Understanding freight shipping terms and definitions. We used our extensive logistics knowledge and experience to create a straightforward guide to freight shipping and logistics terminology. Whether you’re new to the freight industry or want to brush up on freight terms, our shipping dictionary is your go-to resource. It covers the terms you need to know to understand the freight shipping process from start to finish.
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.
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.
The return movement of a means of transport ,which has already provided a transport service in one direction.
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 Lading B/L
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.
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.
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.
Dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid, i.e. goods in transit or warehoused, pending customs clearance.
Document used in road transport, listing the cargo carried on a road vehicle, often referring to appended copies of the road consignment note.
Pallet with at least three fixed, removable or collapsible, vertical sides.
To commence discharge. To strip unitized cargo.
Break Bulk Cargo
General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitized, containerized and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
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.
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.
Person who acts as an intermediary in negotiating contracts. Brokerage Percentage of freight payable to broker or applicable to sale or purchase.
BSC Bunker Surcharge (aka BAF)
A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.
Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.
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.
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.
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.
Quantity of fuel onboard a vessel.
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).
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.
Currency Adjustment Factor. A surcharge or a discount on the freight amount, by the ‘Ocean Carrier’, to provide for fluctuations in exchange rate.
Currency Adjustment Factor and Bunker Adjustment Factor. See BAF and CAF. CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination) See Incoterms.
The visit of a vessel to a port.
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).
The separate reception of parcels or packages and the holding of them for later dispatch as one consignment (air cargo).
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).
All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods.
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.
The transportation of cargo from one place to another.
CPT Carriage Paid To
The party undertaking transport of goods from one place to another.
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.
Cash On Delivery (COD)
Terms of payment when the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper.
CBFT (or CFT)
Location on board of a container vessel, where one container can be stowed.
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.
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 programmers or in connection with regulating imports from specific sources.
CFR (or C&F)
Cost and Freight.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Terminal where Customs facilities for the clearance of goods are available.
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.
Contract of Affreightment - Owners agree to accept a cost per revenue ton for cargo carried on a specific number of voyages.
Cash On Delivery.
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.
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.
Code used in the Harmonized System for the classification of goods.
Commodity Item Number
Specific description number required in air transport to indicate that a specific freight rate applies.
Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth.
A carrier to whose services the cargo is to be transferred for onward connecting transport (air cargo).
The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.
Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.
A firm or company that consolidates cargo.
Consortium is a form of co-operation between two or more carriers to operate in a particular trade.
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.
An item of equipment as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The number of actions performed by one container crane during a certain period.
Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit.
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.
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 equalized 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).
Custom Of Port.
Carriage Paid To.
Cargo Remaining on Board.
Cargo Retention Clauses, introduced by charterers based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices.
Distribution of documents. Allocation of documents (freight and charges for the connected operations). Special instructions (insurance, dangerous goods, goods release, additional documents required).
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.
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.
An authorized intermediary specialized 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.
Deliver At Frontier.
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 labeled 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.
Delivered Duty Unpaid.
Delivered Duty Paid.
Dead freight. Freight paid for but not used.
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 tons.
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).
Document issued by a buyer giving instructions regarding the details of the delivery of goods ordered.
A document recording the delivery of products to a consignee (customer).
A contract whereby the ship-owner 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'.
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.
Charge Charges levied on usage of equipment exceeding free time period as stipulated in the pertinent inland rules and conditions.
Delivered Ex Quay.
Delivered Ex Ship.
See Stripping, Unpacking.
Deviation. Vessel departure from specified voyage course.
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).
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.
The unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft. The landing of cargo.
Delivery Order. A document, issued in exchange for the Bill of Lading, authorizing delivery of the shipment.
Document issued acknowledging that goods are received for shipment at a port.
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.
Repayment of any part of customs or excise duties previously collected on imported goods, when those goods are exported again.
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.
Duty Free Zone
An area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties awaiting further transport or manufacturing.
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.
Estimated Time of Completion.
Estimated Time of Sailing.
Ex Works. An Incoterm. See INCOTERMS.
The 'rushing' or 'chasing' of production or purchase orders, which are needed urgently.
Document granting governmental permission to export particular goods.
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.
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.
Freight Demurrage Dead freight.
Free In/Liner Out. Sea freight with which the shipper pays load costs and the carrier pays for discharge costs.
Free In/Out. Freight booked FIO includes the sea freight, but no loading / discharging costs, i.e. the charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo.
Free In/Out Stowed. As per FIO, but excludes loading/discharging and stowage costs.
Free In/Out and Trimmed. Charterer pays for cost of loading/discharging cargo, including stowage and trimming.
Free In/Out and Trimmed. (As per FIOS but includes trimming, e.g. the levelling of bulk cargoes).
Cargo to be presented stacked and secured as an integral unit.
Full Truck Load.
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.
Garments packed in cardboard boxes.
Container A container with two end walls and open sides.
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.
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 of discharge costs to owners. Includes sea freight only.
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 transshipped, 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).
Standard 40ft Container.
Freight All Kinds (FAK)
Freight, which is charged irrespective of the commodity.
Freight and charges to be paid by the consignee.
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 and charges to be paid by the consignor.
A unit for freighting cargo according to weight and/or cubic measurement.
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.
Cargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletized. General cargo can be shipped either in break-bulk or containerized. 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. Group age The collection of several small consignments to form a full load.
Amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (air cargo).
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.
Harmonized System (HS)
It is a numeric multipurpose system, the international convention on the HS was established under auspices of the World Customs Organization 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.
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.
House Air Waybill. The house air waybill is a forwarding agents bill that they use to consign the cargo under.
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.
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.
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.
A member of staff working in the premises of another.
A set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used terms in foreign trade.
Compensation for a loss and/or the expenses incurred.
Inland Clearance Depot (ICD)
Inland location where cargo, particularly containerized cargo, may be cleared by customs.
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 organization 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 Organization (IMO) in compliance with international legal requirements.
A measurement of speed equal to one nautical mile (6,076 feet) per hour.
Overland transport between, following and/or preceding sea transport of goods and/or containers.
The number of days allowed in a charter party for the loading and discharging of cargo.
Time at Charterers disposal for purpose of loading/discharging.
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.
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.
Less than Truck Load. A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.
Letter of Indemnity. Written statement in which one party undertakes to compensate another for the costs and consequences of carrying out a certain act.
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 Aboard Ship (Lash)
A vessel which carries barges.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Document, which lists the specifications of goods, loaded in a particular means of transport or equipment for transportation purposes. Inventory of cargo on board.
Master Air Waybill. The master air waybill is a legal document that the airline uses to consign the cargo under.
Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity).
Memorandum of Agreement.
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.
A ton of one cubic meter.
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.
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.
The lowest amount which applies to the transport of a consignment, irrespective of weight or volume.
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).
Metric ton (1,000 kilos).
Vessel designed for the carriage of different types of cargo: general, bulk, heavy and/or containerized cargo.
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.
Transferable for value by delivery or endorsement. Used popularly as equivalent to transferability.
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.
(Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected, then saved days will not be added to discharge time allowed.
Address of the party other than the consignee to be advised of the arrival of the goods.
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.
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. over length, over width, over height, or combinations thereof.
A carrier, which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.
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.
Over height Cargo
Cargo, exceeding the height of a 20 or 40 foot standard container.
Over length Cargo
Cargo, exceeding the length of a 20 or 40 foot standard container.
Over width Cargo
Cargo exceeding the standard width.
Protection and Indemnity Insurance.
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.
Pedestrian- or rider-controlled non-stacking lift truck fitted with forks.
A fortuitous partial loss to the subject matter insured, proximately caused by an insured peril but which is not a general average loss.
The revenue-producing load carried by a means of transport.
PLIMSOLL MARK, PLIMSOLL LINE (alt. LOAD LINE)
An internationally recognized 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.
The shared use of e.g. equipment by a number of companies.
The left side of a ship looking forward. A harbor.
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.
The transport of empty equipment to or from a depot to or from shipper's or consignees premises.
Introduction to a charter party.
The act of placing goods in slings which are left in position and used for loading into and discharging from a conventional vessel.
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).
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 ship-owners who provide protection against liabilities by means of contributions.
A wheeled wagon used for the carriage of cargo by rail.
Note A document evidencing a contract for the transport of goods by rail.
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.
The carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport.
Return of a shipment to the party who originally delivered it to the carrier. Return of a charter vessel to the owners.
Cargo requiring temperature control.
A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.
(Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected at load port, then days saved can be added to discharge operations.
Remaining On Board.
Revenue ton (i.e. 1.0 metric ton 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.
Special trailer for terminal haulage and stowage on board of Roll-on Roll-off vessels. Also referred to as Mafi Trailer.
Sequence in which a vessel calls at the ports on her itinerary.
A voyage, a journey etc. to a certain place, port or country and back again.
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.
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.
A device used for containers, lockers, trucks or lorries to prove to relevant parties that they have remained closed during transport.
A document used to record seal numbers.
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.
Stowage Factor. Cubic space (measurement ton) occupied by one ton (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo.
Acts as intermediary between ship-owners or carriers by sea on the one hand and cargo interests on the other.
A ship operator is either the ship-owner or the (legal) person responsible for the actual management of the vessel and its crew.
Statement of the master of a vessel before (in the presence of) competent authorities, concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.
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.
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.
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.
The carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.
Road trailer consisting of a frame and wheels specially designed to carry containers.
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.
An undercarriage with a sub frame 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 maximize legally permitted axle loads (road cargo).
Special chain, wire rope, synthetic fiber strap or ropes used for cargo handling purposes.
Hard plastic sheeting used to stack cartons, optimizing container space.
The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.
A voyage charter whereby the ship-owner agrees to place a certain number of container slots (TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer's disposal.
A voyage charter whereby the ship-owner agrees to place part of the vessels capacity at the charterers disposal.
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.
Device used for lifting containers and unitized cargo. Beam or frame that holds the slings vertical when hoisting a load, to prevent damage to cargo.
The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.
Ratio of a cargo's cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in cubic feet to the ton or cubic meters to the ton, used to determine the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a certain space.
A plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit of stevedores and vessel's officers.
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.
A crane usually running on rails and spanning an open area such as rail-tracks or roadways.
The unloading of cargo out of a container.
The loading of cargo into a container.
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.
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.
A tank, surrounded by a framework with the overall dimensions of a container for the transport of liquids or gasses in bulk.
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.
Terminal Handling Charge. A charge for handling containers and goods at Container Terminals.
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 transshipment port. Transfer of cargo from one means of transport to another for on-carriage during the course of one transport operation.
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).
Terminal Receiving Charge. A charge for handling containers and goods at Container Terminals.
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.
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.
A number of individual packages bonded, palletized 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.
Vessel Pays Dues.
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.
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.
Party who takes responsibility for goods entered into a warehouse.
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).
Non-negotiable document evidencing the contract for the transport of cargo. W/M Weight Or Measure (whichever is greater). In Ocean shipping, the base ton (ie. 1000kg = 1 m3) to which the freight rate is applied and from which the freight amount is calculated.
Weather Permitting. That time during which weather prevents working shall not count as laytime.
Toward the direction from which the wind is coming.