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|  GLOSSARY

We have compiled a list of terms and their definitions. We hope these will be very useful as a reference. Please find below the terms in alphabetical order.

 

Glossary

  • A.I.D.
    Agency for International Development

  • AA
    Always Afloat. A contract term requiring that the vessel not rest on the ground. In some ports the ship is aground when approaching or at berth.

  • AAR
    Against All Risks (insurance clause). Association of American Railroads.

  • Abaft
    A point beyond the midpoint of a ship’s length towards the rear or stern.

  • Abandon
    A proceedure wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.

  • Abatement
    A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.

  • Aboard
    Referring to cargo being put or laden onto a means of conveyance.

  • Absorption
    The assumption that the carrier will cover extraordinary or other special charges without increasing the price to the shipper.

  • Acceptance
    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.

  • Accessorial Charges
    Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate e.g.bunkers container currency destination/delivery.

  • Accessorial service
    A service in addition to usual liner service, normally with an added cost. Such kind of services include packing, loading, storage, etc.

  • Accrual
    An accounting concept. It is a gradual increase by addition over a period of time and is a way of recognising that an expense (or revenue) and the related liability (or asset) can increase over time and not as signalled by an explicit cash transaction.

  • ACI
    Advance Commercial Information. Program that introduces more effective risk management processes and tools to identify threats to our health, security and safety prior to the arrival of cargo and conveyances.

  • 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.

  • Act of God
    An extraordinary force of nature (such as a severe flood or earthquake) that experience, prescience or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent.

  • Ad Valorem Duty
    A customs duty which is a percentage made upon the value of goods.

  • Ad Valorem Freight
    Bill of lading freight charged on goods of very high value at so much percent on the declared value of the goods.

  • Add-Ons
    Additional charges.

  • 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.

  • Admiralty (Adm.)
    Refers to marine matters such as an Admiralty Court.

  • Advance
    To move cargo up line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one booked.

  • Advanced Charge
    Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.

  • Advanced Notice of Arrival (ANOA)
    Any vessel entering United States waters from a foreign port is required to give a 96 hour ANOV. Any vessel of 300 gross registered tonnage and greater is required to give the ANOA to the U.S. Coast Guards National Vessel Movement Centre. Any vessel under 300 gross registered tons is required to give the ANOA to the appropriate Captain of the Port.

  • Adventure
    Shipment of goods on shippers own account. A bill of adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship that carries goods at owners risk. Also a term used in some insurance policies to mean a voyage or a shipment.

  • 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 usually enclosed and sometimes, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

  • Advising bank
    The bank which advises the seller that a letter of credit has been opened in his favour by the buyer, however, the advising bank does not necessarily guarantee payment.

  • Affreight
    To hire, as a ship, to transport freight.

  • Affreightment, Contract of
    An agreement by a steamship line to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.

  • Aframax Tanker
    A vessel of 70000 to 119000 DWT capacity. The largest tanker size in the AFRA (average freight rate assessment) tanker rate system.

  • Aft
    Movement toward the stern (back end) of a ship.

  • Agency Tariff
    A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.

  • Agent (Agt.)
    A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company.

  • Aggregate Shipment
    Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

  • Agreed valuation
    The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.

  • Agreed Weight
    The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shippe rfor goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.

  • AI
    All Inclusive.

  • Air Freight Forwarder
    A type of freight forwarder who specializes in air cargo. Refer to Freight Forwarder.

  • Air waybill
    The air waybill (also called air consignment note) is the forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is obtained from the airline used to ship the goods in question. Air waybills are issued only in non-negotiable form.

  • Air waybill number
    The number assigned to a shipment by FedEx, and used to track a package.

  • All commodity rate
    A freight rate applying, with certain restrictions, to any and all commodities.

  • All inclusive rate (AI)
    Freight rate that is inclusive of all charges.

  • All Water
    When a shipment is transported from its origin to its destination solely by water transportation.

  • Allision
    The striking by a moving vessel against a stationary object.

  • Allowance
    A sum granted as a reimbursement or repayment; a deduction from the gross weight or value of goods.

  • 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 ships tackle so that they can be loaded.

  • Also Notify Party
    A second notify party to whom the carrier sends its arrival notice advising of goods coming forward for delivery.

  • Alternative Rates
    Priviledge to use the rate producing the lowest charge.

  • Ambient Temperature
    The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.

  • Amended B/L
    B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status, this is slightly different from corrected B/L.

  • Anti Dumping Duty
    A tariff imposed to discourage sale of foreign goods subsidized to sell at low prices detrimental to local manufacturers.

  • Any Quantity (AQ)
    A rating that applies to an item regardless of weight.

  • Apparent Authority
    Also known as estoppel, it is the authority of an agent which is deemed to apply in law, perhaps by inference from the principal’s present or previous conduct.

  • Apparent Good Order
    When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.

  • Appraisement
    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.

  • Appraisers Stores
    The warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected analyzed weighed etc. by examiners or appraisers.

  • AQI
    Agriculture Quarantine Inspection.

  • Arbitrary
    A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point to make a rate to another point.

  • Arbitration


  • Arrival notice


  • Assessment of Duties and Taxes
    Determining the amount of duties and taxes payable.

  • Asset-Based, Third Party Provider
    A third party provider that owns transportation and/or warehouse assets.

  • Assignment
    The transfer to another of one’s own legal interests or rights.

  • Astern
    Behind a vesselMove in a reverse direction.

  • ATD
    Artificial Tween Decks

  • ATDNSHINC
    Any time Day or Night Sundays, Holidays Included. A chartering term referring to when a vessel will work.

  • Athwart ships
    A direction across the width of a vessel.

  • Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)
    U.S. customs electronic data system that provides support for ensuring trade compliance enforcing trade and contraband laws and providing service and information to the international trade community.

  • Automated IdentificationSystem (AIS)
    It is a system used by ships and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) principally for the identification and the locating of vessels. AIS provide a means for ships to electronically exchange ship data including identification, position course and speed with other nearby ships and VTS stations.

  • Average Inventory
    The average inventory level over a period of time.

  • Avoirdupois Pound
    Same as 0.4535924277 kilograms.

  • Awkward cargo
    Cargo of irregular size that either be containerised (packed in container) or uncontainerised (without equipment associated with) in the transport. They require prior approval on a case by case basis before confirmation of booking.

  • AWWL
    Always within Institute Warranties Limits (Insurance purpose).

  • B/L Terms & Conditions
    The fine print on B/L, defines what the carrier can and cannot do including the carriers liabilities and contractual agreements.

  • B/Ls Status
    Represents whether the bill of lading has been input rated reconciled printed or released to the customer.

  • Back Haul
    To obtain transport on the home run from B to A after having performed a full transport from A to B.

  • BAF


  • Balloon Freight
    Light bulky articles.

  • Bank guarantee
    Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to release cargo in lieu of original bill of lading.

  • Banker's Acceptance
    A form of financing used in import/export transactions.

  • Barcode
    A series of bars and spaces read by a scanning device for translation into a numeric or alphanumeric identification code that represents data in machine-readable or computerised form.

  • Barcode, 2-D
    The PDF 1000 style barcode is used to store up to 1800 characters of text. Designed to allow more information to be stored and retrieved electronically; it has not achieved wide use.

  • Bareboat Charter Party
    A charter party under which the shipowner provides vessel only and the charterer provides crew and cargo, normally for a period of years. Also known as demise charter.

  • Barge
    Conveyance used to carry loose cargo or containers in small volumes.

  • Barratry
    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.

  • Barrel (BBL)
    A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 600degrees.

  • Base Port
    Ports from which standard tariff rates apply to those normally serviced directly by members.

  • Base Rate


  • Basic freight
    Ocean freight excludes all charges.

  • Basing Points
    A point (location) used in construction of through rates between other points.

  • Bay
    Section of vessel in which containers are held.

  • BB
    Ballast Bonus special payment above the chartering price when the ship has to sail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port. Bareboat Method of chartering of the ship leaving the charterer with almost all the responsibilities of the owner.

  • BCO
    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.

  • Bdl.
    Bundle. A kind of customary packaging unit.

  • Beam
    The width of a ship.

  • Belt Line
    A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.

  • Benchmarking
    The process of comparing a firm’s performance against the practices of other leading companies - in or outside of an industry - for the purpose of improving performance. Companies also benchmark internally by tracking and comparing past performance.

  • Beneficiary
    Entity to whom money is payable. The entity for whom a letter of credit is issued. The seller and the drawer of a draft.

  • Berth term
    Shipped under rate that does not include cost of loading or unloading carrier.

  • Best Practice
    Also known as competitive benchmarking, the methodology that determines state-of-industry performance or application.

  • Beyond
    Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement pasta line haul terminating point.

  • Bilateral
    A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.

  • Bill of Exchange
    A signed, written order by one company that instructs another company to pay a third party a specific amount.

  • Bill of lading (B/L)
    Official legal document representing ownership of cargo; negotiable document to receive cargo; contract for cargo between shipper and carrier.

  • Billed Weight
    Weight stated in a waybill and/or (freight) bill of lading.

  • Black powder content
    An IMCO standard information requirement for explosive dangerous goods.

  • Blanket waybill
    A waybill covering two or more consignments of freight.

  • Blocked train
    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 to keep shipments in place in or on railcars.

  • Bls.
    Bales. A kind of customary packing unit.

  • Board
    To gain access to a vessel.

  • Board Feet
    The basic unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equal to a one inch board 12 inches wide and 1 foot long. Thus a board 10 feet long 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick contains 10 board feet.

  • Boat
    A relatively small usually open craft/vessel for traveling on water. An inland vessel of any size.

  • Bobtail
    Movement of a tractor, without trailer, over the highway.

  • Bogie
    A set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels under the container.

  • Bolero
    Bolero is a neutral, open platform, intended to be a cross-industry community moving world trade onto the Internet. The focus is to process trade documents fully electronically via a secure communication platform (CMP). The initial focus has been on the carrier’s bill of lading through the Title Registry replicating the paper bill of lading functionality and bill of lading parties’ roles. Lately, Bolero’s focus has changed towards the trade settlement engine, ’SURF’, Settlement Utility for Risk and Finance, which Bolero has developed together with some major banks.

  • Bolster
    A device fitted on a chassis or railcar to hold and secure the container.

  • Bona fide
    In good faith.

  • Bond port
    Port of initial entry of a vessel to any country per custom’s regulations. Also known as First Port of Call.

  • Bonded freight
    Shipments moving under a country customs bonds.

  • Bonded indemnity
    A certificate filed with a carrier, relieving it from liability to which it would otherwise be subject.

  • Bonded Logistics Park (Center)


  • Bonded Warehouse - Export
    A secure building or area, approved by customs, where cargo, for which export clearance has been performed, is stored. Goods are considered foreign and must go out for export. In some countries, a bonded warehouse is defined as a warehouse with customs officials onsite. In others, it is a warehouse in which customs inspect cargo prior to authorising export clearance. Ensure the local definition is established. In some countries, some manufacturers are also granted a licence to operate a bonded warehouse in which they can store manufactured products in anticipation of export and hence suspend payment of local taxes (e.g. on cigarettes).

  • Bonded Warehouse - Import
    A secure building or area, approved by customs, where cargo, for which export clearance has been performed, is stored.

  • Booking
    Arrangements with a carrier, often a steamship or airline, for the acceptance and carriage of passengers or freight.

  • Booking number
    A reference number for booking registered. It should be unique without duplication in a three-year period

  • Booking status
    The status of booking in process from time of registration to the final stage of firm acceptance or rejection. It is composed of the following status:(a) Cancelled: rejected or voided due to no show;(b) Confirmed: acknowledged with firm acceptance;(c) Confirmed subject to space availability: acknowledged acceptance of booking subject to confirmation in agreed time frame;(d) Pending: acknowledged receipt of booking yet subject to approval for acceptance.

  • Bottom air delivery
    A condition whereby temperature controlled air is introduced into the container at floor level.

  • Bottom Side Rails
    Structural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.

  • Bow
    The front of a vessel.

  • Box
    Common term for an ocean going freight container.

  • Box Rate
    A lump sum charged to move cargo in various size containers from origin to destination.

  • Boxcar
    A closed freight car.

  • Breakbulk (BB)
    A term used to describe cargo which cannot be containerised due to its size and/or nature.

  • Bridge Port
    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.

  • British Thermal Unit (BTU)
    The amount of heat required to produce a temperature change of one degree Fahrenheit in one pound of water.

  • Broken stowage
    The loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages; any void or empty space in a container not occupied by cargo.

  • Broker
    (a) A person who arranges for the transportation of loads, usually large operations, for a percentage of the revenue from the load; (b) In Canada, an owner-operator.

  • Brokerage
    Fee paid to freight forwarder by the carrier for services performed.

  • Brokerage license
    Authority granted by the Federal Maritime Commission to engage in the business of arranging for transportation of persons or property in interstate commerce.

  • Bulk Cargo
    Not in packages or containers, shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count. Grain coal and sulphur are usually bulk freight.

  • Bulk carriers
    A vessel carrying dry, liquid, grain, not packaged, bundled or bottled cargo, and is loaded without marks & number or count.

  • Bulk freight
    Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship. Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.

  • Bulk-freight container
    Refers to a container with a discharge batch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be grasped by loading hatches.

  • Bulkhead
    A partition separating one part of a ship freight car aircraft or truck from another part.

  • Bull rings
    Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.

  • Bunker Charge
    An extra charge sometimes added to steamship freight rates, justified by higher fuel costs. Also known as Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF.

  • Bunker surcharge (BAF, BSC)
    Bunker Adjustment factor (BAF), or Bunker Surcharge (BSC) are surcharges assessed by carrier to freight rates to reflect current cost of bunker.

  • Bunkers
    Heavy oil used as fuel for ocean vessels.

  • Bureau Veritas
    A French classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.

  • C TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Agains
    A voluntary supply chain security partnership established by U.S. customs and Border Protection in November 2001. Meeting the C TPAT standards allows cargo owners faster processing through customs formalities and inspections.

  • C.A.F.
    Currency Adjustment Factor. Percentage by which the rate is either increased or decreased in response to fluctating exchange rates.

  • C.B.M. (C.M.)
    Cubic meter. A measure of cargo volume

  • C.F. (Cu. Ft.)
    Cubic feet.

  • C.I.
    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.

  • C.K.D.
    Abbreviation for Cars Knocked Down. Automobile parts and subassemblies manufactured abroad and transported to destinated assembly plant. A classification of Third party International shippers. See Knocked Down.

  • C.M.
    (a) Cubic Meter (capital letters).(b) Correction Memo.

  • C.O.D.
    Collect (cash) on Delivery; Carried on Docket (pricing); Change of Destination.

  • C.O.F.C.
    Container on a railway flatcar.

  • C.O.G.S.A.
    Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.

  • Cabotage
    Trade or transport in coastal waters or between two ports/points within a country especially by parties other than domestic carriers. Many countries, such as the USA, have laws requiring domestic-owned vessels to perform domestic interport water transportation services.

  • Cancelled B/L
    B/L status, used to cancel a processed B/L, usually per shippers request, different from voided B/L.

  • Capacity/Weight (Container)
    Total internal container volume (LxWxD) or weight limitation.

  • Capesize Vessel
    A dry bulk vessel above 80000dwt or whose beam precludes passage via the Panama Canal and thus forces them to pass around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope

  • Captain's protest
    A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions en-countered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.

  • Car pooling
    Use of individual carrier equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.

  • Car Seal
    Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

  • Carfloat
    A barge equipped with tracks on which up to approximately 12 railroad cars are moved in harbours or inland waterways.

  • Cargo
    Freight loaded into a ship.

  • Cargo Bays
    Doors in a warehouse where vehicles back up to load/unload cargo.

  • Cargo manifest
    A manifest that lists only cargo, without freight and charges.

  • Cargo nature
    The classification of cargo for special stowage arrangement.

  • 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 subitem in the applicable tariff.

  • Cargo Preference
    Cargo reserved by a nations 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.

  • Cargo Tonnage
    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.)

  • Carload
    The quantity of freight required for the application of a carload rate.

  • Carload rate
    A rate applicable to a carload of goods.

  • Carnet
    Any of various customs documents required for crossing some international borders.

  • Carrier
    Any individual, company or corporation engaged in transporting goods.

  • Carrier's Certificate
    A release order used to advise customs of the details of the shipment, its ownership, port of lading, etc. By means of this document the carrier certifies that the firm or individual named in the certificate is the owner or consignee of the cargo. A U.S. customs form used in lieu of a bill of lading.

  • Carrier's lien
    Right of carrier to retain property as security for charges.

  • Cartage
    Usually refers to intracity hauling on drays or trucks.

  • Cartment
    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 carriers 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.

  • CBM
    Cubic Metre. 1 cubic metre = 35,314 cubic feet.

  • CCC Mark
    A mark or label indicating the cargo conforms to standards required by China for certain products.

  • CE


  • CE Mark
    A mark or label indicating the cargo conforms to standards required by the European Union for certain products.

  • Cell
    Container slot where container fits into place on vessel.

  • Cellular vessel
    A vessel designed with internal ribbing to permit the support of stacked containers.

  • Centre of Gravity
    The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership truck train or a piece of cargo.

  • Certificate of Inspection
    A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment. The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American Flag vessels compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Certificate of origin
    Document certifying the country of origin of goods which is normally issued or signed by a Chamber of Commerce or Embassy.

  • CF Terms of Sale or INCOTERM
    Obsolete although heavily used term of sale meaning cargo and freight whereby the seller pays for the cost of goods and freight charges up to the destination port. In July 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.

  • CFC's (Chloroflurocarbons)
    Chemical compounds containing mixtures of carbon, chlorine and fluorine molecules. Because of their stability, lack of flammability and ability to absorb and give up heat readily, CFC’s have in the past been popular refrigerants.

  • CFR
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Cost and Freight" means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment.

  • CFS
    Container Freight Station.Location designated by the ocean carrier for the receiving and delivering of a shipment, and for assembly and distribution of shipments into or out of steamship line containers. Most LCL cargos are either packed into or devanned at the CFS. The carrier may store empty containers at a CFS but not receive or deliver containers.

  • CFS/CFS
    A kind of cargo movement by container. Delivered loose at origin point with vanning by carrier, devanned by carrier at destination, and picked up loose at destination.

  • Charter party (C/P)
    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 freight rate and ports involved in the trip.

  • Chartered ship
    A ship under lease by its owners to others.

  • Charterer
    The person to whom is given the use of the whole of the carrying capacity of a ship for the transportation of goods or passenger for a specified time.

  • Chassis
    A wheeled flat bed or a trailer constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road.

  • Chilling
    In strawberries, exposure to temperatures low enough to induce the production of food reserves needed to support vigorous vegetative growth.

  • Chilling injury
    Injury caused by low but non-freezing temperatures.

  • Chock
    A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent it from rolling or moving sideways.

  • CIF
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Cost and Freight" means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ships’s rail in the port of shipment.

  • CIFC
    Price includes commission as well as CIF.

  • CIFCI


  • CIFE


  • CIFIE


  • CIP
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Carriage and Insurance paid to..."means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him, but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears all risks and any additional costs occurring after the goods have been so delivered. However, in CIP the seller also has to procure insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage.

  • CKD


  • CL


  • Claim
    A demand made upon a transportation line for payment on account of a loss sustained through its alleged negligence.

  • Claim Tracer
    Request for advice concerning the status of a claim.

  • Classification
    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.

  • Classification Rating
    The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.

  • Classification Society
    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.

  • Classification Yard
    A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

  • Clean bill of lading
    A bill of lading which states that the goods have been shipped in apparent good order and condition without any qualification or remarks.

  • Clean On Board
    A clause inserted in the bill of lading by some shipping/transportation companies, stating that they have not noted or are not familiar with any irregularities or discrepancies in the packing or in the general condition of any part of the goods or its description.

  • Cleaning in Transit
    The stopping of articles such as peanuts etc. for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.

  • Clearance limits
    The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use bridges, tunnels, etc.

  • Cleared without examination
    Cleared by customs without inspection.

  • Cleat
    A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength to prevent warping or to hold in place.

  • Clip-on
    Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.

  • Closing date
    Last day on which export cargo can be accepted for a nominated sailing.

  • CM
    (a) Centimeter. (b) Correction Memo. A kind of internal document which registers amendment to bill of lading and/or manifest after bill of lading is issued to shipper.

  • Coastwise
    Water transportation along the coast.

  • COD
    Collect (cash) on Delivery. Carried on Docket (pricing).

  • Codabar
    Codabar is a variable length barcode that can encode 16 data characters including 0-9, plus the symbols - $ ; / . +. Codabar is used primarily for numeric data.

  • Code 128 Auto
    Code 128 is a variable length barcode capable of encoding the entire 128 character ASCII character set. Code 128 allows three subsets, A, B and C.

  • Code 128A
    This subset (A) allows all standard upper case alpha-numeric keyboard characters plus control characters.

  • Code 128B
    This subset (B) allows all standard upper case alpha-numeric keyboard characters and lower case alpha characters.

  • Code 128C
    This subset (C) includes a set of 100 digit pairs from 00 to 99 inclusive. This allows double density numeric digits, two digits per barcoded character.

  • Code 3 of 9
    This barcode is an alphanumeric barcode allowing upper case letters and numbers. Each character consists of nine elements. 3 of the nine elements are wide, hence the name "3 of 9".

  • Code 93
    Code 93 is an alpha-numeric barcode allowing upper case letters and numbers. BarCode/VBX will convert lower case letters to upper case before encoding them.

  • COFC
    Container on Flat Car. Rail service whereby a container is loaded onto a flat car without chassis, bogies or wheels.

  • Collapsible container
    Container with hinged or removable parts; its volume can be reduced when transported empty.

  • Collecting bank
    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.

  • Collection
    A draft drawn on the buyer usually accompanied by documents with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.

  • Commercial invoice
    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.

  • Commercial Transport Vessel
    Any ship which is used primarily in commerce For transporting persons or goods to or from any harbour(s) or port(s) or between places within a harbour area. In connection with the construction change in construction, servicing, maintenance, repair, loading, unloading, movement, piloting or salvaging of any other ship or vessel.

  • Commodity
    Article shipped.

  • Commodity rate
    Rates of freight applied individually to articles which move regularly and in large quantities.

  • Common carrier
    A transportation company operating under a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity; provides service to the general public at published rates.

  • Common Law
    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.

  • Common Point
    Point reached by two or more transportation lines.

  • Common tariff
    A tariff published by or for two or more transportation lines.

  • Company Guarantee
    A letter of guarantee from a company indemnifying the carrier of responsibility associated with the release of goods in lieu of a bill of lading.

  • Company Security Officer
    The person designated by the company to ensure that a ship security assessment is carried out and that a ship security plan is developed and submitted for approval and thereafter implemented and maintained for liaison with port facility security officers and the ship security officer.

  • Compressor
    Mechanical device used to compress and pump refrigerant within a refrigeration unit. The compressor converts high-temperature, low pressure refrigerant into high-temperature, high-pressure refrigerant.

  • Compulsory Ship
    Any ship which is required to be equipped with radio telecommunication equipment in order to comply with the radio or radio navigation provisions of a treaty or statute to which the vessel is subject.

  • Concealed damage
    Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

  • Concealed loss
    Contents missing from a package that looks unopened.

  • Condenser
    Heat exchanging device which gives up waste heat from the circulating refrigerant into an external medium from which the heat can be dissipated. Condensers convert high-temperature, high-pressure refrigerant into low-temperature, high-pressure refrigerant. Air-cooled condensers give up heat into the atmosphere outside the container. Water-cooled condensers give up heat into circulating water supplied from and returned to external sources. Condenser fans in an air-cooled condenser improve the heat transfer by circulating external air over the condenser coils and fins.

  • Conference
    An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.

  • Conference rate
    Freight rates arrived at by a conference of carriers, generally water carriers.

  • 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.

  • Confirming bank
    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 in compliance with the letter of credit.

  • Connecting carrier
    A carrier that has a direct physical connection with another or that forms a link between two or more carriers.

  • Connecting Carrier Agreement
    A connecting carrier agreement is a contract between the originating carrier and a second party where the second party agrees to carry goods to a final destination on a through Bill of Lading.

  • Consignee
    The merchant named by the consignor (usually a seller) in the transportation documents (such as bill of lading) as the party to whose order a consignment will be delivered at the port of destination. The consignee is considered to be the owner of the consignment for the purpose of filing the customs declaration, and for paying duties and taxes. Formal ownership (title) of the consignment, however, can be transferred from consignor through endorsement, or until the consignee pays for them in full under consignor’s straight consignment to the consignee.

  • Consignee Mark
    A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes, generally a triangle square circle etc. with letters and/or numbers and port of discharge.

  • Consignment
    A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business but with title remaining in the source of supply. or A shipment of goods to a consignee.

  • Consignor
    Also spelled as consigner. The merchant who delivers a consignment to a carrier for transporting it to a consignee (usually the buyer) named in the transportation documents. Consignor has the ownership (title) of the goods unless title is transferred through endorsement, or until the consignee pays for them in full under consignor’s straight consignment to the consignee.

  • Consolidator
    A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others.

  • Consortium
    Group of carriers pooling resources in a trade lane to maximize their resources efficiently.

  • Consul
    A government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of her or his country and its nationals.

  • Consular Declaration
    A formal statement describing goods to be shipped, filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.

  • Consular Invoice
    Document required by some foreign countries, showing exact information as to consignor, consignee, value description etc. for a shipment.

  • Consular Visa
    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.

  • Container
    A vehicle designed to transport cargo of many types in continuous transportation. It is also referred to an unit of packaging which is smaller in sense in which articles are packed.

  • Container Booking
    Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.

  • Container Depot
    Location, other than a container yard, maintained by or on behalf of an ocean carrier at which shippers or consignees may pick up or drop off empty equipment. No loaded containers may be received at CDs and such locations may not be owned or controlled by a shipper or his agent.

  • Container freight station (CFS, C.F.S.)
    Consolidation depots where parcels of cargo are grouped and loaded into containers.

  • Container load plan (CLP)
    A document prepared to show all details of cargo loaded in a container, eg. weight (individual and total), measurement, markings, shippers, consignees, the origin & destination of goods, and location of cargo within the container.

  • Container Manifest
    Document showing contents and loading sequence point of origin and point of destination for a container. Vessels are required by law to carry such a document for each container carried.

  • Container number
    The unique identification of a container.

  • Container part load
    A shipment that does not utilize the full volume of a container nor the maximum payload by weight; additional part loads may be added.

  • Container Pool
    An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.

  • Container seal number
    The number of high security seal provided by OOCL.

  • Container size
    The length of a container i.e. 20’’, 40’’ and 45’’ (feet).

  • Container status
    The status of a container in term of location, custody and cargo status for cargo tracking use.

  • Container Stuffing List (CSL)
    List showing how cargo is stowed in each container.

  • 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 type
    The purpose of a container of which the code is to be adhered to ISO standard.

  • Container Yard (CY)
    Area adjacent to the vessel berth where containers are delivered to and received from the vessel or inland carrier.

  • Containerisable Cargo
    Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.

  • Containerization
    Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.

  • Containerload
    A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

  • Containership
    An ocean vessel specifically designed to carry ocean cargo containers. It is fitted with vertical cells for maximum capacity.

  • Continuous Flow Distribution (CFD)
    The streamline pull of products in response to customer requirements while minimising the cost of distribution.

  • Continuous Replenishment Program (CRP)
    A program that triggers the manufacturing and movement of a product through the supply chain when the identical product is purchased by an end user.

  • Contraband
    Cargo that is prohibited.

  • Contract
    A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.

  • Contract carrier
    Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.

  • Controlled atmosphere (CA)
    An atmosphere in which oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen concentrations are regulated, as well as temperature and humidity.

  • Copy B/L
    Duplicate of original bill of lading and is non-negotiable.

  • Core Competency
    A company’s primary function considered essential to its success.

  • Corner castings
    Fittings on top and bottom of container corner posts; designed for handling and securing a container.

  • Corner posts (door posts)
    Vertical frame components fitted at the corners of the container, integral to the corner fittings and connecting the roof and floor structures.

  • Correction memo
    A kind of internal document which registers amendment to bill of lading and/or manifest after bill of lading is issued to shipper.

  • Correspondent Bank
    A bank that in its own country handles the business of a foreign bank.

  • Cost and Freight (CF)
    The exporter pays the costs and freight necessary to get the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss or damage is assumed by the buyer once the goods are loaded at the port of embarkation.

  • Cost matrix
    Cost matrix is showing cost at a very basic level between two shipment points.

  • Countervailing Duty
    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.

  • Country of Origin of Goods
    Country of origin in which the goods have been produced or manufactured.

  • CPT
    One of 13 INCOTERMS "Carriage paid to ..." means that the seller delivers the goods to the carrier nominated by him but the seller must in addition pay the cost of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named destination. This means that the buyer bears risks and any costs occurring after the goods have been so delivered.

  • Credit agreement
    Agreement between carrier and shipper for release of cargo with promise to pay ocean freight within specific time.

  • Cross Member
    Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container which support the floor.

  • Cross-Docking
    The process of moving merchandise directly from the receiving dock to the shipping dock, eliminating the need to place the merchandise in storage.

  • CSI
    Container Security Initiative. US Government legislation designed to improve security against terrorists.

  • C-TPAT
    Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

  • Cu.
    Cubic. A unit of volume measurement.

  • Cube Out
    When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

  • Cubic foot
    1,728 cubic inches.

  • Custom house
    A country Treasury Department office where duties, etc., on foreign shipments are handled.


  • Customer collects from/deliver to CFS/CY.

  • Customhouse broker
    Also known as Custom Broker. A person or firm, licensed to engage in entering and clearing goods through customs and/or the government office (Custom house) where duties and/or tolls are placed on imports or exports. The duties of a broker include preparing the entry blank and filing it; advising the importer on duties to be paid; advancing duties and other costs; and, arranging for delivery to his client, his trucking firm, or other carrier.

  • Customs
    The government service that is responsible for the assessment of import and export duties and taxes and administration of other laws and regulations that apply to the importation transit and exportation of goods. This term is also used when referring to any part of the customs service or its main or subsidiary offices. This term is also used adjectivally in connection with customs officials import or export duties control on goods or any other matter within the purview of customs (customs officer customs duties customs office customs declaration).

  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    Single unified border agency of the United States.

  • Customs Clearance Service
    The procedures involved in getting cargo released by Customs through designated formalities such as presenting import license /permit, payment of import duties and other required documentations by the nature of the cargo such as FCC or FDA approval.

  • Customs Declaration
    A document that traditionally accompanies exported goods bearing such information as the nature of the goods, their value, the recipient, and their ultimate destination. Required for statistical purposes it accompanies all controlled goods being exported under the appropriate permit.

  • Customs Entries
    Consumption Entry Form required by U.S. customs for importing goods into the United States. The form contains information as to the origin of the cargo, a description of the merchandise and estimated duties applicable to the particular commodity. Estimated duties must be paid at the time the entry is filled. / Immediate Delivery Entry is used to expedite clearance of cargo. It allows up to ten days for the payment of estimated duty and processing of the consumption entry. In addition, it permits the delivery of the cargo prior to payment of the estimated duty and then allows for the subsequent filing of the consumption entry and duty. Also known as an ID entry./ Immediate Transportation Entry allows the cargo to be moved from the pier to an inland destination via a bonded carrier without the payment of duties or finalisation of the entry at the port of arrival. Known as an IT entry./ Transportation and Exportation Entry allows goods coming from or going to a third country, such as Canada or Mexico, to enter the United States for the purpose of transshipment. Known as a T&E entry. / Vessel Repair Entry is the law known as the "Foreign Vessel Repair Statute". It provides that when any repairs in a foreign country are made on a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, an ad valorem duty of 50% is imposed on the cost of repair, including labour and labour costs, when the vessel arrives in the United States. All equipment, parts or materials purchased, and repairs made outside the United States must be declared on customs Form 226 (CF-226) and filed at the port of first arrival within 5 working days.

  • Customs invoice
    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 (COP)
    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.

  • Customs Self Assessment (CSA)
    Offers approved importers, approved carriers and registered drivers the benefits of a streamlined clearance option for CSA eligible goods.

  • Customs Trade Partnership Against Terror
    Joint government business initiative designed to build cooperative relationships that seek to strengthen the overall supply chain and border security.

  • Customs Trade PartnershipAgainst Terrorism
    It is a voluntary supply chain security program launched inNovember 2001 and led by U.S. customs and Border Protection (CBP) which focuseson improving the security of private companies supply chains with respect toterrorism. In exchange for companies participation CBP will provide reducedinspections at the port of arrival expedited processing at the border andpenalty mitigation.

  • Cut-off time
    Lastest possible time cargo may be delivered to vessel or designated point.

  • Cwt.
    Hundred weight (U.S.A., 100 pounds; United Kingdom, 112 pounds).

  • CY
    Container Yard. Point at which carrier hands over to or receives laden containers from merchant haulier. Commonly where mode of transport changes e.g. a sea port, feeder terminal, barge terminal or rail ramp.

  • CY/CFS
    Cargo loaded in a full container by a shipper at origin, delivered to pier facility at destination, and then devanned by carrier for loose pick up.

  • CY/CY
    Cargo loaded by shipper in a full container at origin and delivered to carrier’s terminal at destination for pick up intact by consignee.

  • Cycle Count
    Counting inventory by checking a particular location or set of locations and comparing the physical counts with the system-maintained inventory levels.

  • Cycle Time
    The amount of time it takes to complete a business process. For example, the amount of time from when a service is ordered until it is received by the customer.

  • Cycle Time Reduction
    The process of reducing cycle time, cutting costs and improving customer service.

  • D.B.A.
    Doing Business As. A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.

  • D.O.T.
    Department of Transportation. The executive branch department that coordinates and oversees transportation functions in the specific country.

  • DAF
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Delivered at Frontier" means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of tranport not unloaded, cleared for export but not cleared for import at the named point and placed at the frontier, but before the customs border of the adjoining country.

  • Dangerous Goods
    The term used by I.M.C.O. for hazardous materials which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property while being transported.

  • DDC
    Destination Delivery Charges. A charge assessed by the carrier for handling positioning of a full container.

  • DDP
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Delivery duty paid" means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto including where applicable, any "duty"(which term includes the responsibility for and the risk of the carrying out of customs formalities and the payment of formalities, customs duties, taxes and other charges) for import into the country of destination.

  • DDU
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Delivery duty unpaid" means that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, not cleared for import, and not unloaded from any arriving means of transport at the named place of destination. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods thereto, other than, where applicable, any "duty" (which term includes the responsibility for and the risks of the carrying out of customs formalities, and the payment of formalities, customs duties, taxes and other charges) for import in the country of destination. Such "duty" has to be borne by the buyer as well as any costs and risks caused by his failure to clear the goods for import in time.

  • Dead Space
    Space in a car, truck, vessel, etc., that is not utilized.

  • Deadhead
    One leg of a move without a paying cargo load. Usually refers to repositioning an empty piece of equipment.

  • Deadweight Cargo
    A long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 40 cubic feet.

  • Deadweight Tonnage (D/W)


  • Deconsolidation Point
    Place where loose or other non containerized cargo is ungrouped for delivery.

  • Dedicated Unit Train
    A unit train operated by various railroads for exclusive usage.

  • Deficit Weight
    The weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.

  • Delivery
    (1) The physical and legal transfer of a shipment from consignor to carrier and from carrier/ transport agent to consignee.(2) The act of putting property into the legal possession of another, whether involving the actual transfer of the physical control of the object from one to the other or being constructively effected in various other ways.

  • Delivery Instructions
    Order to pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to apier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad whichcompletes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shippingdelivery order.

  • Delivery Order
    A document authorizing delivery to a nominated party of goods in the care of a third party. Can be issued by a carrier on surrender of a bill of lading and then used by merchant to transfer title by endorsement.

  • Demand Chain
    Another name for supply chain, with emphasis on the customer or party controlling demand.

  • DEMDES
    Demurrage/Despatch money. (Under vessel chartering terms the amount to be paid if the ship is loading/discharging slower/faster than foreseen.)

  • Demurrage (Dem.)
    Charge raised for detaining FCL container/trailer at a terminal/CY for longer period than provided in a tariff. Also known as Wharf Storage in Australia.

  • Density
    The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    Single integrated agency focused on protecting the American people and their homeland.

  • Deployment
    Disposing vessels to maximize customer satisfaction, utilization, efficiency and revenue-generating potential.

  • Depot, Container
    Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.

  • DEQ
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Delivered Ex Quay" means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer not cleared for import on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port of destination and discharging the goods on the quay (wharf). The DEQ term requires the buyer to clear the goods for import and to pay for all formalities, duties, taxes and other charges upon import.

  • DES
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Delivered Ex Ship" means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on board the ship not cleared 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 of dstination before discharging. If the parties wish the seller to bear the costs and risks of discharging the goods, then the DEQ term should be used.

  • Despatch
    An incentive payment paid by the vessel to the charterer for loading and unloading the cargo faster than agreed. Usually negotiated only in charter parties. Also called dispatch.

  • Destination
    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.

  • Det Norske Veritas
    A Norwegian classification society which certifies seagoing vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.

  • Detention
    Charges raised for detaining container/trailer at customer’s premises for longer period than provided in Tariff.

  • Devanning
    The removal of cargo from a container. Also known as unstuffing, unloading or stripping.

  • DF Car
    Damage Free Car. Box cars equipped with special bracing material.

  • DFG
    DFG refers to Dynamic Flow Guidelines, which is used to control the onland stock level of each region taking into account the traffic pattern and local vanning/devaning dwell time. The shorter the dwell time, the lower the DFG and the more efficient the equipment utilization will be.

  • Differential Rate
    An amount added or deducted from the base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.

  • Dimensional Weight
    Dimensional weight is a calculation of the shipment’s weight based on its volumetric standard instead of its actual weight. Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height of each package in inches or centimeters and dividing by a dimensional weight divisor. The dimensional weight divisor varies by service offering and unit of measure (inches or centimeters).

  • Dimensions
    Enter the length, width, and height of the package. Package dimensions must be at least 1 inch/cm for Length, 1 inch/cm for Width, 1 inch/cm for Height. For multiple piece shipments, you can ship up to 25 packages using 10 unique rows of weight/dimensions information.

  • 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/Cs which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.

  • Displacement
    The weight in tons of 2240 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.

  • Distribution
    The process of storing and transporting goods between the end of the production line and the final customer. It involves a set of activities which demands the goods are delivered in a desired quality, quantity, place & time.

  • Distribution Requirements Planning
    A system of determining demand for an inventory at distribution centres, consolidating the demand information backwards, and acting as input to the production and material system.

  • Diversion Charge
    Fee for diverting cargo from original intended destination port to a new location.

  • Division
    Carriers practice of dividing revenue received from rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulae.

  • Dock
    (a) The water alongside a pier or wharf.(b) Loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.

  • Dock Receipt
    A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo at a steamship pier. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed, the dock receipt is surrendered to the vessel operator or the operator’s agent and serves as the basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.

  • Dock Receipt
    A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as the basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.

  • Dockage
    Charge for use of a dock.

  • Docket
    Present a rate proposal to a conference meeting for adoption as a conference group rate.

  • Documentary Credit
    The basis of international trade by means of which payment is made against the surrender of specified documents.

  • DocumentsAgainst 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 buyers acceptance of the attached draft.

  • DocumentsAgainst Payment (D/P)
    An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only on payment.

  • Dolly
    A set of wheels that support the front of a container, used when the automotive unit is disconnected.

  • Door-to-Door
    Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor’s premises to consignee’s premises.

  • DOT
    Department of Transport. Government Department with responsibility for shipping and transport.

  • Double Stack Car
    Rail car capable of carrying two containers stacked on top of each other.

  • Double-Deck Load
    A second tier of cargo placed on top of the first tier.

  • Draft
    Marine: The depth to which a vessel’s deepest point is under water. Rail: A cut of coupled cars. Financial: A signed, written order by one party that instructs another party to pay a third party a specific amount. It can also be called a bill of exchange.

  • Draft Bank
    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.

  • Draft Clean
    A draft to which no documents are attached.

  • Draft Date
    A draft that matures on a fixed date regardless of the time of acceptance.

  • Draft Discounted
    A time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted and purchased by a bank at a discount.

  • Draft Sight
    A draft payable on demand upon presentation.

  • Draft Time
    A draft that matures at a fixed or determinable time after presentation or acceptance.

  • Draw back
    99% refund of imported or duty paid materials which are to be re-exported.

  • Drawee
    The individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.

  • Dray
    A truck or other equipment designed to haul heavy loads.

  • Drayage
    Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Also known as haulage.

  • DRFS
    Destination Rail Freight Station. Same as CFS at destination except a DRFS is operated by the rai lcarrier participating in the shipment.

  • Dry BulkContainer
    A container constructed to carry grain powder and other free flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.

  • Dry Cargo
    Cargo that does not require temperature control.

  • Dry Dock
    An enclosed basin into which a ship is taken for underwater cleaning and repairing. It is fitted with water-tight entrance gates which when closed permit the dock to be pumped dry.

  • DS
    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 offset the higher cost of operating a U.S. flagged vessel. The ODS program is administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration and is being phased out.

  • DST
    Double Stack Train. Rail or train capable of carrying two 40’ containers, one on top of the other.

  • DSU
    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.

  • Dumping
    Attempting to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value usually through subsidy by exporting country.

  • Dunnage (Dge.)
    Lumber or other material used to brace material in carrier’s equipment.

  • DutiableValue
    The amount on which an Ad Valorem or customs duty is calculated.

  • Duty
    The tax imposed by customs on imported goods

  • Duty Drawback
    (1) Payment returned for cargo re-exported or trade show material.(2) A customs refund on re-exported cargo.

  • Duty Free Zone
    Sometimes called "customs free zones" or "duty free zones". It is a generic term referring to special commercial and industrial areas. At which by special customs procedures it allows the importation of non-prohibited foreign goods (including raw materials, components, and finished goods) without the requirement that duties be paid immediately. If the merchandise is later exported, duty free treatment is given to re-exports.The zones are usually located in or near ports of entry. Merchandise brought into these zones may be stored, assembled, processed or used in manufacture prior to re-export or entry into the national customs territory.When manufacturing activity occurs in free trade zones, it usually involves a combination of foreign and domestic merchandise, and usually requires special governmental authority.

  • Dwell Time
    It is expressed in terms of no. of days that a container changed from one status to another e.g. from under inbound load (UIL) to empty available (MTA) to under outbound load (UOL). The shorter the dwell time, the more efficient the container utilization will be.

  • E.W.I.B.
    Eastern Weighing and Inspection Bureau.

  • EAN 13
    EAN barcodes are used when the country origin needs to be known. There are 13 digits in EAN 13, where the first two characters are used to define the country of origin, the next 10 are data, followed by the check sum. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • EAN 8
    EAN barcodes are used when the country origin needs to be known. There are 8 digits in EAN 8, where the first two characters are used to define the country of origin, the next 5 are data, followed by the checksum. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • Earnings
    Income after a company’s taxes and all other expenses have been paid. Also called profit or net income.

  • ECCN
    Export Control Classification Number. Most products have an export control classification number (formerly export commodity classification number) within the Commerce Control List (CCL). The ECCN consists of a five-character number that identifies categories, product groups, strategic level of control, and country groups.

  • Economic Value Added (EVA)
    A measure of the shareholder value as a company’s operating profits after tax, less a charge for the capital used in creating the profits. EVA is a registered trademark of Stern & Co. in the USA.

  • ECU
    European Currency Units. A financial unit used for EC accounting.

  • Edge Protector
    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.

  • EDI
    Electronic Data Interface. Generic term for transmission oftransactional data between computer systems. EDI is typically via a batchedtransmission usually conforming to consistent standards.

  • EDI message
    An approved, published and maintained formal description of how to structure the data required to perform a specific business function in such a way as to allow for the transfer and handling of this data by electronic means.

  • Efficient Consumer Response (ECR)
    A consumer-driven system of replenishment in which high-quality products and accurate information flow through a paperless (EDI) system between all distribution points from the manufacturing line to the retail checkout counter.

  • EIR
    Equipment Interchange Receipt. A document used to receive or deliver a full or empty container/chassis at any terminal or inland container pool/depot.

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
    Transfer of data between different companies using networks (ex. Internet).

  • Electronic Data Interchange for Administration
    International standard for EDI (standards work toward universal international conventions for electronic data interchange).

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
    Payment for goods or services via exchanges of electronic authorisations against bank accounts. Authorisation is sent to an automated clearing house (usually a bank), which verifies the source of the transaction as having control over the accounts, and performs the fund transfer.

  • Electronic Manifest (EManifest)
    Submission of a manifest electronically.

  • Elevating
    A charge for services performed in connection with floating elevators. Charges assessed for the handling of grain through grain elevators.

  • Embargo
    Order to restrict the hauling of freight.

  • Eminent Domain
    The sovereign power to take property for a necessary public use with reasonable compensation.

  • Empty Repo
    Contraction for Empty Repositioning. The movement of empty containers.

  • En route
    Along the route of movement.

  • Endorsement
    A legal signature, usually placed on the reverse of a draft, signifies transfer of rights from the holder to another party.

  • Entry
    Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.

  • Entry Declaration


  • Equalisation
    (1) Monetary allowance to a customer for picking up or delivering cargo to or from a point which is not the origin/destination shown on the B/L.(2) Compensation for additional charges incurred by the shipper for delivering cargo to the port designated by the carrier other than the closest port to the supplier.

  • Error List
    Report showing discrepancies (errors) in data input.

  • ETA
    Estimated time of arrival.

  • ETA C D R S
    Estimated Time of Arrival Completion Departure Readiness or Sailing Estimated Time of Availability. That time when a tractor/partner carrier is available for dispatch.

  • ETD
    Estimated time of departure.

  • Ethylene
    A natural plant hormone gas (C2H4) produced in small quantities by plant tissue. Its effects on harvested fruits can be desirable (de-greening and ripening) or undesirable (abbreviated storage, softening). Ethylene effects are cumulative throughout the post harvest life of fruit, and the magnitude of ethylene effects depend upon temperature, exposure time, and ethylene concentration

  • European Commission
    One of the five major institutions of the European Union (EU). The Commission is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Treaty of Rome and Union rules and obligations; submission of proposals to the Council of Ministers; execution of the Council’s decisions; reconciliation of disagreements among Council members; administration of EU policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy and coal and steel policies; taking necessary legal action against firms or member governments; and representing the Union in trade negotiations with non-member countries.

  • European Economic Community (EEC)
    A group of 25 democratic European countries that are committed to working together for peace and prosperity.

  • European Union (EU)
    Formerly known as the European Community, it is a regional organization created in 1958 providing for gradual elimination of intra-regional customs duties and other trade barriers, applying a common external tariff against other countries and providing for gradual adoption of other integrating measures, including a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and guaranteeing free movement of labor and capital. The original six members were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom became members in 1973. Greece acceded in 1981. And Spain and Portugal in 1986. Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the Union on January 1, 1995. The term European Union is used to refer to three separate regional organizations consisting of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), and the European Economic Community (EEC). These have been served since 1967 by common institutions such as the EU Commission, the EU Council, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice of the European Communities. Currently there are 25 member states of the EU.

  • Evaporation
    A change of state from a liquid to a vapour

  • Evaporator
    Heat-exchanging device which absorbs waste heat from a cargo and transfers the heat to a circulating refrigerant. Evaporators convert low-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant into high-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant. Evaporator fans improve heat transfer by circulating air within the container over the evaporator coils and fins.

  • Ex
    From e.g. ExCape Town means from Cape Town. 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.

  • Ex Dec
    Contraction for Shippers Export Declaration.

  • Ex Work
    An INCOTERMS term of sale applicable to all modes of transport.

  • Exception
    Notations made when the cargo is received at the carriers 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.

  • Exchange License
    Similar to import licenses, exchange licenses protect a country’s foreign exchange reserves or utilize these reserves advantageously. They also authorize the conversion of currency.

  • Exchange Permit
    A government permit sometimes required by the importer’s government to enable the import firm to convert its own country’s currency into foreign currency with which to pay a seller in another country.

  • EXIM Bank
    Export Import Bank of the United States. An independent U.S.Government Agency which facilitates the export of U.S. goods by providing loan guarantees and insurance for repayment of bank provided export credit.

  • Expiry Date
    The final date on which the draft and documents must be presented to the negotiating, accepting, paying or issuing bank to effect payment.

  • Export
    Shipment of goods to a foreign country.

  • Export Broker
    An individual or firm who does not take part in actual sales transactions, but brings together buyers and sellers for a fee.

  • Export Declaration
    A government document permitting designated goods to be shipped out of the country.

  • Export License
    A government document which permits the Licensee to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.

  • Export Merchant
    A firm that purchases goods directly from various domestic manufacturers, then packages and marks the merchandise for resale under its own name. Export merchants usually specialize in specific product categories.

  • Export Quotas
    Specific restrictions or ceilings imposed by an exporting country on the valueor volume of certain exports to protect domestic producers and consumers from temporary shortages of the goods affected or to bolster their prices in world markets.

  • Export Rate
    A rate published on traffic moving from an interior point to a port for transshipment to a foreign country.

  • Express B/L
    Also called "Sea Waybill." A special facility granted by carrier under guarantees from shipper/consignee to release cargo to named consignee without presenting original B/L.

  • Extra Loader
    Additional vessel brought into schedule to cope with exceptionally strong market conditions.

  • EXW
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Ex works"means that the seller delivers when he places the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises or another named place (i.e. works, factory, warehouse, etc) not cleared for export and not loaded on any collecting vehicle.

  • F.A.K.
    Freight All Kind. System whereby freight is charged per container, irrespective of the nature of the goods, and not according to a Tariff. (Please also refer to All Commodity Rate)

  • F.A.S.
    a) Free Alongside Ship.b) Fixed Assets System. An OOCL main frame application that records all acquisitions, retirements and transfers to OOCL’s property assets.

  • F.C.L.
    Full Container Load. Arrangement whereby shipper utilizes all the space in a container which he packs himself.

  • F.E.U.
    Forty-foot Equivalent Unit. (40’’ or 2 Teus) FEU.

  • F.I.O.
    Free In and Out.

  • F.O.B.
    Stands for Free On Board which is a mercantile expression used in sale contracts denoting that goods have to be delivered by the shippers on board the vessel at a particular place, free of charges.

  • Factor
    A factor is an agent who will at a discount (usually five to 8% of the gross) buy receivables.

  • FAK
    Freight All Kinds. Usually refers to consolidated cargo.

  • False Billing
    Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.

  • FAS
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Free Alongside Ship" means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the vessel at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that moment.

  • FCA
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Free Carrier" means that the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place. It should be noted that the chosen place of delivery has an impact on the obligations of loading and unloading the goods at that place. If delivery occurs at the seller’s premises, the seller is responsible for loading. If delivery occurs at any other place, the seller is not responsible for unloading.

  • FCL/FCL
    See CY/CY.

  • FCL/LCL
    See CY/CFS.

  • FD


  • Feeder Service
    Sea transportation as performed by feeder operator.

  • Feeder Vessel
    Vessel employed in normally short sea routes to fetch or carry goods and containers to and from ocean going vessels.

  • FEU
    Forty Foot Equivalent Units. Refers to container size standard of 40 feet. Two 20 foot containers or TEUs equal one FEU.

  • FFE
    Forty-foot Equivalent Unit. The standard measurement unit of containerized cargo.

  • Fifth Wheel
    The semi circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi-trailer.

  • Final Destination (FND)


  • Firkin
    A capacity measurement equal to one fourth of a barrel.

  • Fixed Costs
    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.

  • Flash Point
    The temperature when certain inflamable cargo will trigger spontaneous ignition. It is an IMCO standard information requirement for dangerous goods.

  • Flat Bed
    Truck designed to haul heavy or oversized non-containerisable cargo.

  • Flat Car
    A rail car without a roof and walls.

  • Floating Cranes
    Heavy duty cranes that are able to handle exceptionally heavy cargo if unable to use conventional gantry cranes.

  • FMC


  • FOB
    One of 13 INCOTERMS."Free on board"means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damange to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. This term can be used only for or inland waterway transport. If the parties do not intend to deliver the goods across the ships’s rail, the FCA terms should be used.

  • 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.

  • FOB Vessel
    Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of expor tdocumentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    U.S. agency responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, the U.S.s food supply, medical devices, cosmetics and products that emit radiation.

  • FOR
    Free on Rail.

  • Force Majeure
    A state of emergency or conditions that permit a company to depart from the strict terms of contract because of an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, i.e: beyond human control

  • Foreign on Board (FOB)
    An area within the U.S. that is legally considered outside of U.S. customs territory.

  • Foreign Sales Corporation
    Under U.S. tax law a corporation created to obtain a 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.

  • For-Hire Carriers
    Persons or firms engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers for compensation. Classified into two general categories, specialised and general freight motor carriers.

  • Fork Lift
    A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.

  • Forwarder's Cargo Receipt
    A non-negotiable document issued by a forwarder which will satisfy the legal requirements of a letter of credit. Since a forwarder is not an NVOCC, it cannot issue actual bills of lading. The FCR is legally binding upon the forwarder and is an industry standard.

  • 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.

  • Four Way Pallet
    A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.

  • FPPI
    Foreign Principal Party of Interest. The party to whom final delivery or end use of the exported goods will be made usually the buyer.

  • Free Astray
    An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.

  • Free of ParticularAverage (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 Out (FO)
    Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.

  • Free Port
    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.

  • Free Time
    Time allowed for shippers or consignees/receivers to load or unload cargo before demurrage, detention and other charges accrue.

  • Freight
    (a) The price paid to the carrier for the transportation of goods or merchandise by sea from one place to another.(b)Freight is also used to denote goods which are in the process of being transported from one place to another.

  • Freight Bill
    Destination (Collect) Freight Bill: Prepaid Freight Bill.(1) Bill rendered by a transportation line to consignee containing description of freight shipper name, point of origin and weight charges (if not prepaid).(2) Bill rendered by a transportation line to shipper containing description of freight, consignee, destination and weight charges.

  • Freight Cashier
    Responsible for collections of freight/charges/release of cargo/release of bills of ladings.

  • Freight Release
    Evidence that the freight charges for the cargo have been paid. If in writing, it may be presented at the pier to obtain release of the cargo. Normally, once the freight is paid, freight releases are arranged without additional documentation. Also known as freight bill receipt.

  • Fresh Air Exchange (FAE)
    The fresh air exchange system on a reefer removes harmful gases from reefers carrying sensitive perishable commodities. The fresh air vent is located at the reefer machinery end of the container. The fresh air vent is adjustable to accommodate a variety of cargo and chilled load operating conditions. The fresh air vent should be tightly closed when carrying frozen cargo.

  • Full and Down
    An expression to describe a loaded vessel carrying cargoes of such a volume and weight that it fills all the vessels spaces and also brings her down to her tonnage load line. A rare but optimum revenue condition for a vessel operator.

  • Full Shipload Lot
    The amount of cargo a vessel carries or is able to carry. Practically it is the amount of cargo which induces the specific voyage. While the cargo lot may take up the majority of the vessels space or tonnage capacity, it does not require a vessels volume and weight capacity to be fully utilized.

  • Full Visible Capacity
    The trailer is loaded as full as the nature of the freight and other conditions permit, so that no more of the same type of freight can be loaded, consistent with safety and damage precautions.

  • Fumigation
    Treatment with a pesticide active ingredient that is a gas under treatment conditions.

  • G.R.I.
    General Rate Increase

  • Gantry Crane
    Port crane used to load and discharge containers from vessels, can be positioned by moving along rail tracks.

  • Gateway
    Port at which container is discharged from ocean vessel to start the inland or intermodal part of its journey. In TAT, it usually refers to Montreal (for cargo going to the US Midwest).

  • GATT
    General Agreement on Tariff and Trade .An international multilateral agreement embodying a code of practice for fair trading in international commerce.

  • GBL
    Government Bill of Lading.

  • GDSM
    General Department Store Merchandise. A classification of commodities that includes goods generally shipped by mass merchandise companies. This commodity structure occurs only in service contracts.

  • General Average
    General average is an unwritten, non-statutory, international maritime law which is universally recognized and applied. It is founded on the principle that vessels and goods are parties to the same venture and share exposure to the same perils, which may require sacrifice or the incurring of extraordinary expense on the part of one for the benefit of the whole venture.

  • General Order
    Issued by U.S. customs as notice of intention to seize goods.

  • Genset (Generator Set)
    A portable power generator which converts fuel into electrical power by mechanical means and from which a reefer draws power. A clip-on generator set is mounted to the front of the refrigeration unit. An underslung generator set is mounted to the chassis upon which the reefer is mounted for handling and transport.The underslung generator set can be either side-mounted or center-mounted on the chassis.

  • Global Maritime Intelligence Integration
    It is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with the mission to ensure government wide access to maritime information and data critical to intelligence production and to serve as the focal point and oversight agent for maritime specific information issues.

  • Go Down
    In the Far East a warehouse where goods are stored and delivered.

  • Gooseneck
    The front rails of the chassis that raise above the plane of the chassis and engage in the tunnel of a container.

  • GRI
    General Rate Increase. Used to describe an across the board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.

  • Gross Tonnage
    Applies to vessels, not to cargo. Determined by dividing by 100 the contents, in cubic feet, of the vessel’s closed-in spaces. A vessel ton is 100 cubic feet.

  • Gross Weight
    Entire weight of goods, packaging and container, ready for shipment.

  • Groupage
    A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.

  • Hague Rules
    1924 International Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea.These rules govern liability for loss or damage to goods carried on the sea under a bill of lading.

  • Hague-Visby Rules
    1968 Revision of Hague Rules.

  • Hamburg Rules
    In March 1978 an international conference in Hamburg adopted a new set of rules (The Hamburg Rules), which radically altered the liability which ship-owners have to bear for loss or damage to goods in the courts of those nations where the rules apply.

  • Handling Costs
    The cost involved in transferring, preparing and otherwise contracting inventory.

  • Handymax Vessel
    A dry bulk vessel of 35000 to 49000dwt. (Note that a Handy drybulk carrier is from 10000 to 34000dwt.) A Handymax Tanker is a liquid bulkcarrier of 10000 to 60000dwt.

  • Hangertainer
    Specialised container equipped with hanger beams for the purpose of stowing garments on hangers.

  • Harbour
    Any place to which ships may resort for shelter or to load or unload passengers or goods or to obtain fuel water or supplies. This term applies to such places whether proclaimed public or not and whether natural or artificial.

  • Harbour Master
    An official responsible for construction maintenance operation regulation enforcement administration and management pertaining to marina sports and harbours.

  • Harmless Chemicals
    A cargo description, which is a contradiction of terms. A chemical is a substance and whether it is harmless or not, depends on the context in which the substance appears or is used.

  • Harmonised Tariff System
    An international classification system designed to improve the collection of import and export statistics as well as provide a uniform tariff code structure for incorporation into national tariff systems. Promotes a high degree of international uniformity in the presentation of customs tariffs and foreign trade statistics. Consists of approximately 5,000 item descriptions, grouped into 21 sections and 97 chapters.

  • Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
    A multi-purpose international goods-classification for manufacturers. Transporters, exporters, importers, customs officials, statisticians, and others in classifying goods moving in international trade under a single commodity code. Developed under the auspices of the customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international customs organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings describing the articles moving in international trade. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry [ (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g.: Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibres; Chapter 57, Carpets).] The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. (The U.S. will add digits for tariff and statistical purposes. In the U.S. duty rates will be the 8-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the 10-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is scheduled to supplant the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) in January 1988.)

  • Harmonized System Code (HS Code)
    A universally accepted classification system for trade goods used to classify products and their corresponding tariff.

  • Hatch
    The opening in the deck of a vessel; gives access to the cargo hold.

  • Haulier
    The participating carrier responsible for drayage.

  • HAWB/MAWB
    House Airwaybill/Master Airwaybill. Documents required for air transportation of cargo.

  • HAZ MAT


  • Heavy Lift
    Articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship’s tackle.

  • Heavy-Lift Charge
    A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship’s tackle.

  • High Cube
    Any container which exceeds 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches) in height, usually 9 feet 6 inches.

  • High DensityCompression
    Compression of a flat or standard bale of cotton to approximately 32 pounds per cubic foot. Usually applies to cotton exported or shipped coastwise.

  • Hitchment
    The marrying of two or more portions of one shipment that originate at different locations moving under one bill of lading from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication.

  • Holds
    Section of vessel in which containers are stored.

  • Hopper Barge
    A barge which loads material dumped into it by a dredger and discharges the cargo through the bottom.

  • House B/L
    Bill of lading issued by NVOCC (Non-vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier), either by Forwarders, or Consolidators when they issue B/L instead of FCR (Freight Cargo Receipt), or slot charters, for carriage of goods on vessel which s/he neither owns nor operates. House B/L is commonly not acceptable in the L/C negotiation unless otherwise authorized in the letter of credit (L/C).

  • House-to-House (H/H)
    See CY/CY.

  • House-to-Pier (H/P)
    See CY/CFS.

  • Hub
    A facility in the infrastructure where transport-related services (collection & distribution) and commercial activities are performed, and it focuses on logistics-centre management, facilities management, maintenance and supply chain.

  • Hull
    The body of a vessel exclusive of masts, yards, sails, rigging, machinery and equipment.

  • Hull Underwriter


  • Humping
    The process of connecting a moving rail car with a motionless rail car within a rail classification yard in order to make up a train. The cars move by gravity from an incline or hump onto the appropriate track.

  • Hustler
    Tractor that pulls containers around the pier for positioning. Also known as a yard hustler.

  • I.C.C.
    Interstate Commerce Commission - The U. S. governmental body to regulate interstate trade / International Chamber of Commerce - A Paris-based international forum that aims to facilitate trade. Institute Cargo Clauses The institute of London Underwriters standard clauses for cargo insurance.

  • I.M.C.O.


  • I.M.D.G. Code
    International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The regulations published by the IMO for transporting hazardous materials internationally.

  • I.P.I.
    Inland Points Intermodal. Inland carriage by another mode of transportation after discharge.

  • I.S.O.
    International Standards Organization which deals in standards of all sorts ranging from documentation to equipment packaging and labeling.

  • IA
    Independent Action. A carrier can take an independent action in a conference, resulting in a unique rate for that carrier within a conference; ability to file a rate independently of other carriers’ actions.

  • IATA Cargo Agent


  • IE
    Stands for Immediate Exit. In the U.S. customs an 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.

  • IFP
    Intrim Fuel Participation. Similar to BAF, a surcharge based on the cost of bunker.

  • IMCO Classification
    International Maritime Control Organisation classification for hazardous cargo.

  • IMDG Code
    International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The IMO recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods by sea.

  • Immediate Exportation
    An entry that allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be exported from the same port without the payment of duty.

  • Import
    Shipment of goods from a foreign country.

  • Import Certificate
    A means by which the government of the country of ultimate destination exercises legal control over the internal channeling of the commodities covered by the import certificate.

  • Import License
    A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.

  • Import Permit
    Usually required for items that might affect the public health, morals, animal life, vegetation, etc. Examples include foodstuffs, feedstuffs, pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary), medical equipment, seeds, plants and various written material (including tapes, cassettes, movies, TV tapes or TV movies). In some countries an import permit is the same as an import license.

  • Import Quota
    A means of restricting imports by the issuance of licenses to importers, assigning each a quota, after determination of the total amount of any commodity which is to be imported during a period. Import licenses may also specify the country from which the importer must purchase the goods.

  • Import Restrictions
    Applied by a country to reflect a desire to control the volume of goods coming into the country from other countries. They may include the imposition of tariffs or import quotas, restrictions on the amount of foreign currency available to cover imports, a requirement for import deposits, the imposition of import surcharges, non-tariff barriers, or the prohibition of various categories of imports.

  • Import Substitution
    A strategy which emphasizes the replacement of imports with domestically produced goods, rather than the production of goods for export, to encourage the development of domestic industry.

  • Importer of Record (IOR)
    The owner or purchaser of the goods, or when designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee, a licensed customs broker.

  • Imports
    Consist of government and non-government purchases of merchandise from foreign countries.

  • In Bond
    Cargo moving under customs control where duty has not yet been paid.

  • In Gate
    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
    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.

  • Inbound
    Inward bound. Direction of vessel or cargo going to port of discharge or final destination.

  • Inbound Editing
    A documentation function normally performed before vessel arriving at discharging end to add, amend local charges and information where applicable.

  • Incentive Rate
    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.

  • Incoterms
    Incoterms are a set of uniform rules codifying the interpretation of trade terms defining the rights and obligation of both buyer and seller in an international transaction, thereby enabling an otherwise complex basis for a sale contract to be accomplished in three letters. Incoterms are drafted by the Internaitional Chamber of Commerce.

  • Indemnity Bond
    An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to liability.

  • Independent Action
    A separate action taken by an individual member of a conference agreement to change rates or terms of carriage as laid out in the conference agreements.

  • Independent Carrier
    Carrier that is not a member of a shipping conference.

  • Inducement
    Placing a port on a vessels itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.

  • Inherent Vice
    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.

  • Inland Carrier
    Transportation company which hauls imports or exports between ports and inland points.

  • Inland Clearance Depot
    A CFS with customs Clearance Facilities.

  • Instalment Shipments
    Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.

  • Insulated Container
    A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor and doors to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.

  • Insurance
    An insurance policy or certificate normally covers the shipments of merchandise from the time they leave the warehouse at the shipping point until they reach the destination point named in the policy or certificate.

  • Insurance Certificate
    Where the seller provides ocean marine insurance, it is necessary to furnish insurance certificates, usually in duplicate. The certificates are negotiable documents and must be endorsed before submitting them to the bank. The seller can arrange to obtain an open cargo policy that the freight forwarder maintains.

  • Insurance With Average-Clause
    This type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to 3 percent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, collides, or gets sunk, all losses are fully covered. In marine insurance the word average describes partial damage or partial loss.

  • Insurance, All-Risk
    This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.

  • 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 (in this way it differs from general-average insurance). 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 3 to 5 percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.

  • Integrated Carriers
    Carriers that have both air and ground fleets or other combinations, such as sea, rail and truck. They usually handle thousands of small parcels an hour.

  • Interchange
    Transfer of a container from one party to another.

  • Interchange Points
    A terminal at which freight in the course of transportation is delivered by one transportation line to another.

  • Intercoastal
    Water service between two coasts; usually refers to water service between points on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.

  • Interline Freight
    Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.

  • Intermediate Point
    A point located en route between two other points.

  • Intermodal
    Used to denote movements of cargo or container between motor, rail or water carriers.

  • Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC)
    Consolidates container loads or piggyback trailers from several shippers and contracts with railroads for volume space.

  • IntermodalB/L
    B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L or Multimodal B/L.

  • International Ship andPort Security Code
    It is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004 it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, ship board personnel, andport/facility personnel to detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.

  • Internet Applications - Shipment Detail
    Cargo Smart provides shipment summaries, shipment details, and standard reports. Users view shipment summaries sorted by shipment status, routes, or locations. Users can also look up shipment details by booking, bill of lading, invoice, and reference numbers (purchase order, invoice, etc). Details include reference numbers, status, parties, routing, general cargo, reefer, and dangerous goods information. Standard reports include active booking and bills of lading information.

  • Interstate
    Between states.

  • Inventory Carrying Costs
    Generally, carrying costs or holding costs are financial measurements that calculate all the costs associated with holding goods in storage. It includes inventory-in-storage, warehousing, obsolescence, deterioration, spoilage and labour costs, as well as insurance and taxes.

  • Inventory Turnover
    The cost of goods sold, divided by the average level of inventory on hand. The ratio measures how many times a company’s inventory has been sold during the year.

  • Inventory Velocity
    The speed with which products move from receiving dock to shipping dock.

  • Invoice
    An itemised 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.

  • IPI
    Inland Point Intermodal.Cargo moving via land from/to an inland point.

  • ISA
    Information System Agreement. Leading organisation of ocean carriers that develops, promotes and implements electronic commerce solutions for the maritime industry.

  • ISPS
    International Shipping & Port Security. International anti-terrorist legislation organised by IMO.

  • Issuing Bank
    The bank that has issued or opened a letter of credit. Also known as Opening Bank.

  • Issuing Carrier
    The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.

  • IT
    (1) Immediate Transportation Entry: refers to an IT entry (U.S. customs). Allows the cargo to move beyond the vessel entry point in bond for customs clearance at the destination named in the I.T. movement from one customs district to another, e.g. cargo entering the U.S. at Los Angeles destined for Chicago can move to Chicago before having a customs inspection. (2) Information Technology: A generic term for people or systems working toward business improvement.

  • ITIGG
    International Transport Implementation Guidelines Group. ITIGG is an international group of experts engaged in the development and implementation of UN/EDIFACT-standard messages for electronic trading in the transport industry. ITIGG is a subgroup of D4, the UN/EDIFACT Message Development Group for Transport. ITIGG develops recommendations which provide software developers with a series of simple, straightforward tools to assist in designing applications which can be used for trading electronically throughout the world, and to clarify the intentions of the designers of key UN/EDIFACT messages.

  • Jacket
    A wood or fibre cover placed around such containers as cans and bottles.

  • Jacobs Ladder
    A rope ladder suspended from the side of a vessel and used for boarding.

  • Jettison
    Act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger.

  • JOC
    Journal of Commerce. A trade publication.

  • Joint Rate
    A rate from a point located on one transportation line to a point on another transportation line which is published in a single tariff.

  • Jones Act
    Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requiring that all shipments by water between ports in the United States (including Puerto Rico) be carried by U.S.-flag, be U.S.-built, and U.S.-crewed vessels.

  • Just-In-Time (JIT)
    In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non-existent; the container is the moveable warehouse and must arrive "just in time," i.e. not too early and not too late.

  • King Pin
    A coupling pin cantered on the front underside of a chassis, couples to the tractor.

  • Knocked Down (KD)
    Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be re-assembled

  • Knot
    A unit of speed. The term "knot" means velocity in nautical miles per hour whether of a vessel or current. One nautical mile is roughly equivalent to 1.15 statute miles or 1.85 kilometres.

  • KnownLoss
    A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.

  • L/C
    Letter of Credit.

  • Label Cargo
    Cargo, including all commodities, requiring a label according to the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.

  • Landbridge
    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 an example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.

  • Landing Certificate
    Certificate issued by consular officials of some importing countries at the point or place of export when the subject goods are exported under bond.

  • Landing Gear
    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.

  • Lanemeter
    Primarily used to indicate the cargo capacity of a roll on/roll off car carrier. It is one meter of deck with a width of 2.5 to 3.0 meters.

  • LASH


  • LAYCAN
    Lay days/Cancelling (date) Range of dates within which the hire contract must start.

  • LCL
    Less than Container Load.The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.

  • LCL - NVO


  • LCL/FCL
    See CFS/CY.

  • LCL/LCL
    See CFS/CFS.

  • Legal Weight
    The total weight of the merchandise, including any immediate packaging which is sold along with the goods, i.e., the weight of a tin can as well as its contents, but excluding the cartons in which the cans are packed.

  • Less Than Container Load (LCL)
    Common term for an amount of goods to be shipped and which do not fill an entire container. Ocean rates for LCL are commonly higher on a per-unit basis than for a full container load. Thus, consolidation of several LCL loads from different places or shippers into a full container can save on costs.

  • Letter of Credit (LC)
    (1) Letter of agreement issued by a bank stating a foreign purchaser has established a line of credit in a seller’s favour, and confirming that payment for goods will be made upon presentation of certain documents which are in agreement with terms on the letter of credit. (2) A letter addressed by a banker to a correspondent certifying that a person named therein is entitled to draw on him or his credit up to a certain sum. (3) A letter addressed by a banker to a person, to whom credit is given, authorising him to draw on the issuing bank or on a bank in his country up to a certain sum and guaranteeing to accept the drafts if duly made, also called commercial letter of credit, confirmed credit or confirmed letter of credit. Letters of credit may take various forms, represent various undertakings for various purposes and be subject to different conditions.

  • Letter of Indemnity
    Guarantee from shipper or consignee to indemnity carrier for costs and/or loss, if any, in order to obtain favorable action by carrier, e.g. sometimes, it is used to allow consignee to take delivery of goods without surrendering B/L which has been delayed

  • Licenses
    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).

  • Lien
    A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.

  • Lift-On/Lift-Off (LO-LO)
    A container ship onto which and from which containers are lifted by crane.

  • Lightening
    A vessel discharges part of its cargo at anchor into a lighterto reduce the vessels draft so it can then get alongside a pier.

  • Lighter
    An open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways.

  • Lighterage
    Refers to the carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed therefore.

  • Line-haul
    Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.

  • Liner
    Vessel plying a regular trade/defined route against a published sailing schedule.

  • Liner Terms


  • List
    The amount in degrees that a vessel tilts from the vertical.

  • Liter
    1.06 liquid quarts.

  • Lloyds' Registry
    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.

  • LNG(Liquefied Natural Gas)
    Natural gas will liquefy at a temperature of approximately 259 For 160 C at atmospheric pressure. One cubic foot of liquefied gas will expandto approximately 600 cubic feet of gas at atmospheric pressure.

  • LNGC (LNG Carrier)
    An ocean going ship specially constructed to carry LNG in tanksat 160 C. Current average carrying capacity of LNGs is 125000 cubic metres. Many LNGCs presently under construction or on order are in the 210000 215000 cubicmetre range.

  • Load Factor
    Percent of loaded containers against total capacity of vessel or allocation.

  • Load Line
    The waterline corresponding to the maximum draft to which a vessel is permitted to load either by freeboard regulations the conditions of classification or the conditions of service.

  • Loadwire
    Special service as provided normally to consignee to advise them shipment information certain days after vessel sailing and usually well in advance of the vessel arriving and discharging end.

  • Local Cargo
    Cargo delivered to/from the carrier where origin/destination of the cargo is in the local area.

  • Locking Bar
    Device that secures container doors at top and bottom.

  • Logistics
    The management of moving or stationary inventory.

  • Lome Convention


  • Long Ton
    2,240 pounds. (l.t., l.tn.)

  • Longshoreman
    Individual employed locally in a port to load and unload ships.

  • Loose
    Without packing.

  • Low-Bed
    A trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground. Also known as a Low-boy

  • LT
    Long Ton

  • M/V
    Motor Vessel

  • Malpractice
    A carrier giving a customer special preference to attract cargo. This can take the form of a money refund (rebate); using lower figures that 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 disproportionately to a shipper to the detriment of other shippers, etc.

  • Mandamu
    A writ issued by a court, requiring that specific things be done.

  • Manifest
    Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a vessel or its agent or master, i.e., a detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for customs purposes. It is also called summary of Bills of lading.

  • Manifest, Traveling
    A manifest of all cargoes aboard a conveyance, vessel, truck or rail, that lists cargoes to be discharged at each port of call. The manifest must be aboard at the vessel’s first port of call. Corrections must be made at the first port regardless of the destination of the cargo. Manifest is certified by customs and travels with the vessel through the remainder of its ports of call in the same country.

  • Mar View
    It is an integrated data driven environment providing essentialinformation to support the strategic requirements of the United States MarineTransportation System and its contribution to economic viability of the nation.

  • Marine Insurance
    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.

  • Maritime
    Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction over.

  • Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
    It is the effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy or environment of the United States.

  • MaritimeSecurity and Safety Information
    It shares and displays vessel Automated Identification System (AIS) data real time with multiple international users through a web based password protected system.

  • Marks & Nos.
    Marks & Numbers placed on packages for export for identification purposes; generally a triangle, square, circle, diamond, or cross with letters and/or numbers and port discharge.

  • Marlinespike
    A pointed metal spike used to separate strands of rope in splicing.

  • Master Bill of Ladings
    The B/L issue by Vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) to the Non-vessel Owning / Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC). It contrast with House B/L which an NVOCC issues to its shippers for carriage of goods on vessel which the NVOCC neither owns nor operates, or just is slot charterer.

  • Master Lease
    Master lease is one form of short-term lease, which refers to leasing of the container from those leasing companies who have master lease agreement with OOCLL. At present, Triton, ICS, Xtra, Cronons and Genstar has contract with OOCLL.

  • Master Lease Leasing Cost
    Master lease leasing cost includes container rental, depot lieft on/lift off charge, on/off hire drayage, Drop off charge and Off hire repair cost. Due to off-hire quota limitation, the average on-hire period is around 73 days for 20’ gp/40’gp and 102 days for 40’hq. On average basis, the leasing cost is US$500/20’gp, US$700/40’gp and US$800/40’hq.

  • Materials Management
    The procurement, movement and management of materials and products from acquisition through to production.

  • Mate's Receipt
    A receipt signed by a mate of the vessel, acknowledging receipt of cargo by the vessel. The individual in possession of the mate’s receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, which in due course is issued in exchange for that receipt.

  • Maximum Payload
    Maximum cargo that can be loaded into a container either by weight or volume.

  • Maximum Rate
    The highest freight rate permitted by a regulatory body to apply between points.

  • MBM
    1000 board feet. One MBM equals 2265 C.M.

  • Measurement Cargo
    Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.

  • Measurement Ton
    1 cubic meter. One of the alternative bases of Freight Tariff.

  • Mechanically Ventilated Container
    A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.

  • Memo B/L
    An internal B/L created for certain purposes, e.g. memo B/L created to replace original B/L used in case of spliting B/L at request of consignee.

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    A legal document describing an agreement between parties.

  • Merchant Haulage Service
    Haulage service performed by a sub- contractor of the Carrier.

  • Meter
    39.37 inches (approximately).

  • Microbridge
    A landbridge movement in which cargo originating/destined to an inland point is railed or trucked to/from the water port for a shipment to/from a foreign country. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin to destination. Also known as I.P.I. and Through Service.

  • Mileage
    Distance in miles.

  • Mini Landbridge (MLB)
    An intermodal system for transporting containers from/to a foreign country by water to/from a U.S. ocean port other than the arrival port by rail at through rates and documents.

  • Mini-Bridge
    Cargo moving from/to an inland destination on one bill of lading from/to a foreign port through two U.S. ports.

  • Minimum Bill of Lading
    A clause in a bill of lading which specifies the minimum 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.

  • Minimum Charge
    The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

  • Mixed Shipment
    Shipment consisting of items described in and rated under two or more rate items within a tariff.

  • Modified Atmosphere (MA)
    An atmosphere in which oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen concentrations are different from those in air but are not precisely regulated.

  • Mother Vessel
    Main ocean vessel in a liner service designated to move containers from set origin points to set destination ports/points on a regular basis.

  • MQC
    Minimum Quantity Commitment. Volume of cargo that a customer commits to ship over the duration of their contract (in TEU)

  • MSA
    Maritime Security Act.

  • MSI Plessey
    This barcode is a variable length barcode that can encode up to 15 numeric digits. Checksum generation is dependent on the value of the checksum parameter. The following table indicates the value of the checksum property and the type of checksum created. Setting, Description, 0, one modulus 10 checksum, 1, two modulus 10 checksums, 2, one modulus 11 checksum/one modulus 10 checksum.

  • MT
    (a) Metric Ton or Cubic meter (b) Empty container (c) Multimodal Transport.

  • MTSA
    The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 is designed to protect ports and waterways from terrorists attacks. The law is the U.S. equivalent of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) and was fully implemented on July 1 2004. It requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans that may include passenger vehicle and baggage screening procedures, security patrols, establishing restricted areas, personnel identification procedures, access control measures, and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

  • Multi Tank Container
    A container frame fitted to accommodate two or more separate tanks for liquids.

  • Multimodal Transport


  • Multiple Package Shipments
    Multiple package shipments consist of individual packages that may have different weights, dimensions and declared value but can be accepted on one waybill if the shipment is destined to a single address.

  • N.C.I.T.D.
    National Committee on International Trade Documentation.

  • N.M.F.C.
    National Motor Freight Classification.

  • N.O.I.B.N.
    Not otherwise indexed by name.

  • N.O.S.
    Not otherwise specified.

  • N.P.C.F.B.
    North Pacific Coast Freight Bureau.

  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin
    The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is a document provided for goods that qualify for reduced or duty-free entry as a product of one of the three participating member nations: Mexico, United States and Canada.

  • Nautical Mile
    Distance of one minute of longitude at the equator approximately 6076.115. The metric equivalent is 1852.

  • Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping
    It is a naval organization with members who are trained to establish and provide advice for safe passage of merchant ships worldwide during times of peace, tension, crisis, and war. NCAGS personnel act as a liaison between military commanders and the civil authorities. During war the NCAGS organization may be responsible for establishing a convoy.

  • NCB
    National Cargo Bureau established in 1952 as a nonprofit marine surveying organization that inspects and surveys ships and cargoes incidental to loading and discharging. It issues certificates as evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Dangerous Cargo Act and the Rules and Regulations for Bulk Grain Cargo.

  • NEC
    Not Elsewhere Classified.

  • Negotiable B/L
    Original bill of lading endorsed by shipper that is used for negotiating with banks.

  • Negotiable Instruments
    A document of title (such as a draft promissory note check or bill of lading) transferable from one person to another in good faith for consideration. Non negotiable bills of lading are known as straight consignment. Negotiable bills are known as order b/ls.

  • Negotiating Bank
    A bank named in the credit; examines the documents and certifies to the issuing bank that the terms are complied with.

  • Nested
    Three or more different sizes of the same item or commodity which must be enclosed, each smaller piece within the next larger piece, or three or more of the items must be placed one within the other so that the top item does not project above the lower item by more than 1/3 of its height. Nested Solid: Three or more of the items must be placed on or inside the other, so that the external side surfaces of the top item is in contact with the internal side surfaces of the item below, and the top item does not project above the next lower item by more than 1/2 inch.

  • Net Tare Weight
    The weight of an empty cargo carrying piece of equipment plus any fixtures permanently attached.

  • Net Tonnage
    A vessel’s gross tonnage minus deductions of space occupied by accommodations for crew, by machinery, for navigation, by the engine room and fuel. A vessel’s net tonnage expresses the space available for passengers and cargo.

  • Net Weight
    Weight of the goods alone without any immediate wrappings, e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can. Also called actual net Weight.

  • Neutral Body
    Operates within the framework of a rate conference. Established by the member carriers to act as a self-policing force to ferret out malpractices and other tariff violations. The neutral body has authority to scrutinize all documents kept by the carriers and the carriers’ personnel. Has right of entry to all areas of the carriers’s facilities, including desks, briefcases, etc. Violations found are reported to the membership and significant penalties are assessed. Repeated offences are subject to escalating penalties. Revenue from penalties are used to support the cost of the neutral body’s activity.

  • Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK)
    A Japanese classification society which certifies sea going vessels for compliance to standardized rules regarding construction and maintenance.

  • No show
    Cargo which has been booked but does not arrive in time to b eloaded before the vessel sails. See also Windy Booking.

  • NOE
    Not Otherwise Enumerated

  • NOI
    Not Otherwise Indexed.

  • NOIBN
    Not Otherwise Indexed By Name.

  • Nomenclature of the customs Cooperation C
    The customs tariff used by most countries worldwide. It was formerly known as the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature and is the basis of the commodity coding system known as the Harmonized System.

  • Non Dumping Certificate
    Required by some countries for protection against the dumping of certain types of merchandise or products.

  • Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)
    A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.

  • Non-Asset-Based Third Party Providers
    Third party providers who generally do not own assets, such as transportation and/or warehouse equipment.

  • Non-document shipments
    Non-document shipments are shipments that are not personal, interoffice or business documents (PIB) and usually require a Commercial Invoice.

  • Non-negotiable B/L
    Copy of original bill of lading which cannot be negotiated with bank.

  • NOR
    Notice of Readiness (when the ship is ready to load.)

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
    A trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico that encourages free trade between these countries.

  • NOS
    Not Otherwise Stated.

  • Nose
    Front of a container or trailer opposite the tail.

  • Notify Party
    Company/person who appears on the bill of lading or waybill to be notified when the cargo arrives at destination. Could be different from the consignee, but is often the actual receiver of the goods. A notify party has no particular rights (beyond the notification) under the bill of lading or waybill.

  • NRT NetRegister Tons see Net Tonnage
    Theoretically the cargo capacity of the ship. Sometimes used to charge fees or taxes on a vessel.

  • NVOCC
    Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. Carrier offering an international cargo transport service through the use of underlying carriers and under their own rate structure in accordance with tariffs filed with the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington D.C.

  • O.C.P. rate
    Overland Common Point rates which are generally lower than local tariff rates, were established by U.S. West Coast steamship companies in conjunction with railroads serving the western U.S. so that cargo originating or destined to the American Midwest and East would be competitive with all-water rates via the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports. O.C.P. rates are also applicable to eastern Canada.

  • O.E.C.D.
    Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA). It is the United States initiative to establish a world wide maritime information exchange that encompasses both public and private sector entities with maritime interests.The GMSA supports maritime domain awareness by making maritime related information available and searchable. Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development headquartered in Paris with membership consisting of the worlds developed nations.

  • O.P.I.C.
    Overseas Private Investment Corporation is an agency of the U.S. government which helps U.S. businesses invest overseas.

  • Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)
    Document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market. Unlike an inland B/L, the ocean B/L also serves as a collection document. If it is a Straight B/L, the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If a negotiable B/L is used, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.

  • Ocean Route
    The all water transportation portion of a route.

  • OMT, ORT, DMT
    Origin Motor Terminal, Origin Rail Terminal, Destination Motor Terminal. Location designated by a motor/rail carrier at origin/destination points where, the motor carrier or his authorised agent assembles, holds or stores an ocean carrier’s containers and chassis; where loaded containers are received from shippers or their agents; where empty containers are delivered to shippers or their agents.

  • On Board
    Means that cargo has been loaded on board a combined transport mode of conveyance. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.

  • On Board B/L
    A B/L in which a carrier acknowledges that goods have been placed on board a certain vessel.

  • On Deck
    A special stowage instruction to confine the cargo stowage must be on deck rather than under deck.

  • On Deck Stowage
    Cargo stowed on the deck of the vessel.

  • On-Carriage
    Anything that happens after the container is loaded

  • One-Way lease
    Lease that covers the outbound voyage only, after which the container is returned to the lessor at or near destination.

  • On-Time Performance
    The proportion of time that a transit system adheres to its published schedule times within stated tolerances.

  • Open Account
    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 Rates
    Rates established for each individual carrier. These rates are listed in a tariff list but may differ according to carrier.

  • Open Sea
    The water area of the open coast seaward of the ordinary low water mark or seaward of inland waters.

  • Open-Top Container
    A container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.

  • Operating Ratio
    A comparison of a carriers operating expense with its net sales.The most general measure of operating efficiency.

  • Optimum Cube
    The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.

  • Order Cycle
    This includes the time and the process involved from the placement of the order to the receipt of the shipment. It includes the following processes: Communicating the order, order processing, transporting the shipment.

  • Order Notify(O/N)
    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.

  • ORFS
    Origin Rail Freight Station. Same as CFS at origin except an ORFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.

  • Origin
    Location where shipment begins its movement at cargo’s expense.

  • Original Bill of Lading (O.B.L.)
    A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract.

  • OSD
    Over Short or Damaged. Usually discovered at cargo unloading.

  • Out of Gauge Service
    Cargo too large to be containerised.

  • Outbound
    Outward bound.Direction of vessel or cargo going out from port of loading or point/place of receipt.

  • Outport
    Destination port, other than a base port, to which rates apply but which may be subject to additional outport arbitraries.

  • Outsource
    To hire a third-party provider to assume tasks previously performed in-house.

  • Over Landed
    (1) Cargo volume count more than originally shipped. (2) Cargo taken beyond original port of discharge.

  • Overage
    An excess of quantity billed.

  • Overcharge
    To charge more than the proper amount according to the published rates.

  • Overheight Cargo
    Cargo stowed in an open-top container; projects above the uppermost level of the roof struts.

  • Overland Common Point (O.C.P.)
    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.

  • Overwidth
    A container with goods protruding beyond the sides of the container/flat rack onto which they are packed.

  • Owner Code (SCAC)
    Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carriers equipment. A suffix of U is a container and C is a chassis.

  • P.& I.
    Protection and Indemnity, an insurance term.

  • P.O.R.


  • P/A
    a) Particular average; b) Private account.

  • Packing List
    List of packages for each shipment, showing individual breakdown in weights/measure and quantity.

  • PADAG
    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.

  • Paired Ports
    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.

  • Pallet
    A platform (usually two-deck), with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.

  • Panama Canal Act
    A federal law regarding railroads and the ownership of water carriers with whom they compete.

  • Panamax Tanker
    A liquid cargo vessel of 50000 to 70000dwt.

  • Paper Ram
    A technical rail ramp used for equalization of points not actually served.

  • Paper Rate
    A published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.

  • Parcel Receipt
    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.

  • Partial Shipments
    Under letters of credit, one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase"partial shipments permitted." In bulk shipments a tolerance of 3 percent is allowed.

  • Participating Carrier (Tariff)
    A transportation line that is a party, under concurrence, to a tariff issued by another transportation line or by a tariff’s publishing agent.

  • Partlow
    Manufacturer of a mechanical temperature recorder - see recorder. Developed in the 1930’s by Howard Partlow for the reefer trucking business in the USA. Now the Partlow Corp.

  • Partlow chart
    Paper disc used in conjunction with a Partlow recorder to record temperature. OOCL reefers record return air temperature. Max. recording period 31 days before chart needs replacing.

  • Partnerships and Alliances
    Shippers and providers who enter into agreements designed to benefit both parties.

  • Payable Elsewhere
    Special service to shipper or consignee to receive freight and charges at location and from designated party as specified by shipper or consignee i.e. freight and charges are not received at loading end (for Prepaid shipment) and discharging end (for Collect shipment).

  • Payload
    The revenue-producing part of the cargo.

  • Per Diem
    A charge made by one transportation line against another for the use of its equipment. The charge is based on a fixed rate per day.

  • Perils of the Sea
    Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.

  • Perishable Cargo
    Cargo subject to decay or deterioration.

  • Physical Distribution
    All logistics activities from the production line to the final user, including traffic, packaging, materials handling, warehousing, order entry, customer service, inventory control etc.

  • 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.

  • Pickup
    The act of calling for freight by truck at the consignors shipping platform.

  • Pier
    The structure to which a vessel is secured for the purpose of loading and unloading cargo.

  • Pier-to-House (P/H)
    See CFS/CY.

  • Pier-to-Pier (P/P)
    See CFS/CFS.

  • Piggy Packer
    A mobile container handling crane used to load/unload containers to/from railcars.

  • Piggyback
    The transportation of highway trailers or demountable trailer bodies on specially equipped railcars.

  • Pilferage
    The act of stealing cargo.

  • Pilot
    A person whose office or occupation is to steer ships, particularly along a coast or into and out of a harbor.

  • Place of Receipt
    Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.

  • Plimsoll Mark
    Depth to which a vessel may safely load. Identified by a circle on the vessel’s side with a vertical line through and a number of small horizontal lines showing the max depth for summer and winter.

  • PLRMU
    Power Line Remote Monitoring Unit.

  • Point of Origin
    The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from theshipper.

  • Pomerene Act Also knownas (U.S.)Federal
    U.S.federal law enacting conditions by which a B/L may be issued. Penalties fo rissuing B/Ls containing false data include monetary fines and/or imprisonment.

  • Pool (Container)
    A common supply of containers available to the shippers.

  • Port
    (a) Harbor with piers or docks;(b) Left side of a ship when facing the bow;(c) Opening in a ship’s side for handling freight.

  • Port Facility Security Officer
    Is the person designated as responsible for the development, implementation, revision and maintenance of the port facility security plan and for liaison with the ship security officers and company security officers.

  • Port Facility Security Plan
    Is a plan developed to ensure the application of measures designed to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport units and ships stores within the port facility from the risks of a security incident.

  • Port of arrival
    Location where imported merchandise is off loaded from the importing aircraft or vessel.

  • Port of Call
    Port where a steamer discharges or receives traffic.

  • Port of Discharge (POD)
    Port where cargo is unloaded from vessel.

  • Port of Entry
    Port where cargo actually enters a country where the cargo is not part of its commerce.

  • Port of Exit
    Place where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.

  • Port of Loading (POL)
    Port where cargo is loaded to vessel.

  • Port Security
    It is the defence law and treaty enforcement and counter terrorism activities that fall within the port and maritime domain. It includes the protection of the seaports themselves, the protection and inspection of the cargo moving through the ports and maritime security.

  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
    As a result of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005 fiscal year grant funding is provided annually to the Nations most at risk, seaports for physical security enhancements to be used in the protection of critical port infrastructure from terrorism. PSGP funds help ports enhance their risk management capabilities domain awareness training and exercises and capabilities to prevent detect respond to and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices and other non conventionalweapons.

  • Positioning
    The moving of empty equipment from surplus areas to deficit areas.

  • POSTNET
    The POSTNET barcode is used on envelopes and postcards that are sent through the U.S. Postal Service. This barcode is placed in the lower right-hand corner of the envelope.

  • Power of Attorney
    Authority given by the first party to the second party to act for the first party. For example, when carriers give power of attorney to an agent to publish tariffs for those carriers.

  • Power Pack
    An electricity power source for multiple reefer boxes. It serves as standby or prime power for intermodal applications including rail, port, ship, and barge.

  • PPI
    Principal Party of Interest (see USPPI and FPPI).

  • Pratique Certificate


  • Pre- Carriage
    Anything that happens before the container is loaded

  • Pre-cooling
    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.

  • Prepaid (Ppd.)
    One of the payment status where freight and charges are required to be paid by the shipper before the original bill of lading is released to them except for shipments under Sea Waybill (or Express BL) as no original bill of lading is required or for a shipment under credit arrangement.

  • Prior Notice (PN)
    Prior Notice requirements include a set of data elements on food imports that must be filed electronically using either the FDA website or Automated BrokerInterface (ABI).

  • Pro Forma Invoice
    An invoice prepared by the exporter prior to shipping the goods informing the buyer of the goods to be sent their value and other key specifications.

  • Pro Rata
    In proportion.

  • Project Rate
    Single tariff item established to move multiple commodities needed for a specified project usually construction.

  • Protest
    (a) A legal means of proving presentation and default of a negotiable instrument, as well as providing notice to interested parties that the instrument was not paid.(b) A declaration made by the master of a vessel before a notary public in the United States and Great Britain or a tribunal of commerce on the European Continent, or before the consul of the country from which the vessel hails if in a foreign port, on arrival in port, when, through stress of weather, it has not been practicable to adopt ordinary precaution in the matter of ventilation for perishable cargoes; when the condition of the cargo or any part thereof at the time of shipment is such as to lead to the belief that damage or some further damage has occurred during the voyage; when any serious breach of a charter party by the charterer in a foreign port happens; when a vessel experiences bad weather while at sea and when the master has reason to believe that the cargo is damaged or part of the deck load lost overboard. Copies of the protest are frequently demanded underwriter in the event of a claim. Protest are received as evidence in tribunal on the Continent but they cannot be made use of as evidence in courts of law in the United Kingdom in favor of the party making the protest except by the consent of both parties concerned.

  • PSA
    Port of Singapore Authority

  • PTI (Pre-trip Inspection)
    A procedure of checking the ability of a reefer to maintain temperature control. The inspection normally focuses on the operation of the refrigeration and heating equipment, as well as the physical condition of the refrigeration plant and the insulated container shell. Such inspections are normally performed prior to each loading of a reefer.

  • Public Service Commission
    A name usually given to a State body having control or regulation of public utilities.

  • Publishing Agent
    Person authorised by transportation lines to publish tariffs or rates rules and regulations for their account.

  • Pull-down
    The process whereby the refrigeration unit lowers the temperature of the interior of a reefer to the set-point level.

  • Pulp Temperature
    Procedure where carrier tests the temperature of the internal flesh of refrigerated commodities to ensure that the temperature at the time of shipment conforms to prescribed temperature ranges.

  • Pup
    A short semi trailer used jointly with a dolly and another semi trailerto create a twin trailer.

  • Purchase Order
    Common grouping of orders for goods/services. Several SKU categories may be listed on one purchase order. Most customers group their orders in a particular way to facilitate distribution at the other end. For example, one purchase order for an apparel importer might encompass 2 dozen green sweaters and 2 dozen red sweaters. If those P.O.s originated from the same store, it is easier for the store to put all items under that P.O. onto the right truck.

  • PWSC
    Principals Working Sub committee.

  • Quality Control
    The systematic planning, measuring and control of a combination of people, materials, metrology and machines, with the objective of producing a product that satisfies the quality and profitability of the enterprise.

  • Quantitative Restrictions (QR)
    Explicit limits, usually by volume, on the amount of a specified commodity that may be imported into a country, sometimes also indicating the amounts that may be imported from each supplying country. Compared to tariffs, the protection afforded by QRs tends to be more predictable, being less affected by changes in competitive factors. Quotas have been used at times to favor preferred sources of supply.

  • Quarantine
    The period during which a vessel is detained in isolation until free from any contagious disease among the passengers or crew. The word is now applied to the sanitary regulations which are the modern substitute for quarantine. During the quarantine period, the Q flag is hoisted.

  • Quarantine buoy
    One of the yellow buoys at the entrance of a harbour indicating the place where the vessel must anchor for the exercise of quarantine regulations.

  • Quarantine dues
    A charge against all vessels entering a harbor to provide for the maintenance of medical control service. Also called quarantine fees.

  • Quarantine flag
    A yellow flag used as a sanitary signal. It is displayed by all vessels entering a harbor; also when a contagious or infectious disease exists on board or when the vessel has been placed in quarantine.

  • Quarantine harbor
    A place where vessels in quarantine are stationed when arriving from contaiminated ports.

  • Quarantine signal
    Signals flown by a vessel required to show their state of health. By day "Q" of the international code signifies "Ship is healthy-free pratique requested". Flag "Q" over first substitutes signifies that the ship has had cases of infectious diseases or that there has been unusual mortality among rats on board. Flag "Q" over "L" signifies "Ship is infected". By night a vessel entering harbor exhibits a red light over a white light more than 6 feet apart which signifies that the ship is awaiting free pratique.

  • Quarantine station
    A medical control center located in an isolated spot ashore where patients with contagious diseases from avessel in quarantine are taken. It is also used for passengers and crews of a vessel arriving from suspected ports while fumigation or any other disinfection is carried out on board ship.

  • Quay
    A pier, wharf or other structure built along a shore for landing, loading and unloading boats or ships.

  • Quay rent
    Cost levied by a terminal for laden container storage. Can either be billed to the carrier as its customer or direct to the shpper.

  • Quick Response (QR)
    A consumer-driven system of replenishment in which high-quality products and accurate information flow through a paperless (EDI) system between all distribution points from the manufacturing line to the retail checkout counter. Distributors, carriers and suppliers act as trading partners and focus on improving the total supply system.

  • Quitclaim
    A legal instrument used to release one person’s right, title or interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty of title.

  • Quoin
    A wedge shaped piece of timber used to secure barrels against movement.

  • Quota
    The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction or additional duties or taxes.

  • Quotation
    An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.

  • Rag Top
    A slang term for an open top trailer or container with a tarpaulin cover.

  • Rail Division
    The amount of money an ocean carrier pays to the railroad for overland carriage.

  • Rail Grounding
    The time that the container was discharged (grounded) from the train.

  • Rail head
    Rail terminal where containers are either loaded or discaharged from train. (A railhead is a CY)

  • Rail Onboard B/L
    This is a unique practice in NAT having the similar function as onboard vessel B/L. In the event a multimodal B/L is prepared, the shipper can request a clause on the B/L to satisfy their commercial transaction as LADEN ONBOARD RAIL MMDDYY. The date on the B/L is on which containers are loaded onboard rail flat car. However, the word RAIL is not necessary.

  • Ramp
    Rail terminal where containers are either loaded or disharged from a train (A rail Ramp is a CY)

  • Ramp to Door
    A movement where the load initiates at an origin rail ramp and terminates at a consignees door.

  • Ramp to Ramp
    A movement of equipment from an origin rail ramp to a destination rail ramp only.

  • Rate Agreement
    Group of carriers who discuss rates and common problems with options to file independent tariffs.

  • Rate Basis
    A formula of the specific factors or elements that control the making of a rate. A rate can be based on any number of factors (i.e. weight measure equipment type package box etc.).

  • Receipt for shipment B/L
    A term used in contradistinction to shipped bill of lading, which is the standard document. Some bankers object to such bill of lading on the grounds that the security they offer is imperfect. This kind of bill of lading is normally issued to acknowledge receipt of a shipment before cargo loading or before official original bill of lading is issued. Nowadays, not many shippers ask for this kind of bill of lading.

  • Received for Shipment Bill of Lading
    Can be issued on the carrier’s actual receipt or taking custody of goods, if requested goods are not yet necessarily loaded on board a vessel or other conveyance. This form of bill of lading would usually be switched to an on board bill of lading or added as an on board notation upon the actual loading of goods on board a vessel or other conveyance.

  • Reconsignment (R/C)
    Changing the consignee or destination on a bill of lading while shipment is still in transit. Diversion has substantially same meaning.

  • Recourse
    A right claim against the guarantors of a loan or draft or bill of exchange.

  • Red Label
    A label required on shipments of flammable articles.

  • Reefer
    In the industry, it is the generic name for a temperature controlled container. The containers, which are insulated, are specially designed to allow temperature controlled air circulated within the container. A refrigeration plant is built into the rear of the container. For OOCL’s reefers, power for this plant needs to be provided from an external source.

  • Re-engineering
    An approach to improving business operations through reinventing, reevaluating, redesigning and redoing.

  • Refrigerant
    A compound capable of absorbing large quantities of heat before it changes from a liquid to a gas.

  • Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB)
    A board that evaluates the competency and reliability of registrars (organizations that assess and register companies to the appropriate ISO 9000 series standards). The Registrar Accreditation Board, formed in 1989, is governed by a board of directors from industry, academia, and quality management consulting firms.

  • Related Points
    A group of points to which rates are made the same as or in relation to rates to other points in group.

  • Relative Humidity
    (%) The ratio of the actual amount of water vapour in the air to the maximum it can hold at a given temperature, multiplied by 100.

  • Relay
    To transfer goods from one ship to another of the same ownership. More frequently used by OOCL as T/S (Transshipment).

  • Release note
    Receipt signed by customer acknowledging delivery of goods.

  • Remittance
    Funds sent by one person to another as payment.

  • Replenishment
    The process of moving the inventory of an item from a reserve storage location to the primary picking location or to another mode of storage in which picking is performed.

  • Respiration
    The process by which nutrients are metabolized to provide energy needed for cellular activity.

  • Restricted Articles
    Articles handled only under certain conditions.

  • Return air
    Air warmed by the container cargo delivered to the evaporator. The temperature of return air often controls the operation of the refrigeration unit.

  • Return Cargo
    Cargo to be returned to original place of receipt.

  • Revenue ton (R/T)
    The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 ton is either 1000 kilos or 1 cubic metre (for metric system). Also known as bill of lading ton or freight ton. It is used to calculate freight charge.

  • Reverse IPI
    An inland point provided by an all water carriers through bill of lading in the U.S.by first discharging the container in an East Coast port.

  • RFP
    Request for Proposal.

  • RFQ
    Request for quotation.

  • Roll
    To re book cargo onto a later vessel.

  • Rolling
    The side to side (athwartship) motion of a vessel.

  • Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro)
    A feature designed in a specially constructed vessel in both the loading and discharging ports.

  • Route (Rte.)
    The manner in which a shipment moves, i.e., the carriers handling it and the points via which they handle it.

  • Running Gear
    Complementary equipment for terminal and over the road handling containers.

  • RVNX
    Released Value Not Exceeding. Usually used to limit the value of goods transported. The limitation refers to carrier liability when paying a claim for lost or damaged goods.

  • Ryan
    Manufacturer of a mechanical temperature recorder.

  • S/D
    Sight draft. Or Sea damage.

  • SAFE Port Act
    Is the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 which is an Act of Congress in the United States that covers port security.

  • Salvage loss
    A loss which it is presumed would, but for certain services rendered, have become a total loss. The charges incurred are "salvage charges". The property salved is the "salvage". When referring to goods as salvage loss is one resulting from shipwreck or from a situation where, by the peril of the sea, the vessel is prevented from proceeding on her voayge and the cargo, or the part that is saved is obliged to be sold at a place short of the port of destination. The term is used in marine insurance when at a point short of destination, it can be shown that it would cost more to forward damaged goods to their destination than the goods would realized on the spot. The underwriters usually pay the difference between the total insured value and the net proceeds of the goods, such a settlement being known as a "salvage loss".

  • Sanction
    An embargo imposed by a government against another country.

  • Schedule B
    The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.

  • Sea Bee Vessels
    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.

  • Seal (Container)
    Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

  • Seal record
    A record of the number, condition and marks of identification on seals made at various times and places, referring to the movement of the container between origin and destination.

  • Seawaymax Vessel
    The largest vessel that can transit the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Length is 226 meters (740 feet), Beam is 24 meters (78 feet), Draft is 7.92 meters (26 feet).

  • Seaworthiness
    The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.

  • Secure Freight Initiative (SFI)
    It is a key provision of the SAFE Port Act of 2006 and is part of the International Container Security scanning project. It builds on its current partnership between the Container Security Initiative and the Megaports Initiative. It expands the use of scanning and imaging equipment to examine more U.S. bound containers not just those determined to be high risk.

  • SED
    Standard Export Declaration.Legal document that shippers or freight forwarders have to complete prior to export from USA.

  • Service
    A string of vessels which makes a particular voyage and serves a particular market.

  • Service contract
    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.

  • Set Point
    Specific temperature that a refrigerated container has been set to keep. Ideally, the set point and the actual temperature should be identical throughout the voyage.

  • SHEX
    Saturday and Holidays Excluded.

  • SHINC
    Saturday and Holidays Included.

  • Ship
    (1) A vessel of considerable size for deepwater navigation. (2) A sailing vessel having three or more square rigged masts.

  • Ship chandler
    An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.

  • Ship Demurrage
    A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.

  • Ship Load
    The amount of cargo a ship carries or is able to carry.

  • Ship owner
    One of the persons in whom is vested the title of property of a ship or ships.

  • Ship Security Officer
    The person on board the vessel accountable to the master designated by the Company as responsible for the security of the ship including implementation and maintenance of the ship security plan and for the liaison with the company security officer and the port facility security officers.

  • Ship Security Plan
    A plan developed to ensure the application of measures on board the ship and designed to protect persons on board, cargo, cargo transport units, ships stores or the ship from the risks of a security incident.

  • Ship Types
    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 SeaBee. Bulk Carriers All vessels designed to carry bulk homogeneous cargo without mark and count such as grain fertilizers ore and oil.Combination Passenger and Cargo Vessels Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers and any form of cargo or freight. Freighters Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated containerships partial containerships rollon/rolloff vessels and barge carriers. A general cargo vessel designed to carry heterogeneous mark and count cargoes. Full Containership Ships equipped with permanent container cells with little or no space for other types of cargo. General Cargo Carriers Breakbulk freighters car carriers cattle carriers pallet carriers and timber carriers. A vessel designed to carry heterogeneous mark and count cargoes. 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. Rollon/Rolloff vessels Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps. Includes all forms of car and truck carriers.Tankers Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid bulk cargo such as crude petroleum and petroleum products chemicals Liquefied gasses (LNG and LPG) wine molasses and similar product tankers.

  • Shipment
    The tender of one lot of cargo at one time from one shipper to one consignee on one bill of lading.

  • Shipped bill of lading
    A bill of lading issued only after the goods have actually been shipped on board the vessel, as distinguished from the received for shipment bill of lading. Also see on board bill of lading.

  • Shipped on board
    Endorsement on a bill of lading confirming loading of goods on vessel.

  • Shipper


  • Shipper owned container
    The container used for the cargo shipment is owned by the shipper

  • Shipper Packed
    Contents of containers as loaded (stuffed), stowed (packed/braced), weighed and/or counted by or for the shipper, usually a CY load.

  • Shippers Association
    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 favourable service contract rate levels.

  • Shipper's Export Declaration


  • Shippers 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.

  • Shippers Instructions
    Shippers 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 Load & Count
    Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

  • Shipping order
    Usually for same set of Shipping Order, there are a number of copies with same form and contents but with a different name such as the 1st copy is called Shipping Order and remainders are called Shipping Order Copy or Dock Receipt for different purposes such as space control, surveyor and sworn measurer documentation. As EDI is so popular nowadays and used by both shipper and customs, hardcopy Shipping Order is no longer widely used now.

  • Shipping permit
    Issued by a shipping or carrier company; authorizes the receiving clerk at pier, dock, warehouse, airport or on board to receive a stipulated amount of goods or materials from a specified firm.

  • Shipping weight
    Represents the gross weight in kilograms (kg) of shipments, including the weight of moisture content, wrappings, crates, boxes, and containers (other than cargo vans and similar substantial outer containers).

  • Ships Bells
    Measure time onboard ship. One bell sounds for each half hour. One bell means 1230, two bells mean 100 and three bells mean 130 and so on until 400 (eight bells). At 430 the cycle begins again with one bell.

  • Ship's Chandlers
    Suppliers of various items to the vessel.

  • Ships Manifest
    A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.

  • Ships Tackle
    All rigging cranes etc. utilized on a ship to load or unload cargo.

  • Shipside Delivery
    A special cargo handling instruction for cargo to be delivered right away at shipside after discharge.

  • Short cycling
    1) Improper air circulation in the trailer causing unit to operate for brief periods.2) Thermostats set with improper differential causing it to sequence too rapidly from cool to heat or from cool to off position.

  • Short Landed
    Cargo volume count (at delivery destination) less than originally shipped.

  • Short Sea Shipping SSS (EuropeanEU)
    Short Sea Shipping means the movement of cargo by sea between ports situated in geographical Europe or between those ports situated in non-European countries having a coastline on the enclosed seas bordering Europe (Baltic Mediterranean and Black). It is a successful mode of transport in Europe.

  • Short Shipped
    Cargo missing a vessel that it was originally intended for.

  • Short Term Lease
    Short term lease refers to the Master lease (with or without free-day), direct interchange and sublease from TGA/VSAO/Canmar partner as well as Free-use from any other logistic companies.

  • Short Ton (ST)
    A weight unit of measure equal to 2000 pounds.

  • Shrink Wrap
    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.

  • Shut-out
    Goods not carried on intended vessel.

  • Side Door Container
    A container fitted with a rear door and a minimum of one side door.

  • Side Loader
    A lift truck fitted with lifting attachments operating to one side for handling containers.

  • Sight Draft
    A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee.

  • SIGTTO
    Society of International Gas Transport and Terminal Operators an industry organization promoting the exchange of safety information concerning the processing transporting and handling of liquefied gases.

  • Skids
    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.

  • SL/W
    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.

  • Sleepers
    Loaded containers moving within the railroad system that are not clearly identified on any internally generated reports.

  • Sling
    A wire or rope contrivance placed around cargo and used to load or discharge it to/from a vessel.

  • Slip
    A vessels berth between two piers.

  • Slot
    Space on board a vessel occupied by a container.

  • Slot Charter
    A carrier’s chartering of slots/spaces on other carrier’s vessels.

  • SMDG
    User Group for Shipping Lines and Container Terminals. SMDG develops and promotes UN/EDIFACT EDI messages for the maritime industry and is an official Pan European User Group recognised by the UN/EDIFACT Board.

  • SPA
    Subject to Particular Average.

  • Special customs Invoice
    An official form usually required by U.S. customs if the rate of duty is based upon the value, and the value of the shipment exceeds USD 500. This document is usually prepared by the foreign exporter or his forwarder and is used by customs in determining the value of the shipment. The exporter or his agent must attest to the authenticity of the data furnished.

  • Special Rate
    Rate established for a specified commodity for a specific period of time.

  • Spine Car
    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.

  • Spotting
    Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.

  • Spreader
    A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.

  • SS
    Steamship.

  • SSHEX
    Saturdays Sundays and Holidays Excluded. Refers to loading and discharging of cargo as agreed to in the charter party. This indicates when time does not count in the calculation of demurrage and despatch.

  • SSN
    Standard Shipping Note. Paperwork completed by a UK shipper which accompanies the container on its journey to the port of exit. This is so that receiving authorities, like the carrier & port, receive clear and precise information on how the goods should be handled.

  • Stability
    The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weights on the lower hold increase stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability, tender if it has low stability.

  • Stack Car
    An articulated five-platform railcar that allows containers to be double stacked. A stack car holds ten 40-foot equivalent units.

  • 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 numerical code used by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade.

  • Standard Rate
    A rate established via direct routes from one point to another in relation which the rates via other routes between the same points are made.

  • Starboard
    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.

  • STC
    Said to Contain. A standard clause used to protect carrier for cargo stuffed by shipper or its agents.

  • STCC
    Standard Transportation Commodity Code.

  • Steamship Conference
    A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates.

  • Stern
    The end of a vessel. Opposite of bow.

  • Stevedore
    Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels and various terminal activities.

  • Stock Keeping Unit [SKU]
    Smallest unit grouping for goods, normally indicating a single retail item. Usually, several SKUs will be under one purchase order.

  • Storage Charge
    Charge for goods held in storage facilities (warehouses) under a fixed agreement for periods of time, and which is not included in another arrangement.

  • Store-Door Delivery (STOR/DOR)
    Delivery of goods to consignee’s place of business or warehouse by motor vehicle. Refers to a complete package of delivery services performed by a carrier from origin to final consumption point, whether that be a retail, wholesale or other final distribution facility. Abbreviated in CCMS as SDD.

  • Store-Door PickUp
    Picking up an empty container from a carrier, delivering it to a merchant and returning the laden container; the portion of store-door pick up performed by the carrier’s trucker.

  • Stowage
    A marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.

  • Straddle Carrier
    Mobile truck equipment with the capacity for lifting a container within its own framework.

  • Stripping
    The unloading of a container.

  • Stuffing
    The loading of a container.

  • STW
    Said to weigh.

  • Subrogate
    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.

  • Suezmax Tanker
    A tanker of 120000 to 199000dwt.

  • Sufferance Wharf
    A wharf licensed and attended by customs authorities.

  • Supply air
    Cooled or warmed air leaving the evaporator delivered to the interior of the container. Supply air is sometimes called delivery-air.

  • Supply Chain
    The movement of materials and information through the logistics process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to end-user. The supply chain includes all vendors, service providers and customers.

  • Supply Chain Management
    The delivery of enhanced customer and economic value through synchronized management of the flow of physical goods, services and associated information from sourcing through consumption. The management of the process and activities to provide the flow of products, services and information to customers.

  • Surcharge
    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.

  • SWIFT
    Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. A cooperative organised under Belgian law providing the following services to participating financial institutions: Letters of credit (opening and transmission), money transfers, payment security settlements. Other businesses participating in SWIFT are: Security brokers and delaters, clearing and depository institutions, security exchanges and travellers cheques issuers.

  • T.E.
    Transportation and Exportation.

  • T.E.U.
    Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. ( 20’’) TEU.

  • T.I.R.
    Trailer Interchange Receipt.

  • T.O.F.C.
    Trailer on flatcar; Piggyback. The movement of cargo on a railroad flatcar.

  • Tail
    The rear of a container.

  • Tank Container
    A specially constructed container for transporting liquids and gases in bulk.

  • Tare Weight
    The weight of packing material or, in carload shipments, the weight of the empty freight car.

  • Tariff
    A duty (or tax) levied on goods transported from one customs area to another. Tariffs raise the prices of imported goods thus making them less competitive within the market of the importing country. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement most duties on goods qualifying as NAFTA originating and services from Canada to the U.S. and Mexico have been eliminated.

  • TBN
    To Be Nominated (when the name of a ship is still unknown).

  • TDR
    Terminal departure report

  • Temperature Recorder
    A device to record temperature in a container while cargo is en route.

  • Tender
    The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars for loading or unloading.

  • Tenor
    Time and date for payment of a draft.

  • Terminal
    An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel.

  • Terminal Charge
    A charge made for a service performed in a carriers 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.

  • T-floor
    Interior floor in a reefer, so named because of the longitudinal T-shaped rails which support the cargo and form a plenum for air flow beneath the cargo.

  • Third Party Logistics (3PL)
    A company that provides logistics services to other companies for some or all of their logistics needs. It typically includes warehousing and transportation services. Most 3PLs also have freight forwarding licenses.

  • Through Rate
    The total rate from the point of origin to final destination.

  • Throughput Charge
    The charge for moving a container through a container yard off or onto a ship.

  • Time Charter
    A charter party hiring a vessel for a specified period of time or a particular voyage, in which the shipowner provides the vessel and crew while the charterer supplies the cargo. Also known as non-demise charter.

  • Time Draft
    A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.

  • TIR
    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 container loads to cross national frontiers without inspection.

  • TIR Carnet
    A document which can be issued to ease border crossings in Europe. customs at a European location places a seal on a container and issues the TIR Carnet. The document and seal allow the container to cross borders without inspection to the consignee’s door, where destination customs will then inspect the cargo.

  • To order of Shipper
    The shipper, by way of endorsement and passing of the document, allows a transfer of the rights to take delivery of the goods in the document e.g. a bill of lading.

  • TOFC
    Trailer on Flat Car Rail. Service in which a container is loaded on a rail car with chassis, bogies or wheels.

  • Ton Mile
    A unit used in comparing freight earnings or expenses. The amount earned from the cost of hauling a ton of freight one mile.The movement of a ton of freight one mile.

  • Tonnage
    Generally refers to freight handled.

  • Tontines
    An unusual type of Long Term Business, where the policy benefit is payable to the last survivor of a specified insured group of persons.

  • Top air delievery
    A system in which supply air from the refrigeration unit evaporator is introduced into the container at the ceiling level. Little used in marine reefers, normal mode of air delivery in reefer trucks.

  • TOS
    Terms of Sale. Commonly used as an abbreviation for INCOTERMS

  • Total Average Inventory
    (1) The sum of average order quantity (one half of order quantity) plus safety stock. Safety stock is the amount on hand after the arrival of the order.(2) Also, the average normal use stock plus the average lead stock plus safety stock.

  • Total Cost of Distribution
    The sum of purchasing, transportation and storage costs in the movement of finished products through the post production channel.

  • Total Quality Management
    An approach to business management that focuses on quality and typically has: a strong customer orientation, total involvement, measurement systems, systematic support and continuous improvement.

  • Towage
    The charge made for towing a vessel.

  • Tracer
    A request on a transportation line to trace a shipment for the purpose of expediting its movement or establishing delivery. Common usage of this term has been simplified to mean any request for status of a shipment.

  • Tractor
    Unit of highway motive power used to pull one or more trailers/containers.

  • Trade Acceptance
    A time or a date draft that has been accepted by the buyer (the drawee) for payment at maturity.

  • Traffic
    Persons and property carried by transport lines.

  • Trailer
    The truck unit into which freight is loaded as in tractor trailer combination. See Container.

  • Tramp
    A freighter vessel that does not run in any regular line but takes cargo wherever the shippers desire.

  • Tranship
    To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another.

  • Transit Cargo
    Goods onboard which upon their arrival at a certain port are not to be discharged at that port.

  • Transit Port
    A port where goods received are merely en route and from which they have to be transferred and dispatched to their ultimate destination by coasters, barge and so on. Also called transshipment port.

  • Transloading
    Transfer of containers from one vessel to another vessel. Synonymous with Transshipments.

  • Transmittal Letter
    List of the particulars of the shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted, together with instructions for the disposition of documents.

  • Transport
    To move cargo from one place to another.

  • Transportation Exit (TE)
    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.

  • Transportation Worker Identification
    Established by Congress through the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Coast Guard. TWICs are tamper resistant biometric credentials that will be issued to all credentialed merchant mariners and to workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports vessels or outer continental shelf facilities.

  • Truck Onboard B/L
    This is unique practice in NAT having the similar function as onboard vessel B/L. In the event the multimodal B/L is prepared, shipper can request a clause on the B/L to satisfy their commercial transaction as LADEN ONBOARD TRUCK MMDDYY. The date on the B/L is on which containers are picked up by OOCL House trucker from shipper’s facility. However, the word TRUCK is not necessary.

  • Trust Receipt
    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.

  • TSN - Time-Space Network
    Global view of all the transportation networks available for OOCL. This consists of all OOCL service locations (such as facilities, terminals) and all possible transportation between them (includes schedule and cost). The TSN module can derive the lowest cost route, fastest transit time route and the just in time route between two specified locations.

  • Turnaround
    In water transportation, the time it takes between the arrival of a vessel and its departure.

  • TVR
    Tiem Volume Rate. Kind of freight contract where the shipper commits to ship a specified volume of TEU over a specific period of time.

  • Twist Locks
    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.

  • Two-Way Pallet
    A pallet so designed that the forks of a forklift truck can be inserted from two sides only.

  • U.S. Consular Invoice
    A document required on merchandise imported into the United States.

  • U.S.M.
    Un-manifested Subsequent Movement. Common practice in Asia-Europe Trade that bill of lading shows POD as the end of the shipment while consignee will advise the actual FND before or upon vessel arriving the POD.

  • UCC-128
    This barcode is a specially defined subset of Code 128 that is used mostly on shipping containers. It is numeric only, having a fixed length of 19 digits.

  • UCP
    Uniform customs and Practice of Documentary Credit.The "bankers Bible" on Documentary Credit Interpretation issued by the I.C.C.

  • UCP500
    Revised and updated version operating from January 1, 1994.

  • UFC
    Uniform Freight Classification.

  • ULCC
    Ultra Large Crude Carrier. A tanker in excess of 320000dwt.

  • Ullage
    The space not filled with liquid in a drum or tank.

  • UN
    United Nations.

  • UN/CEFACT
    United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. The worldwide facilitation of international transactions through the simplification and harmonisation of procedures and information flows.

  • UN/EDIFACT
    United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport.

  • Unclaimed Freight
    Freight that has not been called for or picked up by the consignee or owner.

  • UNCTAD
    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

  • UNCTAD MMO
    UNCTAD Multi Modal Transport Convention.

  • Undercharge
    To charge less than the proper amount.

  • Underway
    A vessel is underway when it is not at anchor made fast to the shore or aground.

  • Uniform customs and Practices for Documents
    Rules for letters of credit drawn up by the Commission on Banking Technique and Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce in consultation with the banking associations of many countries.

  • Unit Cost
    The cost associated with a single unit of product; it is calculated as the total cost of producing a product or service divided by the number of units in the run or lot.

  • Unit Load
    Packages loaded on a pallet in a crate or any other way that enables them to be handled at one time as a unit.

  • Unit Train
    A train of a specified number of railcars, perhaps 100, wherein they remain in a unit for a designated destination or until a change in routing is made.

  • Unitization
    The consolidation of a quantity of individual items into one large shipping unit for easier handling; Loading one or more large items of cargo onto a single piece of equipment, such as a pallet.

  • Unloading
    Removal of a shipment from a vessel.

  • UPCA
    UPC (Universal Product Code) version A is used to encode an 11 digit number. The first digit is the system number and the rest are data characters. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • UPCE 11-Digit
    UPCE is a zero suppressed version of the UPCA barcode. This version allows 11 digits to be encoded. The first digit must be zero. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • UPCE0 6-Digit
    UPCE is a zero suppressed version of the UPCA barcode. This version allows 6 digits to be encoded. The first digit must be zero. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • UPCE1 6-Digit
    UPCE is a zero suppressed version of the UPCA barcode. This version allows 6 digits to be encoded. The first digit must be zero. Both 2 and 5 digit supplementals are also supported.

  • USDA
    United States Department of Agriculture.

  • USPPI United States Principal Party of I
    The party that receives the primary benefit from an export transaction usually the seller of the goods.

  • Usufruct
    The legal right of using and enjoying the profits of something belonging to another party.

  • Validated Export License
    A document issued by the U.S. government, authorizes the export of commodities for which written authorization is required by law.

  • Validation
    Authentication of B/L and when B/L becomes effective.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
    Assessed on the value added to goods and services. The value added tax is imposed throughout the European Community and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and many other trading nations but not the U.S.

  • Vanning
    A term sometimes used for stowing cargo in a container.

  • Variable Cost
    Costs that vary directly with the level of activity within a short time. Examples include costs of moving cargo inland on trains or trucks stevedoring in some ports and short term equipment leases. For business analysis all costs are either defined as variable or fixed. For a business to break even all fixed costs must be covered. To make a profit all variable and fixed costs must be recovered plus some extra amount.

  • VCTSN - Virtual Capacity Time-Space Network
    The VCTSN is an extension of the TSN which takes into consideration of all up-to-date resource constraints (such as vessel space, terminal throughput). "Virtual" refers to the capability of the module to consider the inflated capacity (constraints) to make allowance for overbooking and no show situations.

  • Vendor
    External supplier of merchandise.

  • Ventilated Container
    A container designed with openings in the side and/or end walls to permit the ingress of outside air when the doors are closed.

  • Vessel Manifest
    The international carrier is obligated to make declarations of the ships crew and contents at both the port of departure and arrival. The vessel manifest lists various details about each shipment by B/L number. Obviously the B/L serves as the core source from which the manifest is created.

  • Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA)
    A term agreement between two or more carriers in which a number of container positions ("slots") equal in space are reserved on particular vessels for each of the participants. The number of slots (space) on different vessels on the same route can vary by vessel type and direction but may also be expressed as each party’s capacity use of the vessels employed jointly.

  • Vessel Supplies for Immediate Exportatio n
    Allows equipment and supplies arriving at one port to be loaded on a vessel aircraft etc. for its exclusive use and to be exported from the same port.

  • Vessel Ton
    A unit of interior capacity of ships equal to 100 cubic feet or 2,832 cubic metres; register ton.

  • Vessel's Manifest
    Statement of a vessel’s cargo (revenue, consignee, marks, etc.).

  • VISA
    Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement. Provides the U.S. defence community with assured access to commercial intermodal capacity to move sustainment cargoes during time of war or national emergency. In return during peacetime the carriers receive preference in the carriage of DOD cargoes.

  • Viz.
    Namely. Used in tariffs to specify commodities.

  • VLCC
    Very Large Crude Carrier. A tanker of 200000 to 319000dwt. It can carry about 2 million barrels of crude oil.

  • VLFO Vessel Load Free Out
    The loading and discharge terms for the cargo to be shipped as agreed to in the charter party. The vessel (carrier) pays for the loading of the cargo on board the ship and the receiver pays for the discharge of the cargo from the ship to the pier.

  • Vol.
    Volume.

  • Volume Rate
    Rate applicable in connection with a specified volume (weight) of freight.

  • Voluntary Ship
    Any ship which is not required by treaty or statute to be equipped with radio telecommunication equipment.

  • Voyage Direction
    The sector of a round trip voyage normally denoted by the direction of the sailing.

  • Voyage Number
    The numeric identification of a round trip sailing of a vessel on a fixed trade lane.

  • W.M. (W/M)
    Weight or Measurement, the basis for assessing freight charges. Also known as worm. The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment. The comparison is based on the number of metric tons the cargo weights compared to the number of cubic meters of space the cargo measures. The prior English method was one long ton compared to forty cubic feet.

  • W.T.L.
    Western Truck Lines.

  • Waiver
    Document used to allow cargo carriage by different flag vessels other than original destination country vessels. Also for government cargo where vessels under certain flags cannot carry the shipments.

  • War Risk
    Insurance coverage for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.

  • Warehouse
    A place for the reception and storage of goods.

  • Warehouse Withdrawal for Transportation
    Allows merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one U.S. port to be exported from the same port without paying duty.

  • Warehousing
    The storing of goods/cargo.

  • Waybill (WB)
    A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, consignor, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. A waybill is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. Abbreviation is WB. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is not a document of title.

  • WDTE
    Allows merchandise that has been withdrawn from a bonded warehouse at one port to be transported in bond through the U.S. to be exported from another port without paying duty.

  • Weight Cargo
    A cargo on which the transportation charge is assessed on the basis of weight.

  • Weight Certificate
    Usually issued by an official weigher on the dock, this certificate records the weight (as well as measurements) being entered on the back of the second and third copies of the dock receipt by the clerk on the dock.

  • Weight Note
    This note, or slip, shows the individual weight of each unit and is included in cases. It is also the official weigher’s record.

  • Weights
    Gross/Long Ton: 2,240 lbs. (1016 kg) Net/Short Ton: 2,000 lbs (907.19 kg) Metric/Kilo Ton: 2,204.6 lbs (1,000 kg)

  • Weights and Measures/Measurement ton
    40 cubic ft or one cubic meterNet ton/short ton 2000 lbsGross ton/long ton 2240 lbsMetric ton/kilo ton 2204.6 lbsCubic meter 35.314 cubic ft

  • Well Car
    Also known as stack car. A drop frame rail flat car.

  • Wharf
    A structure built along a shore, and often into the water, at which boats can be docked and loaded or unloaded; Also known as pier or quay.

  • Wharfage (Whfge.)
    Charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against freight handled over the pier or dock or against a steamship company using the pier or dock.

  • WIBON
    Whether In Berth or Not.

  • Windy Booking
    A freight booking made by a shipper or freight forwarder to reserve space but not actually having a specific cargo at the time the booking is made. Carriers often overbook a vessel by 10 to 20 percent in recognition that windy booking cargo will not actually ship.

  • Without Recourse
    A phrase preceding the signature of a drawer or endorser of a negotiable instrument, signifies that the instrument is passed onto subsequent holders without any liability to the endorser in the event of nonpayment or no delivery.

  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
    The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements negotiated and signed by the bulk of the worlds trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services exporters and importers conduct their business.

  • WPA
    With Particular Average.

  • WWD
    Weather Working Days.

  • X12 ANSI
    Standard for inter-industry electronic interchange of business transactions.

  • Xeric
    Requiring a miniscule amount of moisture.

  • Yard
    A classification storage or switching area.

  • YTD
    Year To Date.

  • Zn
    Abbreviation for: Azimuth, Zinc.

  • Zonate
    Marked with or arranged in zones.






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