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Glossary

Disclaimer: This material is general in nature and informative only. It is not intended to be professional advice. Before relying on the material you should obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to your particular circumstances.

A

ACA Air Cargo Automation
The term applied by Australian Customs to the computer system that coordinates and controls the reporting and delivery of import air cargo in Australia.

Ad Valorem
In proportion to the value: A phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied on goods, or property set as a percentage of their value. 

Air Container
Any unit load device, primarily intended for transport by air, having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more, incorporating restraint provisions compatible with an aircraft restraint system, and an entirely flush base bottom to allow handling on roller-bed cargo handling systems. 

Air Waybill (AWB)
A document made out by or on behalf of the carrier(s) confirming receipt of the goods by the carrier and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the carrier(s) for the carriage of goods as described therein.

Arrival Notice
A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated party advising of the arrival of a shipment or consignment.

Articles Dangereux de Route (ADR)
A European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.

Average
In marine insurance: a loss or damage to or in respect of goods or equipment.

Average Adjusters
In 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.

 

B

B/L
See Bill of Lading.

Back Haul
The return movement of a means of transport ,which has already provided a transport service in one direction.

BACKLETTER
Where a seller/shipper issues a 'letter of indemnity' in favour of the carrier in exchange for a clean bill of lading.

BAF   Bunker Adjustment Factor 
A Fuel Surcharge expressed as a percentage added or subtracted from the freight amount, reflecting the movement in the market place price for bunkers.

BBB    Before Breaking Bulk 
Refers to freight payments that must be received before discharge of a vessel commences.

Bill of Health
The 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 be visited before departure by the Consul of the country of destination.

When a vessel has free pratique, 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. 

BL2 Bill of Lading
A Bill of Lading is a receipt for goods shipped, evidence of the contract of carriage and a document of title i.e. it represents the goods and facilities transfer from one party to another. It is signed by the carrier which acts as a Contract of Affreightment, a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo.

Bill of Lading Clause
A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B/L.

Bonded
The storage of certain goods under charge of customs, i.e. customs seal until the import duties are paid or until the goods are taken out of the country. 

Bonded warehouse
A place where goods can be placed under bond. 

Bonded store
Place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port or country again. 

Bonded goods
Dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid, i.e. goods in transit or warehoused, pending customs clearance. 

Bordereau
Document used in road transport, listing the cargo carried on a road vehicle, often referring to appended copies of the road consignment note.

Box Pallet
Pallet with at least three fixed, removable or collapsible, vertical sides.

Break Bulk
To commence discharge. To strip unitised cargo. 

Break Bulk Cargo
General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised, containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo. 

Break-even Weight
The weight at which it is cheaper to charge the lower rate for the next higher weight-break multiplied by the minimum weight indicated, than to charge the higher rate for the actual weight of the shipment. 

Broken Stowage
The cargo space which is unavoidably lost when stowing cargo. The percentage of wasted space depends upon e.g. the kind of cargo, the packing and the used spaces. 

Broker
Person who acts as an intermediary in negotiating contracts.

Brokerage
Percentage of freight payable to broker or applicable to sale or purchase.

Brussels Tariff Nomenclature
Old Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the harmonised system.

BSC Bunker Surcharge (aka BAF)
See BAF.

Buffer Stock
A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.

Bulk Carrier
Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.

Bulk Container
A container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargoes, which are loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatchways at one end of the container. 

Bundling
This is the assembly of pieces of cargo, secured into one manageable unit. This is relevant to items such as structural steel, handrails, stairways etc. A rule of thumb is to present cargo at a size easily handled by a large fork lift.

Bunker
Tank, spaces on board a vessel to store fuel. 

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)
Adjustment applied by liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.

Bunkers
Quantity of fuel onboard a vessel. 

C

Cabotage
Transport of goods between two ports, or places located in the same country, by a carrier based in another country.
Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where a vehicle is registered (road-freight).

CAD
Cash Against Documents. Terms of payment: when the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.

CAF
Currency Adjustment Factor. A surcharge or a discount on the freight amount, by the ‘Ocean Carrier’, to provide for fluctuations in exchange rate.

CAFBAF 
Currency Adjustment Factor and Bunker Adjustment Factor. See BAF and CAF.

CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination) 
See Incoterms.

Call
The visit of a vessel to a port.

Cargo
All goods transported or to be transported on a ship, other than mail, ship's stores, ship's spare parts, ship's equipment, stowage material, crew's effects and passengers' accompanied baggage (IMO).

Any property carried on an aircraft, other than mail, stores and accompanied or mishandled baggage Also referred to as 'goods' (ICAO).

Cargo Assembly
The separate reception of parcels or packages and the holding of them for later despatch as one consignment (air cargo).

Cargo Disassembly
The separation of one or more of the component parts of a consignment (from other parts of such consignment) for any purpose other than that of presenting such part or parts to customs authorities at the specific request of such authorities (air cargo).

Cargo Handling
All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods.

Cargo Unit
A vehicle, container, pallet, flat, portable tank or any other entity or any part thereof which belongs to the ship but is not permanently attached to that ship. 

Carriage
The transportation of cargo from one place to another.

CPT  Carriage Paid To (...named place of destination) 
See Inco Terms.

Carrier
The party undertaking transport of goods from one place to another.

Carrier Haulage
The inland transport service, which is performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relevant transport document.

Cartage
See Haulage.

Cash On Delivery (COD)
Terms of payment when the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper.

CBM
Cubic Metres.

CBFT (or CFT)
Cubic Feet.

Cell
Location on board of a container vessel, where one container can be stowed. 

Cell Position
The location of a cell on board of a container vessel identified by a code for successively the bay, the row and the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel. 

Cellular Vessel
A vessel specially designed and equipped for the carriage of containers.

Certificate of Origin
A certificate showing the country of origin of goods. Frequently used by customs to confirm eligibility to special duty rates under preferential tariff programmes or in connection with regulating imports from specific sources.

CFR (or C&F)
Cost and Freight.

Charter Party
A contract in which a ship owner agrees to place the vessel or a part of it at the disposal of a charterer, for the carriage of goods.

Charterer
The 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. 

Chassis
A wheeled carriage onto which an ocean container is mounted for inland conveyance.

CIF
Cost, Insurance & Freight. Seller pays all these costs to a nominated port or place of discharge. An Incoterm. See INCOTERMS.

CIP
Carriage and Insurance paid to...

Clean Bill of Lading
A Bill of Lading does not contain any qualification about the apparent order and condition of the goods to be transported I.e.it bears no stamped clauses on the front of the B/L. It bears no superimposed clauses expressly declaring a defective condition of the goods or packaging (resolution of the ICS 1951).

Clearance Terminal
Terminal where Customs facilities for the clearance of goods are available.

CWE
Cleared Without Examination. Cleared by customs without inspection.

Closed Ventilated Container
A 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. 

COA
Contract of Affreightment - Owners agree to accept a cost per revenue tonne for cargo carried on a specific number of voyages.

COD
Cash On Delivery. 

COGSA
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.

Combined Transport
Intermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode such as rail or sea and any additional leg carried out by another mode such as road.

Combined Transport Bill of Lading
See Bill of Lading. 

Combined Transport Document (CTD)
Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods. A combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with a Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.

Combined Transport Operator (CTO)
A party who undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport. 

Commodity Box Rate
A rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.

Commodity Code
Code used in the Harmonised System for the classification of goods. 

Commodity Item Number
Specific description number required in air transport to indicate that a specific freight rate applies.

Congestion
Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth. 

Connecting Carrier
A carrier to whose services the cargo is to be transferred for onward connecting transport (air cargo).

Consignee
The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.

Consignment
A separate identifiable number of goods (available to be) transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more than one modes of transport and specified in one single transport document. 

Consignment Instructions
Instructions from either the seller/consignor or the buyer/consignee to a freight forwarder, carrier or his agent, or other provider of a service, enabling the movement of goods and associated activities. The following functions can be covered: Movement and handling of goods (shipping, forwarding and stowage).

Consignment Note
A document prepared by the shipper and comprising a transport contract. It contains details of the consignment to be carried to the port of loading and it is signed by the inland carrier as proof of receipt.

Consolidation, Consolidate
To group and stuff several shipments together in one container.
The grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.

Consolidated Container
Container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.

Consolidation Point
Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.

Consolidator
A firm or company that consolidates cargo. 

Consortium
Consortium is a form of co-operation between two or more carriers to operate in a particular trade.

Consular Invoice
An invoice covering shipment of goods certified by a consular official of the destination country, and used normally by customs or officials concerned with foreign exchange availability to ascertain the correctness of commercial invoice values.

Container
An item of equipment as defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for transport purposes. It must be of:

- a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use.

- specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading.

- fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly from one mode of transport to another.

- so designed as to be easy to fill and empty.

- having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more.

The term container includes neither vehicles nor conventional packing.

Container Bolster
A container floor without sides or end walls, which does not have the ISO corner fittings and is generally used for Ro/Ro operations. Note: A bolster cannot be handled either full or empty by a container spreader without special gear.

Container Chassis
A vehicle specially built for the purpose of transporting a container so that, when container and chassis are assembled, the produced unit serves as a road trailer. 

Container Depot
Storage area for empty containers.

Container Freight Station (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 Load Plan (CLP)
A list of items loaded in a specific container and where appropriate their sequence of loading.

Container Manifest
The document specifying the contents of particular freight containers or other transport units, prepared by the party responsible for their loading into the container or unit.

Container Moves
The number of actions performed by one container crane during a certain period.

Container Number
Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit. 

Container Terminal
Place where loaded and/or empty containers are loaded or discharged into or from a means of transport.

Container Yard (CY)
A facility at which FCL traffic and empty containers are received from or delivered to the Merchant by or on behalf of the Carrier. Often this yard is used to receive goods on behalf of the merchant and pack these in containers for FCL traffic.

Containerised
Indication that goods have been stowed in a container.

Contract of Affreightment
An agreement to carry goods by sea. They take a variety of forms but traditional division is between those embodied in charter parties and those evidenced by Bills of lading.

Contractual Port of Loading
A port at which an ocean vessel does not call, but which is equalised with the actual port of call and upon which inland haulage services and inland tariffs are based. Generally, the port to be mentioned on the B/L from which cargo is accepted (e.g. delivered by the consignee for sea transport).

COP
Custom Of Port.

CPT
Carriage Paid To.

CROB
Cargo Remaining on Board.

CRT
Cargo Retention Clauses, introduced by charterers based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices.

Customs formalities
Distribution of documents. Allocation of documents (freight and charges for the connected operations).

Special instructions (insurance, dangerous goods, goods release, additional documents required).

CIM Convention Internationale Concernant le Transport des Marchandises par Chemin de Fer 
International agreement, applied by 19 European railway companies, setting out conditions for international transport of goods by rail and the liabilities of the carrier(s).

CMR Convention Relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandise par Route 
Convention for the international carriage of goods by road, setting out the conditions of carriage and the liabilities of the carrier. Adherence to this set of regulations reflects a desire to standardise items such as documentation and rules on the carriers liability.

Conventional Cargo
See Break Bulk Cargo.

Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)
Adjustment applied by shipping companies to freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.

Customs
The department of the Civil Service that deals with the collection of duties and taxes on imported goods from foreign countries and the control over the export and import of goods.

Customs Broker
An authorised intermediary specialised in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/exporters.

Customs Clearance Agent
Customs broker or other agent of the consignee designated to perform customs clearance services for the consignee. 

D

DAF
Deliver At Frontier.

Dangerous Goods
Goods are to be considered dangerous if the transport of such goods might cause harm, risk, peril, or other evil to people, environment, equipment or any property whatsoever.

Dangerous Goods Declaration
Document issued by a consignor in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes, and stating that the latter have been packed and labelled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.

Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate
A document as part of the dangerous goods declaration in which the responsible party declares that the cargo has been stowed in accordance with the rules in a clean container in compliance with the IMDG regulations and properly secured.

DDU
Delivered Duty Unpaid.

DDP
Delivered Duty Paid.

DFRT 
Deadfreight. Freight paid for but not used.

Deadweight (DWT)
The total weight of cargo, cargo equipment, bunkers, provisions, water, stores and spare parts which a vessel can lift when loaded to her maximum draught as applicable under the circumstances. The deadweight is expressed in tonnes.

Declared Value for Carriage
The value of the goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purpose of determining charges or of establishing the limit of the carrier's liability for loss, damage or delay. It is also the basis for possible applicable valuation charges (air cargo).

Delivery Instruction
Document issued by a buyer giving instructions regarding the details of the delivery of goods ordered.

Delivery Note
A document recording the delivery of products to a consignee (customer).

Demise Charter
A contract whereby the shipowner leases his vessel to a charterer for a period of time during which the whole use and management of the vessel passes to the charterer, which requires that the charterer to pay all expenses for the operation and maintenance of the vessel. Officers and crew will become servants of the charterer. Also known as a 'bareboat charter'.

DEM
Demurrage (Quay Rent). Provision for agreed damages for the detention of a vessel beyond agreed loading time (lay-day) commonly used to describe charges for delay e.g. exceeding the agreed length of time available to load or unload a unit load device.

Detention
Keeping equipment beyond the time allowed.

Detention Charge
Charges levied on usage of equipment exceeding free time period as stipulated in the pertinent inland rules and conditions.

DEQ
Delivered Ex Quay.

DES
Delivered Ex Ship.

Devanning
See Stripping, Unpacking.

DEV
Deviation. Vessel departure from specified voyage course. 

Direct Delivery
The conveyance of goods directly from the vendor to the buyer. Frequently used if a third party acts as intermediary agent between vendor and buyer.

Direct discharge from vessel onto railroad car, road vehicle or barge with the purpose of immediate transport from the port area (usually occurs when ports lack adequate storage space or when ports are not equipped to handle a specific cargo).

Disbursement
Sums paid out by a ship's agent at a port and recovered from the carrier, or freight or charges collected by a carrier on behalf of a forwarder. 

Discharge
The unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft. The landing of cargo.

DO
Delivery Order. A document, issued in exchange for the Bill of Lading, authorising delivery of the shipment.

Dock Receipt
Document issued acknowledging that goods are received for shipment at a port. 

Domestic Carriage
Carriage whereby the place of departure and the place of destination are situated within the same country.

Door to Airport
The shipment is collected from the supplier’s door and is flown to the closest customs airport. The receiver is then responsible for the customs clearance, quarantine, delivery and local taxes.

Door to Door Transport
The shipment is collected from the supplier’s door and is flown to the country of destination where the goods are cleared through customs & quarantine control then delivered to the receiver’s door. P.N. duties and taxes are to be paid by the receiving company or individual.

Drawback

Repayment of any part of customs or excise duties previously collected on imported goods, when those goods are exported again.

Drayage
The hauling of a load by a cart with detachable sides (dray).

Road transportation between the nearest railway terminal and the stuffing place.

Drop off Charge
Charge 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 Container
Container consisting of a cargo-carrying structure, firmly secured within a framework, for the carriage of dry solids in bulk without packaging. 

Dry Cargo Container
Container that is designed for the carriage of goods other than liquids.

Dunnage
Stowage material, mainly timber or board, used to prevent movement during carriage and facilitate ease of handling.

Duty Free Zone
An area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties awaiting further transport or manufacturing.

E - F

Endorsement
The transfer of the right to obtain delivery of the goods of the carrier by means of the consignors or consignee's signature on the reverse side of a bill of lading. If the name of the new consignee (transferee) is not stated, the endorsement is an open one which means that every holder of the document is entitled to obtain delivery of the goods.

ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
The expected date and time of arrival of a ship, aircraft, road vehicle or railway carriage.

ETD Estimated Time of Departure
The expected date and time when a ship, aircraft, road vehicle or railway carriage will depart.

ETC
Estimated Time of Completion. 

ETS
Estimated Time of Sailing.

EXW
Ex Works. An Incoterm. See INCOTERMS.

Expediting
The 'rushing' or 'chasing' of production or purchase orders, which are needed urgently.

Export Licence
Document granting governmental permission to export particular goods.

FAS
Free Alongside Ship. Seller delivers goods to appropriate dock or terminal at port of embarkation and buyer covers costs and risks of loading. See Incoterms.

FCA
Free to Carrier. A modern equivalent of FAS used in intermodal transport where goods are transferred at a nominated forwarders premises, depot or terminal but not actually on board vessel.

FCL Full Container Load
A term used to describe a delivery whereby a container is packed by the exporter or forwarder and unpacked by the consignee. The shipping line receives and delivers the cargo as a sealed container unit.

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.

See also LCL - less than container load.

FCC Fully Cellular Container ship
A vessel specially designed to carry containers, with cell-guides under deck and necessary fittings and equipment on deck.

FD (FDIS)
Free Discharge.

FDD
Freight Demurrage Deadfreight.

FDESP
Free Despatch.

FILO
Free In/Liner Out. Seafreight with which the shipper pays load costs and the carrier pays for discharge costs.

FIO
Free In/Out. Freight booked FIO includes the seafreight, but no loading / discharging costs, i.e. the charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo.

FIOS
Free In/Out Stowed. As per FIO, but excludes loading/discharging and stowage costs.

FIOST
Free In/Out and Trimmed. Charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo, including stowage and trimming.

FIOT
Free In/Out and Trimmed. (As per FIOS but includes trimming, e.g. the levelling of bulk cargoes).

FLATPACKING
Cargo to be presented stacked and secured as an integral unit.

FTL
Full Truck Load.

Feeder
A vessel normally used for local or coastal transport (for carriage of cargo and/or containers) to and from ports not scheduled to be called by the main (ocean) vessel, directly connecting these ports to the main (ocean) vessel.

Flat Bed Trailer
A wheeled trailer or a semi-trailer with a flat cargo carrying surface or deck and without any superstructure.

Flat Pack
Garments packed in cardboard boxes.

Flat Rack Container
A container with two end walls and open sides.

FOB
Free on Board. Seller sees the goods "over the ship? rail" on to the ship which is arranged and paid for by the buyer. See Incoterms.

Forty Foot Equivalent Unit (FEU)
Unit of measurement equivalent to One forty foot container.

Forwarder
The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee.

Four Way Pallet
A pallet frame which allows fork lift access at each of the four sides.

Free In and Out (FIO)
A chartering term denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading and discharging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

FREE OUT
Free of discharge costs to owners. Includes seafreight only.

Free Port
An 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 is possible for instance to meet security or narcotics control requirements.)

Free Trade Zone (FTZ)
A part of the territory of a state where any goods introduced are generally regarded, in so far as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being exempted (Kyoto Convention).

FEU
Standard 40ft Container.

Freight All Kinds (FAK)
Freight, which is charged irrespective of the commodity.

Freight Collect
Freight and charges to be paid by the consignee.

Freight Container
See Container.

Freight Costs
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
See Forwarder.

Freight Prepaid
Freight and charges to be paid by the consignor.

Freight Tonne
A unit for freighting cargo according to weight and/or cubic measurement.

 

G - I

General Average (G/A)
Intentional act which is carried out to safeguard vessel and cargo. When a vessel is in danger, the master has the right to sacrifice property and/or to incur reasonable expenditure. Measures taken for the sole benefit of any particular interest are not considered general average governed by York-Antwerp rules. There is a general average act when, and only when any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving from peril the property involved in a common maritime adventure.

General Average Statement
This shows in detail all general average costs and expenses and the contribution of each interest in the general average in proportion to its value.

General Cargo
Cargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised. General cargo can be shipped either in break-bulk or containerised.

Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (air cargo).

General Cargo Rate (GCR)
The rate for the carriage of cargo other than a class rate or specific commodity rate (air cargo).

General Purpose Container
A container used for the carriage of general cargo without any special requirements.

Gross Tonnage (GRT)
The measure of the overall size of a vessel determined in accordance with the provisions of the international convention on measurement of vessels usually expressed in register ton.

Groupage
The collection of several small consignments to form a full load.

Hague Protocol
Amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (air cargo).

Hague Rules
An International convention dating from 1924 that determines rules to protect cargo owners from wide spread exclusion of liability by ship owners.

Half Height Container
An open top container, fitted with or without soft or hard cover, 4'3" in height.

Harmonised System (HS)
It is a numeric multi purpose system, the international convention on the HS was established under auspices of the World Customs Organisation in 1983, for the classification of goods with its six digits covering about 5000 descriptions of the products or groups of products most commonly produced and traded. It is designed for customs services, but can also be used for statistics, transport purposes, export, import and manufacturing.

Haulage
The inland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points.

Merchant inspired Carrier Haulage or customer nominated Carrier Haulage or shipper preferred Carrier Haulage service performed by a sub-contractor of the merchant.

Carrier inspired Merchant Haulage means Haulage service performed by a sub- contractor of the Carrier.

Haulier
Road carrier.

HAWB
House Air Waybill. The house air waybill is a forwarding agents bill that they use to consign the cargo under.

Hazardous Cargo
Not all cargo can be transported by airfreight. There are strict guidelines laid down by IATA and ICAO on the carriage of hazardous cargo. Please contact our office prior to consigning your goods.

Heavy Lift
Single commodity exceeding the capacity of normal loading equipment and requiring special equipment and rigging methods for handling.

Heavy Lift Vessel
A vessel specially designed and equipped for the carriage of heavy cargo.

Hot Hatch
Sequenced on deck loading of containers to enable priority discharge at arrival port, usually required for direct discharge to vehicle to meet a Just In Time delivery.

House to House Transport
The 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.

Implants
A member of staff working in the premises of another.

Incoterms
A set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used terms in foreign trade.

Indemnification
Compensation for a loss and/or the expenses incurred.

Inland Clearance Depot (ICD)
Inland location where cargo, particularly containerised cargo, may be cleared by customs.

Intermodal Transport
The movement of goods (containers) in one and the same loading unit or vehicle which uses successively several modes of transport without handling of the goods themselves when changing modes.

International Air Transport Association (IATA)
An international organisation of airlines, founded in 1945, with the aim of promoting the commercial air traffic and regulating its conduct.

International Maritime Dangerous Goods 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.

ITINERARY
Route. Schedule.

K - M

KNOT
A measurement of speed equal to one nautical mile (6,076 feet) per hour.

Land Bridge
Overland transport between, following and/or preceding sea transport of goods and/or containers.

Lay Days
The number of days allowed in a charter party for the loading and discharging of cargo.

Lay Time
Time at Charterers disposal for purpose of loading/discharging.

L/C
Letter of Credit. Any arrangement, however named or described, whereby a bank, acting at the request and on the instructions of a customer (I) is to make a payment to or to the order of a third party (the beneficiary), or is to pay or accept bills of exchange (drafts) drawn by the beneficiary, or (ii) authorises another bank to effect such payment, or to pay, accept or negotiate such bills of exchange (drafts), against stipulated documents, provided that the terms and conditions of the credit are complied with.

LCL 
Less than Container Load. A consignment which does not fill a container, and will therefore be grouped and shipped in a container with other part-loads.

A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the Carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container or a container in which multiple consignments or are shipped.

LTL
Less than Truck Load. A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.

LOI 
Letter of Indemnity. Written statement in which one party undertakes to compensate another for the costs and consequences of carrying out a certain act.

LOLO 
Lift-On Lift-Off. Charge by the carrier for lifting of an FCL from the truck upon receipt at a depot or container yard.

Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks.

Lighter
Barge.

Lighter Aboard Ship (Lash)
A vessel which carries barges.

Lighterage
The carriage of goods within a port area by a barge, e.g. from a vessel to a quay.

Liner Conference
A 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 (e.g. FEFC = Far Eastern Freight Conference).

LIFO
Liner In Free Out. Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading, but excluding the cost of discharging.

Liner Service
The regular and advertised service by vessels between given ports within a particular trade.

Liner Shipping Company
A company transporting goods over sea in a regular service.

Liner Terms
Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject the custom of the ports concerned.

LS (or LUMPS)
Lump sum Freight. Money paid to Shipper for a charter of a ship (or portion) up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo.

Manifest
Document, which lists the specifications of goods, loaded in a particular means of transport or equipment for transportation purposes. Inventory of cargo on board.

MAWB
Master Air Waybill. The master air waybill is a legal document that the airline uses to consign the cargo under.

MIN/MAX
Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity).

MOA
Memorandum of Agreement.

Mate's Receipt
A document signed by the chief officer of a vessel acknowledging the receipt of a certain consignment on board a vessel prior to the issue of a bill of lading.

Measurement Tonne
A tonne of one cubic metre.

Merchant
For cargo carried under the terms and conditions of the Carrier's Bill of Lading and of a tariff, it means any trader or persons (e.g. Shipper, Consignee) and including anyone acting on their behalf, owning or entitled to possession of the goods.

Merchant Haulage
Inland transport of cargo in containers arranged by the Merchant. It includes empty container-moves to and from hand-over points in respect of containers released by the Carrier to Merchants. Note: Carrier's responsibility under the Bill of Lading does not extend to the inland transport element of Merchant Haulage.

Minimum Charge
The lowest amount which applies to the transport of a consignment, irrespective of weight or volume.

Mixed Consignment
A consignment of different commodities, articles or goods, packed or tied together or contained in separate packages.

Mode of Transport
Method of transport used for the conveyance of goods, (e.g. by rail, by road, by sea).

MT
Metric Tonne (1,000 kilos).

Multi Purpose Vessel
Vessel designed for the carriage of different types of cargo: general, bulk, heavy and/or containerised cargo.

Multimodal Transport
The carriage of goods (containers) by at least two different modes of transport.

Multimodal Transport Document
See Combined Transport Document.

Multimodal Transport Operator/Carrier (MTO/Carrier)
The person on whose behalf the transport document or any document evidencing a contract of multimodal carriage of goods is issued and who is responsible for the carriage of goods pursuant to the contract of carriage.

N - P

Negotiable
Transferable for value by delivery or endorsement. Used popularly as equivalent to transferability.

NM
Nautical Mile. One minute of latitude; approximately 6,076 feet - about 1/8 longer than the statute mile of 5,280 feet.

Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
A party who undertakes to carry goods and issues in his own name a Bill of Lading for such carriage, without having the availability of any own means of transport.

NOR Notice of Readiness
Written document or telex issued by the master of a vessel to a charterer advising them the moment when a vessel is ready to load or discharge.

Document advising a consignee or his agent that cargo has arrived and is ready for delivery.

NON-REVERSIBLE
(Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected, then saved days will not be added to discharge time allowed.

Notify Address
Address of the party other than the consignee to be advised of the arrival of the goods.

Notify Party
The party to be notified of arrival of goods.

Open Sided Container
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 Top Container
A freight container similar in all respects to a general purpose container except that it has no rigid roof but may have a flexible and movable or removable cover, for example one made of canvas or plastic or reinforced plastic material normally supported on movable or removable roof bows.

Optional Port
A port of which it is not known whether or not a vessel will make a call during a particular voyage.

Out of Gauge Cargo
Cargo to which the dimensions exceed the normal dimensions of a 20 or 40 feet container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.

Outsider
A carrier, which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.

Outturn Report
Written statement by a stevedoring company in which the condition of cargo discharged from a vessel is noted along with any discrepancies in the quantity compared with the vessel's manifest.

Overheight Cargo
Cargo, exceeding the height of a 20 or 40 foot standard container.

Overlength Cargo
Cargo, exceeding the length of a 20 or 40 foot standard container.

Overwidth Cargo
Cargo exceeding the standard width.

P&I
Protection and Indemnity Insurance.

Packing Unit
A type of package where a standard quantity of products of a specific product type can be packed and that requires no additional packaging for storage and shipment.

Pallet Truck
Pedestrian- or rider-controlled non-stacking lift truck fitted with forks.

Particular Average
A fortuitous partial loss to the subject matter insured, proximately caused by an insured peril but which is not a general average loss.

Payload
The revenue-producing load carried by a means of transport.

PLIMSOLL MARK, PLIMSOLL LINE (alt. LOAD LINE)
An internationally recognised line painted on the side of merchant ships. When a ship is loaded, the water level must not go above the line. Water can reach different parts of the line as its temperature and saltiness varies with the season and location.

Pool
The shared use of e.g. equipment by a number of companies.

Port
The left side of a ship looking forward. A harbour.

Port of Call
Place where a vessel actually drops anchor or moors during a certain voyage.

Port of Discharge
The port where the cargo is actually discharged (unloaded) from the sea (ocean) going vessel.

Port of Loading
The port where the cargo is actually loaded on board the sea (ocean) going vessel.

Positioning
The transport of empty equipment to or from a depot to or from shipper's or consignees premises.

Pratique
Licence or permission to use a port.

Preamble
Introduction to a charter party.

Pre-slinging
The act of placing goods in slings which are left in position and used for loading into and discharging from a conventional vessel.

Precarriage
The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport from the place of receipt to the port (place) of loading into the ocean vessel (main means of transport).

Precarrier
The carrier by which the goods are moved prior to the main transport.

Preshipment Inspection (PSI)
The checking of goods before shipment for the purpose of determining the quantity and/or quality of said goods by an independent surveyor (inspection company) for phytosanitary, sanitary and veterinary controls or to ascertain condition.

Proof of Delivery
The receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.

Protection and Indemnity Club (P & I club)
A mutual association of shipowners who provide protection against liabilities by means of contributions.

 

R - S

Rail Car
A wheeled wagon used for the carriage of cargo by rail. 

Rail Consignment Note
A document evidencing a contract for the transport of goods by rail.

Ramp
An artificial inclined path, road or track along which wheeled vehicles, cargo and trailers may pass for the purpose of changing their elevation and facilitating the loading and unloading operation (e.g. an entrance way into a Roll-on Roll-off vessel.

Ramp Handling
Platform Handling.

Receiving Carrier
The carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport.

Redelivery
Return of a shipment to the party who originally delivered it to the carrier.

Return of a charter vessel to the owners.

Reefer Cargo
Cargo requiring temperature control.

Reefer Container
A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.

Reversible
(Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected at load port, then days saved can be added to discharge operations.

ROB
Remaining On Board.

RT
Revenue Tonne (i.e. 1.0 metric tonne or 1.0 cubic meter, whichever greater). The overall RT is calculated on a line by line basis of the Packing List using the largest amount. The overall freight liability is Calculated on the total RT amount, multiplied by the freight rate.

Roll Trailer
Special trailer for terminal haulage and stowage on board of Roll-on Roll-off vessels.

Also referred to as Mafi Trailer.

Rotation
Sequence in which a vessel calls at the ports on her itinerary.

Round Trip
A voyage, a journey etc. to a certain place, port or country and back again.

SITPRO
National organisation for the Simplification of International Trade Procedures in the United Kingdom (e.g. in The Netherlands SITPRO is called 'Sitproneth', in France 'Simprofrance' and in Japan 'Jastpro').

SCA
Sea Cargo Automation. A charge applied by Forwarders and Consolidators in Australia to cover the costs associated with the operation of the Sea Cargo Automation System.

STC
Said to Contain. 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 description furnished by the shipper.

Seal
A device used for containers, lockers, trucks or lorries to prove to relevant parties that they have remained closed during transport.

Seal Log
A document used to record seal numbers.

Semi Trailer
A vehicle without motive power and with one or more axles designed to be drawn by a truck tractor and constructed in such way that a portion of its weight and that of its load rest upon e.g. the fifth wheel of the towing vehicle.

SF
Stowage Factor. Cubic space (measurement tonne) occupied by one tonne (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo.

Ship Broker
Acts as intermediary between shipowners or carriers by sea on the one hand and cargo interests on the other.

Ship Operator
A ship operator is either the shipowner or the (legal) person responsible for the actual management of the vessel and its crew.

Ship's Protest
Statement of the master of a vessel before (in the presence of) competent authorities, concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.

Shipper
The merchant (person) by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf a contract of carriage of goods has been concluded with a carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.

Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)
A United States customs form to be completed for all exports to assist the government in compiling export statistics.

Shipping Note
Document provided by the shipper or the agent to the carrier, multimodal transport operator, terminal or other receiving authority, giving information about export consignments offered for transport, and providing for the necessary receipts and declarations of liability.

Shipping Marks
The identification shown on individual packages in order to help in moving it without delay or confusion to its final destination and to enable the checking of cargo against documents.

Shuttle Service
The carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.

Single Administrative Document (SAD)
A set of documents, replacing the various (national) forms for customs declaration within the European Union (EU), implemented on January 1st, 1988. The introduction of the SAD constitutes an intermediate stage in the abolition of all administrative documentation in intra European Union trade in goods between member states.

Skeleton Trailer
Road trailer consisting of a frame and wheels specially designed to carry containers.

Skids
Battens fitted underneath frames, boxes or packages to raise them off the floor and allow easy access for fork lift trucks, slings or other handling equipment.

Sliding Tandem
An undercarriage with a subframe having provision for convenient fore and aft adjustment of its position on the chassis/semi-trailer. The purpose being to be able to shift part of the load to either the king pin or the suspension to maximise legally permitted axle loads (road cargo).

Sling
Special chain, wire rope, synthetic fibre strap or ropes used for cargo handling purposes.

Slip Sheeting
Hard plastic sheeting used to stack cartons, optimising container space.

Slot
The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.

Slot Charter
A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place a certain number of container slots (TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer's disposal.

Space Charter
A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place part of the vessels capacity at the charterers disposal.

Split Shipment
In 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 identified by the same unique original shipment id.

Spreader
Device used for lifting containers and unitised cargo.

Beam or frame that holds the slings vertical when hoisting a load, to prevent damage to cargo.

STARBOARD
Right side of a ship when facing the front or forward end.

STERN
The aformost or after part of a ship.

Stowage
The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.

Stowage Factor
Ratio of a cargo's cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in cubic feet to the ton or cubic metres to the tonne, used to determine the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a certain space.

Stowage Plan
A plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit of stevedores and vessel's officers.

Straddle Carrier
Wheeled vehicle designed to lift and carry containers within its own framework. It is used for moving, and sometimes stacking, containers at a container terminal.

Straddle Crane
A crane usually running on rails and spanning an open area such as rail-tracks or roadways.

Stripping
The unloading of cargo out of a container.

Stuffing
The loading of cargo into a container.

Swop Body
Separate unit without wheels to carry cargo via road sometimes equipped with legs to be used to carry cargo intermodal within Europe.

This unit can be left behind to load or discharge whilst the driver with the truck/chassis can change to another unit. These units are not used for sea transport.

 

T - W

TARif Integrated Communautaire (TARIC)
The integrated customs tariff of the European Union.

TIR Transports Internationaux Routiers 
Multilateral treaty to simplify the administrative formalities of international road transport.

Tallyman
A person who records the number of cargo items together with the condition thereof at the time it is loaded into or discharged from a vessel.

Tank Container
A tank, surrounded by a framework with the overall dimensions of a container for the transport of liquids or gasses in bulk.

TEU
Standard 20' Container. 
Twenty Foot Equivalent unit. The acronym used to describe the space occupied by a 20’ container. ie. 1 x 20’ container = 1 TEU 1 x 40’ container = 2 TEU.

THC
Terminal Handling Charge. A charge for handling containers and goods at Container Terminals.

Transhipment
A shipment under one Bill of Lading, whereby sea (ocean) transport is 'broken' into two or more parts. The port where the sea (ocean) transport is 'broken' is the transhipment port.

Transfer of cargo from one means of transport to another for on-carriage during the course of one transport operation.

Transit Cargo
Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.

Cargo arriving at a point and departing there-from by the same through flight (air cargo).

TRC
Terminal Receiving Charge. A charge for handling containers and goods at Container Terminals.

Tweendeck
Cargo carrying surface below the main deck dividing a hold horizontally in an upper and a lower compartment.

Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)
Unit of measurement equivalent to one twenty foot container.

Twistlock
A device inserted into the corner fittings of a container and is turned or twisted, locking the container for the purpose of securing or lifting.

Two Way Pallet
A pallet frame which allows a fork lift access at two opposite sides.

Unit Load
A number of individual packages bonded, palletised or strapped together to form a single unit for more efficient handling by mechanical equipment.

Unit Load Device (ULD)
Any type of container or pallet, in which a consignment can be transported by air whether or not such a container is considered aircraft equipment.

Any type of air freight container, aircraft container, aircraft pallet with a net, or aircraft pallet with a net over an igloo.

United Nations Dangerous Goods Number (UNDG 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. The prefix 'UN' must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.

Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)
A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 50.000 till 250.000 DWT.

VPD
Vessel Pays Dues.

Volumetric
All cargo is charged at the greatest weight, either actual or volumetric. For International airfreight, each cubic meter is equal to 167.0 chargeable kilograms. The calculation for this is as follows; The greatest length x width x height in centimeters divided by 6000. E.G. a parcel that measures 30 x 45 x 200 cms = 45 kilograms.

War Risk
Perils of war or warlike operations, such as capture, seizure, arrests, restraints of kings, princesses and people, hostilities, civil war, mines, torpedo's. War risks are not covered under a policy for marine perils and must therefore be covered under a separate policy or their own.

Warehouse Keeper
Party who takes responsibility for goods entered into a warehouse.

Warsaw Convention
The 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 (air cargo).

Waybill
Non-negotiable document evidencing the contract for the transport of cargo.

W/M
Weight Or Measure (whichever is greater). In Ocean shipping, the base tonne (ie. 1000kg = 1 m3)to which the freight rate is applied and from which the freight amount is calculated.

WP
Weather Permitting. That time during which weather prevents working shall not count as laytime.

WINDWARD
Toward the direction from which the wind is coming.

Weight Tonne
1000 Kilos.