an independent state.
Car PoolingThe use of individual carrier equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.
CareeningTilting a ship on its side, usually when beached, to clean or repair the hull below the water line.
CarfloatA barge equipped with tracks on which up to 12 railroad cars are moved in harbours or inland waterways.
Cargo Not Otherwise Specified
(Cargo N.O.S.)
Cargo Not Otherwise Specified, usually the first rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub-item in the applicable tariff.
Cargo PreferenceCargo reserved by a nation’s laws for transportation only on vessels registered in that nation. Typically the cargo is moving due to a direct or indirect support or activity of the Government.
Cargo ReceiptReceipt of cargo for shipment by a consolidator (used in ocean freight).
Cargo TonnageThe weight ton varies from country to country
– United States : 2,000 (short ton) or 2,240 pounds (long ton);
– United Kingdom: the English long ton, or gross ton is 2,240 pounds;
– France and other countries having the metric system, the weight ton is 2,204.62 pounds.
The measurement ton is usually 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or 1 cubic meter (35.3 cubic feet), but in some instances a large number of cubic feet is taken as a weight ton.
Most breakbulk ocean freight is billed at weight or measurement tons (W/M).
Cargoans frieght
(C & F)
An obsolete Incoterms Term of Sale. Although heavily used, this term of sale meaning ‘Cargo & Freight’ whereby the seller pays for the costs of goods and freight charges up to the destination port. In 1990 the term was replaced with ‘CFR’.
Carload RateA rate applicable to a carload of goods.
CarnetsA 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.
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (1)
An American term, known under its abbreviations, COGSA. US federal codification passed in 1936 which standardises carrier’s liability under carrier’s bill of lading. US enactment of The Hague Rules.
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
A US federal codification passed in 1936 which standardises the carrier’s liability under the carrier’s bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.
CarrierAny individual or organisation who in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or a combination of such modes.
Carrier(s) Containers or Shipper(s) ContainersThe term Carrier(s) Container(s) or Shipper(s) Container(s) means containers over which the carrier or the shipper has control either by ownership or by the acquisition thereof under lease or rental from container companies or container suppliers or from similar sources. Carriers are prohibited from purchasing, leasing or renting shipper-owned containers.
Carrier, CommonA public or privately owned firm or corporation that transports the goods of others over land, sea, or through the air, for a stated freight rate. By government regulation, a common carrier is required to carry all goods offered if accommodations are available and the established rate is paid.
Cars Knocked Down
Automobile parts and sub-assemblies manufactured abroad and transported to a US assembly plant.
CartageThe trucking, draying or carting of freight. Expression for the rate charged for picking up the goods from the sender or for house delivery. The term is derived from when this was done by cart. It usually refers to a small distance (locally inside a pier, for instance).
For more information see Drayage (same), and Haulage (long-distance).
CartelAn association of several independent national or international business organisations that regulates competition by controlling the prices, the production, or the marketing of a product or an industry.
CartmentThis is a Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same district. A common example would be in a motor carrier’s possession while draying cargo.
Cash Against Documents (1)
A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.
Cash against documents
A method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.
Cash in advance
Cash in advance
Cash in Advance (1)
A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of the goods. The deal is usually employed when the goods, such as specialised machinery, are built to order.
Cash With Order (1)
A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of the order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.
Cash with order
Cash with order
CatTo prepare an anchor, after raising it by lifting it with a tackle to the cat head, prior to securing (fishing) it alongside for sea. (An anchor raised to the cat head is said to be catted).
The cat o’ nine tails (see further below).
A cat-rigged boat or catboat.
Cat HeadA beam extending out from the hull used to support an anchor when raised in order to secure or ‘fish’ it.
Cat o’ nine tailsA short nine-tailed whip kept by the bosun’s mate to flog sailors (and soldiers in the Army). When not in use, the cat was kept in a baize bag, hence the term ‘cat out of the bag’. ‘Not enough room to swing a cat’ also derives from this.
CatamaranA vessel with two hulls.
CatboatA cat-rigged vessel with a single mast mounted close to the bow and only one sail, usually on a gaff.
Cell GuidesA fixed racking system for securing all containers stowed above deck. With cell guides, it is virtually impossible to lose a container overboard during rough weather conditions.
Cell PositionThe location of a cell on board a container vessel identified by a code for successively 1) the bay, 2) the row and 3) the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel.
CellsAreas of uniform size within a cargo vessel into which standard-sized containers can be loaded for optimum stability and minimum wasted space. In modern vessels cells typically have guides for cranes at each corner to increase the speed and efficiency of loading and unloading containers.
The construction system employed in modern cellular container carriers; permits quick loading and discharge of sea containers under-deck, stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it. Cells are modular, meaning vessel capacity can be increased simply by adding cells to the length of the vessel.
Cellular VesselA vessel constructed of a number of prefabricated cells, designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers
Centre of GravityThe point of equilibrium of the combined weight of a containership and its cargo. For maximum stability, it must be as low as possible in the centre of the structure.
CentreboardA board or plate lowered through the hull of a dinghy on the centreline to resist leeway.
Certificate of AnalysisA certificate required by some countries as proof of the quality and composition of food products or pharmaceuticals. The required analysis may be made by a private or government health agency. The certificate must be legalised by a foreign consul of the country concerned, as is the case with such similar certificates as the phytosanitary certificate.
Certificate of InspectionA document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.
Certificate of WeightA certified statement of the weight of a shipment.
CessionLegally passing on something someone is entitled to another legal entity.
ChafingWear on line or sail caused by constant rubbing against another surface.
Chafing gearMaterial applied to a line or spar to prevent or reduce chafing.
For more information see ‘Baggywrinkle’.
Chain-shotCannon balls linked with a chain used to damage rigging and masts.
Chain-wale or ChannelA broad, thick plank that projects horizontally from each of a ship’s sides abreast a mast, distinguished as the fore, main, or mizzen channel accordingly, serving to extend the base for the shrouds, which supports the mast.
ChandlerA person who deals in the selling of provisions, dried stores and consumables aboard a vessel.
Chargeable KiloThe rate for goods where volume exceeds six cubic metres to the tonne.
Charges, Statement ofA detailed statement of all charges sent to the importer, illustrating how the charges were calculated. The statement of charges deals with charges incurred by the shipper to the importer, outside of the quoted or agreed price.
Charter PartyA bill of lading issued under a charter party. It is not acceptable by banks under letters of credit unless so authorised in the credit.
Charter Party Bill of LadingA bill of lading used as a proof of receipt of goods issued by the charterer who charters a vessel to the shipper or shippers for whom the charterer has agreed to transport cargo.
ChartererThe legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.
Chase Gun’, Chase Piece or ChaserA cannon pointing forward or aft, often boasting a longer range than other guns. Those on the bow (bow chaser) were used to fire upon a ship ahead, while those on the rear (stern chaser) were used to ward off pursuing vessels. Unlike guns pointing to the side, chasers could be brought to bear in a chase without slowing.
ChassisA frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure and move containers. In the USA carriers must have enough chassis available to move containers on the roads. US truckers only come with their tractors, onto which the chassis attach.
China classification Society
A a classification society of ships, started in 1956, as a non-profit making body in the People’s Republic of China to perform classification survey, certification survey and notarial survey of ships including offshore installations, containers and related industrial products both at home and abroad.
CCS also conduct statutory work on behalf of the Chinese Government and other flag administrations.
CCS joined the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) as a full member in May 1988.
ChineA relatively sharp angle in the hull, as compared to the rounded bottoms of most traditional boat hulls.
A line formed where the sides of a boat meet the bottom. Soft chine is when the two sides join at a shallow angle, and hard chine is when they join at a steep angle.
ChockA piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.
Chock-a-blockRigging blocks that are so tight against one another that they cannot be further tightened.
Civil Red EnsignThe British Naval Ensign or Flag of the British Merchant Navy, a red flag with the Union Flag in the upper left corner. This is colloquially called the ‘red duster’.
ClaimA demand made upon a transportation line for payment of a loss sustained through alleged negligence.
Class RatesA rate applicable to a class rating to which articles are assigned in a Tariff classification. A ‘Class Tariff’ is a tariff containing only class rates (another kind of tariff is a ‘Commodity Tariff’ that includes only commodity rates – can also be mixed class & commodities).
ClassificationA publication, such as the Uniform Freight Classification (railroad) or the National Motor Freight Classification (motor carrier), that assigns ratings to various articles and provides bill of lading descriptions and rules.
Classification YardA railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.
Clayton ActAn anti-trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.
Clean Bill Of HealthA certificate issued by a port indicating that the ship carries no infectious diseases.
This is also called a pratique.
Clean Bill of LadingA receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in ‘good order and condition,’ without damage or other irregularities. If no notations or exceptions are noted, the B/L is assumed to be ‘clean.’
Clean DraftA draft to which no documents have been attached.
Clean On BoardFor more information see ‘Clean Bill of Lading’.
Clean SlateAt the helm, the watch keeper would record details of speed, distances, headings, etc. on a slate. At the beginning of a new watch the slate would be wiped clean.
Clearance LimitsThe size beyond which cars or loads cannot use tunnels, bridges, etc.
CleatA stationary device used to secure a rope aboard a vessel. A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.
ClenchA method of fixing together two pieces of wood, usually overlapping planks, by driving a nail through both planks as well as a washer-like rove. The nail is then burred or riveted over to complete the fastening.
ClewThe lower corners of square sails or the corner of a triangular sail at the end of the boom.
Clew-linesThese are used to truss up the clews, the lower corners of square sails.
Clip on Unit
Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit. For more information see Gen Set, Generator Set.
Close AboardNear a ship.
Closed Ventilated ContainerA container of a closed type, similar to a general purpose container, but specially designed for carriage of cargo where ventilation, either natural or mechanical (forced), is necessary.
Close-HauledOf a vessel beating as close to the wind direction as possible.
Closing DateThe latest date cargo is accepted for shipment by ship-owner for specified sailing.
Cargo refused shipment because it arrived after the closing date is ‘shut-out.’
Club HaulingThe ship drops one of its anchors at high speed to turn abruptly. This was sometimes used as a means to get a good firing angle on a pursuing vessel.
CoamingThe raised edge of a hatch, cockpit or skylight to help keep out water.
CoasterA relative small ship plying between coastal ports.
CoastwiseWater transportation along the coast.
Code of federal regulations
Each arm of the Federal U.S. Government has their own; CFR49 concerns the Coast Guard and Hazardous Materials / CFR19 concerns the U.S. Customs.
Also Incoterms ‘Cost and Freight’ but most commonly abbreviated CFR.
Collect, or cash delivery
Collect, or cash delivery
CollectionA draft drawn on buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.
Collective PaperAll documents (commercial invoices, bills of lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.
Combination Export Mgr.A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one non-competing manufacturer.
Combined TransportIntermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode such as rail, inland waterway or sea and any initial and/or final leg carried out by another mode such as road.
Combined Transport Bill of LadingFor more information see Bill of Lading.
Combined Transport DocumentNegotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods. Thus a combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with the Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.
Commercial CodeA published code designed to reduce the total number of words required in a cablegram.
Commercial InvoiceA complete record of a transaction between exporter and importer with regard to goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.
Committee on international trade of endangered species
Committee on international trade of endangered species
CommodityAnything movable (a good) that is bought and sold.
Commodity Box RateA rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.
Commodity CodeFor more information see Harmonised System.
Goods which are the most commonly produced and traded have been classified and coded.
The HS is a six-digit nomenclature. The first four digits are referred to as the heading. The first six digits are known as a subheading.
Commodity RateA rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.
Commodity TariffA tariff published to show specific rates on specific articles.
Common LawA 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.
Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores
A Chilean carrier
Compagnie Générale Maritime
An abbreviation for ‘Compagnie Générale Maritime,’ founded in 1855 and renamed as Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1861. The two companies merged to form Compagnie Générale Maritime in 1973 as a French state-run entity.
Jacques Saadé, created CMA in 1977 as an intra-Mediterranean liner service. In 1996, CGM was privatised and sold to Compagnie Maritime d’Affr�tement (CMA) to form CMA CGM.
CompassThe navigational instrument that revolutionised travel, determining direction (North, South, East and West).
Concealed DamageDamage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.
Confirmed Letter of CreditA letter of credit issued by a foreign bank whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or foreign bank defaults.
Confirming BankThe bank that adds its confirmation to another bank’s (the Issuing Bank’s) Letter of Credit and promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the documents specified in the Letter of Credit (this can be the Seller’s bank or another bank in the country of the Seller).
ConfiscationThe taking and holding of private property by a Government or an agency acting for a Government. Compensation may or may not be given to the owner of the property.
CongestionAccumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth. There can be a corresponding ‘Congestion Surcharge’ to offset the cost of the waiting time.
Connecting CarrierA carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between, two or more carriers.
Connecting Carrier AgreementA contract between the originating carrier and a second party, where the second party agrees to carry goods to a final destination with a Bill of Lading.
ConsigneeThe individual or company to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of necessary documents, is recognised as the merchandise owner for the purpose of declaring and paying customs duties.
Consignee MarksA symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle etc., with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.
ConsignorA term used to describe any person who consigns goods to himself or to another party in a bill of lading or equivalent document. A consignor might be the owner of the goods, or a freight forwarder who consigns goods on behalf of his principal.
ConsolidateTo group and stuff several shipments together in one container.
Consolidated CargoCargo containing the shipments of two or more shippers, usually coordinated by a consolidator.
Consolidated ContainerA container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.
Consolidated ShipmentAn arrangement whereby various shippers pool their boxed goods on the same shipment, sharing the total weight charge for the shipment.
ConsolidationThe combination of many small shipments into one container.
ConsolidatorA person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. Takes advantage of lower full container load (FCL) rates, and the savings are passed on to shippers.
ConsulA Government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of his or her country and nationals.
Consular DeclarationA formal statement describing goods to be shipped, filled in and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.
Consular InvoiceA document, certified by a consular official, is required by some countries to describe a shipment. It is used by Customs of the foreign country to verify value, quantity and nature of the cargo.
ContainerAn intermodal container (also container, freight container, ISO container, shipping container or simply ‘box’) is a standardised reusable steel box used for the safe, efficient and secure storage and movement of materials and products within a global containerised intermodal freight transport system.
‘Intermodal’ indicates that the container can be moved from one mode of transport to another (from ship, to rail, to truck) without unloading and reloading the contents of the container.
Lengths of such containers, which each have a unique ISO 6346 reporting mark, vary from 8 feet (2.438 m) to 56 feet (17.07 m) and heights from 8 feet (2.438 m) to 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m).
There are approximately 17 million intermodal containers in the world of varying types to suit different cargoes.
For air freight the alternative and lighter IATA-defined Unit Load Device is used.
Non-container methods of transport include bulk cargo, break bulk cargo and tank cars, tank trucks or oil tankers used for liquids or gases.
Container BookingArrangements with a steamship line to transport containerised cargo.
Container Check DigitThe seventh digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct (ex: MSCU-123456-7).
Container Corporation of India
Container Corporation of India
Container Equivalents (FEU / TEU)40-foot equivalent / 20-foot equivalent.
The standard conversion is recognised internationally and issued to compare the number (not weight) of containers that a lot can accommodate.
It is also used to compute the required volume of Service Contracts.
Container Freight Station (3)Abbreviation: CFS. A facility at which (export) LCL cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from containers and delivered to merchants.
Container freight station
Container freight station
Container freight station (1)
(C.F.S./C.F.S. (pier-to-pier))
The term CFS/CFS means cargo delivered by breakbulk to carrier’s container freight station (CFS) to be packed by carrier into containers and to be unpacked by carrier from the container at carrier’s destination port CFS.
Container freight station charge
The Container Freight Station Charge is the charge assessed for services performed at the loading or discharging port in packing or unpacking of cargo into/from containers at the CFS.
Container Freight Station to Container Freight Station
A type of steamship line service in which cargo is transported between container freight stations, where containers may be stuffed, stripped, or consolidated.
It is usually used for less-than-containerload shipments although small shipments destined to the same consignee are often consolidated into full containers as well as reloading containerload quantities from ‘foreign’ rail or motor carrier equipment.
Container LeaseThe contract by which the owner of containers (lessor) gives the use of containers to a lessee for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.
Container LoadA load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.
Container NumberISO 6346 is an international standard managed by the International Container Bureau (BIC) for coding, identification and marking of intermodal containers.
Container on a flat car
An American abbreviation for the railroad service, ‘Container on a Flat Car’ as opposed to ‘Trailer On a Flat Car,’ refers to the mode of carriage of rail shipments.
Container Part LoadA shipment that does not utilise the full volume of a container nor the maximum payload by weight. Usually, additional part loads are added to fill the container for transport.
Container PoolAn agreement between transportation companies that allows for the most efficient use and supply of containers (containers from different owners are ‘pooled’ together and everyone can use any one of them).
Container Security Initiative (1)
A post 9-11 initiative, CSI addresses the threat to border security and global trade posed by the potential for terrorist use of a maritime container to deliver a weapon. CSI proposes a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism are identified and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels destined for the USA.
The basic premise is to extend the zone of security outward so that American borders are the last line of defence, not the first. It was announced by Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Robert C. Bonner in January 2002.
CSI is now operational at ports in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and Central America. CBP’s 58 operational CSI ports now prescreen over 80 percent of all maritime containerised cargo imported into the USA.
Container security initiative
A post 9-11 initiative, CSI addresses the threat to border security and global trade posed by the potential for terrorist use of a maritime container to deliver a weapon. CSI proposes a security regime to ensure all containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism are identified and inspected at foreign ports before they are placed on vessels destined for the USA.
The basic premise is to extend the zone of security outward so that American borders are the last line of defence, not the first. It was announced by Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Robert C. Bonner in January 2002.
CSI is now operational at ports in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and Central America. CBP’s 58 operational CSI ports now prescreen over 80 percent of all maritime containerised cargo imported into the USA.
Container service charge
For more information see THC.
Container StackTwo or more containers, one placed above the other, forming a vertical column.
Container SubleaseContract by which a carrier gives the use of containers to another carrier for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.
Container TerminalAn area designated for the stowage of containerised cargoes; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Containers are picked-up, dropped-off, maintained and housed here.
Container yard
The location designated by the carrier in the port terminal area for receiving, assembling, holding, storing and delivering containers, and where containers may be picked up by shippers or re-delivered by consignees.
No container yard (CY) shall be a shipper’s, consignee’s, NVOCC’s, or a forwarder’s place of business, unless otherwise provided.
Containerisable CargoCargo that fits into a container resulting in an economical transport.
Continuous BondAn annual Customs bond insuring compliance with all regulations and requirements.
ContrabandUsed for goods that by their nature, e.g. too dangerous or offensive in the eyes of the legislator (those are termed contraband in se) are forbidden, and for so-called derivative contraband, i.e. goods that may normally be owned but are liable to be seized because they were used in committing an unlawful act and hence begot illegally, such as:
smuggling goods.
stolen goods – knowingly participating in their trade is an offense in itself, called fencing.
the fruits of fraud, forgery etc.
The word is also used as an adjective, again meaning ‘distributed or sold illicitly’.
Contract CarrierAny person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.
Contract RatesThis can refer to ‘service contract’ rates which are low; favourable rates fixed over an extended period of time in exchange for which the carrier receives a volume commitment from the shipper.
Controlled AtmosphereSophisticated, computer-controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.
Conventional CargoFor more information see Breakbulk cargo.
Coordinating Committee for Export Controls
An informal group of 15 Western countries established to prevent the export of certain strategic products to potentially hostile nations.
Corner PostsVertical frames 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.
CorrectorA device to correct the ship’s compass.
Short for ‘Manifest Corrector.’
Correspondent BankA bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.
Cost and Insurance (1)
A price that includes the cost of goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges with the exception of ocean freight to the named point of destination.
Cost and insurance
An abbreviation for the Incoterms ‘Cost and Insurance’. A price that includes the cost of goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges with the exception of ocean freight to the named point of destination.
Cost, insurance and freight
(C.I.F. [named port])
The price determined at the point of destination that includes the cost of goods. The marine insurance and all transportation charges are calculated from the point of destination.
Cost, insurance and freight (1)
The price determined at the point of destination that includes the cost of goods. The marine insurance and all transportation charges are calculated from point of destination.
Cost, insurance, freight, collection and interest
Cost, insurance, freight, collection and interest
Cost, insurance, frieght and exchange
(C.I.F. & E.)
Cost, insurance, frieght and exchange
Cost, insurance,freight, interest and exchange
(C.I.F.I. & I.)
Cost, insurance,freight, interest and exchange
Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner’s Association
Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner’s Association
CounterThe part of the stern above the waterline that extends beyond the rudder stock culminating in a small transom. A long counter increases the waterline length when the boat is heeled, which subsequently increases hull speed.
CountertradeA reciprocal trading arrangement, which includes a variety of transactions involving two or more parties.
Countervailing DutiesSpecial Customs duties imposed on imports to offset the benefits of subsidies to producers or exporters of the exporting country.
Country of OriginThe country where the merchandise was grown, mined, or manufactured, in accordance with US Customs regulations. In instances where the country of origin cannot be determined, transactions are credited to the country of shipment.
Country of Provenance
Damage ReportA form on which on-board physical damage is recorded (e.g. containers).
Damaged Cargo ReportA written statement concerning established damages to cargo and/or on-board equipment.
Dangerous Articles Tariff
Dangerous Articles Tariff
Dangerous GoodsThe term used by the International Maritime Organisation for hazardous cargo or materials. This includes articles or substances capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property, and that ordinarily require special attention when being transported.
Dangerous Goods DeclarationThe document issued by a consignor in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes. It also states that the latter have been packed and labelled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.
Dangerous Goods Requirement
Dangerous Goods Requirement
Date DraftThe latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship. See Draft, bank.
Davy Jones’ LockerAn idiom for the bottom of the sea.
Day BeaconAn unlighted fixed structure which is equipped with a dayboard for daytime identification.
DayboardThe daytime identifier of an aid to navigation, presenting one of several standard shapes (square, triangle, rectangle) and colours (red, green, white, orange, yellow, or black).
Dead Freight
This relates to freight charges to be paid by the shipper for space previously booked but not used. The unused reserved slot in the containership represents a loss of revenue for the carrier. Therefore the deadfreight is charged to the shipper in an attempt to recoup some of that loss.
Dead LegA sector navigated without payload.
Dead runSee Running.
DeadeyeA wooden block with holes which is spliced to a shroud. It is used to adjust the tension in the standing rigging of large sailing vessels, by lacing through the holes with a lanyard to the deck. It performs the same job as a turnbuckle.
DeadheadHaulage: one leg of a move without a paying cargo load. Either a bobtail tractor alone or a tractor pulling an empty container during the repositioning of an empty piece of equipment.
DeadriseThe design angle between the keel (q.v.) and horizontal.
(D.W. / DWT / DWAT / DWCC)
The most common, and useful, measurement for shipping as it measures cargo capacity: The number of tons (2240 lbs.) of cargo, stores and bunkers that a vessel can transport. 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 ‘deep load line’.’ A vessel’s cargo capacity is less than its total deadweight tonnage.
Deadweight CargoA long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 70 cubic feet.
Deadweight for cargo
Deadweight for cargo
Deadweight Tonnage
The number of tons (2,240 pounds) of cargo, stores and bunker fuel that a vessel can transport. It is the difference between the number of tons it displaces when submerged to the ‘load water line. (The net tonnage refers only to the cargo- and-passenger-carrying capacity).
Deadweight Tonnage (1)
(D/W or Dwt)
Deadweight tonnage (also known as deadweight, abbreviated to DWT, D.W.T., d.w.t., or dwt) is a measure of how much weight a ship is carrying or can safely carry. It is the sum of the weights of cargo, fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers and crew. The term is often used to specify a ship’s maximum permissible deadweight, the DWT when the ship is fully loaded so that its Plimsoll line is at the point of submersion.
DeadwoodA wooden part of the centreline structure of a boat, usually between the sternpost and amidships.
Deck CargoCargo carried on deck rather than stowed under deck. On-deck carriage is required for certain commodities, such as explosives.
Deck HandA person whose job involves aiding the deck supervisor in (un)mooring, anchoring, maintenance, and general evolutions on deck.
Deck SupervisorThe person in charge of all evolutions and maintenance on deck; sometimes split into two groups: forward deck supervisor and aft deck supervisor.
DeckheadThe underside of a deck in a ship. It bears the same relationship to a compartment on the deck below as does the ceiling to the room of a house.
DecksThe structures forming the approximately horizontal surfaces in the ship’s general structure. Unlike flats, they are a structural part of the ship.
Declaration of OriginAppropriate statement as to the origin of the goods, made in connection with their exportation by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person on the commercial invoice or any document relating to goods.
Declared Value for CarriageThe value of the goods, declared by the shipper on a bill of lading, for the purpose of determining a freight rate or the limit of the carrier’s liability.
Deconsolidation PointA point where loose or other non-containerised cargo is ungrouped for delivery.
Deferred Payment CreditA letter of credit providing payment once all shipping documents have been presented by the exporter.
Deferred RebateThe return of a portion of the freight charges by a carrier or a conference shipper in exchange for the shipper giving all or most of his shipments to the carrier or conference over a specified period of time (usually six months). Payment of the rate is deferred for a further similar period, during which the shipper must continue to give all or most of his shipments to the rebating carrier or conference. The shipper thus earns a further rebate which will not, however, be paid without an additional period of exclusive or almost exclusive patronage with the carrier of conference. In this way, the shipper becomes tied to the rebating carrier or conference. Although, the deferred rebate system is illegal in U.S. foreign commerce, it generally is accepted in the ocean trade between foreign countries.
Deficit WeightA weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.
DegroupageRelates to consolidation of cargo. The splitting up of shipments into small consignments.
Delivered Duty Unpaid
An incoterm from the ICC. This reflects the emergence of ‘door-to-door’ intermodal or courier contracts or carriage where only the destination customs duty and taxes (if any) are paid by consignee.
Delivered Ex-Quay/duty paid
An incoterm from the ICC.
DeliveryThe transfer of property/goods from consignor to carrier, one carrier to another, or carrier to consignee.
Delivery Authorised Document
A USA import Customs term.
Delivery InstructionsProvides specific information to the inland carrier concerning the arrangement made by the forwarder to deliver the merchandise to a particular pier or steamship line. Not to be confused with a Delivery Order, which is used for import cargo.
Delivery, Duty Paid
An incoterm from the ICC. Terms of sale also known as ‘free domicile.’
Demise CharterA contract whereby the shipowner leases his vessel to the charterer for a period of time during which the whole use and management of the vessel passes to the charterer, which involves that the charterer is to pay all expenses for the operation and maintenance of the vessel. Officers and crew will become servants of the charterer. A demise charter whereby the charterer has the right to place his own master and crew on board of the vessel is also called ‘bareboat charter.’
DemurrageDomestic: A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time provision of the tariff at the rail ramp; International Transportation: A storage charge to shippers, which starts accruing after a container is discharged from a vessel. The charge varies according to rules of the appropriate tariff. See also: Detention, Per Diem and Storage.
DensityThe weight of freight per cubic foot or other unit.
Department of Transportation
US Government abbreviation.
DepotThe place designated by the carrier where empty containers are kept in stock and received from or delivered to the container operators or merchants.
Depot, ContainerThe container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.
DerrickA lifting device composed of one mast or pole and a boom or jib which is hinged freely at the bottom.
DestinationThe area where the carrier physically turns over cargo to the consignee or agent.
Destination Control StatementAny of the various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments that specify the destination for which export of the shipment has been authorised.
Destination Delivery Charge
A charge, based on container size, that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. It covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal exit.
Destination Delivery Charge (DDC)A charge based on container size that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. It covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.
Det Norske VeritasStiftelsen Det Norske Veritas or DNV is a classification society organised as a foundation, with the objective of ‘Safeguarding life, property, and the environment’. The organisation’s history dates back to 1864, when the foundation was established in Norway to inspect and evaluate the technical condition of Norwegian merchant vessels. DNV describes itself as a provider of services for managing risk. Together with Lloyd’s Register and American Bureau of Shipping, DNV is one of the three major companies in the classification society business. DNV has its headquarters in H�vik, B�rum, just outside Oslo, Norway. It has 300 offices in 100 countries, with 8,400 employees. Important industries where the company operates include ship transport, energy, aviation, automotive, finance, food, health care and information technology. It also conducts research in several fields where it operates.
DetentionA penalty charge against shippers or receivers for delaying the carrier’s equipment outside the port, terminal or depot beyond the allowed Free Time. For more information see: Demurrage, Per Diem and Storage.
DevanningThe removal of freight; the unloading (unpacking, ‘stripping’) of a container.
Devil SeamThe devil was possibly a slang term for the garboard seam; hence ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ being an allusion to keel hauling. However, a more popular version seems to be the seam between the waterway and the stanchions which would be difficult to get at; requiring a cranked caulking iron, and a restricted swing of the caulking mallet.
Devil to Pay (or Devil to pay, and no pitch hot)Paying’ the Devil is sealing the devil seam. It is a difficult and unpleasant job (with no resources) because of the shape of the seam (up against the stanchions) or if the devil refers to the garboard seam, it must be done with the ship slipped or careened.
DifferentialAn amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.
Direct InterchangeThe transfer of leased equipment (container) from one lessee to another without necessarily passing through the lessor’s container depot.
Directional LightA light illuminating a sector or very narrow angle and intended to mark a direction to be followed.
DisbursementSums paid out by a ship’s agent at a port and recovered from the carrier.
Discharge1. The unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft. 2. The landing of cargo.
Discrepancy Letter of CreditWhen documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the Letter of Credit, it is referred to as a ‘discrepancy.’ Banks will evidently not process Ls/C which include discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.
DisplacementA ship’s displacement is its mass at any given time, generally expressed in metric tons or long tons. The term is often used to mean the ship’s mass when it is loaded to its maximum capacity. A number of synonymous terms exist for this maximum mass, such as loaded displacement, full load displacement and designated displacement. Displacement is a measurement of mass, and should not be confused with similarly named measurements of volume or capacity such as net tonnage, gross tonnage, or deadweight tonnage. The word displacement refers to the mass of the water that the ship displaces while floating. Another way of thinking about displacement is the amount of water that would spill out of a completely filled container were the ship to be placed into it. A floating ship always displaces an amount of water of the same mass as the ship. The density (mass per unit of volume) of water can vary. For example, the average density of seawater at the surface of the ocean is 1025 kg/m�, fresh water on the other hand has a density of about 1000 kg/m�. Consider a 100-ton ship passing from a saltwater sea into a freshwater river. It always displaces exactly 100 tons of water, but it has to displace a greater volume of fresh water to amount to 100 tons. Therefore it would sit slightly lower in the water in the freshwater river than it would in the saltwater sea.
Displacement HullA hull designed to travel through the water, rather than planning over it.
DisrateTo reduce in rank or rating; demote.
DistributorA person or firm performing a service of distribution on pool cars or consolidated shipments at destination.
DiversionA change made in the route of a shipment in transit (also, reconsignment).
DivisionCarriers’ practice of dividing revenue received through rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulas.
DockFor Ships: A cargo handling area parallel to the shoreline; for Land Transportation: A pier or wharf used as a loading or unloading platform at an industrial site or carrier terminal.
Dock Receipt
A document issued by an exporter (or freight forwarder on exporter’s behalf) which includes shipment description, physical details and shipping information. Used by both shipper and carrier to verify shipment particulars, condition, and delivery to carrier. Signed by receiving clerk on behalf of carrier.
DockageRefers to the charge assessed against the vessel for berthing at the facility or for mooring to a vessel so berthed.
DocketA document or label displaying the contents of a consignment or package.
Documents Against Acceptance
Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer only upon the buyer’s acceptance of the attached draft.
Documents Against Payment (D/P)An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only on payment.
Dog watchA short watch period, generally half the usual time (e.g. a two hour watch between two four hour ones). Such a watch might be included in order to slowly rotate the system over several days for fairness, or to allow both watches to eat their meals at approximately normal times.
Doing Business As
A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.
Doing Business As (1)A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.
Doldrums (the)Also called the ‘equatorial calms’, is a nautical term for the equatorial trough, with special reference to the light and variable nature of the winds.
DollyUS phrase: A set of wheels that support the front of a container mounted on a chassis; used when the tractor is disconnected.
DolphinA structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed or riverbed in a circular pattern and drawn together with wire rope.
Domestic CarriageCarriage whereby the place of departure and the place of destination are situated within the same country.
Door-To-DoorDescribes the transportation of a container and its contents or cargo from consignor to consignee; also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.
Double estra strong
(XX Strong)
Double estra strong
Double extra heavy
(XX Heavy)
Double extra heavy
Double-Stack TrainRail transport of a trainload of containers with two containers, one on top of the other, per carriage.
Double-stack train service
Double-stack train service
DownhaulA line used to control either a mobile spar, or the shape of a sail.
Draft BankU.S.-only (rest of the world: Bill of Exchange): An order issued by a seller against a purchaser; directs payment, usually through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to checks on checking accounts in a bank.
Draft or Draught (of a vessel)1. The depth of a ship’s keel below the waterline. The number of feet that the hull of a ship is beneath the surface of the water. 2. 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.
Draft, CleanA draft to which no documents are attached.
Draft, DateA draft that matures on a fixed date, regardless of the time of acceptance.
Draft, DiscountedA time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted and purchased by a bank at discount.
Draft, SightA draft payable on demand upon presentation.
Draft, TimeA draft that matures at a fixed or determinable time after presentation or acceptance.
Draught (of a vessel)For more information see ‘Draft or Draught of a vessel’ above.
DrawbackA partial refund of an import fee.
DraweeThe individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.
DrayA truck or other equipment designed to haul heavy loads.
DrayageCharge made for local hauling by dray or truck (same as ‘Cartage’).
Dressing DownTreating old sails with oil or wax to renew them, or a verbal reprimand.
DriverThe large sail flown from the mizzen gaff.
Driver-mastThe fifth mast of a six-masted barquentine or gaff schooner. It is preceded by the jigger mast and followed by the spanker mast. The sixth mast of the only seven-masted vessel, the gaff schooner Thomas W. Lawson, was normally called the pusher-mast.
Drop off ChargeCharge made by container owner and/or terminal operators for delivery of a leased, or pool container into depot stock. The drop-off charge may be a combination of actual handling and storage charges with surcharges.
Dry Bulk ContainerA container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free-flowing solids in bulk. It is ssed in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.
Dry CargoCargo that is not liquid and/or does not require temperature control.
Dry Cargo ContainerA container which is designed for the carriage of goods other than liquids.
Dry FreightDry cargoes that do not need to be stored in controlled temperature environments.
Dry PortA dry port (sometimes inland port) is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations. In addition to their role in cargo transshipment, dry ports may also include facilities for storage and consolidation of goods, maintenance for road or rail cargo carriers and Customs clearance services. The location of these facilities at a dry port relieves competition for storage and Customs space at the seaport itself.
DumpingAttempt to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value, usually by subsidy by the exporting country.
Dunnage1. Loose packing material used to protect a ship’s cargo from damage during transport. 2. Personal baggage.
DutyA tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from one country to another. There are several types of duty, including: a) Ad valorem duty (‘According to the value.’): An assessment based on the actual value of an article. b) Specific duty: An assessment based on the weight or quantity of an article without reference to its monetary value or market price.
Duty DrawbackA refund of duty paid on imported merchandise when it is later exported.
Duty Free ZoneAn area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties awaiting further transport or manufacturing.
EarringsSmall lines, by which the uppermost corners of the largest sails are secured to the yardarms.
Echo SoundingMeasuring the depth of the water using a sonar device. Also see sounding and swinging the lead.
Edge ProtectorAn angle piece fitting over the edge of boxes, crates, bundles and other packages to prevent the pressure from metal bands or other types from cutting into the package.
Electronic data interchange
The transfer of structured data, by agreed standards from applications on the computer of one party to the applications on the computer of another party by electronic means.
Electronic data interchange (1)
The exchange of structured information over the Internet using XML as the syntax.
Electronic data processing
The computerised handling of information (e.g. business data).
ElevatingA charge for services performed in connection with floating elevators.
Elkins ActAn act of U.S. Congress (1903) prohibiting rebates, concession, mis-billing, etc. and providing specific penalties for such violations.
EmbayedThe condition where a sailing vessel is confined between two capes or headlands by a wind blowing directly onshore.
Empty (container)
Empty (container)
Empty LegThe portion of a transport route when a vessel or a container is empty.
Empty RepositioningThe movement of empty containers from depots of low demand (or low revenue) to depots of high demand at the cost of the carrier.
Empty SlotAn available loading position on a stack car created when a container is not loaded to an available position. Also known as a vacant slot.
Engine Order Telegraph
An engine order telegraph or E.O.T., often also known as a chadburn, is a communications device used on a ship or submarine for the pilot on the bridge to order engineers in the engine room to power the vessel at a certain desired speed.
In early vessels
Ensign1. Flag declaring a ship’s country of registry.
2. Commissioned officer, lowest rank.
EntryA Customs document required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.
Entry summary declaration
An ENS is an electronic declaration of goods being carried into the customs territory of the community.
EqualizationA monetary allowance to the customer for picking up or delivering at a point other than the destination shown on the bill of lading. This provision is covered by tariff publication.
EquipmentMaterial resources necessary to facilitate the transport and handling of cargo. Transport equipment does, under the given circumstances, not have the ability to move by its own propulsion (e.g. sea container, trailer, unit load device, pallet).
Equipment Damage Report
A written statement concerning damage to equipment, based on a physical inspection.
Equipment Interchange Receipt
A document transferring the responsibility of a container from one party to another; to be signed off by both parties. A new document is necessary at each stop where there is such a transfer of responsibility.
Estimated time of arrival
Liner schedules publish ETD and ETA since they cannot be held responsible for lateness due to bad weather conditions.
Estimated time of availability
That time when a tractor/partner carrier is available for dispatch.
Estimated time of departureThe expected date and time when a certain port is left.
Estimeated time of completion, departure, readiness, or sailing
(ETC, D, R, S)
Estimeated time of completion, departure, readiness, or sailing
EthyleneA gas produced by many fruits and vegetables that accelerates the ripening and aging process.
Euro €European Currency Unit (old E.C.U.). Its value, revised every five years, is determined according to the economic size of each EU member (ex Common Market) and using the exchange rate of each member currency.
EurodollarsU.S. dollars on deposit outside of the United States to include dollars on deposit at foreign branches of U.S. banks, and dollars on deposit with foreign banks.
ExSignifies that the quoted price applies only at the indicated point of origin (e.g. “price ex factory” means that the quoted price is for the goods available at the factory gate of the seller).
Ex DecUSA-only: Shipper’s Export Declaration.
Except as otherwise noted
Except as otherwise noted
ExceptionNotations 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.
Exchange RateThe price of one currency in terms of another; i.e., the number of units of one currency that may be exchanged for one unit of another currency.
EXIM BankThe Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States federal government. It was established in 1934 by an executive order, and made an independent agency in the Executive branch by Congress in 1945, for the purposes of financing and insuring foreign purchases of United States goods for customers unable or unwilling to accept credit risk.
ExportThe shipment of goods outside one’s own country to a foreign country.
Export LicenseA government document which permits the “License” to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.
Export RateA rate published on traffic moving from an interior point to a port for transhipment to a foreign country.
ExporterThe seller of the goods being transported.
Export-Management CompanyA private firm that serves as the export department for several manufacturers, soliciting and transacting export business on behalf of its clients in return for a commission, salary, or retainer plus commission.
ExpressA premium-rated service for urgent deliveries.
Extensible mark-up language
Extensible mark-up language is an official recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium as a successor of HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up language). It can be used to convey documents layout and contents from one computer application to another. XML is a subset of SGML.
Extra heavy
(X Heavy)
Extra heavy
Extra strong
(X Strong)
Extra strong
Extremis(Also known as in extremis). The point under International Rules of the Road (Navigation Rules) at which the privileged (or stand-on) vessel on collision course with a burdened (or give-way) vessel determines it must manoeuvre to avoid a collision. Prior to extremis
(EX. W.)
An incoterm from the ICC. Abbreviation for Ex- works, meaning the seller delivers to the buyer at the seller’s named premises.
Ex-Works (1)Incoterm of sale meaning the seller delivers to the buyer at the seller’s named premises (the “works”).
F.O.B. DestinationFree On Board where freight and all accessorial charges (such as insurance) is arranged and paid for by the seller until the point of destination. A term of sale between seller and buyer.
F.O.B. FactoryTitle of goods and transportation responsibility transfers from seller to buyer at the factory loading docks.
F.O.B. Freight AllowedAn incoterm from the ICC: the same as F.O.B. named inland carrier, except the buyer, pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by a like amount.
Fair1. A smooth curve, usually referring to a line of the hull which has no deviations.
2. To make something flush.
3. A rope is fair when it has a clear run.
4. A wind or current is fair when it offers an advantage to a boat.
FairwayA navigable channel for vessels, often the regular or prescribed track a vessel will follow in order to avoid dangerous circumstances (e.g. port access via a river’s estuary).
FastFastened or held firmly (fast aground: stuck on the seabed; made fast: tied securely).
FathomA unit of length equal to 6 feet (1.8 m), roughly measured as the distance between a man’s outstretched hands. This is particularly used to measure depth.
Federal Marine Commission
Federal Marine Commission
Federal Maritime Commission
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is an independent federal agency, based in Washington D.C., responsible for the regulation of ocean borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S.A.
Regulates certain activities of international shipping lines (called “ocean common carriers”)
FeederA service which incorporates a small vessel to transport containers to and from the “mother” ship. The mother ships carry the high volume cargo to high volume ports; the feeder vessels carry the small volume cargo to small volume local ports. See also Feeder Vessel.
Feeder ServiceA vessel which transfers containers to a “mother ship” for an ocean voyage.
Feeder VesselA short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central “hub” port and smaller “spoke” ports.
FenderAn air or foam filled bumper used in boating to keep boats from banging into docks or each other.
FerryA ship carrying passengers and/or vehicles engaged in regular short voyages, e.g. across a river or narrow body of water, between two or more places or ports.
FetchThe distance across water which a wind or waves have travelled.
To reach a mark without tacking.
FidA tapered wooden tool used for separating the strands of rope for splicing.
A bar used to fix an upper mast in place.
Fifth WheelThe semi-circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi-trailer.
FigureheadThe symbolic image at the head of a traditional sailing ship or early steamer.
Final DestinationA consignee’s facility where shipment ends its movement.
Fire shipA ship loaded with flammable materials and explosives which sailed into an enemy port or fleet either already burning or ready to be set alight by its crew (who would then abandon it) in order to collide with and set fire to enemy ships.
FirkinA capacity measurement equal to one-quarter of a barrel.
First CarrierThe carrier that actually performs the first part of the transport.
First LieutenantIn the Royal Navy, the senior lieutenant on board; responsible to the Commander for the domestic affairs of the ship’s company. Also known as ‘Jimmy the One’ or ‘Number One’. The First Lieutenant removes his cap when visiting the mess decks as a token of respect for the privacy of the crew in those quarters. Officer i/c cables on the forecastle. In the U.S. Navy, the First Lieutenant is the senior person in charge of all deck hands.
First MateThe Second in command of a ship.
First-rateThe classification for the largest sailing warships of the 17th-19th centuries. First-rate ships had three masts, 850+ crew and 100+ guns.
FishTo repair a mast or spar with a fillet of wood.
To secure an anchor on the side of the ship for sea (otherwise known as “catting”.)
Fixed CostsThese are costs that vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are examples of fixed costs.
Fixed PropellerA propeller mounted on a rigid shaft protruding from the hull of a vessel, usually driven by an inboard motor; steering achieved using a rudder. For more information see outboard motor and sterndrive.
FlagAn indication of the country in which a means of transport is registered through a reference to the ensign of this country.
Flag hoistA group of signal flags strung together to convey a message, e.g. England expects….
Flag of Convenience Register
A national register offering registration to a merchant ship not owned in the flag state. The major flags of convenience (FOC) attract ships to their register by virtue of low fees, low or nonexistent taxation of profits, and liberal manning requirements.
True FOC registers are characterised by having relatively few of the ships registered actually owned in the flag state. Thus, while virtually any flag can be used for ships under a given set of circumstances, an FOC register is one where the majority of the merchant fleet is owned abroad.
It is also referred to as an open register.
Flag StateThe nation in which a ship is registered and which holds legal jurisdiction over operation of the ship, whether at home or abroad. Flag state maritime legislation determines how a ship is manned and taxed and whether a foreign-owned ship may be placed on the register.
Flammable LiquidsHazardous cargo. Flammable liquids are those that give off vapours which become spontaneously combustible at certain temperatures (flash point); these are often referred to as “inflammable” but “flammable” is preferred.
FlankThe maximum speed of a ship – faster than “full speed”.
FlareA curvature of the topsides outward towards the gunwale.
A pyrotechnic signalling device; usually used to indicate distress.
Flash PointThe minimum temperature at which a substance gives off flammable vapours which will ignite when they come in contact with spark or flame.
Flat CarA rail car without a roof and walls.
Flat RackA container without sides and frame members at the front and rear. The container can be loaded from the sides and top.
FlatbackA Great Lakes slang term for a vessel without self-unloading equipment.
FlatbedA trailer with a level bed and no sides or top.
FleetA group of vehicles travelling together, engaged in the same activity or under the same ownership.
Floating CraneA crane mounted on a barge or pontoon, which can be towed or is self-propelled.
Floating DockA floating structure which can be partially submerged to enable vessels to enter or leave and which can be raised for use as a dry dock.
FlotsamDebris or cargo that remains afloat after a shipwreck. See also jetsam.
FlukeThe wedge-shaped part of an anchor’s arms that digs into the sea-bed.
Fly by nightA large sail used only for sailing downwind, requiring little attention.
Folding propellerA propeller with folding blades, furling to reduce drag on a sailing vessel when not in use.
Following seaWave or tidal movement going in the same direction as a ship
FootThe lower edge of any sail.
The bottom of a mast.
A measurement of 12 inches.
FootlooseIf the foot of a sail is not secured properly, it is footloose; blowing around in the wind.
FootprintA slang term for the amount of tyre tread on the ground.
FootropeEach yard on a square rigged sailing ship is equipped with a footrope for sailors to stand on while setting or stowing the sails.
For more information see Malpractice.ReciprocityA practice by which governments extend similar concessions to one another.
ForceFor more information see Beaufort scale.
Force MajeureThe title of a common clause in contracts, exempting parties for unfulfilment of obligations as the result of conditions beyond their control such as earthquakes, floods or war.
Fore and AftThe direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.
For more information see Port Side for a diagram of all the ship’s directions.
ForefootThe lower part of the stem of a ship.
Foreign Trade Zone
Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) (or free zones, free ports, or bonded warehouses) are special commercial and industrial areas in or near ports of entry where foreign and domestic merchandise, including raw materials, components and finished goods, may be brought in without being subject to payment of customs duties.
Merchandise brought into these zones may be stored, sold, exhibited, repacked, assembled, sorted, graded, cleaned or otherwise manipulated prior to re-export or entry into the national customs territory.
Foreign Trade Zone EntryA form declaring goods which are brought duty free into a Foreign Trade Zone for further processing or storage and subsequent exportation.
Foremast JackAn enlisted sailor; one who is housed before the foremast.
ForestaysLong lines or cables, reaching from the front of the vessel to the mast heads, used to support the mast.
Fork PocketsOpenings or recesses in the side of a freight container designed to facilitate the entry of the forks of a fork lift truck.
Forklift (also fork lift / fork lift truck)Freight/materials-handling vehicles used for loading / mooring / unloading packaged freight.
Forty Foot Equivalent Unit
Term commonly used to describe a standard 40′ freight container.
Forty-Foot Equivalent Units
Refers to a container size standard of 40 feet. Two 20-foot containers or TEUs equal one FEU.
Established by analogy with a TEU, but very rarely used; some commercial contracts include pricing rates on FEUs and if the client chooses to use a 20′, then the FEU rate is divided by two.
ForwarderFor more information see Freight Forwarder.
Forwarding ChargeThe charges paid or to be paid for preliminary surface or air transport to the airport of departure by a forwarder, but not by a carrier under an Air Waybill (air cargo).
Forwarding InstructionThe document issued to a freight forwarder, giving instructions to the forwarder for the forwarding of goods described therein.
FoulThe opposite of clear. For instance, a rope is foul when it does not run straight or smoothly, and an anchor is foul when it is caught on an obstruction.
A breach of racing rules.
Foul Bill of LadingA receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received.
FounderTo fill with water and sink.
Four-Way PalletA pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides.
FrameA transverse structural member that provides a ship’s hull with strength and shape. Wooden frames may be sawn, bent or laminated into shape. Planking is then fastened to the frames. A bent frame is called a timber.
Franc PoincaréThe unit of value in which the limitation of the carrier’s liability is sometimes expressed.
One Franc Poincaré consists of 65.5 milligram of gold with a fineness / purity of nine hundred parts out of a thousand.
Raymond Poincaré (20 August 1860 – 15 October 1934) was a French conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of France on five separate occasions and as President of France from 1913 to 1920.
Free Alongside
An incoterm from the ICC: the seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment. The buyer arranges ship space and informs the seller when and where the goods are to be placed.
Free alongside ship
The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment. The buyer arranges ship space and informs the seller when and where the goods are to be placed.
Free AstrayA lost shipment that is subsequently found and sent to its proper destination without additional charge.
Free discharge
Free discharge
Free in and out
The cost of loading and unloading a vessel (THC) is borne by the cargo.
Free In and Out (1)
A transport condition denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading and discharging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.
Free In Liner Out
A transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of discharging, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of loading and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.
Free into barge
Free into barge
Free of capture and seizure
Free of capture and seizure
Free of Capture and Seizure (1)An insurance clause providing that loss is not insured if due to capture, seizure, confiscation and like actions, whether legal or not, or from such acts as piracy, civil war, rebellion and civil strife.
Free of capture, seizure, riots and civil commotions
Free of capture, seizure, riots and civil commotions
Free of damage
Free of damage
Free of partial average
Free of partial average
Free of Particular AverageA marine insurance term meaning that the insurer 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 (1)An International Term of Sale than means the seller fulfils an 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.
Free on board
Needs to be accompanied by a specified location (see examples below). The seller is responsible for inland freight and all other costs until the cargo has been loaded on the vessel/truck/railcar/barge. The buyer is responsible for ocean freight and marine insurance.
Free Out (1)
The cost of unloading a vessel that is borne by the charterer.
Free out
At a Free Out port, the cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.
Free PortAn international port or an area within an international port at which, crew, passengers, baggage, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may be transhipped, without being subjected to any customs charges or duties. Examination remains possible, however, for instance to meet security or narcotics control requirements. For more information see Foreign Trade Zone.
Free PratiquePratique is the license given to a ship to enter port on assurance from the captain to convince the authorities that he/she is free from contagious disease.
The clearance granted is commonly referred to as Free Pratique. A ship can signal a request for “Pratique” by flying a solid yellow square-shaped flag. This yellow flag is the Q flag in the set of International maritime signal flags.
Free TimeAt pick-up or delivery, the time allowed for shippers or receivers to load or unload containers before waiting time charges accrue (usually two hours).
The amount of time that a carrier’s equipment may be used without incurring additional charges (e.g. for imports, the Free Time is the time – usually three working days – allowed idle at the terminal before incurring demurrage).
Free Trade Zone
A part of the territory of a state (a seaport or an inland place) where any goods introduced are generally regarded, in so far as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being exempted (Kyoto Convention). Duties are imposed on the merchandise (or items manufactured from the merchandise) only if and when the goods pass from the zone into an area of the country subject to the Customs Authority.
FreeboardThe height of a ship’s hull (excluding superstructure) above the waterline. The vertical distance from the current waterline to the lowest point on the highest continuous watertight deck. This usually varies from one part to another. For more information see Beam for a Ship Measurements graphic
The distance measured vertically from the freeboard deck accepted and indicated by the class bureau to the waterline under specified conditions.
FreightRefers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
Freight BillA document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information, used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically and financially.
Freight ClaimDemand upon a carrier for the payment of overcharge or loss or damage sustained by a shipper or consignee.
Freight ContainerFor more information see Container.
Freight CostsThe costs incurred by the merchant in moving goods, by whatever means, from one place to another under the terms of the contract of carriage. In addition to transport costs this may include such elements as packing, documentation, loading, unloading and transport insurance.
Freight Forwarder (also Forwarder)The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee
Freight forwarders typically arrange the carriage of cargo to an international destination – including connected services and/or any associated trade formalities. They are also referred to as international freight forwarders; they have the expertise that allows them to prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to international shipments.
Freight InvoiceAn itemised list of goods shipped and services rendered stating fees and charges.
Freight loaded into a ship. Cargo ManifestA manifest that lists only cargo, not charges.
Full and BySailing into the wind (by), but not as close-hauled as might be possible, to make sure the sails are kept full. This provides a margin for error to avoid being taken aback (a serious risk for square-rigged vessels) in a tricky sea. Figuratively speaking it implies getting on with the job but in a steady, relaxed way, without undue urgency or strain.
Full Container Load
A container stuffed or stripped under risk and for account of the shipper and/or the consignee.
A general reference for identifying container loads of cargo loaded and/or discharged at merchants’ premises.
Full ocntainer load
The shipper is responsible for the loading and stripping of the cargo inside the container. The carrier transports a sealed container.
Full Truck Load
An indication for a truck transporting cargo directly from supplier to receiver.
Fully Cellular ContainershipA vessel specially designed to carry containers, with cell-guides under deck and necessary fittings and equipment on deck.
FurlTo roll or gather a sail against its mast or spar.
FuttocksPieces of timber that make up a large transverse frame.
GaffThe spar that holds the upper edge of a four-sided fore-and-aft mounted sail.
A hook on a long pole to haul fish in.
Gaff riggedA boat rigged with a four-sided fore-and-aft sail with its upper edge supported by a spar or gaff which extends aft from the mast.
GalleyThe kitchen of the ship.
GamA meeting of two (or more) whaling ships at sea. The ships each send out a boat to the other, and the two captains meet on one ship, while the two chief mates meet on the other.
Gammon IronThe bow fitting which clamps the bowsprit to the stem.
GangA group of stevedores usually four to five members acting together with a supervisor assigned to a hold or portion of the vessel being loaded or unloaded.
GangplankA movable bridge used in boarding or leaving a ship at a pier; also known as a “brow”.
GangwayAn opening in the bulwark of the ship allowing passengers to board or leave the ship.
GarblingThe (illegal) practice of mixing cargo with garbage.
GarboardThe strake closest to the keel (from the Dutch term ‘gaarboard’).
Garboard planksThe planks immediately either side of the keel.
GatewayA point at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.
General agreement on tariffs and trade
A multilateral treaty to help reduce trade barriers between the signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions. The World Trade Organization (WTO) superseded GATT in 1994.
General AverageMarine Insurance term; Average in maritime commerce to signify damages or expenses resulting from the accidents of navigation. Average is either general or particular.
The term average originally meant what is now distinguished as general average; and the expression particular average
General CargoCargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised. General cargo can be shipped either in breakbulk or containerised.
Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (air cargo).
General Cargo RateThe rate for the carriage of cargo other than a class rate or specific commodity rate.
General destination License
Term from U.S.A: General Destination License, used on export declarations for unrestricted commodities (the majority of all items exported).
General Export LicenseAny of the various export licenses covering export commodities for which validated export licenses are not required. No formal application or written authorisation is needed to ship exports under a general export license.
General License Baggage
Term from U.S.A: General License Baggage, used on export declarations for personal effects. No prior written authorisation is required and no individual license is issued.
General Order
The process by which U.S. Customs assumes custody and takes possession of freight not having customs-cleared by the consignee after expiration of Free Time.
General Purpose ContainerA container used for the carriage of general cargo without any special requirements for the transport and or the conditioning of the goods (a Standard container).
General Rate Increase
It is used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates (this definition is still valid in areas where conferences are still legal).
It is also commonly used to describe the ocean freight rate increase settled independently by each carrier.
Generator Set
(Gen set)
While a reefer will have an integral refrigeration unit, they rely on external power, from electrical power points at a land-based site, a container ship or on quay. Whilst being transported by road on a trailer they can be powered by portable diesel-powered generators (‘gen sets’) which attach to the container whilst on road journeys.
Geneva Conventions 1958The Geneva Conventions on the High Seas, on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, on the Continental Shelf and on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas, adopted at Geneva on April 29, 1958.
Genoa or gennyA large jib (sail), strongly overlapping the mainmast.
Germanischer LloydThe Germanischer Lloyd AG is a classification society based in the city of Hamburg, Germany created on 16th March 1867. A group of 600 shipowners, shipbuilders and insurers met in the big hall of the Hamburg Stock Exchange. As a technical supervisory organization Germanischer Lloyd regularly conducts safety surveys on more than 7,000 ships with over 79,000,000 gross tonnes (GT). Its technical and engineering services also include the mitigation of risks and assurance of legal compliance for oil, gas and industrial installations as well as wind energy plants. The society also certifies the operating performance of companies and performs damage investigations as well as destructive and non-destructive tests of materials.
GhostTo sail slowly when there is apparently no wind.
Global Maritime Distress Safety System
An internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft (replaced the Morse Code). GMDSS consists of several systems, some of which are new, but many of which have been in operation for many years. The system is intended to perform the following functions: alerting (including position determination of the unit in distress), search and rescue coordination, locating (homing), maritime safety information broadcasts, general communications, and bridge-to-bridge communications. Specific radio carriage requirements depend upon the ship’s area of operation, rather than its tonnage. The system also provides redundant means of distress alerting, and emergency sources of power.
Global Positioning System
A satellite-based radio navigation system providing continuous worldwide coverage. It supplies navigation, position, and timing information to air, marine,and land users.
Go-DownIn the Far East, a warehouse where goods are stored and delivered.
Going about or tackingChanging from one tack to another by going through the wind (see also gybe). When the ship is ready to go about the helmsman or skipper calls “Ready about”
GoodsA common term indicating movable property, merchandise or wares.
All materials which can be used to satisfy demands.
The whole or part of the cargo received from the shipper, including any equipment supplied by the shipper.
GooseneckU.S.A. : A fitting that attaches the boom to the mast, allowing it to move freely.
The front rails of the chassis raise above its plane and engage in the tunnel of a container.
GoosewingedA 19th century term regarding a fore-and-aft rigged vessel which has the foresail and mainsail set on opposite sides of the vessel. For instance, with the mainsail to port and the jib to starboard, maximising the amount of canvas exposed to the wind. For more information see running.
GrapeshotSmall balls of lead fired from a cannon, similar to shotgun shot on a larger scale. Used to hurt people, rather than cause structural damage.
GraveTo clean a ship’s bottom.
Grid NumberAn indication of the position of a container in a bay plan by means of a combination of page number, column and line. The page number often represents the bay number.
GrogWatered-down pusser’s rum consisting of half a gill with equal part of water, issued to all seamen over twenty. (CPOs and POs were issued with neat rum).
From the British Admiral Vernon who
GroggyFeeling drunk from having consumed a lot of ‘grog’.
Gross behicle weight
The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.
Gross Registered Tons
A common measurement of the internal volume of a ship with certain spaces excluded. One ton equals 100 cubic feet; the total of all the enclosed spaces within a ship expressed in tons each of which is equivalent to 100 cubic feet.
Gross TonA common measurement equivalent to 2,240 pounds.
Gross TonnageGross Tonnage, along with Net Tonnage, was defined by The International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 1969, and came into force on July 18, 1982.
These two measurements replaced Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) and Net Register Tonnage (NRT).
Gross Tonnage is calculated based on “the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship” and is used to determine things such as a ship’s manning regulations
Gross Weight (1)The entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment.
Gross weight
(Gr. Wt. / G.W)
Gross weight
GroundThe bed of the sea.
GroundageCharge for the permission to anchor.
Grounding1. When a ship (while afloat) touches the bed of the sea
GroupageA consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for transport.
Gunner’s daughterFor more information see ‘kissing the gunner’s daughter’.
Hague ProtocolAn amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (regarding air cargo).
Hague Rules, TheA multilateral maritime treaty drafted in 1924 at The Hague
Hague-Visby RulesThe Hague-Visby Rules are a set of international rules for the carriage of goods by sea.
The official title is “International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading” and was drafted in Brussels in 1924. After being amended by the Visby Amendments (officially the “Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading”) in 1968
Half-Height ContainerAn open top container
Halyard or halliardOriginally, ropes used for hoisting a spar with a sail attached; today, a line is used to raise the head of any sail.
Hamburg RulesThe Hamburg Rules are a set of rules governing the international shipment of goods, resulting from the United Nations International Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea – adopted in Hamburg in 1978 and in force as of November 1, 1992 in those countries which have ratified it.
HammockCanvas sheets
Hand bomberA ship using coal-fired boilers shoveled in by hand.
Hand over fistTo climb steadily upwards
HandsomelyWith a slow even motion
Handy billyThis is a loose block and tackle with a hook or tail on each end, which can be used wherever it is needed as an emergency portable pump. It is usually made up of one single and one double block.
HankA fastener attached to the luff of the headsail that attaches the headsail to the forestay. Typical designs include a bronze or plastic hook with a spring-operated gate, or a strip of cloth webbing with a snap fastener.
Harbor Master / Harbour MasterAn officer who attends to the berthing, etc. of ships in a harbour and related duties.
HarbourA harbour, or haven, is a place where ships may shelter from the weather or are stored. Harbours can be man-made or natural. A harbour can include many ports.
HardA section of an otherwise muddy shoreline, suitable for mooring or hauling out.
Harden UpTurn towards the wind; sail closer to the wind.
HardtackA hard and long-lasting dry biscuit, used as food on long journeys. This was also called ship’s biscuit or sea biscuit.
Hard-Top ContainerA closed container fitted with a roof that can be opened or lifted off.
Harmonized System of Codes
This is an international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity coding scheme.
Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international Customs organisation in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organised into 99 chapters and arranged into 22 sections.
Sections encompass an industry; chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry.
The basic code contains 44 headings and 6 digit subheadings.
Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes.
HatchThe cover of – or opening- in the deck of a vessel, through which cargo is loaded.
Hatch CoverA watertight means of closing the hatchway of a vessel.
Hatchway, hatchA covered opening in a ship’s deck through which cargo can be moved or access made to a lower deck; the cover to the opening is called a hatch.
Haul windTo point the ship towards the direction of the wind; generally not the fastest point of travel on a sailing vessel.
HaulageThe inland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points.
1. Merchant inspired Carrier Haulage or customer nominated Carrier Haulage or shipper preferred Carrier Haulage service is performed by a sub-contractor of the merchant.
2. Carrier inspired Merchant Haulage means the Haulage service is performed by a sub- contractor of the Carrier.
Hawse-holeA hole in a ship’s bow for a cable or chain, such as for an anchor, to pass through.
HawsepiperAn informal maritime industry term used to refer to a merchant ship’s officer who began his or her career as an unlicensed merchant seaman and did not attend a traditional maritime college/academy to earn their officer license.
Hazardous Material
U.S.A.: Material designated as hazardous under the American 49CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).
The International Maritime Organization prefers to use “Dangerous Goods”.
HeadThe toilet or latrine of a vessel which, for sailing ships, is projected from the bows.
Head of navigationA term used to describe the farthest point above the mouth of a river that can be navigated by ships.
HeadsailAny sail flown in front of the most forward mast.
Heated ContainerA thermal container served by a heat producing appliance.
HeaveA vessel’s transient, vertical, up-and-down motion.
Heave downThe action of turning a ship on its side (for cleaning).
Heaving toStopping a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift will depend on the vessel’s design.
Heavy fuel oil
Heavy Fuel Oil is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue. The term fuel oil is used to refer only to the heaviest commercial fuel that can be obtained from crude oil; heavier than gasoline and naphtha. Marine diesel oil contains some heavy fuel oil, unlike regular diesels. Also, marine fuel oils sometimes contain waste products such as used motor oil.
Heavy LiftAn additional amount charged by ocean shippers to offset the extra cost of the heavy duty equipment required to handle the cargo.
Heavy Lift VesselAn item specifically designed to be self-sustaining with heavy lift cranes, to handle unusually heavy and/or out-sized cargoes.
Heavy-Lift ChargeA charge made for lifting articles that are too heavy for a ship’s tackle.
HeelingHeeling is the lean caused by the wind’s force on the sails of a sailing vessel.
HelmsmanA person who steers a ship.
High CubeAny container which exceeds 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches) in height.
Commonly, high cubes are 9 feet 6 inches high, or 12 inches more than a standard container.
Highfield LeverA particular type of tensioning lever, usually for running backstays. Their use allows the leeward backstay to be completely slackened so that the boom can be let fully out.
HitchA knot used to tie a rope or line to a fixed object.
HitchmentThe marrying of two or more portions of one shipment that originate at different locations, moving under one Bill of Lading, from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication.
Hog1. A fore-and-aft structural member of the hull fitted over the keel to provide a fixing for the garboard planks.
2. A rough flat scrubbing brush for cleaning a ship’s bottom under water.
HoggingWhen the peak of a wave is amidships, causing the hull to bend so the ends of the keel are lower than the middle. This is the opposite of sagging.
HoldIn its earlier use, below the orlop deck, the lower part of the interior of a ship’s hull, especially when considered as storage space, as for cargo. In later merchant vessels it extended up through the decks to the underside of the weather deck.
HolidayA gap in the coverage of newly applied paint, slush, tar or other preservative.
HolystoneA chunk of sandstone that was used to scrub the decks. The name comes from both the kneeling position sailors adopt to scrub the deck (reminiscent of genuflection for prayer), and the stone itself (which resembled a Bible in shape and size).
Home PortThe port of registration of a vessel.
House B/LA Bill of Lading issued by a freight consolidator to his client. The (real) Master B/L is the one issued by the carrier to the forwarder.
House To House TransportThe transport of cargo from the premises of the consignor to the premises of the consignee.
Note: In the United States the term ‘Point to Point Transport’ is used instead of the term ‘Door to Door Transport’, because the term ‘house’ may mean ‘customs house’ or ‘brokers house’, which are usually located in the port.
HubA central location to which traffic from many cities is directed and from which traffic is fed to other areas.
Hundred weight
(US:100 lb.; UK: 112 lbs.)
A short ton hundredweight = 100 pounds. Long ton hundredweight = 112 pounds.
HusbandingA term used by steamship lines, agents, or port captains who are appointed to handle all matters in assisting the master of the vessel – while in port – to obtain such services as bunkering, fresh water, food and supplies, payroll for the crew, doctors’ appointments and ship repair.
IcingA serious hazard where cold temperatures (below about -10°C), combined with high wind speed (typically force eight or above on the Beaufort scale), result in spray blown off the sea freezing immediately on contact with the ship.
Idle TimeThe amount of ineffective time whereby the available resources are not used e.g. a container in a yard.
IdlersThis describes members of a ship’s company who are not required to serve watches. These were, in general, specialist tradesmen such as the carpenter and the sailmaker.
Immediate exit
The U.S.A. Customs IE Customs form is used when goods are brought into the USA and are to be immediately re-exported without being transported within the USA.
Immediate transport
(IT entry)
Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed. (US customs)
ImportTo receive goods from a foreign country.
ImporterThe buyer of the goods being transported.
In BondA term applied to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally to a country without payment of duties, either for storage in a bonded warehouse or for transhipment to another point, where duties eventually will be paid.
In GateThe transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container is received by a rail terminal or water port from another carrier.
In IronsWhen the bow of a sailboat is headed into the wind and the boat has stalled and is unable to manoeuvre.
In the offingIn the water, visible from on board a ship, now used to mean something imminent.
In TransitThe status of goods or persons between the outwards Customs clearance and inwards Customs clearance.
InboardTowards the middle axis of the ship.
Inboard motorAn engine mounted within the hull of a vessel, usually driving a fixed propeller by a shaft protruding through the stern. This is generally used on larger vessels.
Inboard-Outboard drive systemFor more information see stern drive.
InboundImport (Outbound = Export).
Incentive RateA lower-than usual tariff rate assessed because a shipper offers a greater volume than specified in the tariff. The incentive rate is assessed for that portion exceeding normal volume.
Including particular average
Including particular average
INCOTermsIncoterms or international commercial terms are a series of international sales terms, published by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in international commercial transactions. They are used to divide transaction costs and responsibilities between buyer and seller and reflect state-of-the-art transportation practices. The first version was introduced in 1936 and the present dates from 2010. For more information see Terms of Sale. For more information see Terms of Sale.
Indemnity BondAn agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.
Independent Action
The right of a conference member to publish a rate of tariff rule that departs from the Agreement’s common rate or rule.
Independent TariffAny body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.
InducementPlacing a port on a vessel’s itinerary because the volume of cargo offered by that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.
Inglefield ClipA type of clip used to attach a flag to a flag halyard.
Inland CarrierA transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
Inland Point Intermodal
Refers to inland points (non-ports) that can be served by carriers on a through bill of lading.
Inland PortAn inland port (sometimes Dry Port) is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
In addition to their role in cargo transshipment, dry ports may also include facilities for storage and consolidation of goods, maintenance for road or rail cargo carriers and customs clearance services.
The location of these facilities at a dry port relieves competition for storage and customs space at the seaport itself.
Inspection CertificateA certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.
Installment ShipmentsSuccessive shipments that are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.
Institute cargo clauses
Maritime insurance
Institute of Freight Forwarders
Institute of Freight Forwarders
Insulated ContainerA container insulated on the walls, roof, floor and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.
Insulated TankThe frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.
Insurance CertificateAssures the consignee that insurance is provided to guard against loss or damage to the cargo while in transit.
Insurance with Average-clauseThis type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to three per cent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, or collides, all losses are fully-covered. In Marine Insurance, the word average means partial damage or partial loss.
Insurance, All-riskThis type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.
Insurance, General-AverageIn water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionally cover the loss.
Insurance, Particular AverageA marine insurance term which refers to partial loss on an individual shipment from one of the perils insured against, regardless of the balance of the cargo. Particular average insurance can usually be obtained, but the loss must be in excess of a certain percentage of the insured value of the shipment, usually three to five per cent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.
Interchange AgreementA formal agreement whereby participants agree to exchange equipment in intermodal movements.
Interchange PointsA terminal at which freight in the course of transportation is delivered by one transportation line to another.
InterlineAn interline agreement is a mutual agreement between lines to transport each other’s cargoes at agreed rates.
Interline FreightFreight moving from origin to destination over the lines of two or more transportation carriers.
Intermediate PointsA point located en route between two other points.
IntermodalThe term used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes (motor, water and air carriers) where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.
This is one of the remarkable advantages brought about by containerisation. All the arrangements can be made in advance by one party; transfer from one mode to another is very quick, nobody needing to handle the merchandise, with the result of A-to-Z transit times being greatly reduced.
Intermodal container transfer facility
An on-dock facility for moving containers from ship to rail or truck.
Internal RegisterA register of ships maintained as a subset of a national register. Ships on the internal register fly the national flag and have that nationality but are subject to a separate set of maritime rules from those on the main national register. These differences usually include lower taxation of profits, manning of foreign nationals, and, typically, ownership outside the flag state (when it functions as an FOC register).
The Norwegian International Ship Register and Danish International Ship Register are the most notable examples of an internal register. Both have been instrumental in stemming flight from the national flag to flags of convenience and in attracting foreign owned ships to the Norwegian and Danish flags.
Internation Maritime Organisation
Formerly known as IMCO established in Geneva in 1948, and brought into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. The IMCO name was changed to IMO in 1982.
Now headquartered in London, U.K., the IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations with 168 Member States and three Associate Members. The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
International Air Transport Association
The trade and service organisation representing international airlines from more than 100 countries.
International Air Transport Association (1)
The trade and service organisation representing international airlines from more than 100 countries.
International Association of Classification Societies
An organisation in which the major classification societies, among others American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping and Germanischer Lloyd, are joined, whose principal aim is the improvement of standards concerning safety at sea.
The members of IACS are:
ABS American Bureau of Shipping
BV Bureau Veritas
CCS China Classification Society
DNV Det Norske Veritas
GL Germanischer Lloyd
KR Korean Register of Shipping
LR Lloyd’s Register
NK Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)
RINA Registro Italiano Navale
RS Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
International Chamber of Commerce
The largest, most representative business organisation in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise. A world network of national committees keeps the ICC International Secretariat in Paris informed about national and regional business priorities. More than 2,000 experts drawn from ICC’s member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues. The United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and many other intergovernmental bodies, both international and regional, are kept in touch with the views of international business through ICC.
International data interchange standards
The United Nations-backed electronic data interchange standards body, used to create electronic versions of common business documents that will work on a global scale.
International dhip and port facility security code
An amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies.
Having come into force in 2004
International Maritime Consultative Organisation
A United Nations-affiliated organisation established in 1948 and representing all maritime countries in matters affecting maritime transportation; including the movement of dangerous goods, bulk commodities and maritime regulations.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)
(IMDG Code)
A code, representing the classification of dangerous goods as defined by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in compliance with international legal requirements.
International Maritime Satelite Organisation
A company originally founded in 1979 as the International Maritime Satellite Organisation (Inmarsat), a not-for-profit international organisation, set up at the behest of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
When the organisation was converted into a private company in 1999, the business was split into two parts: the bulk of the organisation was converted into the commercial company, Inmarsat plc, and a small group became the regulatory body, IMSO. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via special terminals which communicate to ground stations through twelve geosynchronous telecommunications satellites.
International Organisation for Standardisation
An international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations. Founded on 23rd February 1947, the organisation promulgates worldwide proprietary industrial and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Interstate Commerce Commission
U.S.A. abbreviation for Interstate Commerce Commission, The U.S.A. federal body charged with enforcing acts of the USA Congress that affect common carriers in interstate control.
InvoiceAn itemised list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.
Inward Foreign Manifest
A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. This is required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country.
Inward freight manifest
a complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge – required at all world ports. Failure to provide, errors in preparation, or late submittal causes the vessel operator to be fined. IFM is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country. Since it is a revenue-producing document, it must be accurate.
In-water surveyA method of surveying the underwater parts of a ship while it is still afloat instead of having to drydock it for examination of these areas, as was conventionally done.
Irrevocable Letter of CreditA 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 9000ISO 9000 is a series of standards, developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), intended to define, establish, and maintain an effective quality assurance system for manufacturing and service industries.
Issuing BankA bank that opens a straight or negotiable letter of credit and assumes the obligation to pay the bank or beneficiary if the documents presented are in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit.
Issuing CarrierThe carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.
Jack1. A sailor. Also jack tar or just tar.
2. A flag. Typically the flag was talked about as if it were a member of the crew. Strictly speaking
JacketA wood or fibre cover placed around such containers as cans and bottles.
Jacklines or jack staysLines, often steel wire with a plastic jacket, from the bow to the stern on both port and starboard. The Jacklines are used to clip on the safety harness to secure the crew to the vessel, while giving them the freedom to walk on the deck.
Jacob’s LadderA rope ladder suspended from the side of a vessel and used for boarding.
JennyA large jib, strongly overlapping the mainmast. Also called genoa.
JetsamDebris ejected from a ship that sinks or washes ashore..
JettisonThe act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger.
Jettison and washing overboard
Jettison and washing overboard
JettyA mole or breakwater, running out into the sea to protect harbours or coasts. It is sometimes used as a landing-pier.
JibA triangular staysail at the front of a ship.
JibboomA spar used to extend the bowsprit.
JibeFor more information see gybe.
Jigger-mastThe fourth mast – although ships with four or more masts were uncommon – or the aft most mast where it is smallest on vessels of less than four masts.
JoggleA slender triangular recess cut into the faying surface of a frame or steamed timber to fit over the land of clinker planking, or cut into the faying edge of a plank or rebate to avoid feather ends on a streak of planking. The feather end is cut off to produce a nib. The joggle and nib in this case is made wide enough to allow a caulking iron to enter the seam.
Joint RateA 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.
Joint VentureA form of business partnership involving joint management and the sharing of risks and profits between enterprises sometimes based in different countries.
JolliesA traditional Royal Navy nickname for the Royal Marines.
Jones ActA 1920 Act of the U.S. Congress prohibiting foreign flag carriers from participating in the U.S. intercoastal trade by water.
It currently is applicable in such trade lanes as the US continental states to and from Hawaii and Alaska.
JourneyA voyage from one place, port or country to another one, in case of a round trip, to the same one.
JunkOld cordage past its useful service life as lines aboard ship. The strands of old junk were teased apart in the process called picking oakum.
JurisprudenceJuridical decisions used for explanation and meaning of law.
Just-In-TimeWith this method of inventory control
KeelThe central structural basis of the hull.
KeelhaulingA maritime punishment involving the dragging of an individual under the keel of a ship.
KelsonThe timber immediately above the keel of a wooden ship.
KillickA small anchor. A fouled killick is the substantive badge of non-commissioned officers in the Royal Navy. Seamen promoted to the first step in the promotion ladder are called ‘Killick’. The badge signifies that here is an Able Seaman skilled to cope with the awkward job of dealing with a fouled anchor.
Abbreviation for ‘Kilo’ or metric ton. 1,000 kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.
Kilogram1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.
King PinA coupling pin centered on the front underside of a chassis; couples to the tractor.
King PlankThe centreline plank of a laid deck. Its sides are often recessed, or nibbed, to take the ends of their parallel curved deck planks.
Kissing the gunner’s daughterThe act of bending over the barrel of a gun for punitive beating with a cane or cat.
Kitchen RudderHinged cowling around a fixed propeller, allowing the drive to be directed to the side or forwards to manoeuvre the vessel.
KneeConnects two parts roughly at right angles, e.g. deck beams to frames.
Knocked Down
An article taken apart, folded or telescoped in such a manner as to reduce its bulk compared to its assembled bulk.
Knocked down less than carload lots
Knocked down less than carload lots
Knot (nautical)The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, which is equal to exactly 1.852 kmh and approximately 1.151 mph.
Until the mid-19th century vessel speed at sea was measured using a chip log. This consisted of a wooden panel, weighted on one edge to float upright, and thus present substantial resistance to moving with respect to the water around it, attached by line to a reel.
This way of measuring the knot was invented by Commodore Mark Wilhde. The chip log was ‘cast’ over the stern of the moving vessel and the line allowed to pay out. Knots placed at a distance of 47 feet 3 inches (14.4018 m) passed through a sailor’s fingers, while another sailor used a 30 second sandglass (28 second sandglass is the current accepted timing) to time the operation. The knot count would be reported and used in the sailing master’s dead reckoning and navigation. And this was recorded, of course, in the Ship’s Log.
This method gives a value for the knot of 20.25 in/s, or 1.85166 km/h. The difference from the modern definition is less than 0.02%.
Know the ropesA sailor who ‘knows the ropes’ is familiar with the miles of cordage and ropes involved in running a ship.
Korean Register of shipping
The Korean Register of Shipping (KR) is the only classification society founded in Korea offering verification and certification services for ships and marine structures in terms of design, construction and maintenance. KR promotes the safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the environment.
Plus, KR also provides certification services for various business sectors including education & training, navy & coast guard vessels, renewable energy and etc. KR is Asia’s second biggest classification society and aims to be on world’s top five by 2020.
The company has 560 employees in 45 offices worldwide. Its headquarters is located in DaeJeon, South Korea.
Kyoto ConventionThe convention for the International Customs Co-operation Council held in Kyoto in 1974 for the simplification and harmonisation of national customs procedures. On 25th of June 1999 the updated and restructured International Convention on the simplification and harmonisation of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) was unanimously adopted by 114 customs administrations. This convention was restructured to deal with computerised controls and to ensure better cooperation between Customs authorities mutually and with trade in general.
LabelThe tag marking the cargo. Hazardous cargoes have their own specific labels that must follow the shipment.
LadderOn board a ship, all ‘stairs’ are called ladders, except for literal staircases aboard passenger ships. Most ‘stairs’ on a ship are narrow and nearly vertical, hence the name.
LadenFrom the verb to lade; loaded aboard a vessel.
Laden VesselFor more information see Loaded Vessel.
LadingRefers to the freight shipped. The contents of a shipment.
LaganCargo or equipment to which an identifying marker or buoy is fastened, thrown over-board in times of danger to lighten a ship’s load. Under maritime law, if the goods are later found they must be returned to the owner whose marker is attached; the owner must make a salvage payment.
LakerNorth American Great Lakes slang for a vessel which spends all its time on the five Great Lakes.
Land lubberA term to describe a person unfamiliar with being on the sea.
LandbridgeThe movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, then using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. For example: a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.
Landed CostThe total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.
Landing GearA support fitted on the front part of a chassis (which is retractable). It is used to support the front end of a chassis when the tractor has been removed.
LanemeterPrimarily used to indicate the cargo capacity of a roll-on/roll-off car carrier. It is one meter of deck with a width of 2.5 to 3.0 metres.
LanyardA rope that ties something off.
LarboardAn obsolete term for the left side of a ship. It is derived from ‘lay-board’ providing access between a ship and a quay, when ships normally docked with the left side to the wharf. Replaced by port side or port, to avoid confusion with starboard.
LargeFor more information see by and large.
Lash (to)To hold goods in position by the use of wires, ropes, chains and straps.
Lateral systemA system of aids to navigation in which characteristics of buoys and beacons indicate the sides of the channel or route relative to a conventional direction of buoyage (usually upstream).
LayTo come and go; used in giving orders to the crew, such as ‘lay forward’ or ‘lay aloft’. To direct the course of vessel. Also, to twist the strands of a rope together.
Lay DaysThe dates between which a chartered vessel is to be available in a port for loading of cargo.
LayCanLaydays/Cancelling (date); range of dates within which the hire contract must start.
Laying DownBeginning construction in a shipyard.
LazaretteA small stowage locker at the aft end of a boat.
LazarettoA lazaretto or lazaret is a quarantine station for maritime travellers. Lazarets can be ships permanently at anchor, isolated islands, or mainland buildings. Until 1908, lazarets were also used for disinfecting postal items, usually by fumigation. A leper colony administered by a Christian religious order was often called a lazar house, after the parable of Lazarus the Beggar.
LeagueA unit of length, normally equal to three nautical miles.
Leakage and breakage
(Lkg. & Bkg.)
Leakage and breakage
LeaseA contract by which one party gives to another party the use of property or equipment, e.g. containers, for a specified time against fixed payments.
Lee ShoreA shore downwind of a ship. A ship which cannot sail well to windward risks being blown onto a lee shore and grounded.
Lee SideThe side of a ship sheltered from the wind (which is known as the weather side).
LeechThe aft or trailing edge of a fore-and-aft sail; the leeward edge of a spinnaker; a vertical edge of a square sail. The leech is susceptible to twist, which is controlled by the boom vang and mainsheet.
LeewardIn the direction that the wind is blowing towards.
LeewayThe amount that a ship is blown leeward by the wind. For more information see ‘weatherly’.
Legal WeightThe weight of the goods plus any immediate wrappings which are sold along with the goods e.g., the weight of a tin can as well as its contents.
For more information see ‘Gross Weight’.
Length Overall
The full length of a ship.
Less than containerload
The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose freight.
Less than container-load
This refers to shipments that do not completely fill a container and are, therefore, combined with other shipments at a warehouse to fill a container; sometimes referred to as LTL (less-than Trailer Load).
Less than truckload
The quantity of freight less than that required for the application of a truckload rate.
Let go and haulAn order indicating that the ship is in line with the wind.
Letter of Credit
A conditional bank guarantee.
Ls/Cs are financial documents issued by banks, at the request of a consignee, guaranteeing payment to the shipper of the cargo provided that certain terms and conditions are fulfilled. Normally a L/C contains a brief description of the goods, the documents required, a shipping date, and an expiration date after which payment will no longer be made.
An Irrevocable Letter of Credit is one which obligates the issuing bank to pay the exporter when all terms and conditions of the L/C have been met. None of the terms and conditions may be changed without the consent of all the parties to the L/C.
A Revocable Letter of Credit is subject to possible recall or amendment at the option of the applicant, without the approval of the beneficiary.
A Confirmed Letter of Credit is issued by a foreign bank with its validity confirmed by a US bank. An exporter who requires a confirmed L/C from the buyer is assured payment from the US bank in case the foreign buyer or bank defaults.
A Documentary Letter of Credit is one for which the issuing bank stipulates that certain documents must accompany a draft. The documents assure the applicant (importer) that the merchandise has been shipped and that title to the goods has been transferred to the importer.
Letter of Indemnity
The guarantee from the shipper or consignee to indemnify a carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favourable action by the carrier, e.g. sometimes, it is used to allow the consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering the B/L which has been delayed or become lost.
On export shipments, some carriers may permit shippers to issue Letters of Indemnity to the carriers in order to secure from them clean bills of lading in place of foul, however the risk is then high that the Letter of Indemnity is found unenforceable by a court.
Letter of Marque and ReprisalA warrant granted to a privateer condoning specific acts of piracy against a target as a redress for grievances.
LiabilityLegal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions.
LienA legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
Lifebelt, lifejacket, life preserver or ‘Mae West’A device such as a buoyant ring or inflatable jacket which keeps a person afloat in the water.
LifeboatShipboard lifeboat, kept on board a vessel and used to take crew and passengers to safety in the event of the ship being abandoned.
Rescue lifeboat, usually launched from shore, used to rescue people from the water or from vessels in difficulty.
LiferaftAn inflatable, covered raft, used in the event of a vessel being abandoned.
This is breakbulk cargo that can be lifted on and off the vessel by cranes and derricks.
LighteningThe process by which 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.
LighterAn open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbours and inland waterways to carry cargo to/from alongside a vessel.
Lighter Aboard Ship (1)
A specially constructed vessel, equipped with an overhead crane, for lifting custom-designed barges and stowing them into cellular slots in an athwartship position.
Lighter aboard ship
The acronym for ‘Lighter Aboard Ship’. This system refers to the practice of loading barges (lighters) aboard a larger vessel for transport.
It was developed in response to a need to transport lighters, a type of unpowered barge, between inland waterways separated by open seas. Lighters are typically towed or pushed around harbors, canals or rivers and cannot be relocated under their own power.
The carrier ships are known variously as LASH carriers, barge carriers, kangaroo ships or lighter transport ships.
Lighterage (1)
LighterageThis refers to the carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed thereafter.
LightweightThe weight of an empty vessel, including equipment and outfit, spare parts required by the regulatory bodies, machinery in working condition and liquids in the systems, but excluding liquids in the storage tanks, stores and crew.
LineThe correct nautical term for the majority of the cordage or ‘ropes’ used on a vessel. A line will always have a more specific name, such as mizzen topsail halyard, which describes its use.
LinerShip of the line: a major warship capable of taking its place in the main (battle) line of fighting ships. Hence the modern term for prestigious passenger vessels: ocean liner.
A cargo vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.
Liner ConferenceA group of two or more vessel-operating carriers, which provides international liner services for the carriage of cargo on a particular trade route and which has an agreement or arrangement to operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions.
Liner In Free Out
A transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading; the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of discharging.
Liquefied natural Gas
Natural gas will liquefy at a temperature of approximately -259 F or -160 C at atmospheric pressure. One cubic foot of liquefied gas will expand to approximately 600 cubic feet of gas at atmospheric pressure.
LiquidationThe finalisation of a customs entry.
ListThe vessel’s angle of lean or tilt to one side, in degrees, in the direction called roll.
LivestockCommon farm animals
Lloyd’s of LondonLloyd’s, also known as Lloyd’s of London, is a British insurance market. The Society of Lloyd’s was incorporated by Lloyd’s Act 1871.
Unlike most of its competitors in the reinsurance market, it is not a company.
It serves as a meeting place where multiple financial backers, underwriters, or ‘members’, whether individuals (traditionally known as ‘Names’) or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk.
Lloyds’ RegistryThe Lloyd’s Register Group is a maritime classification society and independent risk management organisation providing risk assessment and mitigation services and management systems certification. Historically, as Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, it was a specifically maritime organisation. In the late 20th century it diversified into other sectors, including oil & gas, process industries, nuclear and rail.
Like the famous international insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, Lloyd’s Register owes its name and foundation to the 17th century coffee house in London frequented by merchants, marine underwriters, and others, all connected with shipping. The owner, Edward Lloyd, helped them to exchange information by circulating a printed sheet of all the news he heard. In 1760, the Register Society was formed by the customers of the coffee house.
Other than this historical connection, Lloyd’s Register is unrelated to Lloyd’s of London.
LNGC (LNG Carrier)
(LNG Carrier)
An ocean-going ship specially constructed to carry LNG in tanks at 160 C. The current average carrying capacity of LNGs is 143,000 cubic metres. However the largest LNGCs developed by Qatargas – known as Q-Flex and Q-Max – can carry between 210,000 and 266,000 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas.
LoadThe freight in a vehicle or container.
Load LineThe waterline corresponding to the maximum draft to which a vessel is permitted to load, either by freeboard regulations, the conditions of classification, or the conditions of service. For more information see ‘Plimsoll Mark’.
Load RatioThe ratio of loaded miles to empty miles per tractor.
Loaded to the gunwalesA term which literally means having cargo loaded as high as the ship’s rail. It is also a colloquial meaning for feeling extremely drunk.
Loaded VesselA vessel where cargo has been put on board.
Loading TimeThe maximum permissible time for loading or unloading cargo.
LocationAny named geographical place, recognised by a competent national body, with permanent facilities used for goods movements associated with international trade, and used frequently for these purposes.
Geographical place such as a port, an airport, an inland freight terminal, a container freight station, a container yard, a container depot, a terminal or any other place where customs clearance and/or regular receipt or delivery of goods can take place.
Geographical place such as a port, an airport, an inland freight terminal, a container freight station, a container yard, a container depot, a terminal or any other place where customs clearance and/or regular receipt or delivery of goods can take place.
LockFor marine purposes this is a space, enclosed at the sides by walls and at each end by gates, by which a vessel can be floated up or down to a different level. The Panama and Suez canals have many locks, for instance.
LoggerheadAn iron ball attached to a long handle, used for driving caulking into seams and (occasionally) in a fight. Hence the saying: ‘at loggerheads’.
Long TonThe U.S. imperial weight value of 2,240 pounds.
Long ton (1)
(l. t. or l. tn.)
Long ton
LongshoremanStevedore, dock worker; an individual employed locally in a port to load and unload ships.
LooseWithout packing.
Loose cannonAn irresponsible and reckless individual whose behaviour (either intended or unintended) endangers the group he or she belongs to. A loose cannon, weighing thousands of pounds, would crush anything and anyone in its path, and possibly even break a hole in the hull, thus endangering the seaworthiness of the whole ship.
Loose footedA mainsail that is not connected to a boom along its foot.
Los Angeles Export Terminal
Los Angeles Export Terminal
Loss and damage
Loss and damage
Low-BoyA trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground to allow for the transport of overheight pieces.
Lubber’s lineA vertical line inside a compass case indicating the direction of the ship’s head.
LuffThe forward edge of a sail.
Luff upTo steer a sailing vessel more towards the direction of the wind until the pressure is eased on the [sheet].
LuffingWhen a sailing vessel is steered far enough to windward that the sail is no longer completely filled with wind (the luff of a fore-and-aft sail begins to flap first).
Loosening a sheet so far past optimal trim that the sail is no longer completely filled with wind.
The flapping of the sail(s) which results from having no wind in the sail at all.
Mae WestA Second World War personal flotation device used to keep people afloat in the water; named after the 1930s actress Mae West, well-known for her pneumatic torso.
Mafi TrailerA German brand name of a roll trailer used for RoRo purposes.
Magnetic BearingAn absolute bearing using magnetic north.
Magnetic NorthThe direction towards the Magnetic North Pole. Varies slowly over time.
Maiden TripThe first voyage of a vessel after delivery from new-building to her owner(s).
MainbraceOne of the braces attached to the mainmast.
Mainmast (or Main)The tallest mast on a ship.
MainsheetThe sail control line that allows the most obvious effect on mainsail trim. It is primarily used to control the angle of the boom, and thereby the mainsail. This control can also increase or decrease downward tension on the boom while sailing upwind, significantly affecting sail shape. For more control over downward tension on the boom, a boom vang is recommended.
Making wayThe scenario of a vessel moving under its own power.
MalaccamaxMalaccamax is a naval architecture term for the largest size of ship capable of fitting through the 25 metres (82 ft)-deep Strait of Malacca. This waterway connects the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean). It runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and peninsular (West) Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east.
Bulk carriers and supertankers have been built to this size, and the term is chosen for very large crude carriers (VLCC). A Malaccamax container ship would be 470 m long and 60 m wide, with 20 m of draft and 300,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) for a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The ports’ growth requirements could be leading to the creation of new terminals dedicated to those ships.
MalpracticeUSA; FMC Regulations. A carrier giving a customer illegal preference to attract cargo.
This can take the form of a money refund (rebate); using lower figures than actual for the assessment of freight charges (undercubing); misdeclaration of the commodity shipped to allow the assessment of a lower tariff rate; waiving published tariff charges for demurrage, CFS handling or equalisation; providing specialised equipment to a shipper to the detriment of other shippers, etc.
Man of war or man o’ warA warship from the Age of Sail.
Man overboard!A cry let out when a seaman has gone overboard.
MandamusA writ issued by a court; determines that specific actions be carried out.
ManifestA list or invoice of the passengers or goods being carried by a commercial vehicle or ship. It is a document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, for example, a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.
Marconi rigAnother term for Bermudan sailing rig. The mainsail is triangular, rigged fore-and-aft with the lead edge fixed to the mast. It refers to the similarity of the tall mast to a radio aerial.
MarinaA docking facility suitable for small ships and yachts.
Marine Cargo InsuranceIn broad terms, it is insurance covering the 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.
Marines Soldiers afloatRoyal Marines formed as the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot in 1664 with many and varied duties including providing guard to the ship’s officers should there be mutiny aboard. They were sometimes thought by seamen to be rather gullible, hence the phrase ‘tell it to the marines’.
MaritimeBusiness pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.
Maritime Group(Rules for Sea and Inland Waterways transport – none of which should be used for carriage in intermodal containers)
FAS – Free Alongside Ship (named port of shipment)
FOB – Free On Board (named port of shipment)
CFR – Cost and Freight (named port of destination)
CIF – Cost, Insurance and Freight (named port of destination)
Maritime LawMaritime law is a complete system of law, both public and private, substantive and procedural, national and international, with its own courts and jurisdiction, which goes back to Rhodian law of 800 B.C. and pre-dates both the civil and common laws.
Its more modern origins were civilian in nature, as first seen in the R�les of Oléron of circa 1190 A.D. Maritime law was subsequently greatly influenced and formed by the English Admiralty Court and then later by the common law itself.
That maritime law is a complete legal system can be seen from its component parts. For centuries maritime law has had its own law of contract:
of sale (of ships);
of service (towage);
of lease (chartering);
of carriage (of goods by sea);
of insurance (marine insurance being the precursor of insurance ashore);
of agency (ship chandlers);
of pledge (bottomry and respondentia);
of hire (of masters and seamen);
of compensation for sickness and personal injury (maintenance and cure) and
risk distribution (general average).
It is and has been a national and an international law (probably the first private international law). It has also had its own public law and public international law. Maritime law is composed of two main parts – national maritime statutes and international maritime conventions, on the one hand, and the general maritime law (lex maritima), on the other.
Today’s general maritime law consists of the common forms, terms, rules, standards and practices of the maritime shipping industry – standard form bills of lading, charter parties, marine insurance policies and sales contracts are good examples of common forms and the accepted meaning of the terms, as well as the York/Antwerp Rules on general average and the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits.
MarkingLetters, numbers and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. These are also known as marks.
MARPOL 73/78Marpol 73/78 is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978. (‘Marpol’ is short for marine pollution and 73/78 short for the years 1973 and 1978.)
Marpol 73/78 is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was designed to minimise pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. Its stated object is: to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimisation of accidental discharge of such substances.
MastA vertical pole on a ship designed to support sails or rigging.
MasterEither the commander of a commercial vessel, or a senior officer of a naval sailing ship in charge of routine seamanship and navigation but not in command during combat.
Master BillIn case of consolidation, the Master Bill is the B/L of the carrier’s contract of carriage, split among House Bills, the consolidator’s contract of carriage with their clients.
Master-at-armsA non-commissioned officer responsible for discipline on a naval ship. Standing between the officers and the crew, commonly known in the Royal Navy as ‘the Buffer’.
MastheadA small platform partway up the mast, just above the height of the mast’s main yard. A lookout is stationed here, and men who are working on the main yard will embark from here. For more information see Crow’s Nest.
MatelotThe French term for sailor. A traditional Royal Navy term for an ordinary sailor.
Mate’s Receipt (1)An archaic practice. It was 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.
Measurement CargoFreight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.
Measurement TonUSA Imperial measure; 40 cubic feet.
Mechanically Ventilated ContainerA container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation (fan).
Memo BillFor more information see Service Bill of Lading.
Memorandum Bill of LadingA duplicate copy of an in-house bill of lading.
Mercantile marine
Mercantile marine
MerchantFor cargo carried under the terms and conditions of the Carrier’s Bill of Lading and of a tariff, a merchant describes any trader or persons (e.g. Shipper, Consignee) and including anyone acting on their behalf, owning or entitled to possession of the goods.
Merchant HaulageContainer’s trucking managed by the sender or a forwarder (as opposed to Carrier Haulage). It includes empty container-moves to and from hand-over points in respect of containers released by the Carrier to Merchants.
Merchant MarineAll ships engaged in the carriage of goods i.e. all commercial vessels (as opposed to all non-military ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs, etc. This includes a grouping of merchant ships by nationality or register.
Merchant ShipA vessel that carries goods against payment of freight; commonly used to denote any non-military ship but accurately restricted to commercial vessels only.
MessAn eating place aboard ship. A group of crew who live and eat together.
Mess deck cateringA system of catering in which a standard ration is issued to a mess supplemented by a money allowance which may be used by the mess to buy additional provisions from the purser’s stores or elsewhere.
Each mess was autonomous and self-regulating. Seaman cooks, often members of the mess, prepared the meals and took them, in a tin canteen, to the galley to be cooked by the ship’s cooks.
Metric Ton (1)2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.
Metric ton
2204 lbs
Metric ton (2)
Metric ton
MicrobridgeA 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 the origin to destination. This movement is also known as IPI or Thru Service.
MidshipmanA non-commissioned officer below the rank of Lieutenant. They are usually regarded as being ‘in training’ to some degree. These officers have also been known as ‘Snotty’.
The Midshipman is ‘the lowest form of animal life in the Royal Navy’ where he has authority over and responsibility for more junior ranks, yet, at the same time, relying on their experience and learning his trade from them.
MileA unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6,076.115 feet.For more information see nautical mile.
Mini Landbridge (1)
An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean, and then by rail or motor, to a port previously served as an all-water. For example, the route of Hong Kong to New York over Seattle. For more information see Landbridge.
Mini Landbridge
Mini Landbridge
Minimum Bill of LadingA clause that specifies the minimum charge that the carrier will make for issuing a lading. The charge may be a definite sum or the current charge per ton for any specified quantity.
Minimum ChargeThe lowest amount which applies to the transport of a consignment, irrespective of weight or volume.
MistowA container which is stowed in an improper position on a vessel or a container on a vessel that does not belong on that particular ship.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
A Japanese transport company whose main area of operations is international shipping. Its alligator logo can be seen on containers in ports around the world.
Founded as a key part of the Mitsui zaibatsu (family-owned conglomerate) during the early industrialisation of Japan, the company is now independent of the zaibatsu, but remains part of the Mitsui keiretsu (group of aligned companies).
Mixed ConsignmentA consignment of varying commodities, articles or goods, packed or tied together or contained in separate packages.
Mixed ContainerloadA containerload of different articles in a single consignment.
Mizzen staysailThe sail on a ketch or yawl, usually lightweight, set from, and forward of, the mizzen mast while reaching in light to moderate air.
Mizzenmast (or Mizzen)The third mast on a ship.
Modified AtmosphereA blend of gases tailored to a specific load of cargo that replaces the normal atmosphere within a container.
Monkey’s FistA ball woven out of line used to provide heft to heave the line to another location. The monkey’s fist and other heaving-line knots were sometimes weighted with lead (easily available in the form of foil used to seal e.g. tea chests from dampness) although Clifford W. Ashley notes that there was a ‘definite sporting limit’ to the weight thus added.
MoorTo attach a boat to a mooring buoy or post. This also applies to the docking of a ship.
Morse CodeMorse code is a type of character encoding that transmits telegraphic information using rhythm. Morse code uses a standardised sequence of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a given message.
Originally created for Samuel F. B. Morse’s electric telegraph in the early 1840s, Morse code was also extensively used for early radio communication beginning in the 1890s.
Military ships, including those of the US Navy, have long used signal lamps to exchange messages in Morse code. Modern use continues, in part, as a way to communicate while maintaining radio silence. An important application is signalling for help through SOS, ‘. . . – – – . . . ‘. This can be sent many ways: keying a radio on and off, flashing a mirror, toggling a flashlight and other similar methods.
Regulations in 1987 replaced Morse code with the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) and came into force from 1st February 1992.
Most favoured nation
In international economic relations and international politics, ‘most favoured nation’ is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade.
The term means the country which is the recipient of this treatment must, nominally, receive equal trade advantages as the ‘most favoured nation’ by the country granting such treatment. (Trade advantages include low Customs Duty tariffs or high import quotas.)
(M/V or M.V.)
MouldA template of the shape of a ship’s hull in transverse section. Several moulds are used to form a temporary framework around which a hull is built.
MultimodalVarious modes of transportation, synonymous for all practical purposes with the term ‘intermodal.’
NegotiableIn terms of documents, ‘negotiable’ means that, for example, a Bill of Lading is handed over/transferred in the right manner (viz. proper endorsement) to another person either endorsed in blank or endorsed to a person and that person acquires, by this transfer, certain rights vis-�-vis the goods – for example they are entitled to take possession of the goods.
Negotiable InstrumentsA 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 Bs/L.’
Neptune Orient Lines
Neptune Orient Lines’ Limited SGX, a Singapore-based global transport company with core businesses in container shipping and supply chain management.
A subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, it wholly owns shipping company American President Lines, now known as APL and its sister logistics arm APL Logistics.
NestedArticles packed so that one rests partially or entirely within another, thereby reducing a vessel’s cubic-foot displacement.
Net CapacityThe number of tons of cargo which a vessel can carry when loaded in salt water to her summer freeboard marks. This is also called cargo carrying capacity, cargo deadweight or useful deadweight.
Net register tons
This is the theoretical cargo capacity of a ship. It is sometimes used to charge fees or taxes on a vessel. For more information see ‘Net Tonnage.’
Net Short TonUSA: 2,000 pounds.
Net Tare WeightThe weight of an empty cargo-carrying piece of equipment plus any fixtures permanently attached.
Net TermsFree of charters’ commission.
Net Tonnage
Net tonnage (often abbreviated as NT, N.T. or nt) is a calculated representation of a the internal volume of a ship’s cargo holds.
It is expressed in ‘tons’
Net tons
Net tons
Net WeightWeight 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.
Neutral BodyA group which operates within the framework of a rate conference. Established by the member carriers to act as a self-policing force to seek out malpractices and other tariff violations.
The neutral body has authority to scrutinise all documents kept by the carriers and the carriers’ personnel. Has right of entry to all areas of the carriers’ facilities, including desks, briefcases, etc. Violations found are reported to the membership, and significant penalties are assessed. Repeated offences are subject to escalating penalties. Revenue from penalties is used to support the cost of the neutral body’s activity.
NipperShort rope used to bind a cable to the ‘messenger’ (a moving line propelled by the capstan) so that the cable is dragged along too (used where the cable is too large to be wrapped round the capstan itself). During the raising of an anchor the nippers were attached and detached from the (endless) messenger by the ship’s boys. Hence the term for small boys: ‘nippers’.
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK)(? ?????????, Zaidan-h?jin Nippon Kaiji Ky?kai); a ship classification society. It is also known by the brand name ClassNK or often in the industry as just CNK. It is a not for profit society dedicated to ensuring the safety of life and property at sea, and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment.
By the end of December 2007, the Society had 6,793 ships totalling 152.22 million gross tons under class. This figure represents approximately 20 percent of the world merchant fleet currently under class.
Although based in Japan, ClassNK has worldwide representation through a network of exclusive surveyor offices.
No room to swing a catThe entire ship’s company was expected to witness floggings, assembled on deck. If it was very crowded, the bosun might not have room to swing the ‘cat o’ nine tails’ (the whip).
Nomenclature of the Customs Cooperation CouncilThe Customs tariff used by most countries worldwide. It was formerly known as the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature and is the basis of the commodity coding system known as the Harmonised System.
Non-Tariff Barriers
Economic, political, administrative or legal impediments to trade other than duties, taxes and import quotas.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier
A firm that offers the same services as an ocean carrier, but which does not own or operate a vessel.
NVOCCs usually act as consolidators, accepting small shipments (LCL) and consolidating them into full container-loads. They then act as a shipper, tendering the containers to ocean common carriers. They are required to file tariffs with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, and are subject to the same laws and statutes that apply to primary common carriers.
Norske VeritasNorwegian classification society.For more information see Det Norske.
North American free trade agreement
A free trade agreement comprising the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
NoseThe front of a container or trailer – opposite to the tail where the doors are.
No-showCargo which has been booked but does not arrive in time to be loaded before the vessel sails. For more information see Windy Booking.
Not elsewhere classified
Not elsewhere classified
OakumThe material used for caulking hulls, often containing hemp picked from old untwisted ropes.
Ocean and rail
(O. & R.)
Ocean and rail
Ocean Bill of Lading
(Ocean BL)
A document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market and indicates the terms of the contract of carriage. The ocean B/L serves as a collection document. If it is a straight B/L, the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If it is a negotiable B/L, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond, surrender the original B/L or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.
An ‘OBL’ is not an Ocean B/L, but an Original B/L.
OceansAn ocean (from Greek ???????, Okeanos (Oceanus)) is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface, an area of some 361 million square kilometers (139.5 million square miles), is covered by ocean; a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.
Pacific Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Southern Ocean, sometimes subsumed as the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans
Arctic Ocean, sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic
Office of first entry
This is the customs office at the first point of entry into the customs territory of the Community where ENS must be submitted.
Office of subsequent entry.
When the Office of First Entry (OoFe) decides to transfer the risk to another Member State’s customs.
Oilskins or oiliesFoul-weather clothing worn by sailors.
On BoardCargo that has been loaded on board a combined transport mode of conveyance. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the country.
On-CarriageInland freight movement on the importer’s side.
One Stop ShopAn organisation, which provides all needed requirements in one location.
Open AccountA trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment.
Open Insurance PolicyA marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
Open PolicyA cargo insurance policy that is an open contract; i.e., it provides protection for all an exporter’s shipments afloat or in transit within a specified geographical trade area for an unlimited period of time, until the policy is cancelled by the insured or by the insurance company. It is ‘open’ because the goods that are shipped are also detailed at that time. This is usually shown in a document called a marine insurance certificate.
Open RegistryA term used in place of ‘flag of convenience’ or ‘flag of necessity’ to denote registry in a country which offers favourable tax, regulatory, and other incentives to ship owners from other nations.
Open SeaThe water area of the open coast seaward of the ordinary low-water mark, or seaward of inland waters.
Open Sided ContainerA container with frames with wire-mesh at the sides covered by means of a tarpaulin, which can be dropped down to give unrestricted access to the sides of the container for loading or discharging.
Open TopA container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.
Optimum CubeThe highest level of cube utilisation that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.
Optional CargoCargo of which the final destination is not known at the moment of booking, but will be indicated during its transport.
Optional PortA port of which it is not known whether or not a vessel during will make a call during a voyage.
Order notify or own name
Order notify or own name
Order of
Order of
A bill of lading term to provide surrender of the original bill of lading before freight is released; usually associated with a shipment covered under a letter of credit.
OreboatNorth American Great Lakes term for a vessel primarily used in the transport of iron ore.
Organisation of economic cooperation and development
Headquartered in Paris with membership consisting of the World’s Developed Nations.
Orient Overseas Container Line
A Hong Kong-based container shipping and logistics service company.
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL). OOCL was founded by C. Y. Tung In 1947 as the Orient Overseas Line. It changed its name to Orient Overseas Container Line in 1969, when it began the process of containerisation.
In the past, all important or large ships of the OOCL had names that began with the word ‘Seawise’, which was a pun on C. Y. Tung’s initials.
OriginA location where shipment begins its movement at cargo’s expense.
Orlop deckThe lowest deck of a ship of the line. The deck covering in the hold.
Out GateA transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container leaves a rail or water terminal.
OutboardTowards either the port side or starboard side of a ship.
Outboard motorA motor mounted externally on the transom of a small boat. The boat may be steered by twisting the whole motor.
OutdriveThe lower part of a sterndrive (qv).
OuthaulA line used to control the shape of a sail.
Cargo that exceeds the dimensions of standard containers. Overheight cargo can be loaded in open top containers (without the tarpaulin cover). Over-width and over-length cargo must be loaded on flatrack or platform containers. Totally over-dimension cargo can only be loaded as breakbulk.
Out-of-Gauge CargoCargo which exceeds the normal dimensions of a 20′ or 40′ container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.
Outside diameter
Outside diameter
Outward boundTo leave the safety of a port, heading for the open ocean.
Over, short or damaged
(O.S. & D.)
This is usually discovered at the cargo unloading stage.
OverbearTo sail downwind directly at another ship, stealing the wind from its sails.
OverfallsDangerously steep and breaking seas due to opposing currents and wind in a shallow area, or strong currents over a shallow rocky bottom.
OverhaulHauling the buntline ropes over the sails to prevent them from chaffing.
OverheadThe ‘ceiling,’ or, essentially, the bottom of the deck above you.
Overheight CargoCargo stowed in an open-top container; projects above the uppermost level of the roof struts.
Overlength CargoCargo exceeding the standard length of an ISO container.
Over-reachingThe term for a ship which tacks; meaning to hold its course for too long.
OvertonnagingA situation where there are too many ships generally or in a particular trade for the level of available cargoes.
OverwhelmedA vessel which has capsized or foundered.
Overwidth CargoCargo exceeding the standard width of an ISO container.
OwnerTraditional Royal Navy term for the Captain; a survival from the days when privately-owned ships were often hired for naval service.
Owner Code
Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. For more information see SCAC Code.
Owner’s risk
Owner’s risk
PackageAny physical piece of cargo in relation to transport consisting of the contents and its packing for the purpose of ease of handling by manual or mechanical means.
The final product of the packing operation consisting of the packing and its contents to facilitate manual or mechanical handling.
Packed weight
Packed weight
Packing ListAn itemised list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.
Paired PortsA US Customs program wherein at least two designated Customs ports will enter cargo that arrives at either port without the necessity of an inbound document.
PalletA 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.
Pallet ExtenderA metal or cardboard device, designed to increase pallet capacity.
PantingThe pulsation in and out of the bow and stern plating as the ship alternately rises and plunges deep into the water.
Paper RateA published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.
Paperless ReleaseUnder ABI, certain commodities from low-risk countries not designated for examination may be released through an ABI-certified broker without the actual submission of documentation.
ParbuckleA method of lifting a roughly cylindrical object such as a spar. One end of a rope is made fast above the object, a loop of rope is lowered and passed around the object, which can be raised by hauling on the free end of rope.
Parcel ReceiptAn arrangement whereby a steamship company, under rules and regulations established in the freight tariff of a given trade, accepts small packages at rates below the minimum bill of lading, and issues a parcel receipt instead of a bill of lading.
ParrelA movable loop or collar, used to fasten a yard or gaff to its respective mast. Parrels still allow the spar to be raised or lowered and swivel around the mast. They can be made of wire or rope and fitted with beads to reduce friction.
Part brass ragsA colloquial term used to describe the act of falling out with a friend. From the days when cleaning materials were shared between sailors.
Participating CarrierA carrier participating in a tariff and who therefore applies the rates, charges, routing and regulations of the tariff.
Particular average
Particular average
PayerA party responsible for the payment as evidenced by the given instrument. Under letters of credit, the payer is the party on whom the draft is drawn; usually the drawee bank.
PayingFilling a seam (with caulking or pitch), lubricating the running rigging; paying with slush (q.v.), protecting from the weather by covering with slush.
PayloadThe revenue-producing load carried by a means of transport.
PaymasterThe officer responsible for all money matters in Royal Navy ships including the paying and provisioning of the crew, all stores, tools and spare parts. For more information see Purser.
Per DiemUSA; Latin meaning ‘per day.’ A charge made by one transportation line against another for the use of its equipment, namely the container and its chassis.
The charge is based on a fixed rate per day (which is already the case for the related Demurrage, Detention and Storage).
Perils of the SeaThe causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable (i.e. acts of God). These are regarded as elemental risks of ocean transport.
Perishable CargoCargo that is subject to decay or deterioration.
Petroleum, oil and lubricants
Petroleum, oil and lubricants
Phytosanitary Inspection CertificateA certificate issued by the US Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a US shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.
Pick-upThe act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor’s shipping platform.
PierThe structure to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.
Pier-head jumpThe scenario of a sailor being drafted to a warship at the last minute, just before she sails.
Pier-to-HouseA shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, then to the consignee’s facility.
Pier-to-PierContainers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.
Piggy PackerA mobile container handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.
PiggybackA transportation agreement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destination. This arrangement is also known as Rail Pegs.
PilferageAs used in marine insurance policies, the term denotes petty thievery, the taking of small parts of a shipment, as opposed to the theft of a whole shipment or large unit. Many ordinary marine insurance policies do not cover against pilferage, and when this coverage is desired, it must be added to the policy.
PilotThe vessel’s navigator. An especially knowledgeable person qualified to navigate a vessel through difficult waters, e.g. harbour pilot etc.
Pipe (Bos’n’s), or a bos’n’s callA whistle used by Boatswains (bosuns or bos’ns) to issue commands. Consisting of a metal tube which directs the breath over an aperture on the top of a hollow ball to produce high pitched notes.
The pitch of the notes can be changed by partly covering the aperture with the finger of the hand in which the pipe is held. The shape of the instrument is similar to that of a smoking pipe.
Pipe downA signal on the bosun’s pipe to signal the end of the day, requiring lights (and smoking pipes) to be extinguished and silence from the crew.
Piping the sideA salute on the bos’n’s pipe(s) performed in the company of the deck watch on the starboard side of the quarterdeck or at the head of the gangway, to welcome or bid farewell to the ship’s Captain, senior officers and honoured visitors.
PitchA vessel’s motion, rotating about the beam/transverse axis, causing the fore and aft ends to rise and fall repetitively.
PitchpoleTo capsize a boat end over end, rather than by rolling over.
PlaceA particular street address or other designation of a factory, store, warehouse, place of business, private residence, construction camp or the like, at a point.
Place of AcceptanceSee Place of Receipt.
Place of DeliveryA place where cargo leaves the care and custody of the carrier.
Place of DespatchA name and address specifying where goods are collected or taken over by the carrier (i.e. if other than consignor).
Place of ReceiptA location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.
Place of RestThe term ‘Place of Rest’, as used in the Containerized Cargo Rules, means the location on the floor, dock, platform or doorway at the CFS to which cargo is first delivered by shipper or agent thereof.
PlaningThe scenario when a fast-moving vessel skims over the water instead of pushing through it.
PlanningThe preparation of the discharge/loading of a vessel at the port.
Platform (Container)A truck or trailer without ends, sides or top but with only the (reinforced) floor of an ISO container.
Poincaré gold franc
One p.g.f. is 65.6 milligrams of gold of millesimal fineness 900 (900 parts pure gold out of 1,000). It was first defined by the French Law of June 25th, 1928 and named after Raymond Poincaré, the French Prime Minister who stabilised the currency of France. The p.g.f. is worth approximately 13 cents Cdn. or 10 cents U.S. approximately.
PointA particular city, town, village or other community which is treated as a unit for the application of rates.
Point of OriginThe station at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Point to Point TransportSee House to House Transport.
Pomerene ActAlso known as (USA) Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916. U.S.A. federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties for issuing Bs/L containing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.
PontoonA flat-bottomed vessel used as a ferry, barge, car float or a float moored alongside a jetty or a ship to facilitate boarding.
PoolA common supply of containers or of chassis available to the shippers. Units belong to several carriers who share them amongst themselves to alleviate the ‘peak and valley’ effect on the demand for equipment.
Pool (container)A permanent positioning of one or more containers at a location to facilitate continuous volume loading.
Pool AgreementAn alliance of companies to share profit from joint (pooled) operations under a certain ratio formula. The shared use of, for example, equipment by a number of companies, which make together the investments in the equipment mentioned.
PoopThe aft part of a vessel where the steering engine is located.
Poop deckA high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.
PoopedSwamped by a high, following sea.
Port(Port side) Towards the left-hand side of the ship facing forward (formerly Larboard). Denoted with a red light at night.
A harbour with piers or docks.
Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight.
Port arrival immediate release and enforcement determination
A US Customs program that allows entry documentation for an import shipment to be filed at one location, usually an inland city, while the merchandise is cleared by Customs at the port of entry, normally a seaport.
Cities where there is a natural flow of cargo are actually ‘paired’ in the program; e.g., Atlanta, an inland city, is linked with Savannah, a seaport. The program was tested in ’87-’88, and became generally available from mid- ’88.
Quantity DiscountA proportional reduction of a rate based on quantity.
QuarantineA restraint placed on an operation to protect the public against a health hazard. A ship may be quarantined so that it cannot leave a protected point. During that period, the Q flag is hoisted.
QuarterdeckThe aftermost deck of a warship. In the age of sail, the quarterdeck was the preserve of the ship’s officers.
QuayA structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored. For more information see also Pier and Dock.
QuaysideThe dock or platform used to fasten vessels whilst in situ.
Queen’s (King’s) RegulationsThe standing orders governing the British Royal Navy issued in the name of the current monarch.
QuoinA wedge-shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.
QuotasA system of controlling imports, exports or production by specifying a certain limitation. The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction or additional duties or taxes.
QuotationAmount stated as the price according to tariff for certain services to be provided or issued to a customer with specification on conditions for carriage.
Quotation Expiration DateThe date as from which a quotation price is no longer valid.
RadarAcronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. An electronic system designed to transmit radio signals and receive reflected images of those signals from a ‘target’ in order to determine the bearing and distance to the ‘target’.
Radar reflectorA special fixture fitted to a vessel or incorporated into the design of certain aids to navigation to enhance their ability to reflect radar energy. In general, these fixtures will materially improve the visibility for use by vessels with radar.
Rag TopA slang term for an open-top trailer or container with a tarpaulin cover.
Rail CarA wheeled wagon used for the carriage of cargo by rail.
Rail DivisionThe amount of money an ocean carrier pays to the railroad for overland charges.
Railand canal
(R & C)
Railand canal
RampA railroad terminal where containers are received or delivered and trains are 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.
Ramp-to-DoorA movement where the load initiates at an origin rail ramp and terminates at a consignee’s door.
Ramp-to-RampA movement of equipment from an origin rail ramp to a destination rail ramp only.
Range lightsTwo lights associated to form a range (a line formed by the extension of a line connecting two charted points) which often, but not necessarily, indicates the channel centreline. The front range light is the lower of the two, and nearer to the mariner using the range. The rear light is higher and further from the mariner.
RateThe price of a transport service.
Quantity, amount or degree measured or applied.
Rate BasisA formula of the specific factors or elements (weight, measure, equipment type, package, box, etc.) that control the making of a rate.
RatlinesRope ladders permanently rigged from bulwarks and tops to the mast to enable access to top masts and yards.
ReachingSailing across the wind: from about 60° to about 160° off the wind. Reaching consists of ‘close reaching’ (about 60° to 80°), ‘beam reaching’ (about 90°) and ‘broad reaching’ (about 120° to 160°). For more information see also beating and running.
Ready aboutA call to indicate imminent tacking. For more information see going about.
ReasonablenessUnder ICC and common law, reasonableness is the requirement that a rate not be higher than is necessary to reimburse the carrier for the actual cost of transporting the traffic, allowing a fair profit.
RebateA deduction taken from a set payment or charge. As a rebate is given after payment of the full amount has been made, it differs from a discount which is deducted in advance of the payment. In foreign trade, a full or partial rebate may be given on import duties paid on goods which are later re-exported.
USA: An illegal form of discounting or refunding that has the net effect of lowering the tariff price.
ReconsignmentChanging the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while the shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially the same meaning.
Reconsolidation pointA location where loose or other non-containerised cargo is regrouped for further carriage.
Red Clause Letter of CreditA letter of credit that allows the exporter to receive a percentage of the face value of the letter of credit in advance of shipment. This enables the exporter to purchase inventory and pay other costs associated with producing and preparing the export order.
Red DusterThe traditional nickname for the Red Ensign, the civil ensign (flag) carried by civilian vessels from the United Kingdom.
Red LabelThe label required on shipments of flammable articles.
ReefReef: To temporarily reduce the area of a sail exposed to the wind, usually to guard against adverse effects of strong wind or to slow the vessel.
Reef: Rock or coral, possibly only revealed at low tide, shallow enough that the vessel will at least touch, if not go aground.
Reef pointsSmall lengths of cord attached to a sail, used to secure the excess fabric after reefing.
Reef-bandsLong pieces of rough canvas sewed across the sails to give them additional strength.
ReeferAn insulated container with provisions for temperature control, either self-contained or attached (Gen set, meaning GENerator SET). They come in several ISO lengths or high cube, same as standard boxes.
‘Reefer Services’ include power supply and temperature monitoring.
Reef-tacklesRopes employed in the operation of reefing.
RefundThe repayment to the purchaser of the total charge or a portion of that charge for unused carriage.
Related PointsA group of points to which rates are made the same as, or in relation to, rates to other points in group.
Relative bearingA bearing relative to the direction of the ship: the clockwise angle between the ship’s direction and an object. For more information see also Absolute bearing and Bearing.
RelayThe transfer of containers from one ship to another.
Released Value Not Exceeding (1)
Used to limit the value of goods transported. The limitation refers to carrier liability when paying a claim for lost or damaged goods.
Released value not exceeding
Usually used to limit the value of goods transported. The limitation refers to carrier liability when paying a claim for lost or damaged goods.
Request for proposal
Request for proposal
Request for quotation
Request for quotation
ReservationAllotment in advance of space or weight capacity. Also referred to as ‘Booking’.
Restricted articlesArticles handled only under special conditions.
RetaliationAction taken by a country to restrain its imports from another country that has increased a tariff or imposed other measures that adversely affects the first country’s exports.
Return poolA place where equipment is returned.
Reverse IPI
An inland point provided by an all-water carrier’s through bill of lading in the US by first discharging the container in an East Coast port.
Revocable Letter of CreditFor more information see Letter of Credit.
RiggingThe system of masts and lines on ships and other sailing vessels.
Righting coupleThe force which tends to restore a ship to equilibrium once a heel has altered the relationship between her centre of buoyancy and her centre of gravity.
RigolThe rim or ‘eyebrow’ above a port-hole or scuttle.
Riots and civil commotions
Riots and civil commotions
Riots, civil commtions and strikes
(RCC & S)
Riots, civil commtions and strikes
Ro /RoAn abbreviated term for 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. This term is also used to refer to this type of cargo as well.
RodeThe anchor line, rope or cable connecting the anchor chain to the vessel. For more information see Anchor Rode.
RollA vessel’s motion rotating from side to side, about the fore-aft/longitudinal axis. List (qv) is a lasting tilt in the roll direction.
To re-book the cargo to a later vessel.
RollingThe side-to-side (athwartship) motion of a vessel.
Rolling-tackleA number of pulleys, engaged to confine the yard to the weather side of the mast; this tackle is much used in a rough sea.
Ropes (The)The lines in the rigging.
Rope’s endA summary punishment device.
Shipping Act of 1984USA; effective June 18th, 1984, describes the law covering water transportation in the US foreign trade. The passage of the Shipping Act of 1984 brought about a major deregulatory change in the regulatory regime facing shipping companies operating in the US foreign commerce. The subsequent passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, with its further deregulatory amendments and modifications to the Shipping Act of 1984 (which took effect on May 1st, 1999), represented another pro-market shift in shipping regulation.
Shipping Act of 1998USA; amends the Act of 1984 to provide for confidential service contracts and other items.
Shipping CompanyA group of persons jointly owning a ship and using it to gain profit from commercial marine shipments for joint account.
Shipping OrderA shipper’s instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.
ShoalShallow water that is a hazard to a vessel’s navigation.
Shoal DraughtShallow draught, making the vessel capable of sailing in unusually shallow water.
ShoreThe land on or near a waterline such as a sea shore or lake shore.
The land; the seamen were serving on shore instead of in ships.
A prop or strut supporting the weight or flooring above it; the shores stayed upright during the earthquake.
Short Ton
US imperial measure : 2,000 lbs.
ShortageThe negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the required quantity.
Short-ShippedCargo manifested but not loaded.
Shrink WrapPolyethylene or similar substance heat-treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.
ShroudsStanding rigging running from a mast to the sides of a ship.
Shuttle ServiceThe carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.
Sick BayThe compartment reserved for medical purposes.
Side LoaderA lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.
Side-Door ContainerA container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.
SidingA short railroad track connected with a main track by a switch to serve a warehouse or an industrial area.
Sight DraftUSA; a draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.
Single Administrative Document
A set of documents, replacing the various (national) forms for customs declaration within European Community, implemented on January 1st, 1988. The introduction of the SAD constitutes an intermediate stage in the abolition of all administrative documentation in intra-European Community trade in goods between member states.
SirenA sound signal which uses electricity or compressed air to actuate either a disc or a cup shaped rotor.
Sister ShipsShips built on the same design.
SiteA particular platform or location for loading or unloading at a place.
SkegA downward or sternward projection from the keel in front of the rudder. Protects the rudder from damage, and in bilge keelers may provide one ‘leg’ of a tripod on which the boat stands when the tide is out.
SkidSimilar to a pallet.
SkidsBattens, or a series of parallel runners, fitted beneath boxes or packages to raise them clear of the floor to permit easy access of forklift blades or other handling equipment.
SkipperThe captain of a ship.
SkysailA sail set very high, above the royals. Such sails are only carried by a few ships.
SkyscraperA small, triangular sail, set above the skysail. Used in light winds on a few ships.
SlingA wire or rope contrivance placed around cargo and used to load or discharge it to/from a vessel.
Slop chestA ship’s store of merchandise, such as clothing, tobacco, etc., maintained aboard merchant ships for sale to the crew.
SlotA segment of a container ship’s cell into which a container is loaded.
Slot CharterA voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place a certain number of container slots (TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer’s disposal.
Slush FundThe money obtained by the cook selling slush ashore. Used for the benefit of the crew (or the cook).
Small Bower (anchor)The smaller of two anchors carried in the bow.
SnowA form of brig where the gaff spanker or driver is rigged on a ‘snow mast’ a lighter spar supported in chocks close behind the main-mast.
Son of a gunThe space between the guns was used as a semi-private place for trysts with prostitutes and wives, which sometimes led to the birth of children with disputed parentage. Another claim is that the term’s origin resulted from firing a ship’s guns to hasten a difficult birth.
SoundingA term for measuring the depth of the water. This was traditionally done by swinging the lead, now more commonly by echo sounding.
Sou’westerA storm from the south west.
A type of waterproof hat with a wide brim over the neck, worn in storms.
Space CharterA voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place part of the vessel’s capacity at the charterer’s disposal.
SpankerOn a square rigged ship, the spanker is regarded as a gaff rigged fore-and-aft sail set from and aft of the aftmost mast. Virtually all square rigs with multiple masts have at least one spanker, which is derived from the driver sail.
Spanker-mastThe aft-most mast of a fore-and-aft or gaff-rigged vessel such as schooners, barquentines, and barques. A full-rigged ship has a spanker sail but not a spanker-mast. For more information see Jigger-mast.
SparA wooden pole, in later years also an iron or steel pole, used to support various pieces of rigging and sails. The big five-masted full-rigged tall ship Preussen (German spelling: Preu�en) had crossed 30 steel yards, but only one wooden spar – the little gaff of its spanker sail.
Special RateA rate other than the normal rate.
Specific Commodity Rate
A rate commonly applied to narrowly specified commodities. It is usually granted in the case of relatively large shipments.
SpindriftFinely-divided water swept from the crest of waves by strong winds.
SpinnakerA large sail flown in front of the vessel while heading downwind.
Spinnaker poleA spar used to help control a spinnaker or other headsail.
SpliceThe act of joining lines (ropes, cables etc.) by unravelling their ends and intertwining them to form a continuous line. You can form an eye or a knot by splicing.
Split ShipmentIn case of indirect delivery through consolidation and if split shipment conditions occur then each split part of the shipment will be delivered in a different consignment but all consignments are identified by the same unique original shipment ID.
Split-CharterA charter with acquired capacity split for use among several clients.
Spontaneous Ignition TemperatureThe lowest temperature at which a substance will start burning spontaneously without an external source of ignition.
SpottingPlacing a container where it is required to be loaded or unloaded.
SpreaderA piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.
Square mealA sufficient quantity of food. Meals on board ship were served to the crew on a square wooden plate in the harbour or at sea in good weather.
Food in the Royal Navy was invariably better or at least in greater quantity than that available to the average landsman. However, while square wooden plates were indeed used on board ship, there is no established link between them and this particular term. The OED gives the earliest reference from the US in the mid-19th century.
Squared awayYards held rigidly perpendicular to their masts and parallel to the deck. This was rarely the best trim of the yards for efficiency but made a pretty sight for inspections and in the harbour. The term is applied to situations and to people figuratively to mean that all difficulties have been resolved or that the person is performing well and is mentally and physically prepared.
Squat EffectIt is the phenomenon by which a vessel moving quickly through shallow water creates an area of lowered pressure under its keel that reduces the ship’s buoyancy, particularly at the bow. The reduced buoyancy causes the ship to ‘squat’ lower in the water than would ordinarily be expected, and thus its effective draught is increased.
StabilityThe force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold is used to increase stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability or tender if it has low stability.
In a ship, stability is indicated by several characteristics. Initial stability is measured by the metacentric height; also known as ‘GM.’ If GM is low, the vessel makes long slow rolls, and is considered tender. When GM is too high, the vessel is considered stiff, and may return violently to the upright position when rolling, with possible damage to cargo and injury to passengers and crew.
Other stability considerations include the vessel’s range of stability, maximum righting arm, and the angle of heel at which the maximum righting arm occurs.
StackAn identifiable amount of containers stowed in an orderly way in one specified place on an (ocean) terminal, container freight station, container yard or depot.
Stack CarAn articulated five-platform rail car that allows containers to be doubled stacked. A typical stack car holds ten, 40-foot equivalent units (FEUs).
StackingTo pile boxes, bags, containers etc. on top of each other.
StanchionA vertical post near a deck’s edge that supports life-lines. A timber fitted in between the frame heads on a wooden hull or a bracket on a steel vessel, approximately one metre high, to support the bulwark plank or plating and the rail.
Standard Industrial Classification
A standard numerical code used by the US government to classify products and services.
Standard International Trade Classification
A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade, based on a hierarchy.
Standing RiggingRigging which is used to support masts and spars, and is not normally manipulated during normal operations; also known as ‘running rigging’.
StarboardTowards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward. Starboard is denoted with a green light at night. The term is derived from the old steering oar or steerboard which preceded the invention of the rudder.
Starboard tackWhen sailing with the wind coming from the starboard side of the vessel. It has the right of way over boats on port tack.
StarterA rope used as a punitive device. For more information see Teazer and Togey.
Statute of LimitationA law limiting the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.
StayRigging running fore (forestay) and aft (backstay) from a mast to the hull.
StaysailA sail whose luff is attached to a forestay.
Steamship AgentA duly appointed and authorised representative in a specified territory acting on behalf of a steamship line or lines and attending to all matters relating to the vessels owned by his principals.
Steering oar or steering boardA long, flat board or oar that went from the stern to well underwater, and was used to steer vessels before the invention of the rudder. Traditionally this would sit on the starboard side of a ship (the ‘steering board’ side).
StemThe extension of a keel at the forward end of a ship.
SternThe rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.
Stern chaserStern TubeThe tube under the hull designed to bear the tailshaft for propulsion (usually at stern).
SterndriveA propeller drive system, similar to the lower part of an outboard motor extending below the hull of a larger power boat or yacht, but driven by an engine mounted within the hull. Unlike a fixed propeller (but like an outboard), the boat may be steered by twisting the drive. For more information see inboard motor and outboard motor.
StevedoreThe words stevedore, docker, dock labourer and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country.
The word ‘stevedore’ originated in Spain or Portugal, and entered the English language through its use by sailors. It started as a phonetic spelling of Spanish estibador or Portuguese estivador = ‘a man who stuffs’, here in the sense of ‘a man who loads ships’, which was the original meaning of ‘stevedore’; compare Latin st?p?re = ‘to stuff’.
In the United Kingdom, men who load and unload ships are usually called dockers while in the United States and Canada the term longshoreman, derived from ‘man-along-the-shore,’ is used. Before extensive use of container ships and shore-based handling machinery in the US, longshoremen referred exclusively to the dockworkers, while stevedores, in a separate trade union, worked on the ships, operating ship’s cranes and moving cargo.
StonnackyA form of corporal punishment including a number of strikers or hits with a single rattan-made cane.
Stopper KnotA knot tied in the end of a rope, usually to stop it passing through a hole; most commonly a figure-eight knot.
StorageThe logistics charge for the costs related to quay rent, charged on both the carrier’s equipment or the shipper’s equipment for containers staying on the ground idle. For more information see Demurrage, Detention, Per Diem.
Store-Door DeliveryThe delivery of goods to a consignee’s place of business or warehouse by motor vehicle. The term refers to a complete package of delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point; whether that be a retail, wholesale or other final distribution facility.
Store-Door Pick-upPicking up a container from a carrier, delivering it to a merchant and returning the empty container; the portion of store-door delivery performed by the carrier’s trucker.
StowageA marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.
Stowage InstructionsImperative details about the way certain cargo is to be stowed, given by the shipper or his agent. For instance, a shipper can request ‘Under Deck Stowage’ for greater security for the cargo.
Stowage PlanA plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit of stevedores and vessel’s officers.
StowawayAn unwanted person who hides on board of a vessel or an aircraft to get free passage, to evade port officials.
Straddle CarrierMobile truck equipment with the capacity to lift a container within its own framework.
Straight (Consignment) Bill of LadingA non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity (Consignee) to whom the goods should be delivered.
For more information see Bill of Lading.
Straight Bill of LadingA non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered.
As opposed to a ‘Made to Order’ BL.
For more information see Bill of Lading.
StrakeOne of the overlapping boards in a clinker built hull.
Strikes, Riots, and Civil CommotionsAn insurance clause referring to loss or damage directly caused by strikers, locked-out workmen, persons participating in labour disturbances, and riots of various kinds. The ordinary marine insurance policy does not cover this risk; coverage against it can be added only by endorsement.
StrippingThe unloading of a container.
Studding-sailsLong and narrow sails, used only in fine weather, on the outside of the large square sails.
StuffingThe loading of a container.
TackA leg of the route of a sailing vessel, particularly in relation to tacking (qv) and to starboard tack and port tack (also qv).
Hard tack: qv.
TackingZig-zagging so as to sail directly towards the wind (and for some rigs also away from it).
Going about (qv).
TaffrailA rail at the stern of the boat that covers the head of the counter timbers.
TailThe rear of a container or trailer, where the doors are, opposite the front or nose.
TailshaftA kind of metallic shafting (a rod of metal) to hold the propeller and connected to the power engine. When the tailshaft is moved, the propeller may also be moved for propulsion.
Taken abackAn inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails ‘backwards’, causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.
Taking the wind out of his sailsTo sail in a way that steals the wind from another ship. This term is also known as to ‘overbear’.
TallyThe operation of hauling aft the sheets, or drawing them in the direction of the ship’s stern.
Tally SheetThe list of cargo, incoming and outgoing, checked by the tally clerk on dock.
Tank ContainerA specialised liquid bulk container used for the transportation of fluids. It is essentially a big cylinder inside an ISO-sized frame made to allow stacking.
Some tanks carry only chemicals, some others only carry food-grade liquids (e.g. milk). Tank containers are mostly shipper-owned, operated by companies who specialise in the transportation of specific types of bulk liquids.
TankerA tanker is a bulk carrier designed to transport liquid cargo, most often petroleum products. Oil tankers vary in size from small coastal vessels of 1,500 tons deadweight, through medium-sized ship of 60,000 tons, to the giant VLCCs (very large crude carriers).
Tare Mass of ContainerFor more information see Tare Weight of Containers below.
Tare WeightThe weight of packing material that is protecting the actual goods.
Tare Weight of ContainerThe mass of an empty container, including all fittings and appliances, associated with that particular type of container on its normal operating condition.
TariffA document issued by a carrier setting forth applicable rules, rates, and charges for the movement of goods. It sets up a contract of carriage between the shipper, consignee, and carrier.
In international trade applications, the term also refers to a tax on imports (Customs duty).
TarpaulinWaterproof material, e.g. canvas, used to spread over cargo to protect it from getting wet.
TeazerA rope used as a punitive device.
Temperature Controlled CargoAny cargo requiring carriage under controlled temperature.
Temperature RecorderA device used to record temperature variations in a reefer container while cargo is en route.
TenderA small boat used to carry persons from shore to ship and back.
A colloquial term used to describe the condition of a ship having marginal stability.
To present for acceptance an offer (to tender a bid).
TenorTime and date for the payment of a draft.
TerminalAn assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from a vessel, train, truck or airplane.
Terminal Handling Charge (1)
An additional charge for container’s lifting from quay to ship / from ship to quay (THD, for THC at Destination). For more information see MSC Queries / DTX / Charge Codes
Terminal handling charge
An additional charge for container’s lifting from quay to ship / from ship to quay (THD, for THC at Destination).
Terms of DeliveryAll the conditions agreed upon between trading partners regarding the delivery of goods and the related services.
Note: Under normal circumstances the INCOterms are used to prevent any misunderstandings.
Terms of FreightAll the conditions agreed upon between a carrier and a merchant about the type of freight and charges due to the carrier and whether these are prepaid or are to be collected.
Terms of SaleThe 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. For more information see INCOTERMS.
The International Organisation for standardisation
Widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations.
Founded on February 23rd, 1947, the organisation promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial, and commercial standards. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits
(UCP 600)
A set of rules on the issuance and use of letters of credit.
The latest revision, called the UCP600, formally commenced on 1st July 2007 (it replaced the UCP500. prepared in 1993 and in effect since January 1st, 1994).
Thermal ContainerA container built with insulating walls, doors, floor and roof by which heat exchange with the environment is minimised, thus limiting temperature variations of the cargo.
This is also known as piggyback.T1A European in-transit Customs document. This document is needed to transport dutiable goods to an inland Customs zone, rather than paying Customs Duties at the port of entry. There used to be a T2 for Intra-European cargo, but that is obsolete now.
TholeA vertical wooden peg or pin inserted through the gunwale to form a fulcrum for oars when rowing. It is used in place of a rowlock.
Three sheets to the windOn a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses loose will result in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind. Also, a sailor who has drunk strong spirits beyond his capacity.
Through Bill of Lading (1)
A single Bill of Lading covering receipt of the cargo at the point of origin for delivery to the ultimate consignee, using two or more modes of transportation (rail / motor / barge / vessel).
Through bill of lading
Blanket documentation when multiple carriers of various transport modes are involved.
Through Charge or Through RateThe total freight rate from the point of origin to the final destination (usually an all-inclusive rate).
Through RateThe total rate from the port of origin to the final destination.
Through RouteThe total route from the point of departure to the point of destination.
Throughput ChargeThe charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.
ThwartA bench seat across the width of an open boat.
Tidal PortA port navigable only during high tide.
TierA horizontal division of a vessel from bottom to top. The numbers run from bottom to deck and from deck upwards and are used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers.
TillerA lever used for steering, attached to the top of the rudder post. These levers are used mainly on smaller vessels, such as dinghies and rowing boats.
Time CharterA contract for leasing between ship owners and the lessee. It would state the duration of the lease in years or voyages.
Time DraftA draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.
Time SheetA statement drawn-up by the ship’s agent at the loading and discharging ports, which details the time worked in loading and discharging the cargo, together with the amount of laytime used.
TimoneerFrom the French timonnier, is a name given, on particular occasions, to the steersman of a ship.
TingleA thin temporary patch.
To be advised/announced
To be advised/announced
To Be Nominated
To Be Nominated (Named). It is used for instance in Vessel Schedules when the sailing date must be mentioned, but the actual vessel / voyage are not yet known at the time of publication.
Toe the line or Toe the markAt parade, sailors and soldiers were required to stand in line, their toes in line with a seam of the deck.
Toe-railA low strip running around the edge of the deck like a low bulwark. It may be shortened or have gaps in it to allow water to flow off the deck.
TogeyA rope used as a punitive device.
TonUnit of weight measurement: 1000 kilograms (metric ton) or 2,240 lbs (long ton).
Unit of cubic measurement, mainly used to express the cubic capacity of a vessel.
Unit of weight or measurement used as a basis for the calculation of freights (freight ton). Deadweight Ton: Indicates the carrying capacity of the ship in terms of the weight in tons of the cargo, fuel, provisions and passengers which a vessel can carry. Displacement Ton: The weight of the volume of water which the fully loaded ship displaces. Kilometre Ton: Measure of airline freight capacity. Registered Ton: Indicates the cubical contents or burden of a vessel in tons of 100 cubic feet. The space within a vessel in units of 100 cubic feet.
Ton MileUnit used in comparing freight earnings or expenses. It equates to the amount earned from the cost of hauling a ton of freight one mile.
TonnageA term which generally refers to freight handled.
1. Cubic capacity of a merchant vessel.
2. Total weight or amount of cargo expressed in tons.
Top-Air DeliveryA type of air circulation in a container. Air is drawn from the bottom of the container, filtered through the evaporator for cooling and then forced through the ducted passages along the top of the container. This type of airflow requires a special loading pattern.
TopgallantThe mast or sails above the tops.
TopmastThe second section of the mast above the deck; formerly the upper mast, later surmounted by the topgallant mast; carrying the topsails.
TopsailThe second sail (counting from the bottom) up a mast. These may be either square sails or fore-and-aft ones, in which case they often ‘fill in’ between the mast and the gaff of the sail below.
TopsidesThe part of the hull between the waterline and the deck. For more information see Above-water hull.
Touch and goThe bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.
TowageTowage is a contract whereby one ship moves another. Towage, as opposed to salvage, is a service contract, which does not involve a marine peril, and the consideration is an hourly or daily rate or a lump sum, rather than a salvage reward based on the peril, the work accomplished and the value of the object salved.
There are various standard-form towage contracts, including, for example, the ‘International Ocean Towage Agreement (Lump Sum)’ (Code Name: ‘TOWCON’) and the ‘International Ocean Towage Agreement (Daily Hire)’ (Code Name: ‘TOWHIRE’) of BIMCO.
TowingThe operation of drawing a vessel forward by means of long lines.
TracingThe action of retrieving information concerning the whereabouts of cargo, cargo items, consignments or equipment.
Track & TraceThe pro-active tracking of the product along the supply chain, and the paper information flow relating to the order.
TrackingThe function of maintaining status information, including current location, of cargo, cargo items, consignments or containers either full or empty.
TractorA powered vehicle designed and used for towing other vehicles.
A unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.
TradeA trade is a liner service or a cargo flow between two individual markets (e.g. North Atlantic Trade).
a) The exchange of goods, funds, services or information with value to the parties involved. This value is either previously agreed or established during business.
b) A commercial connection between two or more individual markets.
Trade AcceptanceA time or date draft that has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity.
TrafficThe person or property carried by transport lines.
Traffic Separation SchemeShipping corridors, marked by buoys, which separate incoming from outgoing vessels. These are also known as Sea Lanes.
TrailerThe truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor-trailer combination.
Trailer/truck load
Trailer/truck load
TrampA term used (in the maritime industry) to denote an ocean carrier that does not operate ships on a regular schedule from one port to another, but instead calls at any port where a cargo may be obtained.
Tramp LineAn ocean carrier company operating tramp steamers not on regular runs or schedules.
Tramp VesselA vessel not operating under a regular schedule.
Trans-Atlantic conference agreement
North America / North Europe trade ocean freight pricing agreement among carriers.
Transferable Letter of CreditA letter of credit that allows all or a portion of the proceeds to be transferred from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.
Transmittal letterA letter from the shipper to its agent listing the particulars of a shipment, the documents being transmitted and instructions for the disposition of those documents.
TransomA more or less flat surface across the stern of a vessel. Dinghies tend to have almost vertical transoms, whereas yachts’ transoms may be raked forward or aft.
Transporation and exportation
(T&E entry)
A US Customs form used to control cargo movement from port of entry to port of exit, meaning that the cargo is moving from one country, through the United States, to another country.
TransportTo move traffic from one place to another.
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.
TransportationThe movement of traffic from one place to another.
TransshipA system under which cargo is transferred from one transportation line to another.
TransshipmentThe shipment of merchandise to the point of destination in another country on more than one vessel or vehicle. The liability may pass from one carrier to the next, or it may be covered by ‘through bills of lading’ issued by the first carrier. This is sometimes referred to as relay.
Transshipment PortThe place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.
TravellersSmall fittings that slide on a rod or line. The most common use is for the inboard end of the mainsheet; a more esoteric form of traveller consists of ‘slight iron rings, encircling the backstays, which are used for hoisting the top-gallant yards, and confining them to the backstays’.
Trialer on flat carThe movement of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar.
TriceTo haul and tie up by means of a rope.
TrickA period of time spent at the wheel (‘my trick’s over’).
TrimThe relationship of a ship’s hull to the waterline.
TruckloadTruckload rates apply where the tariff shows a truckload minimum weight. Charges will be at the truckload minimum weight unless weight is higher.
True BearingAn absolute bearing (qv) using true north.
True NorthThe direction of the geographical North Pole.
Trust ReceiptThe release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer for manufacturing or sales purposes in which the bank retains title to the merchandise.
TugA small vessel designed to tow or push large ships or barges. Tugs have powerful diesel engines and are essential to docks and ports to manoeuvre large ships into their berths.
Pusher tugs are also used to push enormous trains of barges on the rivers and inland waterways of the USA.
Oceangoing salvage tugs provide assistance to ships in distress and engage in such work as towing drilling rigs and oil production platforms.
TumblehomeA description of the hull shape when viewed in a transverse section, where the widest part of the hull is some way below deck level.
TurnA knot passing behind or around an object.
TurnaroundIn water transportation, the time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure.
Turnkey ProjectCapital construction projects in which the supplier (contractor) designs and builds the physical plant, trains the local personnel on how to manage and operate the facility and presents the buyer with a self-sustaining project (all the buyer has to do is ‘turn the Key’).
TurtlingWhen a sailboat (in particular a dinghy) capsizes to a point where the mast is pointed straight down and the hull is on the surface resembling a turtle shell.
TweendeckThe cargo-carrying surface below the main deck dividing a hold horizontally in an upper and a lower compartment.
Twenty-foot equivelant unit
Used to measure a vessel’s capacity by counting how many containers of 20′ length can be loaded onboard. A vessel’s intake capacity is composed of ‘slots’ meant to receive either 2×20’or 1×40′ containers. Due to the curvature of some cargo holds some slots might be made exclusively for 20′ while it is always possible to fit 2×20′ in any 40′ slot.
The 20′ container is then the ‘lowest common denominator’; so we will count the total amount of 20′ that can be fitted in any slot to envision the total carrying capacity of vessels.
Twist LockA steel anchor which has to be inserted into the corner fittings of a container and is turned or twisted, thus locking the container for the purpose of securing or lifting.
Twist LocksA 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.
Two-Way PalletA pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from two sides only.
Type of CargoAn indication of the sort of cargo to be transported, Breakbulk, Containerised or Ro/Ro.
Type of EquipmentThe type of material used, e.g. 40 foot container, four-way pallet or mafi trailer.
Type of MovementA description of the service for the movement of containers.
Note: The following type of movement can be indicated on B/L and manifest all combinations of FCL and LCL and break bulk and Ro/Ro. Whilst only on the manifest combinations of House, Yard and CFS can be mentioned.
Type of TransportThe indication whether the carrier or the merchant effects and bears the responsibility for inland transport of cargo in containers i.e. a differentiation between the logistical and legal responsibility.
Note: Values are Carrier haulage and Merchant haulage, whilst in this context special cases are carrier-nominated merchant haulage, and merchant nominated carrier haulage.
UllageFree space above a liquid contained in a tank, drum or tank-container, expressed as a percentage of the total capacity. Ullage is often used to leave room for possible expansion of the liquid.
Ultimate ConsigneeThe party who has been designated on the invoice or packing list as the final recipient of the stated merchandise.
Ultra Large Container Ship
A container carrier with a minimum capacity of 12,500 TEUs.
Ultra Large Crude Carrier
A tanker vessel with a minimum capacity of 320,000 dwt.
UN Dangerous Goods Number
The four-digit number assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to classify a substance or a particular groups of substances.
Note: The prefix ‘UN’ must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.
UN NumberThe same as UNDG. An identification number referring to hazardous cargoes as classified by the I.M.O.
Unaccompanied BaggageLuggage not accompanied by a passenger.
A term mostly used in aircraft. Ocean Shipping uses instead ‘Household Goods’ or ‘Personal Effects.’
Unclean Bill of LadingA bill containing reservations as to the good order and condition of the goods, or the packaging, or both – for example, ‘bags torn;’ ‘drums leaking;’ ‘one case damaged’ or ‘rolls chafed.’
Under the weatherServing a watch on the weather side of the ship, exposed to wind and spray.
Under wayA vessel that is moving under control: that is, neither at anchor, made fast to the shore, aground nor adrift.
Underwater hull or underwater shipThe underwater section of a vessel beneath the waterline, normally not visible except when in drydock.
Uniform customs and practice for documentary credits
A set of rules on the issuance and use of letters of credit.
The UCP is utilised by bankers and commercial parties in more than 175 countries in trade finance. Some 11-15% of international trade utilises letters of credit, totalling over a trillion dollars (US) each year.
The latest revision was approved by the Banking Commission of the ICC at its meeting in Paris on 25th October 2006. This latest version, called the UCP600, formally commenced on 1st July 2007.
Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits (UCP)
Rules for letters of Credit drawn up by the Commission on Banking Technique and Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce, in consultation with the banking associations of many countries.
Uniform Freight Classification
Uniform Freight Classification
Unit LoadPackages loaded on a pallet, in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.
Unit load device
A pallet.
Unit TrainA train of a specified number of railcars, perhaps 100, which remain as a unit for a designated destination or until a change in routing is made.
United Arab Shipping Company
Established in July 1976; jointly by the six shareholding states from the Persian Gulf (Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE). The head office is located in the State of Kuwait. UASC is the largest ocean carrier of dry cargo to the Middle East.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body. It is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues.
The organisation’s goals are to ‘maximise the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.’
The creation of the conference was based on concerns of developing countries over the international market, multi-national corporations, and great disparity between developed nations and developing nations. In the 1970s and 1980s, UNCTAD was closely associated with the idea of a New International Economic Order (NIEO).
Currently, UNCTAD has 194 member States and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the SeaU.N.C.L.O.S.
Also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
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.
United States Department of Agriculture.
United States Department of Agriculture.
UnitisationThe consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling. This includes loading one or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of equipment, such as a pallet.
UnloadingThe removal of a shipment from a container to a platform or warehouse.
Up-behindSlack off quickly and run slack to a belaying point. This order is given when a line or wire has been stopped off or falls have been four-in-hand and the hauling part is to be belayed.
Upper-yardmenSpecially selected personnel destined for high office.
Utilisation RateThe quotient of used capacity and available capacity.
Validated Export LicenseA document required for commodities deemed important to national security, foreign-policy objectives, or protecting domestic supplies of strategic materials. The license constitutes permission to export a specific product to a specific party. The exporter applies for the license, which must be returned to an Export Administration after completing the specified shipments.
Valuable CargoA consignment which contains one or more valuable articles.
Valuation ChargeTransport charges for certain goods, based on the value declared for the carriage of such goods (also: ‘Ad Valorem’).
Value Added Tax
A form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the ultimate customer.
VangA rope leading from the gaff to either side of the deck; used to prevent the gaff from sagging. For more information see boom vang.
Vanishing angleThe maximum degree of heel after which a vessel becomes unable to return to an upright position.
VanningStowing cargo in a container.
Variable CostCosts 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. For profit, all variable costs must be recovered.
VendorThe seller or the supplier of goods or services.
Ventilated ContainerA container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to admit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.
Vessel (1)1. A floating structure designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers.
2. Boiler, drum.
Vessel ManifestThe 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 bill of lading number. Obviously, the bill of lading serves as the core source from which the manifest is created.
Vessel operating common carrier
A carrier defined by maritime law, offering an international cargo transport service operating their own vessels under their own rate structure in accordance with tariffs filed with the Federal Maritime Commission.
MSC fits this description.
Vessel Supplies for Immediate Exportation
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.
V-hullThe shape of a boat or ship which sees the shape of the hull comes to a straight line to the keel.
Viz.Used in tariffs to specify commodities.
Voltri Terminal Europa
A Genoa-based container operator.
Volume chargeA charge for the carriage of goods based on their volume (by units of one cubic metre or 40 cubic feet).
VoyageA journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.
Voyage CharterA contract under which the shipowner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lump sum freight.
Voyage NumberThe reference number assigned by the carrier or his agent to the voyage of the vessel.
WaistThe central deck of a ship between the forecastle and the quarterdeck.
Waiting TimeA trucking tariff term referring to any period of time beyond the allocated Free Time that a driver has to wait while the customer loads or unloads a container. Until the Free Time period has expired a driver can wait without the customer incurring extra expenses. Waiting Time, however, is chargeable to the client.
In the event the necessary Waiting Time would be too costly, shippers may opt for a ‘drag-and-drop’ solution, whereas the trucker would drop the container and immediately leave. They will return to pick up the container once laden. This option is more costly than a straight load but may be a lot cheaper than paying for Waiting Time.
Waiver ClauseA clause in a marine insurance policy stating that no acts of the insurer or insured in recovering, saving or preserving the property insured, shall be considered a dismissal from or acceptance of abandonment.
WakeThe turbulence behind a vessel; not to be confused with wash.
WalesA number of strong and thick planks running length-wise along the ship, covering the lower part of the ship’s side.
War Risk (1)Marine insurance coverage for the loss of goods resulting from an act of war. Each time there is a ‘hot spot’ of unrest near a shipping port or shipping lane, tariffs will be raised because the cargo owners and vessel operators’ insurance premiums are increased due to a ‘War Risk Clause.’
War risk
War risk
War Risk InsuranceInsurance issued by marine underwriters against war-like operations specifically described in the policy. In former times, war risk insurance was taken out only in times of war, but currently many exporters cover most of their shipments with war risk insurance as a protection against losses from derelict torpedoes and floating mines placed during former wars, and also as a safeguard against unforeseen warlike developments.
In the US, war risk insurance is written in a separate policy from the ordinary marine insurance; it is desirable to take out both policies with the same underwriter in order to avoid the ill effects of a possible dispute between underwriters as to the cause (marine peril or war peril) of a given loss.
WarehouseA building specially designed for reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution and storage of goods/cargo.
Warehouse EntryThe document that identifies goods imported when placed in a bonded warehouse. The duty is not imposed on the products when stored in the warehouse but will be collected when they are withdrawn for delivery or consumption.
Warehouse Receipt (1)A receipt of commodities deposited in a warehouse, identifying the commodities deposited. It is non-negotiable if delivery is only permitted to a specified person or firm, but it is negotiable if made out to the order of a person or firm or to a bearer.
Endorsement (without endorsement if made out to bearer) and delivery of a negotiable warehouse receipt serves to transfer the property covered by the receipt and serves to transfer the property covered by the receipt. Warehouse receipts are common documents in international banking.
Warehouse receipt
A document that communicates proof of ownership of cargo stroed in the warehouse.
Warehouse Withdrawal for Immediate Exportation
An agreement allowing merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one US port to be exported from the same port without paying duty.
Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation
An agreement allowing merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry will be filed.
Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation Exportation
An agreement allowing merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one port – to be transported in bond through the US – to be exported from another port, without paying duty.
Warehouse-to-WarehouseA clause in marine insurance policy whereby the underwriter agrees to cover the goods while in transit between the initial point of shipment and the point of destination, with certain limitations, and also subject to the law of insurable interest. When it was first introduced, the warehouse-to-warehouse clause was extremely important, but now its importance is diminished by the marine extension clauses, which override its provisions.
WarehousingThe storing of goods/cargo.
Warsaw ConventionThe Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, signed at Warsaw, 12 October 1929, or that Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol, 1955, stipulating obligations or parties and limitations and/or exonerations of carriers.
WashThe waves created by a vessel; not to be confused with wake.
WatchA period of time during which a part of the crew is on duty. Changes of watch are marked by strokes on the ship’s bell.
WatercraftWater transport vessels. Ships, boats, personal water craft etc.
WaterwayA strake of timber laid against the frames or bulwark stanchions at the margin of a laid wooden deck, usually about twice the thickness of the deck plank.
A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. A waybill is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is not a document of title.
WaypointA location defined by navigational coordinates, especially as part of a planned route.
Wear and TearThe loss or deterioration of an item resulting from ordinary use.
Wearing shipTacking away from the wind in a square-rigged vessel. For more information see Gybe.
Weather deckWhichever deck is that exposed to the weather – usually either the main deck or, in larger vessels, the upper deck.
Weather gageA favourable position over another sailing vessel to with respect to the wind.
Weather sideThe side of a ship exposed to the wind.
Weather working days
Some ports might not work with strong winds presenting dangerous conditions on the cranes, some others on the handling equipment, or again on the vertical stacks of containers.
WeatherlyA ship that is easily sailed and manoeuvred; makes little leeway when sailing to windward.
Weigh anchorTo heave up (an anchor) – a preparatory task before setting sail.
WeightGross – The weight of the goods including packing, wrappers, or containers, internal and external. The total weight as shipped.
Net – The weight of the goods themselves without the inclusion of any wrapper.
Tare – The weight of the packaging or container.
Weight / Measurement Ton – In many cases, a rate is shown per weight/measurement ton, carrier’s option. This means that the rate will be assessed on either a weight ton or measurement ton basis, whichever will yield the carrier the greater revenue. As example, the rate may be quoted on the basis of 2,240 pounds or 40 cubic feet or of one metric ton or one cubic metre.
Weight Ton – There are three types of weight ton; the short ton, weighing 2,000 pounds; the long ton, weighing 2,240 pounds; and the metric ton weight 2,204.68 pounds. The last is frequently quoted for cargo being exported from Europe.
Weight and inspection
Weight and inspection
Weight CargoA cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.
Weight ChargeA charge for the carriage of goods based on their weight.
Weight guarenteed
Weight guarenteed
Weight Load FactorPayload achieved as against available, expressed as a percentage. Cargo is frequently limited by volume rather than weight; load factors of 100% are rarely achieved.
Weight or measurement
The basis for assessing freight charges used in breakbulk shipments. Also known as ‘worm.’
Weight TonA ton of 1
Weight, LegalNet weight of goods, plus inside packing.
The term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the master and the carrier are unaware of the nature or quantity of the contents of e.g. a carton, crate, container or bundle and are relying on the abbreviation for ‘Weight and/or measurement.’ This is also a possible method to assess a freight rate to a shipment.
WellsPlaces in the ship’s hold for the pumps.
WharfA structure built on the shore of a harbour extending into deep water so that vessels may lie alongside. For more information see Dock and Pier.
Wharfage (Whfg.)A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handling over the pier or dock against a steamship company using the pier or dock. It is often charged in measure with the ship’s length (the longer part of the wharf the ship occupies, the higher the wharfage).
Wheel or ship’s wheelThe usual steering device on larger vessels, a wheel connected by cables to the rudder.
WheelhouseThe location on a ship where the steering wheel is located; often interchanged with pilothouse and bridge.
Whether in berth or not
Whether in berth or not
WhipstaffA vertical lever connected to the tiller, used for steering on larger ships before the development of the ship’s wheel.
White horses or whitecapsFoam or spray on wave tops caused by stronger winds (usually above Force 4).
Wide berthTo leave room between two ships moored (berthed) allowing space for manoeuvre.
WindageThe wind resistance of a boat.
WindboundA condition wherein the ship is detained in one particular station by contrary winds.
WindlassA winch mechanism, usually with a horizontal axis. It is used where the mechanical advantage is greater than that obtainable by block and tackle (such as raising the anchor on small ships).
Wind-over-tideSea conditions with a tidal current and a wind in opposite directions, leading to short, heavy seas.
WindwardIn the direction that the wind is coming from.
Windy BookingA freight booking made by a shipper or freight forwarder to reserve space but not actually having a specific cargo at the time the booking is made. Carriers often overbook a vessel by 10 to 20 percent in recognition that ‘windy booking’ cargo will not actually ship.
With Average (1)A marine insurance term meaning that shipment is protected for partial damage whenever the damage exceeds a stated percentage.
With average
With average
With particular average
With particular average
With Particular Average (1)
An insurance term meaning that the partial loss or damage of goods is insured. The damage must generally be caused by sea water. Many have a minimum percentage of damage before payment. It can also be extended to cover loss by theft, pilferage, delivery, leakage, and breakage.
Without RecourseA phrase preceding the signature of a drawer or endorser of a negotiable instrument; it signifies that the instrument is passed onto subsequent holders without any liability to the endorser in the event of non-payment or non-delivery.
Without ReserveA term indicating a shipper’s agent or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without the approval of the group or individual represented. For more information see advisory capacity.
World customs organisation
An intergovernmental organisation, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. With its worldwide membership, the WCO is recognised as the voice of the global Customs community. It is particularly noted for its work in areas covering the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), integrity promotion, and delivering sustainable capacity building to assist with customs reforms and modernisation. The WCO maintains the international Harmonised System (HS) goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.
World trade organisation
An organisation that supervises international trade.
Worm, serve, and parcelTo protect a section of rope from chafing by: laying yarns (worming), wrapping marline or other small stuff (serving) around it, and stitching a covering of canvas (parceling) over all.
Yard1. The horizontal spar from which a square sail is suspended.
2. Fenced off, outdoor storage and repair area.
YardarmThe very end of a yard; often mistaken for a “yard”
YarrThe acknowledgement of an order, or agreement.For more information see aye, aye.
YawA vessel’s rotational motion about the vertical axis, causing the fore and aft ends to swing from side to side repetitively. For more information see Pitch.
Yawl1. A vessel’s small boat moved by one oar.
2. A small sailboat rigged fore-and-aft, with a short mizzenmast astern of the cockpit – distinguished from ketch.
YieldRevenue, not necessarily profitable, per unit of traffic.
Yield BucketThe remaining slot capacity for a trade/voyage in a certain port of loading after deduction of the allowance for specific contracts.
Yield ManagementThe process of maximising the contribution of every slot, vessel, trade and network. Basically it should be seen as the process of allocating the right type of capacity to the right kind of customer at the right price as to maximise revenue or yield. The concept should be used in combination with load factor management.
York-Antwerp RulesA code of rules adopted by an international convention in 1890

ZULU TIME Time to Greenwich.