Glossary

A
A/B Or Able Bodied Seaman
A member of the deck crew who is able to perform all the duties of an experienced seamen; certificated by examination and has three years sea service. Also called Able Seamen and A.B.
ABS
American Bureau of Shipping: A U.S.-based private classification, or standards setting society for merchant ships and other marine systems.
Ad Valorem
According to Value (English); for example, if a bill of lading shows a value for the cargo being carried, an Ad Valorem charge will be levied. This charge is required because the insurance liability of the carrier increases. This charge may be a levied as a percentage of the value that has been shown.
Add-Ons
Additional charges above ocean freight.
Addendum
Additional terms at the end of a charter party.
Advising Bank
Bank where a shipper negotiates documents or where documents are first presented, usually at country of origin. Also, often referred to as the negotiating bank.
AFT
Near or toward the stern of the vessel.
Agency Fee
A fee charged to the ship by the ship's agent, representing payment for services while the ship was in port. Sometimes referred to as the attendance fee.
Agent
Abbreviation for 'Freight Agent'. A person, association or corporation authorised to publish and file rates and provisions for a carrier's account in tariffs published in the agent's name. One that acts for, or in the place of, another by authority from him, e.g. a (business) representative, emissary, or official of a government.
Aggregated Shipments
Numerous shipments from different shippers delivered to one consignee, that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
AIMS
American Institute of Merchant Shipping.
Air Freight Forwarder
A non-asset based firm that negotiates low shipping rates with airlines, then takes orders at a higher rate in order to make a profit using the airline's assets to move the product.
All Water
When a shipment is transported from its origin to its destination solely by water transportation.
Amidships
Generally speaking the word amidships means in the middle portion of a vessel.
Anchor Handling Tug
Tug that moves anchors and tow drilling vessels, lighters and similar. Also ANCHOR HANDLING TUG/SUPPLY used also for supplies
Any Quantity
A rating that applies to an item regardless of weight.
Arbitration
Method of settling disputes usually applied to a charter party.
Arrival Notice
Documentation that notifies the consignee of arrival information for the goods and the freight charges due to be paid in exchange for the goods.
Articles Of Agreement
The document containing all particulars relating to the terms of agreement between the Master of the vessel and the crew. Also known as ship's or shipping articles.
ASABOSA
Association of Ships' Agents & Brokers.
ASL
Association of Shipping Lines
Asset-Based, Third Party Provider
A third party provider that owns transportation and/or warehouse assets.
Assignment
(1) The transfer to another of one's own legal interests or rights, especially the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors. (2) The document by which such an interest or right is transferred.
ATD
Artificial Tween Decks. Forty feet long, eight feet wide, one foot thick steel platform with hardwood flooring. Equipped with ten bullrings for securing oversized, heavy lift or wheeled cargo.
B
Barcode
A series of bars and spaces read by a scanning device for translation into a numeric or alphanumeric identification code that represents data in machine-readable or computerised form.
Barge
Conveyance used to carry loose cargo or containers in small volumes.
Base Port
Ports from which standard tariff rates apply to those normally serviced directly by members.
Base Rate
Rate used only for construction of other rates.
Berth
Vessel docking area.
Bill of Exchange
(1) A signed, written order by one company that instructs another company to pay a third party a specific amount. (2) An unconditional written order addressed by one person to another and signed by the person placing it. It requires the person, to whom it is addressed, to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a certain sum of money to the order of a specified person or to bearer. The drawee is not liable on it until he has accepted it.Usually used in foreign transactions.
Bill of Lading
Legal document signed by or for the captain/master, agents, owners of a vessel or the (common) carrier. It is written evidence of the contract of carriage by sea and/or by land. It is (1) A receipt of the goods (in the owner's/carrier's or his/their agent's custody) and (2) An undertaking to carry and deliver the goods safely to the place directed/agreed, dangers of the sea excepted, against (3) Surrender of the document where/when provisions in the document stipulate delivery to order of a named person, to order (blank) or to bearer 4) It evidences the terms of the contract of carriage.
Billed Weight
Weight stated in a waybill and/or (freight) bill of lading.
Booking
Act of recording arrangements for the movement/transportation of goods by vessel or other conveyance. To express in advance a desire for something in order to reserve it e.g. transportation of goods. Also known as a booking request.
Box Rate
A lump sum charged to move cargo in various size containers from origin to destination.
Break Bulk
Cargo which is not containerised due to its weight and/or size e.g. steel pipes, boats etc.
Bunker Surcharge
Surcharge assessed by carrier which is applied to freight rates to supplement an unexpected rise in fuel costs.
C
C&F
Cost and Freight. Terms of sale. Seller quotes price including the cost of goods and all transportation charges to the named point of destination.
Cabotage
Trade or transport in coastal waters or between two ports/points within a country especially by parties other than domestic carriers. Many countries, such as the USA, have laws requiring domestic-owned vessels to perform domestic interport water transportation services.
CAF
Cost, Assurance and Freight. Also known as Currency Adjustment Factor. Used to adjust ocean freight due to currency fluctuations.
Cargo Bays
Doors in a warehouse where vehicles back up to load/unload cargo.
Cargo Manifest
An invoice of all cargo loaded on board a vessel. Listing of all cargo on board a vessel is required by the relevant local authorities. Same as manifest.
Carrier's Certificate
A release order used to advise customs of the details of the shipment, its ownership, port of lading, etc. By means of this document the carrier certifies that the firm or individual named in the certificate is the owner or consignee of the cargo. A U.S. Customs form used in lieu of a bill of lading.
Cell
Container slot where container fits into place on vessel.
Certificate of Origin
Document used to assure the buying country precisely which country produced the goods being shipped. Usually completed by a recognised chamber of commerce.
CFS
Container Freight Station. Location designated by the ocean carrier for the receiving and delivering of a shipment, and for assembly and distribution of shipments into or out of steamship line containers. Most LCL cargos are either packed into or devanned at the CFS. The carrier may store empty containers at a CFS but not receive or deliver containers.
Combined Transport Bill of Lading
Provides a combined transport by at least two different modes of transportation from a place from which the goods are taken to a place designated for delivery.
Commercial Invoice
A document produced by the shipper/seller of goods which contains an accurate description of the merchandise and the country of origin. All items are itemised and with actual price.
Commodity
A specification of goods/product types, e.g. toys, electronics or welding machinery.
Common Poin
Point reached by two or more transportation lines.
Consignee
Person to whom something is consigned or shipped and entitled to take delivery.
Consignor
Person who consigns something (as the goods of an individual shipment). See also shipper.
D
Delivery
(1) The physical and legal transfer of a shipment from consignor to carrier and from carrier/ transport agent to consignee. (2) The act of putting property into the legal possession of another, whether involving the actual transfer of the physical control of the object from one to the other or being constructively effected in various other ways.
Delivery Order
An order from the consignee, shipper or owner of freight to a terminal operator, carrier or warehouse to deliver freight to another party. On imports, it may also be known as a pier release. This document is neither a bill of lading or a waybill but contains an undertaking which (1) is given under or for the purposes of a contract for the carriage by sea of goods to which the document relates, or of goods which include those goods; and (2) is an undertaking by the carrier to a person identified in the document to deliver those goods to that person which the document relates. Delivery orders are capable of transferring contractual rights by way of endorsements, but they are not necessarily documents of title in the sense of being able to pass constructive possession.
Demurrage
(1) Compensation (as liquidated damages) for delay in removing cargo from terminal facilities. (2) A charge assessed for detaining a container, freight car, truck or other vehicle beyond the freetime stipulated for loading or unloading.
Detention
Costs incurred when a shipper/consignee or his/her agent removes a container from the carrier's origin/destination CY to the shipper/consignee's place of business, and does not return the loaded/empty container to the CY or to another location designated by the carrier within the permitted freetime as stipulated in the applicable tariff.
Distribution
The full range of activities and planning required to move a product from the production line to the end-user.
Diversion Charge
Fee for diverting cargo from original intended destination port to a new location.
Dock Receipt
Receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a pier or dock. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is exchanged for a bill of lading with the transportation line.
Double Stack Car
Rail car capable of carrying two containers stacked on top of each other.
Drawback
99% refund of imported or duty paid materials which are to be re-exported.
Drayage
Inland transportation from vendors to the port of shipment, and from discharge port to the point of stripping the ocean container. Drayage is hence undertaken for CY and CFS cargo.
Dry Dock
Used to lay up vessels for repair.
Dunnage
Material used around cargo to prevent breakage or shifting, normally provided by shipper. Its weight is included in the rating.
Duty Drawback
(1) Payment returned for cargo re-exported or trade show material. (2) A customs refund on re-exported cargo.
E
Earnings
Income after a company's taxes and all other expenses have been paid. Also called profit or net income.
EDA
Estimated Date of Arrival
EIR
Equipment Interchange Receipt. A document used to receive or deliver a full or empty container/chassis at any terminal or inland container pool/depot.
Equalisation
(1) Monetary allowance to a customer for picking up or delivering cargo to or from a point which is not the origin/destination shown on the B/L. (2) Compensation for additional charges incurred by the shipper for delivering cargo to port designated by the carrier other than the closest port to the supplier.
ETA
Estimated Time of Arrival.
ETD
Estimated Time of Departure.
Export Declaration
(1) Government document permitting designated goods to leave the country. Issued by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Includes complete particulars on the shipment. Although customers can submit their declarations themselves to U.S. Customs, the carrier is still responsible for penalities if the documentation is not available by the time a vessel is "cleared" by customs for sailing. Also known as an ex-dec or SED (Shipper´s Export Declaration). (2) Shippers need to obtain a Bureau of Census document which spells out shipment details for entry into a government statistical system. Documents for export shipping, declaring the value of the cargo to the U.S. Customs.
F
FCL
Full Container Load. Containers are charged a specific rate for ocean transit regardless of their (lack of) contents. A full container will thus offer a better price per unit shipped than will a LCL.
Feeder
Transportation conveyance utilised to relay cargo from the mother vessel to ultimate destination or from first receipt port to mother vessel.
FIFO
Free In Free Out
FIO
Free In Free Out
FOB
Free On Board
Free Time
Time allowed for shippers or consignees/receivers to load or unload cargo before demurrage, detention and other charges accrue.
Full Visible Capacity
The trailer is loaded as full as the nature of the freight and other conditions permit, so that no more of the same type of freight can be loaded, consistent with safety and damage precautions.
G
GRI
General Rate Increase
H
Handling Costs
The cost involved in transferring, preparing and otherwise contracting inventory.
Harmless Chemicals
A cargo description, which is a contradiction of terms. A chemical is a substance and whether it is harmless or not, depends on the context in which the substance appears or is used. Maersk Line does not accept harmless chemicals as a valid cargo description on the shipping documents.
Heavy Lift Charge
Charge for cargo which is too heavy to be lifted by standard cranes or ship's tackle.
Hitchment
Marrying 2 or more portions of one shipment that originate at different geographical locations, moving under one bill of lading, from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication.
Holds
Section of vessel in which containers are stored. See also Bays.
I
IA
Independent Action. A carrier can take an independent action in a conference, resulting in a unique rate for that carrier within a conference; ability to file a rate independently of other carriers' actions.

J
Joint Rate
A rate from a point located on one transportation line to a point on another transportation line which is published in a single tariff.
K, L
M
Manifest
Entire listing of all cargo on board a vessel as required by the relevant local authorities e.g. customs. Same as cargo manifest.
Marks and Numbers
The identifying details on or of a package or the actual markings that appear on the packages.
Mother Vessel
Main ocean vessel in a liner service designated to move containers from set origin points to set destination ports/points on a regular basis
N
Negotiable Bill of Lading
Something that can be negotiated, transferred or assigned from one person to another in return for equivalent value by being delivered either with endorsement (as of an instrument to order) or without endorsement (as of an instrument to bearer) so that the title passes to the transferee who is not prejudiced in his rights by any defect or flaw in the title of prior parties nor by personal defenses available to prior parties among themselves provided in both cases that the transferee is a bona fide holder without notice e.g. bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and cheques that are payable to bearer or order are negotiable instruments, as are also, in some jurisdictions, some other instruments (as bonds, some forms of stock) i.e. negotiable paper/negotiable securities. "Negotiable" used analogously for "transferable" - see also negotiability/transferability.
Neutral Body
Investigating body designated by conference carriers to ensure that all regulations and rules are adhered to.
NOE
Not Otherwise Enumerated
Non-Asset-Based Third Party Providers
Third party providers who generally do not own assets, such as transportation and/or warehouse equipment.
Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading
A document not made out "to order", but being a receipt and evidence of the contract of carriage, but which is not a document of title, e.g. a waybill and, in some jurisdictions (such as the USA), a (straight) consigned bill of lading.
NOS
Not Otherwise Stated.
O
OBL
Original bill of lading.
On Deck Stowage
Cargo stowed on the deck of the vessel.
On-Carriage
The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport to the place of delivery after discharge from the ocean vessel (main means of transport) at the port (place) of discharge.
Open Rates
Rates established for each individual carrier. These rates are listed in a tariff list but may differ according to carrier.
Order Cycle
This includes the time and the process involved from the placement of the order to the receipt of the shipment. It includes the following processes: Communicating the order, order processing, transporting the shipment.
Out of Gauge
Cargo which exceeds the internal dimensions of the container in width, length or height.
Outbound
Export shipments.
Outport
Destination port, other than a base port, to which rates apply but which may be subject to additional outport arbitraries.
Over Landed
(1) Cargo volume count more than originally shipped. (2) Cargo taken beyond original port of discharge.
Overland Common Port (OCP)
A special rate concession made by shipping lines, rail carriers and truckers serving the U.S. West Coast for export and import traffic, intended to benefit midwest shippers and importers by equalising rates to and from other coastal areas, and offering these midwest companies a comparable alternative. The steamship companies lower their rates and the inland carriers pick up the terminal charges, which consist of handling charges, wharfage charges and car loading or unloading charges. OCP rates apply to cargo shipped from or consigned to the states of: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and all states east thereof. OCP rates in Canada apply to the provinces of: Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
P
Packing List
List of packages for each shipment, showing individual breakdown in weights/measure and quantity.
Partnerships and Alliances
Shippers and providers who enter into agreements designed to benefit both parties.
Per Diem
On a daily basis.
Physical Distribution
All logistics activities from the production line to the final user, including traffic, packaging, materials handling, warehousing, order entry, customer service, inventory control etc.
Pier
A structure built away from land and extending some distance over water, often used for docking boats. Also known as a wharf.
Piggyback
The transportation of highway trailers or demountable trailer bodies on specially equipped rail flat cars.
Pilferage
Cargo stolen from the container, warehouse or terminal.
Plimsoll Mark
Depth to which a vessel may safely load. Identified by a circle on the vessel's side with a vertical line through and a number of small horizontal lines showing the max depth for summer and winter.
Port & Terminal Service Charge [PTSC]
South Europe Conference [SEAC] charge incurred when the shipper is not able to deliver cargo directly alongside the vessel. The carrier may assess its expenses in moving cargo from the shipper's point of delivery to the vessel.
Primage
A charge paid by shippers to ship agents for services provided by the agent in Turkish and Greek ports, generally for loading activities conducted by port stevedores. It is not an actual contractual term so the obligation to pay does not depend on its inclusion in the bill of lading. Turkey: 3% on Total Ocean Freight including all surcharges and intermodal charges. Greece: 3% Piraeus, 5% Salonika (except on cargo originating in Bulgaria).
PTI
Pre-Trip Inspection. (Typically the shipping line's inspection of reefer containers prior to release to the shipper for stuffing/loading).
Q
Quay
A pier, wharf or other structure built along a shore for landing, loading and unloading boats or ships.
R
Railhead
Location for loading and unloading containers at railroad terminal.
Rate Agreement
Group of carriers who discuss rates and common problems with options to file independent tariffs.
Received for Shipment Bill of Lading
Can be issued on the carrier's actual receipt or taking custody of goods, if requested goods are not yet necessarily loaded on board a vessel or other conveyance. This form of bill of lading would usually be switched to an on board bill of lading or added as an on board notation upon the actual loading of goods on board a vessel or other conveyance.
Register Ton
A unit of interior capacity of ships. 1 Register Ton = 100 cubic feet or 2,832 cubic metres. Also known as vessel ton.
Relay
Marine shipment that is transferred to its ultimate destination port after having been shipped to an intermediate point.
Replenishment
The process of moving the inventory of an item from a reserve storage location to the primary picking location or to another mode of storage in which picking is performed.
Return Cargo
Cargo to be returned to original place of receipt.
Revenue Ton
Number of tonnes which freight is paid for per ton.
Reverse Logistics
Reverse Logistics is a rather general term. In its broadest sense, reverse logistics stands for all operations related to the reuse of products and materials. The management of these operations can be referred to as Product Recovery Management (PRM). PRM is concerned with the care of products and materials after they have been used. Some of these activities are, to some extent, similar to those occurring in the case of internal returns of defective items due to unreliable production processes. Reverse logistics refers however to all logistics activities the collection, disassembly and processing of used products, product parts and/or materials in order to ensure a sustainable (environmentally-friendly) recovery.
Ro-Ro
Roll on/Roll off Vessel used for carrying cars and light trucks. Vehicles are driven on and driven off, as opposed to being loaded with cranes or other external equipment.
S
Seawaybill
A type of bill of lading used for port-to-port or combined transport carriage. A waybill is identical to a negotiable bill of lading except that it is not a document of title. There are no originals issued for this type of document. In some jurisdictions, such as the USA, a waybill is deemed the equivalent of a (straight) consigned bill of lading. See also Waybill.
Service Agreement
Private contracts between one or more carriers and one or more shippers to transport cargo between specified points under terms and conditions of carriage agreed and listed in the contract. It often allows for particular rates based on volume over a specified period of time. Also commonly known as a service contract.
Ship's Chandlers
Suppliers of various items to the vessel.
Shipper
Person who consigns something (e.g. the goods of an individual shipment). Legal entity or person named on the bill of lading or waybill as shipper and/or who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contract of carriage has been concluded with a carrier. Also known as consignor.
Shipper Packed
Contents of containers as loaded (stuffed), stowed (packed/braced), weighed and/or counted by or for the shipper, usually a CY load.
Shipping Order
Equivalent of booking and contract of carriage evidencing the agreement to transport goods.
Short Landed
Cargo volume count (at delivery destination) less than originally shipped.
Short Shipped
Cargo missing a vessel that it was originally intended for.
Slot Charter
A carrier's chartering of slots/spaces on other carrier's vessels.
Special Customs Invoice
An official form usually required by U.S. Customs if the rate of duty is based upon the value, and the value of the shipment exceeds USD 500. This document is usually prepared by the foreign exporter or his forwarder and is used by customs in determining the value of the shipment. The exporter or his agent must attest to the authenticity of the data furnished.
Special Rate
Rate established for a specified commodity for a specific period of time.
SS
Steamship
ST
1 Short Ton = 2 000 lbs.
STC
Abbreviation for Said To Contain.
Stevedore
Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels and various terminal activities. Also known as longshoreman.
Storage Charge
Charge for goods held in storage facilities (warehouses) under a fixed agreement for periods of time, and which is not included in other arrangement.
Store-Door Delivery
Movement of goods to the consignee's place of business, customarily applied to movement by truck.
Stripping
A.K.A. unstuffing. Physical removal of goods.
Stuffing
Physical loading of goods into the (carrier's) container.
Supply Chain
The movement of materials and information through the logistics process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to end-user. The supply chain includes all vendors, service providers and customers.
Supply Chain Management
The management and control of all materials and information in the logistics process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to end-user.
Surcharges
Additional charges above ocean freight. See also Add-Ons.
SWIFT
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication A cooperative organised under Belgian law providing the following services to participating financial institutions: Letters of credit (opening and transmission), money transfers, payment security settlements. Other businesses participating in SWIFT are: Security brokers and delaters, clearing and depository institutions, security exchanges and travellers cheques issuers.
T
Tare Weight
Weight of an empty container. Gross weight = net weight + tare weight.
Tariff
List of published rates, rules and regulations applicable to the transportation of goods in specified trade lanes or between two areas.
Terminal Handling Charge (THC)
The charge assessed by the terminal for the positioning of containers within the terminal/yard.
TIR Carnet
A document which can be issued to ease border crossings in Europe. Customs at a European location places a seal on a container and issues the TIR Carnet. The document and seal allow the container to cross borders without inspection to the consignee's door, where destination customs will then inspect the cargo.
To order of Shipper
The shipper, by way of endorsement and passing of the document, allows a transfer of the rights to take delivery of the goods in the document e.g. a bill of lading.
Total Cost of Distribution
The sum of purchasing, transportation and storage costs in the movement of finished products through the post production channel.
Tracer
A request on a transportation line to trace a shipment for the purpose of expediting its movement or establishing delivery. Common usage of this term has been simplified to mean any request for status of a shipment.
Transloading
Transfer of containers from one vessel to another vessel. Synonymous with Transshipments.
Transmittal Letter
List of the particulars of the shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted, together with instructions for the disposition of documents.
TRC
Terminal Receiving Charge Charge assessed by the terminal for cargo being delivered for export.
U
V
Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA)
A term agreement between two or more carriers in which a number of container positions ("slots") equal in space are reserved on particular vessels for each of the participants. The number of slots (space) on different vessels on the same route can vary by vessel type and direction but may also be expressed as each party's capacity use of the vessels employed jointly.
Vessel Ton
A unit of interior capacity of ships equal to 100 cubic feet or 2,832 cubic metres; register ton.
Volume Rate
Rate applicable in connection with a specified volume (weight) of freight.
W
Waiver
Document used to allow cargo carriage by different flag vessels other than original destination country vessels. Also for government cargo where vessels under certain flags cannot carry the shipments.
War Risk
Surcharge for covering additional insurance premium incurred by a vessel entering a war zone.
Wharf
A structure built along a shore, and often into the water, at which boats can be docked and loaded or unloaded; Also known as pier or quay.
Wharfage
Charge for handling traffic on the wharf or for docking vessels at the wharf.
X, Y
Z
Zonate
Marked with or arranged in zones.

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