Shipping Guide

Shipping Term Description

Acceptance of Goods

The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier's responsibility for the consignment begins.
Act of God Accidents of a nature beyond human control such as flood, lightning or hurricane usually quoted as 'force majeure'.
Ad Valorem In proportion to the value: A phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied on goods, property, etc. set as a percentage of their value.
Advice Note A written piece of information e.g. about the status of the goods.
Agency Fee Fee payable by a shipowner or ship operator to a port agent.
Agent A person or organisation authorised to act for or on behalf of another person or organisation
An Agent is a corporate body with, which there is an agreement to perform particular functions on behalf of them at an agreed payment. An Agent is either a part of the organisation or an independent body
Air Waybill A document made out by or on behalf of the carrier(s) confirming receipt of the goods by the carrier and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the carrier(s) for the carriage of goods as described therein.
Allotment A share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier or an agent, for the purpose of the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.
American Bureau of
American classification society which has established rules and regulations for the classification of seagoing vessels or equipment.
Arbitration The process of referring to an agreed person for judgement on issues of dispute, without requiring the use of courts.
Arrival Date The date on which goods or a means of transport is due to arrive at the delivery site of the transport.
Arrival Notice A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated notify party advising of the arrival of a certain shipment or consignment.
Assignment The transfer of certain rights from one party to another.
Consignee / Consignor
A trader authorised by the European Commission (regulation 2454/93) to receive or despatch consignments under transit procedures without having to present goods and documents directly at the customs office.
Authorization The commission to a certain person or body to act on behalf of another person or body. The person or body can be authorised e.g. to issue Bills of Lading or to collect freight.
Average In marine insurance: a loss or damage to or in respect of goods or equipment
The numerical result obtained by dividing the sum of two or more quantities by the number of quantities
Average Adjusters In general average affairs average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture and to determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.
Shipping Term Description


A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B/L.
Bank Guarantee An undertaking by a bank to be answerable for payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.
Bar Coding A method of encoding data for fast and accurate electronic readability. Bar codes are a series of alternating bars and spaces printed or stamped on products, labels, or other media, representing encoded information which can be read by electronic readers, used to facilitate timely and accurate input of data to a computer system. Bar codes represent letters and/or numbers and special characters like +, /, -, etc.
Bay A vertical division of a vessel from stem to stern, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20 foot position, even numbers indicate a 40 foot position.
Bay Plan A stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.
Berth A location in a port where a vessel can be moored often indicated by a code or name.
Bilateral Transport Agreement Agreement between two nations concerning their transport relations.
Bill of Exchange An unconditional order in writing to pay a certain sum of money to a named person.
Bill of Health The Bill of Health is the certificate issued by local medical authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or in the ports of call. The Bill of Health must have been visaed before departure by the Consul of the country of destination. When a vessel has free pratique, this means that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health certifying that there is no question of contagious disease and that all quarantine regulations have been complied with, so that people may embark and disembark.
Bill of Lading A document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea. The document has the following functions:
1)A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorised person on behalf of the carriers.
2)A document of title to the goods described therein. 3)Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties. At the moment 3 different models are used:
1)A document for either Combined Transport or Port to Port shipments depending whether the relevant spaces for place of receipt and/or place of delivery are indicated on the face of the document
2)A classic marine Bill of Lading in which the carrier is also responsible for the part of the transport actually performed by himself.
3)Sea Waybill: A non-negotiable document, which can only be made out to a named consignee. No surrender of the document by the consignee is required.
Bill of Lading Clause A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be pre-printed on the B/L.
Bill of Material A list of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.
Block Train A number of railway wagons (loaded with containers), departing from a certain place and running straight to a place of destination,without marshalling, transhipping or any coupling or de-coupling of wagons.
Bona Fide In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.
Bonded The storage of certain goods under charge of customs viz.customs seal until the import duties are paid or until the goods are taken out of the country. 1)Bonded warehouse (place where goods can be placed under bond) 2)Bonded store (place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port or country again) 3)Bonded goods (dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending customs clearance)
Booking The offering by a shipper of cargo for transport and the acceptance of the offering by the carrier or his agent.
Booking Reference Number The number assigned to a certain booking by the carrier or his agent.
Break Bulk 1)To commence discharge 2)To strip unitised cargo
Break Bulk Cargo General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised,containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
Broker Person who acts as an agent or intermediary in negotiating contracts.
Brussels Tariff Nomenclature The old Customs Co-operation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the Harmonised System.
BSI Container Specification British Standards Institution Specification for freight containers.
Buffer Stock A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.
Bulk Cargo Unpacked homogeneous cargo poured loose in a certain space of a vessel or container e.g. oil and grain.
Bulk Carrier Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.
Bulk Container A container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargoes, which are loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatchways at one end of the container.
Bunker Adjustment Factor Adjustment applied by liner or liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers
Bunkers Quantity of fuel on board a vessel.
Bureau Veritas French classification society.
Business Process A business process is the action taken to respond to particular events, convert inputs into outputs, and produce particular results. Business processes are what the enterprise must do to conduct its business successfully.
Business Process Model The business process model provides a breakdown (process decomposition) of all levels of business processes within the scope of a business area. It also shows process dynamics,lower-level process interrelationships. In Summary it includes all diagrams related to a process definition that allows for understanding what the business process is doing (and not how).
Buyer Party to which merchandise is sold.
Shipping Term Description


  1. Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country.
  2. Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where the vehicle is registered road-cargo)
  3. The carriage of a container from a surplus area to an area specified by the Owner of that container, in exchange of which and during which the operator can use this container
CAD Terms of payment: if the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of the documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.
CAF Adjustment applied by P&O Nedlloyd lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.
Call The visit of a vessel to a port.
Call Sign A code published by the International Telecommunication Union in its annual List of Ships' Stations to be used for the information interchange between vessels, port authorities and other relevant participants in international trade.
Note:The code structure is based on a three digit designation series assigned by the ITU and a one digit assigned by the country of registration.
  1. The ability, in a given time, of a resource measured in quality and quantity.
  2. The quantity of goods which can be stored in or loaded into a warehouse, store and/or loaded into a means of transport at a particular time.
  1. Goods transported or to be transported, all goods carried on a ship covered by a B/L.
  2. Any goods, wares, merchandise, and articles of every kind whatsoever carried on a ship, other than mail,ship's stores, ship's spare parts, ship's equipment,stowage material, crew's effects and passengers'accompanied baggage (IMO)
  3. Any property carried on an aircraft, other than mail,stores and accompanied or mishandled baggage Also referred to as 'goods' (ICAO)
Cargo Handling All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods
Cargo Tracer A document sent by the agent to all relevant parties, stating that certain cargo is either missing or over-landed.
Cargo Unit A vehicle, container, pallet, flat, portable tank or any other entity or any part thereof which belongs to the ship but is not permanently attached to that ship.
Carriage The process of transporting (conveying) cargo, from one point to another.
Carriage and Insurance Paid (..named place of destination)
Abbreviation: CIP
Carriage Paid To (...named place of destination)
Abbreviation: CPT
Carrier The party undertaking transport of goods from one point to another.
Carrier Haulage The inland transport service, which is performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relevant transport document.
Carriers Bill of Lading Ports Terminal, Pre-terminal port or Post-terminal Port as per tariff, indicated on the Bill of Lading and which is not the port physically called at by Carriers' ocean vessels. Note:Under normal circumstances in the B/L only ports should be mentioned which are actually called at.
Carriers Lien When the shipper ships goods 'collect', the carrier has a possessory claim on these goods, which means that the carrier can retain possession of the goods as security for the charges due.
Cartage Abbreviation: CAD
Terms of payment: if the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of the documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.
Cash On Delivery Abbreviation: COD
Terms of payment: if the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper (air cargo).
Caveat Emptor Let the buyer beware, purchaser must ascertain the condition of the goods to be purchased prior to the purchase.
Cellular Vessel A vessel, specially designed and equipped for the carriage of containers.
CENSA Council of European and Japanese National Shipowner's Associations.
Certificate of Classification A certificate, issued by the classification society and stating the class under which a vessel is registered.
Certificate of Origin A certificate, showing the country of original production of goods. Frequently used by customs in ascertaining duties under preferential tariff programmes or in connection with regulating imports from specific sources.
Charge An amount to be paid for carriage of goods based on the applicable rate of such carriage, or an amount to be paid for a special or incidental service in connection with the carriage of goods.
Charge Type A separate, identifiable element of charges to be used in the pricing/rating of common services rendered to customers.
Charter Party
  1. A contract in which the shipowner agrees to place his vessel or a part of it at the disposal of a third party, the charterer, for the carriage of goods for which he receives a freight per ton cargo,or to let his vessel for a definite period or trip for which a hire is paid.
  2. synonym:Charter Contract
Charterer The legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.
  1. A wheeled carriage onto which an ocean container is mounted for inland conveyance.
  2. The part of a motor vehicle that includes the engine,the frame, suspension system, wheels, steering mechanism etc., but not the body.
Claim A charge made against a carrier for loss, damage or delay.
Classification Arrangement according to a systematic division of a number of objects into groups, based on some likeness or some common traits.
Classification Society An Organisation, whose main function is to carry out surveys of vessels, its purpose being to set and maintain standards of construction and upkeep for vessels, their engines and their safety equipment. A classification society also inspects and approves the construction of containers.
Clean Bill of Lading A Bill of Lading which does not contain any qualification about the apparent order and condition of the goods to be transported (it bears no stamped clauses on the front of the B/L). It bears no superimposed clauses expressly declaring a defective condition of the goods or packaging (resolution of the ICS 1951).
Clean on Board When goods are loaded on board and the document issued in respect to these goods is clean. Note:Through the usage of the UCP 500 rules the term has now become superfluous.
Client A party with which a company has a commercial relationship concerning the transport of e.g. cargo or concerning certain services of the company concerned, either directly or through an agent.
Co-loading The loading, on the way, of cargo from another shipper,having the same final destination as the cargo loaded earlier.
Combined Transport Intermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode such as rail, inland waterway or sea and any initial and/or final leg carried out by another mode such as road.
Combined Transport Document Abbreviation: CTD
Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods. Thus a combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with the Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.
Combined Transport Operator Abbreviation: CTO
A party who undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport.
Commercial Invoice A document showing commercial values of the transaction between the buyer and seller.
Commodity Indication of the type of goods. Commodities are coded according to the harmonised system.
  1. Anything called for as requirements before the performance or completion of something else
  2. Contractual stipulations which are printed on a document or provided separately
Conditions of Carriage The general terms and conditions established by a carrier in respect of the carriage (air cargo).
Conditions of Contract Terms and conditions shown on the Air Waybill (air cargo).
Conference Accumulation of vessels at a port to the extent that vessels arriving to load or discharge are obliged to wait for a vacant berth.
Consignee The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.
Consignment A separate identifiable number of goods (available to be) transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more than one modes of transport and specified in one single transport document.
Consignment Instructions Instructions from either the seller/consignor or the buyer/consignee to a freight forwarder, carrier or his agent, or other provider of a service, enabling the movement of goods and associated activities. The following functions can be covered:
  1. Movement and handling of goods (shipping, forwarding and stowage)
  2. Customs formalities
  3. Distribution of documents
  4. Allocation of documents (freight and charges for the connected operations).
  5. Special instructions (insurance, dangerous goods, goods release, additional documents required).
Consignment Note A document prepared by the shipper and comprising a transport contract. It contains details of the consignment to be carried to the port of loading and it is signed by the inland carrier as proof of receipt.
Consignor To group and stuff several shipments together in one container.
Consolidated Container Container stuffed with several shipments (consignments) from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.
Consolidation The grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.
Consolidation Point Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.
Consolidator A firm or company which consolidates cargo.
Consortium Consortium is a form of co-operation between two or more carriers to operate in a particular trade.
Container An item of equipment as defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for transport purposes. It must be of:
  1. a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use.
  2. specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading.
  3. fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly from one mode of transport to another
  4. so designed as to be easy to fill and empty
  5. having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more
  6. The term container includes neither vehicles nor conventional packing.
Container Check Digit The 7th digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct.
Container Depot Storage area for empty containers.
Container Freight Station Abbreviation: CFS
A facility at which (export) LCL cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from containers and delivered to merchants.
Container Lease The contract by which the owner of containers (lessor) gives the use of containers to a lessee for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.
Container Load Plan (CLP) A list of items loaded in a specific container and where appropriate their sequence of loading.
Container Manifest The document specifying the contents of particular freight containers or other transport units, prepared by the party responsible for their loading into the container or unit.
Container Number Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit. (e.g. KNLU 123456-7)
Container Prefix A four letter code that forms the first part of a container identification number indicating the owner of a container.
Container Size Code An indication of 2 digits of the nominal length and nominal height.
Container Terminal Place where loaded and/or empty containers are loaded or discharged into or from a means of transport.
Container Yard Abbreviation: CY
A facility at which FCL traffic and empty containers are received from or delivered to the Merchant by or on behalf of the Carrier.
Note:Often this yard is used to receive goods on behalf of the merchant and pack these in containers for FCL traffic.
Containerised Indication that goods have been stowed in a container.
Contraband Goods forbidden by national law to be imported or exported.
Contract An agreement enforceable by law between two or more parties stipulating their rights and obligations which are required by one or both parties to acts or forbearance by the other or both.
Conventional Cargo General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitised,containerised and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
Cost and Freight (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: CFR
Cost, Insurance and Freight (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: CIF
Crew Member Any person actually employed for duties on board during a voyage in the working or service of a ship and included in the crew list (IMO).
Cruise Ship A ship on an international voyage carrying passengers participating in a group program and accommodated on board, for the purpose of making scheduled temporary tourist visits at one or more different ports, and which during the voyage does not normally: (a) embark or disembark any other passengers; (b) load or discharge any cargo.
Currency Adjustment Factor Abbreviation: CAF
Adjustment applied by lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.
Customs The department of the Civil Service that deals with the levying of duties and taxes on imported goods from foreign countries and the control over the export and import of goods e.g. allowed quota prohibited goods.
Customs Broker An authorised agent specialised in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/exporters.
Customs Clearance Agent Customs broker or other agent of the consignee designated to perform customs clearance services for the consignee.
Customs Invoice Document required by the customs in an importing country in which an exporter states the invoice or other price (e.g.selling price, price of identical goods), and specifies costs for freight, insurance and packing etc., terms of delivery and payment, for the purpose of determining the customs value in the importing country of goods consigned to that country.
Customs Value The worth of an item or group of items expressed in a monetary amount, within a consignment declared to Customs for duty and statistical reasons.
Shipping Term Description
Damaged Cargo Report Written statement concerning established damages to cargo and/or equipment.
Dangerous Goods Goods are to be considered dangerous if the transport of such goods might cause harm, risk, peril, or other evil to people, environment, equipment or any property whatsoever.
Dangerous Goods Declaration Document issued by a consignor in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes, and stating that the latter have been packed and labelled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.
Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate A document as part of the dangerous goods declaration in which the responsible party declares that the cargo has been stowed in accordance with the rules in a clean container in compliance with the IMDG regulations and properly secured.
Deadfreight Slots paid for but not used.
Deadweight Abbreviation: DWT
The total weight of cargo, cargo equipment, bunkers, provisions, water, stores and spare parts which a vessel can lift when loaded to her maximum draught as applicable under the circumstances. The dead-weight is expressed in tons.
Degroupage Splitting up shipments into small consignments.
Delivered Duty Paid (...named place of destination)
Abbreviation: DDP
Delivered Duty Unpaid (...named place of destination) Abbreviation: DDU
Delivered Ex Quay (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: DEQ
Delivered Ex Ship (...named port of destination)
Abbreviation: DES
Delivery Instruction Document issued by a buyer giving instructions regarding the details of the delivery of goods ordered.
Delivery Note A document recording the delivery of products to a consignee (customer).
Delivery Order
  1. A carrier's delivery order (negotiable document) is used for splitting a B/L (after surrender) in different parcels and have the same function as a B/L.
  2. The authorisation of the entitled party for the shipment to a party other than the consignee showed on the Air Waybill (air cargo)
  1. A variable fee charged to carriers and/or customers for the use of Unit Load Devices (ULD's) owned by a carrier beyond the free time of shipment
  2. Additional charge imposed for exceeding the free time, which is included in the rate and allowed for the use of certain equipment at the terminal
Despatch Advice Information send by shippers to the recipient of goods informing that specified goods are sent or ready to be sent advising the detailed contents of the consignment.
Destination i)Place for which goods or a vehicle is bound ii)The ultimate stopping place according to the contract of carriage (air cargo)
Detention Keeping equipment beyond the time allowed.
Detention Charge Charges levied on usage of equipment exceeding free time period as stipulated in the pertinent inland rules and conditions.
Devanning See Stripping, UnpackingDeviation from a Route A divergence from the agreed or customary route.
Dimensions Measurements in length, width and height, regarding cargo.
Direct Delivery
  1. The conveyance of goods directly from the vendor to the buyer. Frequently used if a third party acts as intermediary agent between vendor and buyer.
  2. Direct discharge from vessel onto railroad car, road vehicle or barge with the purpose of immediate transport from the port area (usually occurs when ports lack adequate storage space or when ports are not equipped to handle a specific cargo).
Direct Interchange Transfer of leased equipment from one lessee to another (container).
Direct Route The shortest operated route between two points.
  1. The unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft
  2. The anding of cargo
Discrepancy Difference between the particulars given and the particulars found.
Distribution Centre A warehouse for the receipt, the storage and the dispersal of goods among customers.
Distribution Channel The route by which a company distributes goods.
Door to Door Transport The transport of cargo from the premises of the consignor to the premises of the consignee. Note: In the United States the term 'Point to Point Transport' is used instead of the term 'Door to Door Transport', because the term 'house' may mean 'customs house' or 'brokers house',which are usually located in the port.
Double Stack Train A number of railway wagons, usually a block train, on which containers can be stacked two- high.
Draft The draft of a vessel is the vertical distance between the waterline and the underside of the keel of the vessel. During the construction of a vessel the marks showing the draft are welded on each side of the vessel near the stem, the stern and amidships.
Drawback Repayment of any part of customs or excise duties previously collected on imported goods, when those goods are exported again.
  1. The hauling of a load by a cart with detachable sides (dray).
  2. Road transportation between the nearest railway terminal and the stuffing place
Drop off Charge Charge made by container owner and/or terminal operators for delivery of a leased, or pool container into depot stock.The drop-off charge may be a combination of actual handling and storage charges with surcharges.
Dunnage Stowage material, mainly timber or board, used to prevent damage to cargo during carriage.
Duty Free Zone An area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties awaiting further transport or manufacturing.
Shipping Term Description
EDI for Administration, Commerce and Transport Abbreviation:UN/EDIFACT
The ISO application level syntax rules for the structuring of user data and of the associated service data in the interchange of messages in an open environment.
Electronic Data Interchange Abbreviation: EDI
The transfer of structured data, by agreed standards from applications on the computer of one party to the applications on the computer of another party by electronic means.
Electronic Data Processing Abbreviation: EDP
The computerised handling of information (e.g. business data).
  1. A government order prohibiting the entry or departure of commercial vessels or goods at its ports
  2. The refusal by a carrier, for a limited period, to accept for transport over any route or segment thereof,and to or from any area or point, of a connecting carrier, any commodity, type of class of cargo duly tendered (air cargo)
Emergency Medical Service Abbreviation: EMS
Medical procedures in case of emergencies on board of vessels.
Endorsement The transfer of the right to obtain delivery of the goods of the carrier by means of the consignee's signature on the reverse side of a bill of lading. If the name of the new consignee (transferee) is not stated, the endorsement is an open one which means that every holder of the document is entitled to obtain delivery of the goods.
Equipment Interchange Receipt Abbreviation: EIR
Physical inspection and transfer receipt.
Estimated Time of Arrival Abbreviation: ETA
The expected date and time of arrival in a certain (air)port.
Estimated Time of Departure Abbreviation: ETD
The expected date and time when a certain (air)port is left.
Ex Works (...named place) Abbreviation: EXW
The process of carrying or sending goods to another country or countries, especially for purposes of use or sale in the country of destination. The sale of products to clients abroad.
Export Licence Document granting permission to export as detailed within a specified time.
Exporter The party responsible for the export of goods.
Shipping Term Description
Factory Delivery The delivery of goods by a factory whereby the goods are put at the disposal of another (internal) party such as a commercial department.
Feeder A vessel normally used for local or coastal transport (for carriage of cargo and/or containers) to and from ports not scheduled to be called by the main (ocean) vessel, directly connecting these ports to the main (ocean) vessel.
Flag An indication of the country in which a means of transport is registered through a reference to the ensign of this country.
Flammable Capable to be set on fire under given circumstances. (Amendment 25 IMO DGS).
Flash Point The lowest temperature at which a good produces enough vapour to form a flammable mixture with air.
Flat Rack Container A container with two end walls and open sides.
Fleet Any group of means of transport acting together or under one control.
FMC Federal Maritime Commission (Control of Shipping acts USA)
Force Majeure Circumstance which is beyond the control of one of the parties to a contract and which may, according to the terms and conditions, relieve that party of liability for failing to execute the contract.
Fork Lift Truck A three or four wheeled mechanical truck with forks at the front designed for lifting, carrying and stowing cargo.
Forty Foot Equivalent Unit Abbreviation: FEU
Unit of measurement equivalent to one forty foot container.
Forwarder The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee.
Forwarding Charge Charges paid or to be paid for preliminary surface or air transport to the airport of departure by a forwarder, but not by a carrier under an Air Waybill (air cargo).
Forwarding Instruction Document issued to a freight forwarder, giving instructions to the forwarder for the forwarding of goods described therein.
FTL Full Truck Load, an indication for a truck transporting cargo directly from supplier to receiver.
Shipping Term Description
Gang A number of workmen acting together especially for loading and/or discharging operations of a vessel in combination with the necessary gear. (On a vessel for instance 6 gangs can be ordered to discharge or load.)
Garments On Hangers Clothes in containers on hangers and hung from rails during transit, reducing the handling required for the garments.
  1. A point at which cargo is interchanged between carriers or modes of transport
  2. A means of access, an entry
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Abbreviation: GATT
Major international agreement on trade and tariffs between many nations all over the world. The discussions are now held by the WTO.
General Average Abbreviation: G/A
Intentional act or sacrifice which is carried out to safeguard vessel and cargo. When a vessel is in danger, the master has the right to sacrifice property and/or to incur reasonable expenditure. Measures taken for the sole benefit of any particular interest are not considered general average.
General Average Act (York-Antwerp Rules) There is a general average act when, and only when any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving
General Cargo
  1. Cargo,consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletised.General cargo can be shipped either in breakbulk or containerised.
  2. Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (air cargo)
General Purpose Container A container used for the carriage of general cargo without any special requirements for the transport and or the conditioning of the goods.
  1. Common term indicating movable property, merchandise or wares
  2. All materials which can be used to satisfy demands.
  3. Whole or part of the cargo received from the shipper,including any equipment supplied by the shipper
Goods in Transit The goods which have departed from the initial loading point and not yet arrived at the final unloading point.
Goods Receipt Document issued by a port, warehouse, shed, or terminal operator acknowledging receipt of goods specified therein on conditions stated or referred to in the document.
Groupage The collection of several small consignments and the formation of one large shipment thereof (road cargo).
Shipping Term Description
Hague Rules International convention for the unification of certain rules, relating to Bills of Lading (1924). These Rules include the description of responsibilities of Shipping Lines.
Hague-Visby Rules Set of rules, published in 1968, amending the Hague Rules.
Hamburg Rules United Nations Convention on the carriage of goods by sea of 1978 adopted in 1992.
Harmonized System Abbreviation: HS
It is a numeric multi purpose system, the international convention on the HS was established under auspices of the World Customs Organisation in 1983, for the classification of goods with its six digits covering about 5000 descriptions of the products or groups of products most commonly produced and traded. It is designed for customs services, but can also be used for statistics, transport purposes, export,mport and manufacturing.
Haulage The inland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points.
  1. Merchant inspired Carrier Haulage or customer nominated Carrier Haulage or shipper preferred Carrier Haulage service performed by a sub-contractor of the merchant.
  2. Carrier inspired Merchant Haulage means Haulage service performed by a sub- contractor of the Carrier
Haulier Road carrier.
House to House Transport The transport of cargo from the premises of the consignor to the premises of the consignee. Note:In the United States the term 'Point to Point Transport' is used instead of the term 'Door to Door Transport', because the term 'house' may mean 'customs house' or 'brokers house', which are usually located in the port.
Hub The central transhipment point in a transport structure,serving a number of consignees and/or consignors by means of spokes. The stretches between hubs mutually are referred to as trunks.
Shipping Term Description
Idle Time The amount of ineffective time whereby the available resources are not used e.g. a container in a yard.
In Transit The status of goods or persons between the outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.
Inco terms Trade terms in coded form as established by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1953, whereafter they have been regularly updated. (Last update 2000). The terms represent a set of international rules for the interpretation of the principal terms of delivery used in trade contracts.
Inland Waterways Bill of Lading Transport document made out to a named person, to order or to bearer, signed by the carrier and handed to the sender after receipt of the goods.
Insurance A system of protection against loss under which a party agrees to pay a certain sum (premiums) for a guarantee that they will be compensated under certain conditions for loss or damage.
Insurance Certificate Proof of an insurance contract.
Insurance Company The party covering the risks of the issued goods and/or services that are insured.
Intermodal Transport The movement of goods (containers) in one and the same loading unit or vehicle which uses successively several modes of transport without handling of the goods themselves in changing modes.
International Air Transport Association Abbreviation: IATA
An international organisation of airlines, founded in 1945,with the aim of promoting the commercial air traffic. Parties should achieve this by co-operation between the parties concerned and by performance of certain rules, procedures and tariffs, regarding both cargo and passengers.
International Association of Classification Societies An organisation in which the major classification societies,among others American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd's Register of Shipping and Germanischer Lloyd, are joined, whose principal aim is the improvement of standards concerning safety at sea.
International Chamber of Shipping Abbreviation: ICS
A voluntary organisation of national shipowner' associations with the objective to promote interests of its members,primarily in the technical and legal fields of shipping operations.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Abbreviation: IMDG Code
A code, representing the classification of dangerous goods as defined by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in compliance with international legal requirements.
International Maritime Organisation Abbreviation: IMO
An United Nations agency concerned with safety at sea. Its work includes codes and rules relating to tonnage measurement of vessels, load lines, pollution and the carriage of dangerous goods.
Its previous name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO).
Invoice An account from the supplier, for goods and/or services supplied by him.
Shipping Term Description
Jetsam Goods thrown or lost.
Jettison The act of intentionally throwing cargo overboard e.g. with the objective of lightening a vessel, which has run aground,such for the common good of all interests: vessel, crew and remaining cargo.
Jetty A mole or breakwater, running out into the sea to protect harbours or coasts. It is sometimes used as a landing-pier.
  1. Projecting arm of a crane
  2. Attachment connected to the top of a crane boom
Job That work which is undertaken to meet a customer or production order and, for production control purposes, has a unique identification.
Joint Venture A joint activity of two or more companies usually performed under a common name.
Journey A voyage from one place, port or country to another one,in case of a round trip, to the same one.
Jurisprudence Juridical decisions used for explanation and meaning of law.
Just In Time Abbreviation: JIT
The movement of material/goods at the necessary place at the necessary time. The implication is that each operation is closely synchronised with the subsequent ones to make that possible.A method of inventory control that brings stock into the production process, warehouse or to the customer just in time to be used, thus reducing stock piling.
Shipping Term Description
Kyoto Convention The convention for the International Customs Co-operation Council held in Kyoto in 1974 for the simplification and harmonisation of national customs procedures.
On 25th of June 1999 the updated and restructured International Convention on the simplification and harmonisation of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) was unanimously adopted by 114 customs administrations.
This convention was restructured to deal with computerised controls and to ensure better co- operation between customs authorities mutually and with trade in general.
Shipping Term Description
Label A slip of e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.
Lash To hold goods in position by the use of, e.g., wires, ropes, chains and straps.
Less than Container Load Abbreviation: LCL
  1. A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the Carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container.
  2. or operational purposes a LCL (Less than full container load) container is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.
Lessee The party to whom the possession of specified property has been conveyed for a period of time in return for rental payments.
Lessor The party who conveys specified property to another for a period of time in return for the receipt of rent.
Letter of Credit Abbreviation: L/C
A written undertaking by a bank (issuing bank) given to the seller (beneficiary) at the request, and on the instructions of the buyer (applicant) to pay at sight or at a determinable future date up to a stated sum of money, within a prescribed time limit and against stipulated documents.
Letter of Indemnity Written statement in which one party undertakes to compensate another for the costs and consequences of carrying out a certain act. The issue of a letter of indemnity is sometimes used for cases when a shipper likes receiving a clean Bill of Lading while a carrier is not allowed to do so.
Liability Legal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions.
Lien A legal claim upon real or personal property to pay a debt or duty.
Liner Conference A group of two or more vessel-operating carriers, which provides international liner services for the carriage of cargo on a particular trade route and which has an agreement or arrangement to operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions (e.g. FEFC = Far Eastern Freight Conference).
Liner In Free Out Abbreviation: LIFO
Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of discharging.
Liner Terms Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject the custom of the port concerned.
Lloyd's Register of Shipping British classification society.
LTL Abbreviation: LTL
A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.
Shipping Term Description
Main-line Operator Abbreviation: MLO
A carrier employing vessel(s) in the main or principal routes in a trade but not participating within a consortium.
Manifest Document, which lists the specifications of goods, loaded in a means of transport or equipment for transportation purposes. As a rule cargo the agents in the place of loading draw up manifests. For P&O Nedlloyd a manifest represents a cumulation of Bills of Lading for official and administrative purposes.
Marine Insurance Policy An insurance policy protecting the insured against loss or damage to his goods occurred during ocean transport.
Mate's Receipt A document signed by the chief officer of a vessel acknowledging the receipt of a certain consignment on board of that vessel. On this document, remarks can be made as to the order and condition of the consignment.
Medical First Aid Guide Abbreviation: MFAG
Instructions to be consulted in case of accidents involving dangerous goods.
Merchant Haulage Inland transport of cargo in containers arranged by the Merchant. It includes empty container-moves to and from hand-over points in respect of containers released by the Carrier to Merchants. Note:Carrier's responsibility under the Bill of Lading does not include the inland transport stretch under Merchant Haulage.
Multimodal Transport The carriage of goods (containers) by at least two different modes of transport.
Multimodal Transport Document Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods. Thus a combined transport document is a document issued by a Carrier who contracts as a principal with the Merchant to effect a combined transport often on a door-to-door basis.
Multimodal Transport Operator/Carrier Abbreviation: MTO/Carrier
The person on whose behalf the transport document or any document evidencing a contract of multimodal carriage of goods is issued and who is responsible for the carriage of goods pursuant to the contract of carriage.
Shipping Term Description
Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier Abbreviation: NVOCC
A party who undertakes to carry goods and issues in his own name a Bill of Lading for such carriage, without having the availability of any own means of transport.
Notify Address Address of the party other than the consignee to be advised of the arrival of the goods.
Notify Party The party to be notified of arrival of goods.
Shipping Term Description
Oncarriage The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport to the place of delivery after discharge from the ocean vessel (main means of transport) at the port (place) of discharge.
One Stop Shop An organisation, which provides all needed requirements in one location.
Open Top Container A freight container similar in all respects to a general purpose container except that it has no rigid roof but may have a flexible and movable or removable cover, for example one made of canvas or plastic or reinforced plastic material normally supported on movable or removable roof bows.
Out of Gauge Cargo Cargo which dimensions are exceeding the normal dimensions of a 20 or 40 feet container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.
Outturn Report Written statement by a stevedoring company in which the condition of cargo discharged from a vessel is noted along with any discrepancies in the quantity compared with the vessel's manifest.
Overheight Cargo Cargo, exceeding the standard height.
Overlength Cargo Cargo, exceeding the standard length.
Overwidth Cargo Cargo, exceeding the standard width.
Owner The legal owner of cargo, equipment or means of transport.
Shipping Term Description
P&I Club A mutual association of shipowners who provide protection against liabilities by means of contributions.
  1. Any physical piece of cargo in relation to transport consisting of the contents and its packing for the purpose of ease of handling by manual or mechanical means
  2. The final product of the packing operation consisting of the packing and its contents to facilitate manual or mechanical handling
Packaging Materials used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods and the activities of placing and securing goods in those materials.
Packing Instruction Document issued within an enterprise giving instructions on how goods are to be packed.
Packing List Document specifying the contents of each individual package.
Pallet A platform on which goods can be stacked in order to facilitate the movement by a fork lift or sling.
Panamax Size The maximum measurements and dimensions of a vessel capable to pass the Panama Canal.
Payload The revenue-producing load carried by a means of transport.
Payment Against Documents Instructions given by a seller to a bank to the effect that the buyer may collect the documents necessary to obtain delivery of the goods only upon actual payment of the invoice.
Physical Distribution Those activities related to the flow of goods from the end of conversion to the customer.
Pier That part of a wharf which is intended for the mooring of vessels.
Pilferage Petty stealing of goods from a ship's hold, cargo shed or warehouse.
Place of Acceptance The location where a consignment (shipment) is received by the carrier from the shipper viz. the place where the carrier's liability for transport venture commences.
Place of Delivery The location where a consignment (shipment) is delivered to the consignee viz. the place where the carrier's liability ends for the transport venture.
Place of Despatch Name and address specifying where goods are collected or taken over by the carrier (i.e. if other than consignor).
Place of Receipt The location where a consignment (shipment) is received by the carrier from the shipper viz. the place where the carrier's liability for transport venture commences.
Port of Call Place where a vessel actually drops anchor or moors during a certain voyage.
Port of Discharge The port where the cargo is actually discharged (unloaded) from the sea (ocean) going vessel.
Port of Loading The port where the cargo is actually loaded on board the sea (ocean) going vessel.
Precarriage The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport from the place of receipt to the port (place) of loading into the ocean vessel (main means of transport).
Precarrier The carrier by which the goods are moved prior to the main transport.
Preshipment Inspection Abbreviation: PSI
The checking of goods before shipment for the purpose of determining the quantity and/or quality of said goods by an independent surveyor (inspection company) for phytosanitary, sanitary and veterinary controls. Presently there is a tendency by developing countries to use the inspection also for the purpose of determining whether the price charged for certain goods is correct.
Principal Person for whom another acts as agent.
Pro Forma Invoice Draft invoice sent to an importer by the exporter prior to order confirmation and shipment to assist in matters relating to obtaining import licences or foreign exchange allocations, or simply to advise the value of a consignment so that letters of credit can be opened.
Project Cargo Quantity of goods connected to the same project and often carried on different moments and from various places.
Proof of Delivery The receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.
Proper Shipping Name A name to be used to describe particular goods on all documents and notifications and, if appropriate, on the goods. basis (air cargo).
Protection and Indemnity Club Abbreviation: P&I club
A mutual association of shipowners who provide protection against liabilities by means of contributions.
Shipping Term Description
Quarantine The period during which an arriving vessel, including its equipment, cargo, crew or passengers, suspected to carry or carrying a contagious disease is detained in strict isolation to prevent the spread of such a disease.
Quay That part of a wharf which is intended for the mooring of vessels.
Shipping Term Description
  1. The price of a transport service
  2. Quantity, amount or degree measured or applied
Rebate That part of a transport charge which the carrier agrees to return.
Receipt A written acknowledgement, that something has been received.
Reefer Cargo Cargo requiring temperature control.
Reefer Container A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.
Regroupage The process of splitting up shipments into various consignments (degroupage) and combining these small consignments into other shipments (groupage).
Release Order A document issued by or on behalf of the carrier authorising the release of import cargo identified thereon and manifested under a single Bill of Lading.
Roll-on Roll-off Abbreviation: RoRo
System of loading and discharging a vessel whereby the cargo is driven on and off by means of a ramp.
Route The track along which goods are (to be) transported.
  1. The determination of the most efficient route(s) that people, goods, materials and or means of transport have to follow
  2. The process of determining how a shipment will be moved between consignor and consignee or between place of acceptance by the carrier and place of delivery to the consignee
  3. The process of aiding a vessel's navigation by supplying long range weather forecasts and indicating the most economic and save sailing route
Shipping Term Description
Said to Contain Abbreviation: STC
Term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the master and the carrier are unaware of the nature or quantity of the contents of e.g. a carton, crate, container or bundle and are relying on the description furnished by the shipper.
Salvage The saving or rescue of a vessel and/or the cargo from loss and/or damage at sea.
Schedule A timetable including arrival/departure times of ocean- and feeder vessels and also inland transportation. It refers to named ports in a specific voyage (journey) within a certain trade indicating the voyage number(s). In general: The plan of times for starting and/or finishing activities.
Seal A device used for containers, lockers, trucks or lorries to proof relevant parties that they have remained closed during transport.
Seaworthiness Fitness of a vessel to travel in open sea mostly related to a particular voyage with a particular cargo.
Seller Party selling merchandise to a buyer.
Sender A service Bill (of Lading) is a contract of carriage issued by one carrier to another for documentary and internal control purposes For internal documentary and control purposes a so-called participating agent in a consortium uses some kind of document which, depending on the trade, is referred to as 'Memo Bill' which will among others state:
  1. Name of Carrier on whose behalf the original document (Way Bill, Bill of Lading, etc.) was issued
  2. Name of Carrier on whose behalf the original document (Way Bill, Bill of Lading, etc.) was issued
  3. The original document number. The agent who issued the original document and his opponent at the discharging side
  4. The number of packages, weight and measurement, marks and numbers and goods description
Further mandatory details in case of special cargo
No freight details will be mentioned and the Memo Bill is not a contract of carriage.
Acts as intermediary between shipowners or carriers by sea on the one hand and cargo interests on the other. The functions are to act as forwarding agent or custom broker, fixing of charters, and acting as chartering agent.
Ship Operator A ship operator is either the shipowner or the (legal) person responsible for the actual management of the vessel and its crew.
Ship's Protest Statement of the master of a vessel before (in the presence of) competent authorities, concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.
ShipLeasing Company The company from which property or equipment is taken on lease.
Shipment A separately identifiable collection of goods to be carried.
Note: In the United States of America the word shipment is used instead of the word consignment.
The (legal) person officially registered as such in the certificate of registry where the following particulars are contained:
  1. Name of vessel and port of registry
  2. Details contained in surveyors certificate
  3. The particulars respecting the origin stated in the declaration of ownership
  4. The name and description of the registered owner, if more than one owner the proportionate share of each
Shipper The merchant (person) by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf a contract of carriage of goods has been concluded with a carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.
Shipper's Export Declaration Abbreviation: SED
A United States customs form to be completed for all exports to assist the government in compiling export statistics.
Shipper's Letter of Instruction Abbreviation: SLI
A document containing instructions given by the shipper or the shipper's agent for preparing documents and forwarding (air cargo).
Shipping Documents Documents required for the carriage of goods.
Shipping Instruction Document advising details of cargo and exporter's requirements of its physical movement.
Shipping Label A label attached to a unit, containing certain data.
Shipping Marks The identification shown on individual packages in order to help in moving it without delay or confusion to its final destination and to enable the checking of cargo against documents.
Shipping Note Document provided by the shipper or his agent to the carrier, multimodal transport operator, terminal or other receiving authority, giving information about export consignments offered for transport, and providing for the necessary receipts and declarations of liability.
Shortage The negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the required quantity.
Shrink Wrapping Heat treatment that shrinks an envelope of polyethylene or similar substance around several units, thus forming one unit. It is used e.g. to secure packages on a pallet.
Slot The space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.
Slot Charter A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place a certain number of container slots (TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer's disposal.
Special Drawing Rights Abbreviation: SDR
Unit of account from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), i.a. used to express the amount of the limitations of a carrier's liability.
Special Rate A rate other than a normal rate.
Stability The capacity of a vessel to return to its original position after having been displaced by external forces. The stability of a vessel depends on the meta-centric height.
Stack An identifiable amount of containers stowed in a orderly way in one specified place on an (ocean) terminal, container freight station, container yard or depot.
Storage The activity of placing goods into a store or the state of being in store (e.g. a warehouse).
Storage Charge The fee for keeping goods in a warehouse.
Stowage The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.
Stowage Factor Ratio of a cargo's cubic measurement to its weight, expressed in cubic feet to the ton or cubic metres to the tonne, used in order to determine the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a certain space.
Stowage Instructions mperative details about the way certain cargo is to be stowed, given by the shipper or his agent.
Stowage Plan A plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments for the benefit of stevedores and vessel's officers.
Stripping The unloading of cargo out of a container.
Stuffing The loading of cargo into a container.
Supply Chain A sequence of events in a goods flow which adds to the value of a specific good. These events may include:
assembling and/or disassembling
movements and placements
Supply Vessel Vessel which carries stock and stores to offshore drilling rigs, platforms.
Surcharge An additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.
Survey An inspection of a certain item or object by a recognised specialist.
Surveyor A specialist who carries out surveys.
Note: A surveyor is often representing a classification bureau or a governmental body.
Shipping Term Description
Tallyman / Clerk A person who records the number of cargo items together with the condition thereof at the time it is loaded into or discharged from a vessel.
Tank Container A tank, surrounded by a framework with the overall dimensions of a container for the transport of liquids or gasses in bulk.
Tanker A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk.
Tare Weight of Container Mass of an empty container including all fittings and appliances associated with that particular type of container on its normal operating condition.
Tariff The schedule of rates, charges and related transport conditions.
Terminal A location on either end of a transportation line including servicing and handling facilities.
Terms of Delivery All the conditions agreed upon between trading partners regarding the delivery of goods and the related services.
Note: Under normal circumstances the INCO terms are used to prevent any misunderstandings.
Terms of Freight All the conditions agreed upon between a carrier and a merchant about the type of freight and charges due to the carrier and whether these are prepaid or are to be collected. Note: The so-called Combi terms based on the INCO terms do make a distinction what of the freight and related costs is to be paid by the seller and what by the buyer. In the UN recommendation 23 a coding system is recommended to recognise the various items.
  1. Cubic capacity of a merchant vessel
  2. Total weight or amount of cargo expressed in tons
Tracing The action of retrieving information concerning the whereabouts of cargo, cargo items, consignments or equipment.
Track & Trace The pro-active tracking of the product along the supply chain, and the paper information flow relating to the order.
Tracking The function of maintaining status information, including current location, of cargo, cargo items, consignments or containers either full or empty.
Trailer A vehicle without motive power, designed for the carriage of cargo and to be towed by a motor vehicle.
Trailer on Flat Car Abbreviation: TOFC
Carriage of piggyback highway trailers on specially equipped railway wagons.
Tramp Vessel A vessel not operating under a regular schedule.
  1. A shipment under one Bill of Lading, whereby sea (ocean) transport is 'broken' into two or more parts. The port where the sea (ocean) transport is 'broken' is the transhipment port
  2. Transfer of cargo from one means of transport to another for on-carriage during the course of one transport operation
  3. Customs: Customs procedure under which goods are transferred under customs control from the importing means of transport to the exporting means of transport within the area of one customs office which is the office of both importation and exportation
Transit Cargo
  1. Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance
  2. Cargo arriving at a point and departing there-from by the same through flight (air cargo)
Transport The assisted movement of people and or goods.
Note: Transport is often used as a generic term for various means of transport, and is distinguished from 'movement' in that it requires such means.
Transport Document Document evidencing a contract of carriage between a shipowner and a consignor, such as bill of lading, seawaybill or a multimodal transport document. (IMO) See Shipping DocumentTwenty Foot Equivalent Unit
Abbreviation: TEU
Unit of measurement equivalent to one twenty foot container.
Type of Cargo An indication of the sort of cargo to be transported, (e.g. Break Bulk, Containerised, RoRo).
Type of Equipment The type of material used, e.g. 40 feet container, four way pallet or mafi trailer.
Type of Movement Description of the service for movement of containers.
Note: The following type of movement can be indicated on B/L and Manifest all combinations of FCL and LCL and break bulk and RoRo. Whilst only on the manifest combinations of House, Yard and CFS can be mentioned.
Type of Packing Description of the packaging material used to wrap, contain and protect goods to be transported.
Shipping Term Description
Ultimate Consignee Party who has been designated on the invoice or packing list as the final recipient of the stated merchandise.
Unaccompanied Baggage Luggage not accompanied by a passenger.
Unit Load A number of individual packages bonded, palletised or strapped together to form a single unit for more efficient handling by mechanical equipment.
United Nations Conferenc on Trade
and Development
Abbreviation: UNCTAD
A United Nations agency whose work in Shipping includes the liner code involving the sharing of cargoes between the Shipping lines of the importing and exporting countries and third countries in the ratio 40:40:20.
United Nations Dangerous Goods Number Abbreviation: UNDG Number
The four-digit number assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to classify a substance or a particular groups of substances.
Note: The prefix 'UN' must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.
Shipping Term Description
Valuable Cargo A consignment which contains one or more valuable articles.
Value Added Tax Abbreviation: VAT
A form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the ultimate customer.
Vanning Buyer
Vendor Seller
Very Large Crude Carrier Abbreviation: VLCC
A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 50.000 till 250.000 DWT.
  1. A floating structure designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers
  2. Boiler, drum
Volume Size or measure of anything in three dimensions.
Volume Charge A charge for carriage of goods based on their volume (air cargo).
Voyage A journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.
Voyage Charter A contract under which the shipowner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lumpsum freight.
Voyage Number Reference number assigned by the carrier or his agent to the voyage of the vessel.
Shipping Term Description
War Risk Perils of war or warlike operations, such as capture, seizure, arrests, restraints of kings, princesses and people, hostilities, civil war, mines, torpedo's. War risks are not covered under a policy for marine perils and must therefore be covered under a separate policy for war risks.
Warehouse A building specially designed for receipt, storage and handling of goods.
Warehouse Receipt Receipt for products deposited in a warehouse.
Warehousing Those activities of holding and handling goods in a warehouse (store).
Warsaw Convention The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, signed at Warsaw, 12 October 1929, or that Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol, 1955, stipulating obligations or parties and limitations and/or exonerations of carriers (air cargo).
Waybill Non-negotiable document evidencing the contract for the transport of cargo.
Weight Charge The charge for carriage of goods based on their weight (air cargo).
Wharf A place for berthing vessels to facilitate loading and discharging of cargo.
Wharfage The fee charged for the use of a wharf for mooring, loading or discharging a vessel or for storing goods.
Shipping Term Description
X-ray High frequency electromagnetic ray of short wave-length, capable of penetrating most solid substances.
X.25 International standard of the CCITT for packet switching.
X.400 A CCITT recommendation designed to facilitate international message and information exchange between subscribers of computer based store-and-forward services and office information systems in association with public and private data networks.
X.500 The CCITT now ITU recommendations (ISO9594) for the structure of directories for the maintenance of addresses used in electronic mail.
XML Extensible mark-up language is an official recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium as a successor of HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up language) it can be used to convey documents layout and contents from one computer application to another. XML is a subset of SGML.
XML/EDI The exchange of structured information over the Internet using XML as the syntax.
Shipping Term Description
Yard Fenced off, outdoor storage and repair area.
Yaw Variation of the course of a ship to port or starboard caused by the action of waves or wind.
  1. A vessel's small boat moved by one oar
  2. A small sailboat rigged fore-and-aft, with a short mizzenmast astern of the cockpit - distinguished from ketch
Yield Bucket The remaining slot capacity for a trade/voyage in a certain port of loading after deduction of the allowance for specific contracts.
Yield Management The process of maximising the contribution of every slot, vessel, trade and network. Basically it should be seen as the process of allocating the right type of capacity to the right kind of customer at the right price as to maximise revenue or yield.
The concept should be used in combination with load factor management.
York - Antwerp Rules There is a general average act when, and only when any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving from peril the property involved in a common maritime adventure.
Shipping Term Description
Zodiac A rubber dinghy. An inflatable craft for the transport of people.
Zone Area, belt or district extending about a certain point defined for transport and/or charge purpose.
Zone Haulage Rate The rate for which the carrier will undertake the haulage of goods or containers between either the place of delivery and the carrier's appropriate terminal. Such haulage will be undertaken only subject to the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the carrier's Combined Transport Bill of Lading.
Zone Improvement Plan Abbreviation: ZIP
System to simplify sorting and delivery of mail, consisting of a number of five digits (the so-called ZIP-code) for identification of the state, city or district, and the postal zone in the U.S.A. delivery areas.

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