ABI - U.S. Customs’ "Automated Broker Interface," by which brokers file importers’ entries electronically.
ABOARD - Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance
ACQUIESCENCE - 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.
AD VALOREM DUTY - Duty expressed as a percentage based on the customs value of the goods, eg 10 per cent ad valorem means that the duty payable is 10 per
cent of the customs value of the goods.
ADDENDUM - Clause or set of clauses attached to a charter party and incorporated into it.
AFFREIGHTMENT - The hiring of a vessel. A contract of affreightment may be simply a contract for the hire of a vessel.
AGENCY TARIFF - A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.
AGENT - Ship’s agent. Person who looks after the interests of a vessel when it is in port. Their duties include arranging pilotage, towage and berths for a ship,
signing the bills of lading and collecting freight. The agent is paid a fee, agreed in advance
with the shipowner.
AEO - Authorised Economic Operator. Can be forwarder or carrier. An EU-wide initiative that recognises standards of security and systems audit in return for
simplified customs treatment at borders. In the interests of security, AEOs will supply electronic pre-arrival and pre-departure messages electronically.
AIS - Automatic Identification System. Preceded by Ecpins - Electronic Chart and Precise Integrated Navigation System.
ALLISION - The act if striking or collision of a moving vessel against a stationary object.
ALONGSIDE - 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.
ARBITRATION - Method of settling disputes which is usually binding on parties. A clause usually in a charter party.
ARRIVAL NOTICE - 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.
BACKFREIGHT - The owners of a ship are entitled to payment as freight for merchandise returned through the fault of either the consignees or the consignors. Such
payment, which is over and above the normal freight, is called backfreight.
BACKHAUL - A deviation to move cargo on the return leg of a voyage for the purpose of minimising ballast mileage and thereby reducing transportation costs
BEAM - Maximum breadth of a ship. Sometimes a factor in determining whether a ship is suitable for a particular port and, consequently if she is suitable to be
employed on a particular voyage.
BERTH - Place alongside a quay where a ship loads or discharges cargo. Also often used to mean places alongside a quay, each of which is capable of
accommodating only one ship at a time.
BERTH CARGO - When a liner cargo vessel accepts extra cargo to fill up the empty space remaining
BENDS - Both ends.
BILL OF LADING (B/L) - A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a
contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.
- Amended B/L: B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status; this is slightly different from corrected B/L.
- B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier’s liabilities and contractual agreements.
- B/L’s Status: represents whether the bill of lading has been input, rated, reconciled, printed, or released to the customer.
- B/L’s Type: refers to the type of B/L being issued. Some examples are: a Memo (ME), Original (OBL), Non negotiable, Corrected (CBL) or Amended (AM) B/L.
- Canceled B/L: B/L status; used to cancel a processed B/L; usually per shipper’s request; different from voided B/L.
- Clean B/L: A B/L which bears no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.
- Combined B/L: B/L that covers cargo moving over various transports.
- Consolidated B/L: B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L’s.
- Corrected B/L: B/L requiring any update which results in money or other financially related changes.
- Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable B/L primarily containing routing details; usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.
- Duplicate B/L: Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. also known as reissued B/L.
- Express B/L: Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.
- Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC); a non-negotiable document.
- Government B/L (GBL): A bill of lading issued by the U.S. government.
- Hitchment B/L: B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more than one location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts, hitchment and hitchment
memo. The hitchment portion usually covers the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.
- House B/L: B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods
- Intermodal B/L: B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L, or Multimodal B/L.
- Long Form B/L: B/L form with all Terms & Conditions written on it. Most B/L’s are short form which incorporate the long form clauses by reference.
- Memo B/L: Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.
- Military B/L: B/L issued by the U.S. military; also known as GBL, or Form DD1252.
- B/L Numbers: U.S. Customs’ standardized B/L numbering format to facilitate electronic communications and to make each B/L number unique.
- Negotiable B/L: The B/L is a title document to the goods, issued "to the order of" a party, usually the shipper, whose endorsement is required to effect is
negotiation. Thus, a shipper’s order (negotiable) B/L can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions.
The buyer must submit the original B/L to the carrier in order to take possession of the goods.
- Non-Negotiable B/L: See Straight B/L. Sometimes means a file copy of a B/L.
- "Onboard" B/L: B/L validated at the time of loading to transport. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.
- Optional Discharge B/L: B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.
- "Order" B/L: See Negotiable B/L.
- Original B/L: The part of the B/L set that has value, especially when negotiable; rest of set are only informational file copies. Abbreviated as OBL.
- Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at time cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as "Onboard".
- Reconciled B/L: B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shippers instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a
very accurate B/L.
- Short Term B/L: Opposite of Long Form B/L, a B/L without the Terms & Conditions written on it. Also known as a Short Form B/L. The terms are incorporated by
reference to the long form B/L.
- Split B/L: One of two or more B/L’s which have been split from a single B/L.
- Stale B/L: A late B/L; in banking, a B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
- Straight (Consignment) B/L: Indicates the shipper will deliver the goods to the consignee. It does not convey title (non-negotiable). Most often used when the goods
have been pre-paid.
- "To Order" B/L: See Negotiable B/L.
- Unique B/L Identifier: U.S. Customs’ standardization: four-alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine digit B/L number; APL’s unique B/L Identifier is
"APLU". Sea-land uses "SEAU". These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
- Voided B/L: Related to Consolidated B/L; those B/L’s absorbed in the combining process. Different from Canceled B/L.
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.
BONDED WAREHOUSE - A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
BORDER INSPECTION POST (BIP) - Control point at the place of importation into the European Union (EU) where products of animal origin (POAO) and live animals
are subject to the veterinary checks regime.
BREAKBULK CARGO - Cargo lifted on and off ships one piece or bundle at a time using cranes, as opposed to cargo shipped on trailers or in containers.
BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (BCC) - An organisation comprising a national network of local chambers of commerce spread throughout the UK. There are
also a number of British chambers of commerce in other countries. Chambers of commerce provide a range of business services for members.
BRITISH INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT ASSOCIATION (BIFA) - The UK trade body, training institute and trading standards body for freight forwarders.
BS/L - Bills of lading
BT - Berth terms
BTN - Brussels Tariff Nomenclature
CABOTAGE - Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country, often restricted to domestic carriers.
CAD - cash against documents
CAF - currency adjustment factor. As for BAF except concerned with exchange rates
CARGO COMMUNITY SYSTEM (CCS-UK) - The computerised cargo processing system that controls goods in an inventory linked environment. These systems are
provided in the UK by Community Service providers (CSPs). They consists of a central database and a "switch" to transfer messages between the various computer
systems connected to it, in particular HM Cuustoms & Excise CHIEF.
CCS - A term based on IATA’s design specification for community systems. CCS-UK relates only to airfreight.) In the ports, the service is mainly provided by CSPs,
MCP and CNS, except in Dover, where the port has its own system.
CARGO HANDLING - The act of loading and discharging a cargo ship.
CARGO MANIFEST - A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.
CARGO NOS - 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
CARGO PLAN - A plan giving the quantities and description of the various grades carried in the ship’s cargo tanks, after the loading is completed.
CARGO PREFERENCE - Reserving a portion of a nation’s imports and exports to national-flag vessels.
CARGO RETENTION CLAUSES - Clauses introduced by charterers based on shortage of delivered cargo because of increased oil prices.
CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT - A law enacted in 1936 covering the transportation of merchandise by sea to or from ports of the United States and in foreign
CARRIERS - Owners or operators of vessels providing transportation to shippers. The term is also used to refer to the vessels.
CBR - Commodity box rate
CHARTER PARTY - 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.
CHARTERER - The person to whom is given the use of the whole of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of cargo or passengers to a stated port for a
CHARTER RATES - The tariff applied for chartering tonnage in a particular trade.
CHARTER PARTY - A contractual agreement between a ship owner and a cargo owner, usually arranged by a broker, whereby a ship is chartered (hired) either for
one voyage or a period of time.
CHOPT - In charterers’ option
CHIEF - the central processor of HM Revenue & Customs in the UK, into which all declaratioins are channelled, usually via port-based CSPs.
CIF - Cost, insurance and freight. Delivery of goods is the seller’s responsibility to the port of discharge. The freight is paid for by the supplier of goods.
CIFC - Cost, Insurance and commission
CIFFO - Cost, insurance and freight free out
CIM - International convention on the carriage of goods by rail
CIP - Calling-in-point
CLC - Civil Liability Convention
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."
CMI - Comite Maritime International
CMR - Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by road
COA - Contract of affreightment
CODE OF LINER CONDUCT (UNCTAD) - A convention drafted under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which provides that
all shipping traffic between two foreign countries is to be regulated as far as the quantities of shipments are concerned on the following percentages -- 40% for owners
of the country of origin, 40% for owners of country of destination, and 20% for owners of the country which is neither the origin nor the destination.
COFC - Container on flatcar
COGSA - Carriage of Goods by Sea
COMMON CARRIER - Holds himself out for hire to the general public. Must post rates and cannot discriminate against customers whose cargo he is equipped to
CONFERENCE - An affiliation of shipowners operating over the same route(s) who agree to charge uniform rates and other terms of carriage. A conference is
"closed" if one can enter only by the consent of existing members of the conference. It is "open" if anyone can enter by meeting certain technical and financial
standards. Conference members are common carriers.
CONGESTIONS - Port/berth delays
CONSIGNEE - The person to whom cargo is consigned as stated on the bills of lading.
CONSIGNOR - The person named in the bill of lading as the one from whom the goods have been received for shipment.
CONSOLIDATOR - one who groups individual consignments (LCL /groupage) into a full unit
CONTAINER - A large rectangular or square steel container/box of a into which cargo is loaded and transported. It opens from one side to allow cargo to be stacked
and stowed into it.
CONTAINER MANIFEST - Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.
CONTAINER POOL - An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper
CONTAINER SHIP - Vessel carrying general cargo including high-value cargo in containers (boxes) some of which may be refrigerated
CONTAINER TERMINAL - 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
COA - contract of affreightment. An agreement to transport a defined amount of cargo at an agreed freight rate, with the shipowner choosing the ship. No need to
COP - Custom of the port
COTIF - Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail
CSI - Container Security Initiative
C-TPAT - US Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism
CUSTOMS BONDED WAREHOUSE - A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.
CY - Container yard
DEMURRAGE - penalty imposed upon the charterer for voyages that exceed loading/discharging time allowed in accordance with the charterparty.
DETENTION - A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier’s equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies
DISPONENT OWNER - the disponent owner is a lessee company which wholly operates a vessel, whose registered owner is a leasing or finance company. Generally
the vessel is regarded as being part of the disponent owner’s fleet.
EDI - Abbreviation for "Electronic Data Interchange." Generic term for transmission of transactional data between computer systems. EDI is typically via a batched
transmission, usually conforming to consistent standards* such as Edifact (below).
EDIFACT - International data interchange standards sponsored by the United Nations.
ENTRY - A customs form used for the clearance of ships or merchandise.
ERTS - Enhanced Remote Transit Shed. Operated privately by freight forwarders but approved by HM Customs & Revenue (UK) for receipt of cargoes for temporary
storage until they are processed under another customs procedure.
ETA - Estimated time of arrival
ETC - Estimated time of completion
ETD - Estimated time of departure
ETR - Estimated time of readiness
ETS - Estimated time of sailing
FACILITY SECURITY CODE - Universally abbreviated to ISPS.
FAK - Freight all kinds. Refers to a freight rate for the container, regardless of the category of goods moved (as opposed to a commodity tariff).
FAS - Free alongside or free alongside ship
F&CC - Full and complete cargo
FCL - Abbreviation for "Full Container Load."
FD&D - Freight, demurrage and defence
FEEDER SERVICE - Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.
FEEDER VESSEL - A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central "hub" port and smaller "spoke" ports.
FEU - forty foot equivalent unit (container term).
FIATA - International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations
FILO - Free in liner out
FILTD - Free in liner terms discharge
FIO - Free in and out.
FIOLS&D - Freein and out, lashed, secured and dunnaged
FIOS - Free in and out, stowed
FIOST - Free in and out, stowed and trimmed
FIOT - Free in and out, trimmed
FMC (F.M.C.) - 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.
FOB - free on board. Cost of the delivery of goods is the seller’s responsibility only up to the port of loading. The freight is paid for by the buyer of the goods. All lower
case, no need to spell out.
FORCE MAJEURE - 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.
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.
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.
FOQ - Free on quay
FOR - Free on rail
FOS - Free oil surcharge
FOT - Free on truck
FOW - First open water
FPT - Fore peak tank
FREE PRATIQUE - Clearance by the Health Authorities
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.
FREIGHT - Money payable on delivery of cargo in a mercantile condition.
FREIGHT FORWARDER - Historically arranges shipments for customers usually in break bulk and did not actually carry the cargo or conduct business for the ship.
However, forwarders increasingly act as the carrier rarther than agent, buying space with shipping lines in their own right offering a door-to-door service spanning
covered under FIATA’s Multimodal Transport Bil of Lading
FREIGHT RATE - The charge made for the transportation of freight.
FROB - Freight remaining on board
FRT - Freight
GROUPAGE - one of a number of consignments that make up a unit load i.e. LCL in containers (consolidation) or trailer groupage (road).
HAGUE RULES - Code of minimum conditions for the carriage of cargo under a bill of lading
HARBOUR DUES - Various local charges against all seagoing vessels entering a harbour, to cover maintenance of channel depths, buoys, lights, etc.
ICC - International chamber of commerce
ICD - Inland container depot. Also used to denote an Inland Clearance Depot, where goods can be processed inland under customs control.
IMO - International Maritime Organization - established in 1958 through the United Nations to coordinate international maritime safety and related practices.
INCOTERMS - an exporter’s selling terms (13 in all) defining the points at which buyers and sellers transfer their responsibility for transport and ancilliary charges at
various points in the movement. The term of least responsibility on the part of the exporter (seller) would br ex-works (EXW) - the buyer collects. That with the
greatest responsibility is DDP (delivered duty paid).
INTRACOASTAL - Domestic shipping routes along a single coast.
ISPS - Entering into force in July 2004, the ISPS Code was the IMO’s legislative response to the increased threat of terrorism faced by shipping and ports. Its full
name is the International Ship and Port
IWT - Inland water transport or inland waterways transport
JIT - Abbreviation for "Just In Time." In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non existent; the container is the movable warehouse and must
arrive "just in time;" not too early nor too late.
LCL - Less than container load
LESS THAN CONTAINER LOAD - A consignment of cargo which is inefficient to fill a shipping container. It is grouped with other consignments for the same
destination in a container at a container freight station.
LOI - Letter of indemnity
LO-LO - Abbreviated form for the lift-on, lift-off system of loading and discharging; normally said of shipping containers, whereby cargo is lifted on and off a ship by
LUMPSUM FREIGHT - Money paid to shipper for charter of a ship (or portion) up to stated limit irrespective of quantity of cargo
MANIFEST - A document containing a full list of the ship’s cargo, extracted from the bills of lading.
MERCHANT HAULAGE - is where a shipping line customer (shipper or forwarder) organises their own haulage of containers to/from the carrier’s facility
MULTIPURPOSE SHIP - Any ship capable of carrying different types of cargo which require different methods of handling. There are several types of ships falling into
this category, for example, ships which can carry roll on/roll off cargo together with containers
NON-CONFERENCE LINE - A shipping line which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.
NOR - Notice of readiness. Notice to charter, shipper, receiver or other person that the vessel has arrived at the port or berth and is ready to load or discharge.
NVO - Non-vessel owning carrier
NVOC - Non-vessel owning carrier
NVOCC - Non-vessel operating common carrier.
OCEAN WAYBILL - A document, issued by a shipping line to a shipper which serves as a receipt for the goods and evidence of the contract carriage.
PORT CIP - Contracts with berth CIP. NOR can be given when within commercial limits of the port
PSCO - Port State Control Officer
PSS - Port Security Surcharge
REEFER - Refrigerator ship; a vessel designed to carry goods requiring refrigeration, such as meat and fruit. A reefer ship has insulated holds into which cold air is
passed at the temperature appropriate to the goods being carried.
REEFER BOX - An insulated shipping container designed to carry cargoes requiring temperature control. It is fitted with a refrigeration unit which is connected to the
carrying ship’s electrical power supply.
RETURN CARGO - A cargo which enables a ship to return loaded to the port or area where her previous cargo was loaded.
REVERSIBLE-TIME - Option for charterers to add together time allowed for loading & discharging relative to terms of a particular charter party
RMG or RMGC - Rail-mounted gantry crane
RMQC - Rail-mounted quay crane
ROB - Remaining on board
ROLLING CARGO - Cargo which is on wheels, such as truck or trailers, and which can be driven or towed on to a ship.
RO/RO SHIP - Freight ship or ferry with facilities for vehicles to drive on and off (roll-on roll-off); a system of loading and discharging a ship whereby the cargo is
driven on and off on ramps. Equipped with large openings at bow and stern and sometimes also in the side, the ship permits rapid loading and discharge with
hydraulically operated ramps providing easy access. Fully loaded trucks or trailers carrying containers are accommodated on the deck.
S - Summer
SAD - Single Administrative Document. The prime document for entering customs declarations in Europe on non-EU goods, currently being updated as Harmonised
SELF-SUSTAINING SHIP - A containership which has her own crane for loading and discharging shipping containers enabling the ship to serve ports which do not
have suitable lifting equipment.
SELF-TRIMMING SHIP - A ship whose holds are shaped in such a way that the cargo levels itself.
SHIPPER - A shipper is a person or company in the business of sending cargo, not running ships.
SLT - Side-loading trailer
SOC - Shipper’s own container
TACA - Transatlantic Conference Agreement, a rate-setting body in the container trade.
TEU - Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (containers): A measurement of cargo-carrying capacity on a containership, referring to a common container size of 20 ft in length.
THC - Terminal handling charge
TONNAGE - A quantity of cargo normally expressed as a number of tons.
TRADING LIMITS - Maritime area usually specified by range of ports in which a vessel may operate
UNCLOS - UN Convention on Law of the Sea
UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UU - Unless used
VAT - Value Added Tax
V/C - Voyage charter
VOCC - Vessel operating common carrier or vessel owning common carrier. Generally used to distinguish such carriers from NVOCCs
VOY - Voyage
VSA - Vessel sharing agreement
W (1) - Weight
W (2) - Winter
WEATHER PERMITTING - That time during which weather that prevents working shall not count as laytime
WEATHER WORKING DAY - A working day or part of a working day during which it is or if the vessel is still waiting for her turn, it would be possible to
load/discharge the cargo without interference due to the weather.
WEF - With effect from weighing anchor is the process of lifting an anchor off the sea bottom after being anchored. Nothing to do with waiting or weighting.
WIBON - Whether in berth or not
WIFPON - Whether in free pratique or not
WIPON - Whether in port or not
W/M - Weight or measure
WNA - Winter North Atlantic
WOG - Without guarantee
WP - Weather permitting
WRIC - Wire rod in coil
WTS - Working time saved
WW - Weather working
WWD - Weather working day
WWR - When where ready
WWRCD - When where ready on completion of discharge