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01 Jun 2023 | 19:46:04


Glossary Of Terms

Dubai Port

25°21’N and 55°14’E

Act of Go

An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake

Ad Valorem

A term from Latin meaning, ‘according to value.’

All In

The total price to move cargo from origin to destination,inclusive of all charges.


A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods delivered ‘alongside’ are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship’s tackle so that they can be loaded.


A direction across the width of a vessel. Across the ship or from side to side.

Bareboat charter

The charter of a vessel in which the charter party has the right to use his own master and crew on the vessel and pays all operating expenses.


A flat-bottomed cargo vessel primarily used on rivers and canals usually towed or pushed, but it may be self-propelled.

Bank Guarantee

Guarantee issued by a bank to a carrier to be used in lieu of lost or misplaced original negotiable bill of lading


The width of the ship


Docking space where a ship is anchored

Bill of Lading (B/L)

A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.


1. A written agreement to perform or refrain from performing specified acts, usually guaranteed by a third party. 2. A security evidencing debt, specifying the date payment is due and usually specifying a rate of interest and its dates of periodic payment.


The front of a vessel

Break bulk

1. Description of a ship that transports cargo carried in its hold that is usually packed in cases, bales, cartons, drums, carboys, etc. rather than in containers. 2. Unload packaged cargo from a ‘break bulk ship’ or from a container and distribute it.

Break bulk cargo

Cargo that is shipped in packing units such as cartons, cases, crates, bales, or drums, but not containerized.

Broken Stowage

The loss of space caused by irregularity in the shape of packages. Any void or empty space in a vessel or container not occupied by cargo.


One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating contracts, purchases, or sales in return for a fee or commission.

Bulk cargo

Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count. Cargo consisting of an unpacked commodity such as grain, oil, and ore.


Freight loaded into a ship.

Cargo agent

An agent appointed by an airline or shipping line to solicit and process international air and ocean freight shipments

Cargo Manifest

A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage


Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.

Charter service

Temporary hiring of an aircraft or vessel for the transportation of cargo or passengers.

Charter Party

A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets fort the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement freight rate and ports involved in the trip.


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


A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.


An entity that ships goods to another. The consignor on a bill of lading is the shipper.

Consolidated container

A shipping container that contains cargo from various shippers for delivery to various consignees.


1. A duty or tax imposed on imported and, less commonly, exported goods. 2. The governmental agency authorized to collect custom duties/taxes. 3. Procedure for inspecting goods and baggage entering a country

Dangerous goods

Goods that can pose a health or safety risk.

Date draft

A draft which matures after a specified number of days from the date it is issued.


1. The maximum weight that a ship can carry so that it settles in the water to its Plimsoll mark; also measurable by the weight of the water the vessel displaces when fully loaded less the displacement when it was unloaded. 2. Cargo of such high density that a long ton (2240 lbs.) can be stowed in less than 70 cubic feet.

Deck cargo

Cargo shipped on the deck of a vessel rather than in its hold.

Declared value for carriage

The value of goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purposes of determining charges and establishing the liability of the carrier.

Declared value for customs

The value of a shipment according to the customs laws of the destination country that is required to be declared by the shipper on the shipping documents or by the importer when he presents the goods for customs clearance.

Delivery order

A document from the consignee, shipper, or owner of freight ordering the release of freight to another party.


A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.


The place to which a shipment is consigned. The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent


1. Loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal. 2. A ship’s berth or wharf.


The number of feet that the hull of a ship is beneath the surface of the water. An unconditional order in writing, addressed by one party (drawer) to another party (drawee), requiring the drawee to pay at a fixed or determinable future date a specified sum in lawful currency to the order of a specified person


The sale of goods in a foreign country at less than ‘fair value’ (a price lower than that at which it is sold within the exporting country or to third countries), which materially injures, or threatens to materially injure, that industry in the foreign country.


Materials placed around cargo to prevent shifting or damage while in transit.


Abbreviation for ‘Electronic Data Interface’. Generic term for transmission of transactional data between computer systems. EDI is typically via a batched transmission, usually conforming to consistent standards


Government prohibition of exports or imports with respect to specific products or specific foreign countries.


Estimated time of arrival.


Estimated time of departure.


A reference to the country of registry of a vessel.

Feeder vessel

A short-sea vessel that is part of a cargo network that transfers cargo from smaller ports to major ports where larger vessels dock. This spares larger vessels the expense and loss of time loading and unloading at smaller ports.


Abbreviation for ‘Forty-Foot Equivalent Units’. Refers to container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot

Force Majeure

The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

Foreign flag

The national identification of a carrier registered in a foreign country. A vessel flies the national flag of the country in which it is registered, which may not be the country of the carrier’s owner.

Free Alongside (FAS)

The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment

Free Out (FO)

Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.

Free market

A market with unrestricted trading of goods, where the prices of goods are determined by supply and demand. Internationally, an unrestricted movement of goods, unhampered by the existence of tariffs or other trade barriers.

Free time

That length of time that a carrier’s equipment can be used without incurring additional charges.

Freight forwarder

A business that acts as an agent on behalf of a shipper. A freight forwarder frequently prepares necessary documents and makes all the arrangements to ship the goods.


A location at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.

General cargo vessels

A vessel that carries break-bulk cargo such as bags, cartons, cases, crates and drums, either individually or in unitized or palletized loads.

Gross tonnage

Applies only to vessel (0.2+0.02 log10V) where V is the volume in cubic meters of all enclosed spaces on the vessel.

Gross weight

Total weight of goods prepared for shipping, including packaging and freight car or container.


A consolidation service that ships small freight in one container.


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

Heavy lift (HL)

Any article deemed by rules in a vessel’s tariff to be beyond a certain weight. It may be too heavy for the ship’s tackle and require special equipment such as a floating crane.

Heavy lift charge

In a maritime tariff, a charge made for lifting heavy articles to load or unload them.

Heavy lift vessel

A vessel with heavy lift cranes and other equipment designated to be self-sustaining in the handling of heavy cargo.

Inherent vice

The inherent physical properties of goods which may cause them to suffer deterioration or damage without outside influence

Intermodal compatibility

The physical capability of a shipment of goods to be transported from one form of transportation to another.

Intermodal transport

Coordinated transport of freight using multiple methods of transportation.


Laydays/Cancelling (date): Range of dates within the hire contract must start

Letter of Indemnity

In order to obtain the clean bill of lading, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity to the carrier on the basis of which may be obtained the clean bill of lading, although the dock or mate’s receipt showed that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition.


An open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways to carry cargo to/from alongside a vessel.


Refers to carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed there from.


A vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.


Document that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.

Marine Insurance

Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.

Mate’s Receipt

An acknowledgement of cargo receipt signed by a mate of the vessel. The possessor of the mate’s receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, in exchange for that receipt.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

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


Notice of Readiness


Location where shipment begins its movement.

Packing List

Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated

Perils of the Sea

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

Port of Call

Port where a ship discharges or receives traffic

Port of Entry

Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.

Port of Exit

Place where cargo is loaded and leaves a country.


A structure attached to land to which a vessel is moored.


Railroad terminal where containers are received or delivered and trains loaded or discharged. Originally, trailers moved onto the rearmost flatcar via a ramp and driven into position in a technique known as ‘circus loading.’ Most modern rail facilities use lifting equipment to position containers onto the flatcars.


A shortening of the term, ‘Roll On/Roll Off.’ A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes.


The fitness of a vessel for its intended use.

Ship Chandler

An individual or company selling equipment and supplies for ships.

Ship Demurrage

A charge for delaying a steamer beyond a stipulated period.

Ship’s Manifest

A statement listing the particulars of all shipments loaded for a specified voyage.


A marine term referring to loading freight into ships’ holds.

Straight Bill of Lading

Non-negotiable bill of lading which states a specific identity to whom the goods should be delivered.


The offer of goods for transportation or the offer to place cars or containers for loading or unloading