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American Bureau of Shipping, an American ship classification society.
ADVANCED CHARGE Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.

American ship classification society.
AIR WAYBILL The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.
AMS The U.S. Customs' "Automated Manifest System."
Seizure of a ship by the authority of a simple court of law as security for a debt or simply to prevent the ship from leaving until dispute is settled.
AVERAGE Term used in marine insurance to mean a loss which may be general or partial.


Kind of shipping container which has on top of a solid metal roof
BREAK BULK Break bulk : to commence to discharge a bulk cargo. It is sometimes a condition of contract of carriage that freight, or some percentage of it, becomes payable on breaking bulk.
B/S or B.A.F. Bunker surcharge or Bunker adjustment factor : Extra charge applied by shipping lines and liner conferences to reflect fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.
BILL OF LADING (B/L) Document issued by a ship-owner to a shipper of goods. It serves as a receipt for the goods, evidence of the contract of carriage and document title. As a receipt, it contains the description and quantity of the goods as well as suitable notations if goods are not in apparent good condition when received by the ship. As evidence of the contract of carriage, the bill of lading contains the terms and conditions of the contract.

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

- B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier's liabilities and contractual agreements.

- B/L's Status: represents whether the bill of lading has been input, rated, reconciled, printed, or released to the customer.

- Clean B/L: A B/L which bears no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.

- Combined B/L: B/L that covers cargo moving over various transports- Consolidated B/L: B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L's.

- Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable B/L primarily containing routing details; usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.
- Duplicate B/L: Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. also known as reissued B/L.
- Express B/L: Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.
- Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC); a non-negotiable document.
- House B/L: B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.
- Intermodal B/L: B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L, or Multimodal B/L.
- B/L Numbers: U.S. Customs' standardized B/L numbering format to facilitate electronic communications and to make each B/L number unique.
- Negotiable B/L: The B/L is a title document to the goods, issued "to the order of" a party, usually the shipper, whose endorsement is required to effect is negotiation. Thus, a shipper's order (negotiable) B/L can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions. The buyer must submit the original B/L to the carrier in order to take possession of the goods.
- Non-Negotiable B/L: See Straight B/L. Sometimes means a file copy of a B/L.
- "Onboard" B/L: B/L validated at the time of loading to transport. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.
- Optional Discharge B/L: B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.
- Original B/L: The part of the B/L set that has value, especially when negotiable; rest of set are only informational file copies. Abbreviated as OBL.
- Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at time cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as "Onboard".
- Reconciled B/L: B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shippers instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.
- Split B/L: One of two or more B/L's which have been split from a single B/L.
- Stale B/L: A late B/L; in banking, a B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
- Straight (Consignment) B/L: Indicates the shipper will deliver the goods to the consignee. It does not convey title (non-negotiable). Most often used when the goods have been pre-paid.
- "To Order" B/L: See Negotiable B/L.
- Voided B/L: Related to Consolidated B/L; those B/L's absorbed in the combining process. Different from Canceled B/L

Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.
C.A.F. Currency adjustment factor.
CANAL TRANSIT DUE Charge levied by a canal authority such as for the Suez Canal or Panama Canal, for transiting. The charge is based on the ship's tonnage.
CARRIER Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.
CARGO MANIFEST A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.

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.
C.B.R. Commodity box rate.
C&F or CFR Cost and freight.
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
C.F.S. Container freight station.
CHASSIS A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.

Cost, insurance and freight.

Abbreviation for:- Collect (cash) on Delivery. - Carried on Docket (pricing).
CONGESTION SURCHARGE Extra charge applied by shipping lines and liner conferences to reflect the cost of delay to their ships at a particular port caused by congestion.
CONSIGNEE Person to whom goods are to be delivered by the carrier at the place of destination.
CONSORTIUM Group of shipping lines, normally members of a liner conference who pool their ships and other resources to provide a combined service in a particular trade.
CONTAINER YARD Place to which full container loads are delivered by the shipper to the ocean carrier and to which empty container are returned
C/P Charter party.
CU.FT. Cubic feet.
DEMURRAGE A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier's equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.
DESTUFF To unload a shipping container.

Charge payable by a shipper or receiver to a shipping line.
DOOR TO DOOR Said of a service of freight rate provided by a container shipping line whereby goods are loaded into a shipping container at the shipper's premises and not unloaded until they arrive at the consignee's premises. Also referred to as house to house.

Said of any commodity which is not a liquid
D.W.T. Deadweight
E.T.A. Estimated time of arrival.
E.T.D. Estimated time of departure.
EX WORKS or EX FACTORY Sales term denoting that the seller irresponsible for making the goods available at his works of factory. The buyer bears the cost of loading the goods on the vehicles and delivering them to the destination.
The risk of loss or damage to the goods generally passes from the seller to the buyer from the time that they are made available.
F.A.S. Free alongside or free alongside ship.
F.C.L. Full container load.
F.D.A. Food and Drug Administration.
FEEDER VESSEL Short-sea vessel which transfer cargo/container between a central hub port and smaller ports.
F.E.U. Forty foot equivalent unit.
F.I.L.O. Free in liner out.
F.I.L.T.D. Free in liner terms discharge.
F.I.O. Free in and out.
F.I.O.L.S. & D Free in and out, lashed secured and dunnaged.
F.I.O.S. Free in and out and stowed.
F.I.O.T. Free in and out and trimmed.
FLAG OF CONVENIENCE Registration of a ship in a country whose tax on the profit of trading ships is low.
FLAT RACK/FLAT BED CONTAINER A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.
F.M.C. Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, Freight Forwarder Licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.
F.O.B. Free on board.
F.O.Q. Free on quay.
F.O.R. Free on rail.
F.O.T. Free on truck.
FREE IN Free of expenses to the ship-owner of cargo handling at the loading port.
FREIGHT PAYABLE AT DESTINATION Method of paying the freight often used for shipment of bulk cargoes whose weight is established on discharge from the ship.
FRT Freight.
G.M.T. Greenwich mean time.
G.R.I. General rate increase - Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.
HEAVY LIFT ADDITIONAL Extra charge applied by a liner conference of a shipping line on lifts exceeding a weight specified in its tariff, often five tons. Also referred to as a heavy lift surcharge.
GROUPAGE A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.
I.C.D. Inland container depot.
INDUCEMENT Minimum quantity of cargo required by a shipping line to make it worthwhile to call at a particular port for loading or discharging.
LADEN Loaded.
L.C.L. Less than container load.
L.I.F.O. Liner in free out.
LINE Abbreviation for shipping line.
LINER (SHIP) Cargo carrying ship which is operated between scheduled, advertised ports of loading and discharge on a regular basis.
LINER TERMS Qualification to a freight rate which signifies that it consists of the ocean carriage and the cost of cargo handling at the loading and discharging ports according to the custom of those ports.
LO-LO Lift-on, lift-off.
LONG LENGTH ADDITIONAL Extra charge applied by liner conferences and shipping lines on cargo exceeding a length specified in their tariff.
LONG TON 2240 Lbs.
MEASURE OF MEASUREMENT Size of a piece of cargo or consignment expressed in cubic meters or cubic feet determined by taking the length, width and height of the piece or consignment.
METRIC TON 1,000 Kilograms.
M/V Motor vessel.
NAUTICAL MILE Distance equal to 6,411 feet.
NET WIGHT Weight of the goods only, not including their packing.
NON-CONFERENCE LINE Shipping line which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference. Also referred to as an independent line or an outsider.
NON-NEGOTIABLE BILL OF LADING Bill of lading which is not a signed "Original Bill of Lading " and which is therefore not capable of being used to transfer little in the goods described in it.
N.V.O.C. Non-Vessel Owning Carrier.
N.V.O.C.C. Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. - 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.
OPEN SIDE CONTAINER Shipping container with side door which drop down to give unrestricted access to the sides of the container for loading or discharging.
OPEN TOP CONTAINER Kind of shipping container which has an open top instead of a solid roof to enable cargo, such as timber or scrap metal, to be loaded from the top
PIER Structure at which ships can berth, built at right angles to the shore.
PILFERAGE Petty theft.
PORT DUES Charge levied against a ship owner or ship operator by a port authority for the use of a port.
PRE-SHIPMENT CHARGES Any charges incurred prior to the shipment of a cargo which are not included in the sea freight.
REEFER BOX Refrigerated container.
REEFER SHIP Refrigerated ship.
ROLL-ON ROLL-OFF System of loading and discharging a ship whereby the cargo is driven on and off ship designed to handle such cargo. This is known as a roll-on roll-off ship or RO-RO ship.
ROUND VOYAGE Voyage involving two legs the second of which brings the ship back to the geographical area where the first leg commenced.
S.C.Q. Special commodity quotation.
SHIPS - Bulk Carriers: All vessels designed to carry bulk cargo such as grain, fertilizers, ore, and oil.
- Combination Passenger and Cargo Ships: Ships with a capacity for 13 or more passengers.
- Freighters: Breakbulk vessels both refrigerated and unrefrigerated, containerships, partial containerships, roll-on/roll-off vessels, and barge carriers.
- Barge Carriers: Ships designed to carry barges; some are fitted to act as full containerships and can carry a varying number of barges and containers at the same time. At present this class includes two types of vessels LASH and Sea-Bee.
- General Cargo Carriers: Breakbulk freighters, car carriers, cattle carriers, pallet carriers and timber carriers.
- Full Containerships: Ships equipped with permanent container cells, with little or no space for other types of cargo.
- 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.
- Roll-on/Roll-off vessels: Ships specially designed to carry wheeled containers or trailers using interior ramps.
- Tankers: Ships fitted with tanks to carry liquid cargo such as: crude petroleum and petroleum products; chemicals, Liquefied gasses(LNG and LPG), wine, molasses, and similar product tankers.
SLOT Compartment in the hold of a container ship into which a shipping container fits exactly. Also referred to as a cell.
SLOT CHARGER The chartering in of a ship by a fleet operator for a specific voyage when none of the ships in the fleet is available.
STUFFING Putting cargo into a container.
STEVEDORE Person running a business whose functions are to load, stow and unload ships.
S/S LINE Steamship line.
TARE (WEIGHT) Weight of packing or of a shipping container. This is deducted from the gross weight in order to obtain the net weight of the goods.
TARIFF Schedule of charges, such as the freight tariff, of a shipping line.
TEU Twenty foot equivalent unit.
TRANSSHIPMENT PORT Place where cargo is transferred to another carrier.
TRANSIT CARGO Goods which are discharged from a sea-going ship in one country but which are destined for another country.
TRANSIT TIME Time taken for goods to be carried from one place to another.
VESSEL Ship or boat.
W/M Weight or measurement.