Shipping terms

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.

 

Advanced Charge


A charge paid by a carrier to an agent or to another carrier, which the delivering carrier then collects from the consignee. Such charges are usually for agents' forwarding fees and incidental expenses paid out of pocket for account of the shipment by an agent or other carrier.

 

Air Waybill


Abbreviation: AWB A document made out by or on behalf of the carrier(s) confirming receipt of the goods by the carrier and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the carrier(s) for the carriage of goods as described therein.

 

Bill of Lading


Abbreviation: B/L, plural Bs/L A document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea. The document has the following functions: A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorised person on behalf of the carriers. A document of title to the goods described therein. Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties. At the moment 3 different models are used: 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. A classic marine Bill of Lading in which the carrier is also responsible for the part of the transport actually performed by himself. 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.

 

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. Bonded warehouse (place where goods can be placed under bond). Bonded store (place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port or country again). Bonded goods (dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending customs clearance).

 

Bunker Adjustment Factor


Abbreviation: BAF Adjustment applied by carrier or liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuations in the cost of bunkers.

 

Buyer's Market


A 'buyer's market' is considered to exist when goods can easily be secured and when the economic forces of business tend to cause goods to be priced at the purchaser's estimate of value. In other words, a state of trade favourable to the buyer, with relatively large supply and low prices.

 

Cash Against Documents


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).

 

Certificate


A document by which a fact is formally or officially attested and in which special requirements and conditions can be stated.

 

Certificate of Analysis


A document, often required by an importer or governmental authorities, attesting to the quality or purity of commodities. The origin of the certification may be a chemist or any other authorised body such as an inspection firm retained by the exporter or importer. In some cases the document may be drawn up by the manufacturer certifying that the merchandise shipped has been tested in his facility and found conform to the specifications.

 

Certificate of Classification


A certificate, issued by the classification society and stating the class under which a vessel is registered.

 

Certificate of Delivery


A certificate, indicating the condition of a vessel upon delivery for a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.

 

Certificate of Free Sale


A certificate, required by some countries as evidence that the goods are normally sold on the open market and approved by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin.

 

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.

 

Certificate of Redelivery


A certificate, indicating the condition of a vessel upon redelivery from a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.

 

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.

 

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 Bill of Lading


See Bill of Lading R302

 

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.

 

Commodity Box Rate


A rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.

 

Commodity Code


Code used in the Harmonised System for the classification of goods, which are most commonly produced and traded.

 

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: Movement and handling of goods (shipping, forwarding and stowage). Customs formalities. Distribution of documents. Allocation of documents (freight and charges for the connected operations). 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.

 

Consignment Stock


The stock of goods with an external party (customer) which is still the property of the supplier. Payment for these goods is made to the supplier at the moment when they are sold (used) by this party.

 

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 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.

 

Currency Adjustment Factor


Abbreviation: CAF Adjustment applied by carrier lines or liner conferences on freight rates to offset losses or gains for carriers resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates of tariff currencies.

 

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.

 

Demurrage


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. 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.

 

Detention


Keeping equipment beyond the time allowed. See Demurrage

 

Detention Charge


Charges levied on usage of equipment exceeding free time period as stipulated in the pertinent inland rules and conditions.

 

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).

 

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

 

Forty Foot Equivalent Unit


Abbreviation: FEU Unit of measurement equivalent to one forty foot container.

 

Free In Liner Out


Abbreviation: FILO Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of discharging, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of loading and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

 

Free In and Out


Abbreviation: FIO Transport condition denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading and discharging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

 

Full Container Load


Abbreviation: FCL A container stuffed or stripped under risk and for account of the shipper and/or the consignee. A general reference for identifying container loads of cargo loaded and/or discharged at merchants' premises.

 

Fumigation


To expose certain spaces to the action of fumes in order to disinfect or kill vermin. For containers done in line with national legislation.

 

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 from peril the property involved in a common maritime adventure.

 

General Average Statement


 

This shows in detail all general average costs and expenses and the contribution of each interest in the general average in proportion to its value.

 

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.

 

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, import and manufacturing.

 

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.

 

Inland Clearance Depot


 Abbreviation: ICD Inland location where cargo, particularly containerised cargo, may be cleared by customs.

 

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.

 

Lead Time


The amount of time between the request of a service and the actual provision of this service. A span of time required to perform an activity. In a logistics context, the time between the initiation of a process and its completion.

 

Less than Container Load


Abbreviation: LCL 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. For operational purposes a LCL (Less than full container load) container is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.

 

Less than Truck Load


Abbreviation: LTL A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.

 

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. Within carrier the issue of letters of indemnity are contrary to the company's instructions.

 

Liability


Legal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions

 

Lift-On Lift-Off Vessel


Abbreviation: LOLO Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks

 

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.

 

Mafi Trailer


German brand name of a roll trailer used for RoRo purposes.

 

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.

 

Mode of Transport


Method of transport used for the conveyance of goods, (e.g. by rail, by road, by sea).

 

Multimodal Transport


The carriage of goods (containers) by at least two different modes of transport.

 

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 Party


The party to be notified of arrival of goods.

 

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.

 

Optional Port


A port of which it is not known whether or not a vessel during a voyage will make a call.

 

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.

 

Overheight Cargo


Cargo, exceeding the standard height.

 

Overlength Cargo


Cargo, exceeding the standard length.

 

Overwidth Cargo


Cargo, exceeding the standard width.

 

Packing List


Document specifying the contents of each individual package

 

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.

 

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


Harbour having facilities for vessels to moor and load or discharge. Left side of a vessel when facing towards the front or forward end.

 

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.

 

Portal Crane


A type of gantry crane with vertical legs of sufficient height and width to permit vehicles or railroad equipment to pass between the legs.

 

Portlog


A statement concerning a vessel containing the actual arrival and departure time used tugs, draft, dead-weight, quantity of discharged and loaded goods/containers and any other important particulars.

 

Positioning


The transport of empty equipment from a depot to shipper's premises or from consignee's premises back to a depot as the empty leg of a carrier haulage transport.

 

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.

 

Procurement


The activities which ensure the availability of the material and or services in the desired quantity, quality, place and time from the supplier.

 

Procurement Logistics


Control of the flow of materials up to the manufacturing process.

 

Proof of Delivery


The receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.

 

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

 

Quotas


A system of controlling imports, exports or production by specifying a certain limitation

 

Ramp


An artificial inclined path, road or track along which wheeled vehicles, cargo and trailers may pass for the purpose of changing their elevation and facilitating the loading and unloading operation (e.g. an entrance way into a Roll-on Roll-off vessel

 

Receiving Carrier


The carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport

 

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.

 

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.

 

Routing


The determination of the most efficient route(s) that people, goods, materials and or means of transport have to follow. 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. The process of aiding a vessel's navigation by supplying long range weather forecasts and indicating the most economic and save sailing route.

 

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.

 

Segregation


Distance required by the rules of IMDG or BC codes between the various commodities of dangerous and or bulk cargoes.

 

Seller's Market


A 'seller's market' is considered to exist when goods cannot easily be secured and when the economic forces of business tend to be priced at the vendor's estimate of value. In other words, a state of trade favourable to the seller, with relatively great demand and high prices of something for sale.

 

Service Bill


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: Name of Carrier on whose behalf the original document (Way Bill, Bill of Lading, etc.) was issued. The original document number. The agent who issued the original document and his opponent at the discharging side. 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.

 

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 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.

 

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 carrier 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.

 

Shortage


The negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the required quantity.

 

Single Administrative Document


Abbreviation: SAD A set of documents, replacing the various (national) forms for customs declaration within European Community, implemented on January 1st, 1988. The introduction of the SAD constitutes an intermediate stage in the abolition of all administrative documentation in intra European Community trade in goods between member states.

 

Storage Charge


The fee for keeping goods in a port or 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


Imperative 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.

 

Straddle Carrier


Wheeled vehicle designed to lift and carry carrier containers within its own framework. It is used for moving, and sometimes stacking, carrier containers at a container terminal.

 

Stripping


The unloading of cargo out of a container.

 

Stuffing


The loading of cargo into a container.

 

Surcharge


An additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.

 

TIR


Transport International des Merchandises par la Route.

 

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.

 

Tarpaulin


Waterproof material, e.g. canvas, to spread over cargo to protect it from getting wet.

 

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.

 

Transhipment


A shipment under one (carrier) 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. Transfer of cargo from one means of transport to another for on-carriage during the course of one transport operation. 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


Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance. Cargo arriving at a point and departing there-from by the same through flight (air cargo).

 

Transit Country


One of the States signatory to the Convention on Common Transit (currently, the 18 States of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, plus San Marino).

 

Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit


Abbreviation: TEU Unit of measurement equivalent to one twenty foot container.

 

Vanning


See Stuffing

 

Vendee


 

Buyer.

 

Vendor


Seller.

 

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.

 

Waybill


Non-negotiable document evidencing the contract for the transport of cargo.

 

Wharfage


The fee charged for the use of a wharf for mooring, loading or discharging a vessel or for storing goods.

 

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.