BlueGrace® Logistics is pleased to provide a glossary of freight and shipping terms for all modes of transportation to our visitors and customers. To use the glossary, click on the letters below corresponding to the word or acronym you are searching for. If you are unable to find what you are searching for, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Agency for International Development
American Trucking Association
Always Afloat (In some ports the ship aground when approcing, or at berth.)
Against All Risks (Insurance Clause); Association of American Railroads
A point close to the stern or rear of a vessel
A situation in which a shipping company must request approval to abandon all of some of their cargo.
A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.
U.S. Customs' "Automated Broker Interface," by which brokers file importers' entries electronically.
Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.
One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.
A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity. -Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.
Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery.
When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper's agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.
A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.
U.S. Customs' master computer system, "Automated Commercial Systems."
Act of God
An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.
A term from Latin meaning, "according to value."
Administrative Law Judge
A representative of a government commission or agency vested with power to administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony, and conduct hearings of cases submitted to, or initiated by, that agency. Also called Hearing Examiner.
Refers to marine matters such as an Admiralty Court.
To move cargo up line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one booked. (See "Roll.")
Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.
Shipment 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 owner' risk.
Advice of Shipment
A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.
A bank operating in the seller's country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.
Affreightment, Contract of
An agreement 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.
Movement toward the stern (back end) of a ship.
A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are: (1) brokers, (2) commission merchants, (3) resident buyers, (4) sales agents, 5) manufacturer's representatives.
Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.
The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.
The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.
The total price to move cargo from origin to destination, inclusive of all charges.
A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods delivered "alongside" are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship's tackle so that they can be loaded.
Privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.
The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.
American Bureau of Shipping
U.S. classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.
The U.S. Customs' "Automated Manifest System."
A tariff imposed to discourage sale of foreign goods, subsidized to sell at low prices detrimental to local manufacturers.
Any Quantity (A.Q.)
Usually refers to a rating that applies to an article regardless of size or quantity.
Apparent Good Order
When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.
Determination 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.
The warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.
A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point to make a rate to another point.
A notification by carrier of ship's arrival to the consignee, the "Notify Party," and - when applicable - the "Also Notify Party." These parties in interest are listed in blocks 3, 4 and 10, respectively, of the Bill of Lading.
American Standards Committee X12 responsible for developing EDI standards for the United States.
A term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.
Behind a vessel. Move in a reverse direction.
Any time Day or Night Sundays & Holidays Included.
A direction across the width of a vessel.
Same as 0.4535924277 kilograms.
Always within Institute Warranties Limits (Insurance purpose).
Abbreviation for "Bill of Lading."
To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has traveled.
Abbreviation for "Bunker Adjustment Factor." Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called "Fuel Adjustment Factor" or FAF.
Light, bulky articles.
Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading.
An 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 60o F.
A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges, or simply the base tariff rate.
Ballast Bonus (Special payment above the Chartering price when the ship has to sail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port.)
Abbreviation for "Beneficial Cargo Owner." Refers 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.
The width of a ship.
A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.
Entity to whom money is payable.
Shipped under rate that includes cost from end of ship's tackle at load port to end of ship's tackle at discharge port.
Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement past a line-haul terminating point.
A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.
Bill of Exchange
In the United States, commonly known as a "Draft." However, bill of exchange is the correct term.
Bill of Lading
Multi-use documents that are essential to conduct the day-to-day operations when transportation of supplies, materials, and personal property is required. These primary documents are used to procure freight and express transportation and related services from commercial carriers, including freight forwarders.
Bill of Lading Port of Discharge
Port where cargo is discharged from means of transport.
Bill of Sale
Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.
Bill to Party
Customer designated as party paying for services.
The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill, i.e, the invoiced weight.
A bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.
A rate applicable to or from a group of points. A special rate applicable to several different articles in a single shipment.
A waybill covering two or more consignments of freight.
A B/L wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.
Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.
Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.
Blocking or Bracing
Wood or metal supports (Dunnage) to keep shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.
Abbreviation for "Bales."
To gain access to a vessel.
The basic unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equal to a one_inch board, 12 inches wide and one foot long. Thus, a board ten feet long, 12 inches wide, and one inch thick contains ten board feet.
Movement of a tractor, without trailer, over the highway.
A set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels under the container.
A device fitted on a chassis or railcar to hold and secure the container.
Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country. Also known as First Port of Call.
Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under stated conditions.
A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.
Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.
Bottom Side Rails
Structural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.
A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperatures.
The front of a vessel.
A closed rail freight car.
To unload and distribute A portion or all of the contents of A rail car, container, or trailer.
An inland location where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.
A port where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and stuffed into containers but then moved to another coastal port to be waded on a vessel.
The loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages.
A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.
Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.
Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count." Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.
A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.
A partition separating one part of a ship, Freight car, aircraft or truck from Another part.
Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.
An extra charge sometimes added to steamship freight rates; justified by higher fuel costs. (Also known as Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF.)
A Maritime term referring to Fuel used aboard the ship. Coal stowage areas aboard a vessel in the past were in bins or bunkers.
C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS.
Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning "cargo and freight" whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.
Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.
Abbreviation for "Currency Adjustment Factor." A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.
A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.
Use of individual carrier/rail equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.
Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.
A barge equipped with tracks on which up to about 12 railroad cars are moved in harbors or inland waterways.
Freight loaded into a ship.
A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.
Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub-item in the applicable tariff.
Cargo 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.
Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)
A rate applicable to a carload of goods.
A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.
Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.
A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party.
Usually refers to intra-city hauling on drays or trucks.
Customs form permitting in-bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same Customs district. Usually in motor carrier's possession while draying cargo.
Cash Against Documents (CAD)
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 in Advance (CIA)
A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.
Cash With Order (CWO)
A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.
Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter."
Abbreviation for "Consumption Entry." The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods for use in the United States.
The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.
Center of Gravity
The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo.
The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American flag vessel's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Certificate of Origin
A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
Abbreviation for "Container Freight Station." A shipping dock where cargo is loaded ("stuffed") into or unloaded ("stripped") from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.
A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip.
A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.
A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.
Abbreviation for "Cost and Insurance." A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight." (Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination.
Price includes commission as well as CIF.
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange."
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection And Interest."
Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.
Abbreviation for "Completely Knocked Down." Parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant.
Abbreviation for "Carload" and "Containerload".
A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.
A publication, such as 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.
The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.
A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.
An anti-trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.
Clean Bill of Lading
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "apparent good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be "cleaned."
Cleaning in Transit
The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.
The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use Limits bridges, tunnels, etc.
A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.
Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.
Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter" (capital letters).
Water transportation along the coast.
Abbreviation for: Collect (cash) on Delivery. Carried on Docket (pricing).
Abbreviation for the Railway Service "Container On Flat Car."
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. U.S. federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier's liability under carrier's bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.
A bank that acts as an agent to the seller's bank (the presenting bank). The collecting bank assumes no responsibility for either the documents or the merchandise.
A draft drawn on the buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.
Combination Export Mgr.
A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one noncompeting manufacturer.
A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.
Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.
Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.
A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.
A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.
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.
Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.
An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.
Confirmed Letter of Credit
A 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 the foreign bank defaults.
The 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 documents specified in the letter of credit.
A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.
A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.
A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle,square, circle, etc. with letters and/or numbers and port of discharge.
(1) A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply. (2) A shipment of goods to a consignee.
A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.
Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Containerload shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.
A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.
Construction Differential Subsidy
A program whereby the U.S. government attempted to offset the higher shipbuilding cost in the U.S. by paying up to 50% of the difference between cost of U.S. and non-U.S. construction. The difference went to the U.S. shipyard. It is unfunded since 1982.
A government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of her or his country and its nationals.
A formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.
A document, certified by a consular official, is required by some countries to describe a shipment. Used by Customs of the foreign country, to verify the value, quantity and nature of the cargo.
An official signature or seal affixed to certain documents by the consul of the country of destination.
Consumption Entry (CE)
The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods into the United States for use in the United States.
A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8'0" or 8'6" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height.
Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.
Container Freight Station
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.
Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.
An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.
An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.
Container Yard (CY)
A materials handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.
Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.
Cargo that is prohibited.
A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.
Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.
Sophisticated, computer-controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.
Vertical frame components fitted at the corners of the container, integral to the corner fittings and connecting the roof and floor structures. Containers are lifted and secured in a stack using the castings at the ends.
A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.
Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)
Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller.
An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.
Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.
An abbreviation for "Cubic." A unit of volume measurement.
When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.
1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.
A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.
A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).
Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country's import and export revenues.
Customs Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.
All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise. The importer's statement is compared against the carrier's vessel manifest to ensure that all foreign goods are properly declared.
A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate of origin. Required in a few countries (usually former British territories) and usually serves as a seller's commercial invoice.
Customs of the Port
A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by the various parties.
The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.
Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds: U.K.,112)
Abbreviation for Container Yard.
Abbreviation for "Dangerous and hazardous" cargo.
Abbreviation for "Doing Business As." A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.
Department of Transportation.
Abbreviation for "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. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.
One leg of a move without a paying cargo load. Usually refers to repositioning an empty piece of equipment.
The number of tons of 2,240 pounds that a vessel can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces "light" and the number of tons it displaces when submerged to the "load line."
A long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 40 cubic feet.
Place where loose or other non-containerized cargo is ungrouped for delivery.
The weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.
Order to pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to a pier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad, which completes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shipping delivery order.
Demurrage/Despatch money. (Under vessel chartering terms, the amount to be paid if the ship is loading/discharging slower/faster than foreseen.)
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier's equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.
The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.
Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.
An incentive payment paid to a carrier to loading and unloading the cargo faster than agreed. Usually negotiated only in charter parties.
The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.
Destination Control Statements
Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments. The statements specify the authorized destinations.
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier's equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.
The unloading of a container or cargo van.
Damage-Free Car. Boxcars equipped with special bracing material.
An amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.
Discrepancy Letter of Credit
When documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the letter of credit (L/C), it is referred to as a "discrepancy." Banks will not process L/C's which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.
The weight, in tons of 2,240 pounds, of the vessel and its contents. Calculated by dividing the volume of water displaced in cubic feet by 35, the average density of sea water.
A change made either in the route of a shipment in transit (see Reconsignment) or of the entire ship.
Carriers' practice of dividing revenue received from through rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulae.
For land transportation, A loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.
A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.
Present a rate proposal to a conference meeting for adoption as a conference group rate.
Documents Against Acceptance (D/A)
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.
A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.
Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.
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.
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.
A draft to which no documents are attached.
A draft that matures on a fixed date, regardless of the time of acceptance.
A time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted and purchased by a bank at a discount.
A draft payable on demand upon presentation.
A draft that matures at a fixed or determinable time after presentation or acceptance.
A partial refund of an import fee. Refund usually results because goods are re-exported from the country that collected the fee.
The individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.
Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.
Abbreviation for "Destination Rail Freight Station." Same as CFS at destination, except a DRFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.
Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.
A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free-flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.
Delay in Startup Insurance is a policy to protect the seller of a construction project from penalties if the project is not completed on time. See "Liquidated Damages."
Attempting to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value, usually through subsidy by exporting country.
Eastern Central Motor Carriers Association.
Eastern Weighing and Inspection Bureau.
An angle piece fitted 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.
Abbreviation for "Electronic Data Interface." Generic term for transmission of transactional data between computer systems. EDI is typically via a batched transmission, usually conforming to consistent standards.
International data interchange standards sponsored by the United Nations. See UN/EDIFACT.
Charges assessed for the handling of grain through grain elevators.
An act of Congress (1903) prohibiting rebates, concession, misbilling, etc. and providing specific penalties for such violations.
Order to restrict the hauling of freight.
The sovereign power to take property for a necessary public use, with reasonable compensation.
Contraction for Empty Repositioning. The movement of empty containers.
A legal signature usually placed on the reverse of a draft; signifies transfer of rights from the holder to another party.
Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.
A 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.
Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)
A document transferring a container from one carrier to another, or to/from a terminal.
Estimated time of arrival.
A gas produced by many fruits and vegetables that accelerates the ripening and aging processes.
Ex - "From"
When used in pricing terms such as "Ex Factory" or "Ex Dock," it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin indicated.
Contraction for "Shipper's Export Declaration."
Notations made when the cargo is received at the carrier's terminal or loaded aboard a vessel. They show any irregularities in packaging or actual or suspected damage to the cargo. Exceptions are then noted on the bill of lading.
Abbreviation for Export-Import Bank of the United States. An independent U.S. Government Agency which facilitates exports of U.S. goods by providing loan guarantees and insurance for repayment of bank-provided export credit.
Issued in connection with documents such as letters of credit, tariffs etc. to advise that stated provisions will expire at a certain time.
Shipment of goods to a foreign country.
A government document declaring designated goods to be shipped out of the country. To be completed by the exporter and filed with the U.S. Government.
A government document which permits the "Licensee" to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.
A rate published on traffic moving from an interior point to a port for transshipment to a foreign country.
Food and Drug Administration.
See "Free of Particular Average."
A factor is an agent who will, at a discount (usually five to 8% of the gross), buy receivables.
Abbreviation for "Freight All Kinds." Usually refers to full container loads of mixed shipments.
Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.
Abbreviation for "Free Alongside Ship."
Abbreviation for "Full Container Load."
Abbreviation for "Free Discharge."
Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.
A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central "hub" port and smaller "spoke" ports.
Abbreviation for "Forty-Foot Equivalent Units." Refers to container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot containers or TEU's equal one FEU.
The semi-circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi-trailer.
A capacity measurement equal to one-fourth of a barrel.
Costs that do not vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are fixed costs.
A rail car without a roof and walls.
Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container
A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.
Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, Freight Forwarder Licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.
See Free On Board. See also Terms of Sale, FOB.
FOB Freight Allowed
The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the buyer pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by A like amount.
FOB Freight Prepaid
The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the Freight charges of the inland carrier.
FOB named point of Exportation
Seller is responsible FOR the cost of placing the goods at A named point of exportation. Some European buyers use This Form when they actually mean FOB vessel.
Seller is responsible FOR goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.
Abbreviation for "Free on Rail."
The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.
Fore and Aft
The direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.
Foreign Sales Corporation
Under U.S. tax law, a corporation created to obtain tax exemption on part of the earnings of U.S. products in foreign markets. Must be set-up as a foreign corporation with an office outside the USA.
Foreign Trade Zone
A free port in a country divorced from Customs authority but under government control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subject to import duty regulations.
A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.
Foul Bill of Lading
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.
A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.
Free Alongside (FAS)
The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship's loading equipment. See Terms of Sale.
An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.
Free In and Out (FIO)
Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.
Free of Particular Average (FPA)
A marine insurance term meaning that the assurer will not allow payment for partial loss or damage to cargo shipments except in certain circumstances, such as stranding, sinking, collision or fire.
Free on Board (FOB - U.S. Domestic Use)
Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.
Free on Board (Int'l Use)
See Terms of Sale.
Free Out (FO)
Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.
A restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty-exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone.
Free Sale Certificate
The U.S. government does not issue certificates of free sale. However, the Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, will issue, upon request, a letter of comment to the U.S. manufacturers whose products are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or other acts administered by the agency. The letter can take the place of the certificate.
That amount of time that a carrier's equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Storage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)
Free Trade Zone
A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties.
Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. An Invoice.
A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.
International Maritime Consultative Organization. A forum in which most major maritime nations participate and through which recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities, and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The regulations published by the IMO for transporting hazardous materials internationally.
International Standards Organization which deals in standards of all sorts, ranging from documentation to equipment packaging and labeling.
Abbreviation for "Immediate Transport." The document (prepared by the carrier) allows shipment to proceed from the port of entry in the U.S. to Customs clearing at the destination. The shipment clears Customs at its final destination. Also called an "In-Transit" Entry.
Abbreviation for "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.
Abbreviation for (1) "Interstate Commerce Commission," (2) "International Chamber of Commerce."
Stands for "Immediate Exit." In the U.S., Customs IE Form is used when goods are brought into the U.S. and are to be immediately re-exported without being transported within the U.S.
An entry that allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be exported from the same port without the payment of duty.
To receive goods from a foreign country.
A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.
Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.
The transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container is received by a rail terminal or water port from another carrier.
In transit, or in passage.
In-Transit Entry (I.T.)
Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed.
A 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 the normal volume.
The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale. These terms were last amended, effective July 1, 1990.
An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.
Setting rate within a conference tariff that is different from the rate(s) for the same items established by other conference members.
Any body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.
Placing a port on a vessel's itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.
An insurance term referring to any defect or other characteristic of a product that could result in damage to the product without external cause (for example, instability in a chemical that could cause it to explode spontaneously). Insurance policies may exclude inherent vice losses.
A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
A 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.
Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.
A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.
Insulated Container Tank
The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.
Insurance with Average-clause
This type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to three percent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, collides, or sinks, all losses are fully covered. In marine insurance, the word average describes partial damage or partial loss.
This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.
In 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.
Insurance, Particular Average
A Marine insurance term to refer 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 percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.
A location where one carrier delivers freight to another carrier.
Water service between two coasts; in the U.S., this usually refers to water service between the Atlantic and Pacific or Gulf Coasts.
Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.
A point located en route between two other points.
Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.
An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.
Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM)
A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. Required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country.
Abbreviation for "Inland Point Intermodal." Refers to inland points (non-ports) that can be served by carriers on a through bill of lading.
Irrevocable Letter of Credit
Letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee and which cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.
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.
The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.
Abbreviation for "Letter of Credit."
Loaded aboard a vessel.
Refers to the freight shipped; the contents of a shipment.
Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, thence, using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. As example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.
The total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.
Certificate issued by consular officials of some importing countries at the point or place of export when the subject goods are exported under bond.
A support fixed on the front part of a chassis (which is retractable); used to support the front end of a chassis when the tractor has been removed.
A maritime industry abbreviation for "Lighter Aboard Ship." A specially constructed vessel equipped with an overhead crane for lifting specially designed barges and stowing them into cellular slots in an athwartship position.
Laydays/Cancelling (date): Range of dates within the hire contract must start.
Abbreviation for "Less than Container Load." The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.
Less Than Truckload
Also known as LTL or LCL.
Letter of Credit (LC)
A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time. Some of the specific descriptions are:
Letter of Credit (LC) - Back-to-Back
A new letter of credit issued to another beneficiary on the strength of a primary credit. The second L/C uses the first L/C as collateral for the bank. Used in a three-party transaction.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Clean
A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Confirmed
An L/C guaranteed by both the issuing and advising banks of payment so long as seller's documents are in order, and the L/C terms are met. Only applied to irrevocable L/C's. The confirming bank assumes the credit risk of the issuing bank.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Deferred Payment
A letter of credit issued for the purchase and financing of merchandise, similar to acceptance-type letter of credit, except that it requires presentation of sight drafts payable on an installment basis.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Irrevocable
An instrument that, once established, cannot be modified or cancelled without the agreement of all parties concerned.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Non cumulative
A revolving letter of credit that prohibits the amount not used during the specific period from being available afterwards.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Restricted
A condition within the letter of credit which restricts its negotiation to a named bank.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Revocable
An instrument that can be modified or cancelled at any moment without notice to and agreement of the beneficiary, but customarily includes a clause in the credit to the effect that any draft negotiated by a bank prior to the receipt of a notice of revocation or amendment will be honored by the issuing bank. Rarely used since there is no protection for the seller.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Revolving
An irrevocable letter issued for a specific amount; renews itself for the same amount over a given period.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Straight
A letter of credit that contains a limited engagement clause which states that the issuing bank promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the required documents at its counters or the counters of the named bank.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Transferable
A letter of credit that allows the beneficiary to transfer in whole or in part to another beneficiary any amount which, in aggregate, of such transfers does not exceed the amount of the credit. Used by middlemen.
Letter of Credit (LC) - Unconfirmed
A letter of credit forwarded to the beneficiary by the advising bank without engagement on the part of the advising bank.
Letter of Indemnity
In order to obtain the clean bill of lading, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity to the carrier on the basis of which may be obtained the clean bill of lading, although the dock or mate's receipt showed that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition.
Some governments require certain commodities to be licensed prior to exportation or importation. Clauses attesting to compliance are often required on the B/L. Various types issued for export (general, validated) and import as mandated by government(s).
A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.
A vessel discharges part of its cargo at anchor into a lighter to reduce the vessel's draft so it can then get alongside a pier.
An open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways to carry cargo to/from alongside a vessel.
Refers to carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed therefrom.
Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.
A vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.
The penalty a seller must pay if the construction project does not meet contractual standards or deadlines.
The amount in degrees that a vessel tilts from the vertical.
1.06 liquid U.S. quarts or 33.9 fluid ounces.
An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment.
The ratio of loaded miles to empty miles.
Cargo delivered to/from the carrier where origin/destination of the cargo is in the local area.
Logistics is that part of the supply chain process that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption in order to meet customers' requirements.
Individual employed in a port to load and unload ships.
A trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground.
Middlewest Motor Freight Bureau.
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 equalization; providing specialized equipment to a shipper to the detriment of other shippers, etc.
A writ issued by a court; requires that specific things be done.
Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.
Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.
Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.
Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.
A pointed metal spike, used to separate strands of rope in splicing.
U.S. Customs' automated program under AMS. It allows for electronic reporting of inbound (foreign) cargoes in the U.S.
An archaic practice. An acknowledgement of cargo receipt signed by a mate of the vessel. The possessor of the mate's receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, in exchange for that receipt.
1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 C.M.
Abbreviation for "Master Container Freight Station." See CFS.
Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.
40 cubic feet.
Mechanically Ventilated Container
A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.
Memorandum Bill of Lading
An in-house bill of lading. A duplicate copy.
Memorandum Freight Bill
See Multiple Containerload Shipment.
39.37 inches (approximately).
2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.
A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destination. Also known as IPI or Through Service.
A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.
An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previously served as an all-water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).
Minimum Bill of Lading
A clause in a Bill of lading which specifies the least 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.
The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.
Mixed Container Load
A containerload of different articles in a single consignment.
Abbreviation for "Mini Landbridge."
A blend of gases tailored to replace the normal atmosphere within a container.
Abbreviation for "Metric Ton."
Synonymous for all practical purposes with "Intermodal."
A container frame fitted to accommodate two or more separate tanks for liquids.
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, headquartered in Paris with membership consisting of the world's developed nations.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)
A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in-transit.
See "Overland Common Points."
Abbreviation for "Operating Differential Subsidy." An amount of money the U.S. government paid U.S. shipping companies that qualify for this subsidy. The intent was to help offset the higher subsidy. The intent was to help ofset the higher cost of operating a U.S.-flag vessel. The ODS program is administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration and is being phased out.
A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.
A notation on a bill of lading that the cargo has been stowed on the open deck of the ship.
A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment.
Open Insurance Policy
A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
Open Top Container
A container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin roof so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top.
A comparison of a carrier's operating expense with its net sales. The most general measure of operating efficiency.
The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.
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.
Abbreviation for "Origin Rail Freight Station." Same as CFS at origin except an ORFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.
Location where shipment begins its movement.
Original Bill of Lading (OBL)
A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as "original" by the issuing carrier.
Abbreviation for "Over, Short or Damaged" Usually discovered at cargo unloading.
Transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container leaves a rail or water terminal.
To charge more than the proper amount according to the published rates.
Cargo more than eight feet high which thus cannot fit into a standard container.
Overland Common Point (OCP)
A term stated on the bills of lading offering lower shipping rates to importers east of the Rockies, provided merchandise from the Far East comes in through the West Coast ports. OCP rates were established by U.S. West Coast steamship companies in conjunction with western railroads so that cargo originating or destined for the American Midwest and East would be competitive with all-water rates via the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports. Applies to eastern Canada.
Owner Code (SCAC)
Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier's equipment. A suffix of "U" is a container and "C" is a chassis.
Abbreviation for "Protection and Indemnity," an insurance term.
Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated.
Abbreviation for "Please Authorize Delivery Against Guarantee." A request from the consignee to the shipper to allow the carrier or agent to release cargo against a guarantee, either bank or personal. Made when the consignee is unable to produce original bills of lading.
A U.S. Customs program wherein at least two designated Customs ports will enter cargo that arrives at either port without the necessity of an in-bound document.
A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.
A technical rail ramp, used for equalization of points not actually served.
A published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.
An 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.
Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase "partial shipments permitted."
See Insurance, Particular Average.
A party named in an instrument as the beneficiary of the funds. Under letters of credit, the payee is either the drawer of the draft or a bank.
A 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.
A charge, based on a fixed daily rate.
Perils of the Sea
Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.
Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate
A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a U.S. shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.
The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignor's shipping platform.
The structure perpendicular to the shoreline to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.
A shipment loaded into a container at the pier or terminal, thence to the consignee's facility.
Containers loaded at port of loading and discharged at port of destination.
A mobile container-handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.
A transportation arrangement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destination. Also known as Rail Pigs.
Place of Delivery
Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.
Place of Receipt
Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.
A series of horizontal lines, corresponding to the seasons of the year and fresh or saltwater, painted on the outside of a ship marking the level which must remain above the surface of the water for the vessel's stability.
Abbreviation for: Port of Discharge, or Port of Destination.
Point of Origin
The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Abbreviation for: Port of Loading, or Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants.
Pomerene Act, Also known as (U.S.) Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916.
U.S. federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties for issuing B/L's containing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.
Left side of A ship when facing forward. Also opening in a ship's side for handling freight.
Port of Call
Port where a ship discharges or receives traffic.
Port of Entry
Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.
Port of Exit
Place where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.
Lifts temporary quarantine of a vessel; granted pratique by Health Officer.
A process employed in the shipment of citrus fruits and other perishable commodities. The fruit is packed and placed in a cold room from which the heat is gradually extracted. The boxes of fruit are packed in containers that have been thoroughly cooled and transported through to destination without opening the doors.
Freight charges paid by the consignor (shipper) prior to the release of the bills of lading by the carrier.
A Latin term meaning "For the sake of form."
Pro Forma Invoice
An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and specifications (weight, size, etc.).
A Latin term meaning "In proportion."
Single tariff item, established to move multiple commodities needed for a specified project, usually construction.
Proof of Delivery
A document required from the Carrier or driver FOR proper payment.
Public Service Commission
A name usually given to a State body having control or regulation of public utilities.
Person authorized by transportation lines to publish tariffs or rates, rules, and regulations for their account.
Procedure where carrier tests the temperature of the internal flesh of refrigerated commodities to assure that the temperature at time of shipment conforms to prescribed temperature ranges.
A short semi-trailer used jointly with a dolly and another semi-trailer to create a twin trailer.
Abbreviation for: Sight draft, or Sea Damage
An embargo imposed by a Government against another country.
See Owner Code.
The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.
Document indicating the goods were loaded onboard when a document of title (b/L) is not needed. Typically used when a company is shipping goods to itself.
Ocean vessels constructed with heavy-duty submersible hydraulic lift or elevator system at the stern of the vessel. The Sea-Bee system facilitates forward transfer and positioning of barges. Sea-Bee barges are larger than LASH barges. The Sea-Bee system is no longer used.
The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.
U.S. Commerce Department document, "Shipper's Export Declaration."
A string of vessels which makes a particular voyage and serves a particular market.
As provided in the Shipping Act of 1984, a contract between a shipper (or a shippers association) and an ocean common carrier (or conference) in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo or freight revenue over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or conference commits to a certain rate or rate schedule as well as a defined service level (such as assured space, transit time, port rotation or similar service features). The contract may also specify provisions in the event of nonperformance on the part of either party.
Saturday and Holidays Excluded.
Saturday and Holidays Included.
An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.
A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.
Measure time onboard ship. One bell sounds for each half hour. One bell means 12:30, two bells mean 1:00, three bells mean 1:30, and so on until 4:00 (eight bells). At 4:30 the cycle begins again with one bell.
A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.
All rigging, cranes, etc., utilized on a ship to load or unload cargo.
The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.
The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.
Shipper's Export Declaration (SED,"Ex Dec")
A joint Bureau of the Census' International Trade Administration form used for compiling U.S. exports. It is completed by a shipper and shows the value, weight, destination, etc., of export shipments as well as Schedule B commodity code.
Shipper's communication(s) to its agent and/or directly to the international water-carrier. Instructions may be varied, e.g., specific details/clauses to be printed on the B/L, directions for cargo pickup and delivery.
Shipper's Letter of Instructions for issuing an Air Waybill
The document required by the carrier or freight forwarders to obtain (besides the data needed) authorization to issue and sign the air waybill in the name of the shipper.
Shipper's Load & Count (SL&C)
Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.
A non-profit entity that represents the interests of a number of shippers. The main focus of shippers associations is to pool the cargo volumes of members to leverage the most favorable service contract rate levels.
Shipping Act of 1916
The act of the U.S. Congress (1916) that created the U.S. Shipping Board to develop water transportation, operate the merchant ships owned by the government, and regulate the water carriers engaged in commerce under the flag of the United States. As of June 18, 1984, applies only to domestic offshore ocean transport.
Shipping Act of 1984
Effective June 18, 1984, describes the law covering water transportation in the U.S. foreign trade.
Shipping Act of 1998
Amends the Act of 1984 to provide for confidential service contracts and other items.
Shipper's instructions to carrier for forwarding goods; usually the triplicate copy of the bill of lading.
Ships - Barge Carriers
Ships designed to carry barges; some are fitted to act as full containerships and can carry a varying number of barges and containers at the same time. At present this class includes two types of vessels LASH and Sea-Bee.
Ships - Bulk Carriers
All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
Ships - Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships
Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
Ships - Full Containerships
Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
Ships - General Cargo Carriers
Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.
Ships - Partial Containerships
Multipurpose containerships where one or more but not all compartments are fitted with permanent container cells. Remaining compartments are used for other types of cargo.
Ships - Roll-on/Roll-off vessels
Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll-on/roll-off vessels, and barge carriers.
Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid cargo such as crude petroleum and petroleum products; chemicals, Liquefied gasses(LNG and LPG), wine, molasses, and similar product tankers.
A prop or support placed against or beneath anything to prevent sinking or sagging.
Short Ton (ST)
Polyethylene 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.
A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.
A container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.
A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.
Battens, 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.
Shippers load and count. All three clauses are used as needed on the bill of lading to exclude the carrier from liability when the cargo is loaded by the shipper.
Loaded containers moving within the railroad system that are not clearly identified on any internally generated reports.
A wire or rope contrivance placed around cargo and used to load or discharge it to/from a vessel.
A vessel's berth between two piers.
Abbreviation for "Subject to Particular Average." See also Particular Average.
An articulated five-platform railcar. Used where height and weight restrictions limit the use of stack cars. It holds five 40-foot containers or combinations of 40- and 20-foot containers.
Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.
A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.
The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold increases stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.
An articulated five-platform rail car that allows containers to be double stacked. A typical stack car holds ten 40-foot equivalent units (FEU's).
A rail service whereby rail cars carry containers stacked two high on specially operated unit trains. Each train includes up to 35 articulated multi-platform cars. Each car is comprised of 5 well-type platforms upon which containers can be stacked. No chassis accompany containers.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
A standard numerical code used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.
Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
A standard numeric code developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade, based on a hierarchy.
The right side of a ship when facing the bow.
Statute Of Limitation
A law limiting the time in which claims or suits may be instituted.
Abbreviation for "Standard Transportation Commodity Code."
A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.
An indemnity issued to the carrier by a bank; protects the carrier against any possible losses or damages arising from release of the merchandise to the receiving party. This instrument is usually issued when the bill of lading is lost or is not available.
The end of a vessel. Opposite of bow.
Individual or firm that employs longshoremen and who contracts to load or unload the ship.
Store-Door Pick-up Delivery
A complete package of pick up or delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point.
A marine term referring to loading freight into ships' holds.
Mobile truck equipment with the capacity for lifting a container within its own framework.
Straight Bill of Lading
A non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered. See Bill of Lading.
Removing cargo from a container (devanning).
Putting cargo into a container.
To put in place of another; i.e., when an insurance company pays a claim it is placed in the same position as the payee with regard to any rights against others.
A wharf licensed and attended by Customs authorities.
A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components. "Just in Time" is a typical value-added example of supply chain management.
An extra or additional charge.
Surface Transportation Board (STB)
The U.S. federal body charged with enforcing acts of the U.S. Congress that affect common carriers in interstate commerce. STB replaced the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1997.
An additional extra tax.
Abbreviation for "Transportation and Exportation." 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.
Rear of a container or trailer-opposite the front or nose.
In railcar or container shipments, the weight of the empty railcar or empty container.
A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies.
To Be Nominated. (When the name of a ship is still unknown.)
Used for sending messages to outside companies. Messages are transmitted via Western Union, ITT and RCA. Being replaced by fax and internet.
A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.
The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars or containers for loading or unloading.
Time and date for payment of a draft.
An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel, train, truck, or airplane.
A charge made for a service performed in a carrier's terminal area.
Terms of Sale
The point at which sellers have fulfilled their obligations so the goods in a legal sense could be said to have been delivered to the buyer. They are shorthand expressions that set out the rights and obligations of each party when it comes to transporting the goods. Following, are the thirteen terms of sale in international trade as Terms of Sale reflected in the recent amendment to the International chamber of Commerce Terms of Trade (INCOTERMS), effective July 1990: exw, fca, fas, fob, cfr, cif, cpt, cip, daf, des, deq, ddu and ddp.
Terms of Sale - CFR (Cost and Freight) (...Named Port of Destination)
A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Terms of Sale - CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) (...Named Place of Destination)
A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Terms of Sale - CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination)
A Term of Sale which means the seller has the same obligations as under CPT, but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer's risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Terms of Sale - CPT (Carriage Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination)
A Term of Sale which means the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Terms of Sale - DAF (Delivered At Frontier) (...Named Place)
A Term of Sale which means the sellers fulfill their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available, cleared for export, at the named point and placed at the frontier, but before the customs Terms of Sale border of the adjoining country.
Terms of Sale - DDP (Delivered Duty paid) (...Named Port of Destination)
Delivered Duty Paid means that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, clear for importation. While the EXW term represents the minimum obligation for the seller, DDP represents the maximum.
Terms of Sale - DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) (...Named Port of Destination)
A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and to bear any risks caused by failure to clear the goods for in time.
Terms of Sale - DEQ (Delivered Ex Quay, [Duty Paid]) (...Named Port of Destination)
A Term of Sale which means the DDU term has been fulfilled when the goods have been available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation. The seller has to bear all risks and costs including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto.
Terms of Sale - DES (Delivered Ex Ship) (...Named Port of Destination)
A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his/her obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship, uncleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port destination.
Terms of Sale - EXW (Ex Works) (...Named Place)
A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.
Terms of Sale - FAS (Free Alongside Ship) (...Named Port of Shipment)
A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment.This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that moment.
Terms of Sale - FCA (Free Carrier) (... Named Place)
A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.
Terms of Sale - FOB (Free On Board) (...Named Port of Shipment)
An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Abbreviation for "Twenty foot Equivalent Unit."
The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.
The charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.
A contract for leasing between the ship owners and the lessee. It would state, e.g., the duration of the lease in years or voyages.
A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.
"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 frontie
Abbreviation for "Trailer Load" or "Truck Load."
Abbreviation for "Trailer on Flat Car." The movement of a highway trailer on a railroad flatcar. Also known as Piggyback.
A unit used in comparing freight earnings or expenses. The amount earned from the cost of hauling a ton of freight one mile. Also, the movement of a ton of freight one mile.
A type of air circulation in a container. In top air units, 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.
The charge made for towing a vessel.
Unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.
A time or a date draft that has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity.
Persons and property carried by transport lines.
The truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor trailer combination. See Container.
An ocean carrier company operating vessels not on regular runs or schedules. They call at any port where cargo may be available.
To move cargo from one place to another.
Transportation & Exit (T&E)
Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port, without paying duty.
To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another.
Place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.
Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer while the bank retains title to the merchandise. The goods are usually obtained for manufacturing or sales purposes. The buyer is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sales) distinct from the remainder of the assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.
In water transportation, the time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure.
A set of four twistable bayonet type shear keys used as part of a spreader to pick up a container or as part of a chassis to secure the containers.
A pallet so designed that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from two sides only.