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 Shipping Glossary

Absorption  The assumption that the carrier will cover extraordinary or other special charges without increasing the price to the shipper.
Accessorial  1. Accessorial Charges - Charges made for additional, special, or supplemental services, normally over and above the line-haul services.
2. Accessorial Service - Service rendered by a carrier in addition to transportation services. (e.g. sorting, packing, precooling, heating, storage.)
Act of God  An extraordinary force of nature (as a severe flood or earthquake) that experience, prescience, or care cannot reasonably foresee or prevent.
Activity Based Costing (ABC)  An accounting system that measures the cost and performance of specific activities performed within an organization. For example, an ABC approach might measure the cost incurred by the accounts receivable department in handling calls for billing errors, whereas the traditional accounting approach ignores the activity and measures the cost of the accounts receivable department as a percentage of revenue.
Ad Valorem (latin)  According to Value (english);
For example, if a Bill of Lading shows a value for the cargo being carried an Ad Valorem charge will be levied. This charge is required because the insurance liability of the carrier increases. This charge may be a levied as a percentage of the value that has been shown.
Add-Ons  Additional charges above ocean freight
Advising bank  Bank where shipper negotiate documents or where documents are first presented, usually at country or origin.
Also often referred to as Negotiating bank.
Agent  (1) abbreviation for 'Freight Agent'.
(2) a person, association or corporation authorised to publish and file rates and provisions for a carrier´s account in tariffs published in the agent´s name.
(3) one that acts for, or in the place of, another by authority from him e.g. a (business) representative, emissary, or official of a government.
Aggregated Shipments  Numerous shipments from different shippers, delivered to one consignee, that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
AI  All Inclusive
Air Freight Forwarder  A non-asset based firm that negotiates low shipping rates with airlines, then takes orders at a higher rate in order to make a profit using the airline's assets to move the product.
All Water   When a shipment is transported from its origin to destination soley by water transportation.
Any Quantity [AQ]   A rating that applies to an article regardless of weight.
Arbitrary  1. A fixed amount which a transportation line agrees to accept in a dividing joint rate;
2. A fixed amount added to or deducted from one station to make a rate from another station;
3. A fixed amount added to or deducted from a rate to one station to make a rate to another station;
4. An allowance added to an employee´s rate of pay in addition to regular wages, based on provisions included in the union contract.
Arrival Notice  Documentation that notifies the consignee of arrival information for the goods and the freight charges due to be paid in exchange for the goods.
Asset-Based, Third Party Provider  A third-party provider that owns transportation and/or warehouse assets.
Assignment  1. The transfer to another of one's legal interest or right;
2. especially the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors;
3. the document by which such an interest or right is transferred.
ATD  Artificial Tween Decks
Forty feet long, eight feet wide, one foot thick steel platform with hardwood flooring. Equipped with ten bullrings for securing oversized, heavy lift or wheeled cargo.
Average Inventory   The average inventory level over a period of time.
Back Haul   To obtain transport on the home run from B to A after having performed a full transport from A to B.
Bank Guarantee  (1) Under certain circumstances, accepted in lieu of original Bill of Lading to release cargo.
(2) A statement issued by an importer´s bank guaranteeing the payment of (L/C) drafts to the exporter or to the carrier.
(3) Other forms of guarantees by banks in favour of a beneficiary
Banker´s Acceptance   A form of financing used in import/export transactions.
Bar Code  A series of bars and spaces read by a scanning device for translation into a numeric or alphanumeric identification code that represents data in machine-readable or computerised form.
Barge   Conveyance used to carry loose cargo or containers in small volumes.
Base Port   Ports from which standard tariff rates apply to those normally serviced directly by members.
Base Rate   Rate used only for construction of other rates.
Bay  Section of vessel in which containers are held.
Benchmarking   The process of comparing a firm´s performance against the practices of other leading companies - in or outside of an industry - for the purpose of improving performance. Companies also benchmark internally by tracking and comparing past performance.
Berth  Vessel docking area
Best Practice   Also known as competitive benchmarking, the methodology that determines state-of-industry performance or application
Bill of Exchange  1. A signed, written order by one company that instructs another company to pay a third party a specific amount.
2. An unconditional written order addressed by one person to another and signed by the person giving it. It requires the person, to whom it is addressed, to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a certain sum of money to the order of a specified person or to bearer. The drawee not being liable on it until he has accepted it.
3. Usually used in foreign transactions.
Bill of Lading  Legal document signed by or for the captain/master, agents, owners of a vessel or the (common) carrier. It is written evidence of the contract of carriage by sea and/or by land. It is
(1)a receipt of the goods (in the owner's/carrier's or his/their agent's custody) and
(2)an undertaking to safely carry and deliver the goods at the place directed/agreed, dangers of the sea excepted, against
(3)surrender of the document where/when provisions in the document stipulate delivery to order of a named person, to order (blank) or to bearer and
4)It evidences the terms of the contract of carriage.
Bonded Warehouse   Warehouse owned by persons approved by the relevant custom and excise authorities (for example in the U.S. it is the Treasury Department), and under bond (or guarantee) for the strict observance of the revenue laws. Utilised for storing goods until duties are paid or goods are otherwise properly released.
Booking  1. Act of recording arrangements for the movement/transportation of goods by vessel or other conveyance.
2. To express in advance a desire for something in order to reserve it e.g. transportation of goods.
3. Synonymous term: 'Booking request'.
Box Rate  A lump sum charged to move cargo in various size containers from origin to destination.
Break Bulk  Cargo which is not containerised due to its weight and/or size e.g. steel pipes, boats etc.
Broker   A person or firm, other than a motor carrier or agent of a motor carrier that as a principal or agent sells, offers for sale, or holds itself out by solicitation, advertisement, or otherwise as selling, providing, or arranging for transportation by motor carrier for competition. A broker is a middleman that brings together the shipper and carrier; a broker does not take responsibility for the transportation. An agent/middleman who for a fee or commission negotiates contract e.g. purchase and sale (such as real estate, commodities or securities) between buyers and sellers without himself taking title to that which is the subject of negotiation and usually without having physical possession of it.
Brokerage License   Authority granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to persons to engage in the business of arranging for transportation of persons or property in interstate commerce.
Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)  Surcharge assessed by carrier which is applied to freight rates to supplement an unexpected rise in fuel costs.
Bunker Surcharge   Surcharge assessed by carrier which is applied to freight rates to supplement an unexpected rise in fuel costs.
C & F  Cost and Freight
Terms of sale
Seller quotes price including the cost of goods and all transportation charges to the named point of destination.
C-TPAT  Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
Cabotage  Trade or transport in coastal waters or between two ports/points within a country especially by other than domestic carriers. Many countries, like the U.S., have laws requiring domestic-owned vessels to perform domestic interport water transportation services.
CAF  Cost, Assurance, and Freight
Also known as, Currency Adjustment Factor
Used to adjust ocean freight due to currency fluctuations
Cargo Bays  Doors at warehouse where vehicles back up to load/unload cargo.
Cargo Manifest   An invoice of all cargo loaded on board a vessel. Listing of all cargo on board a vessel is required by the relevant local authorities.
Same as Manifest
Carrier´s Certificate   A Release Order used to advise customs of the details of the shipment, its ownership, port of lading, etc. By means of this document the carrier certifies that the firm or individual named in the certificate is the owner or consignee of the cargo. It is an U.S. Customs form used in lieu of bill of lading.
CBM   Cubic Meter
1 Cubic Meter = 35.314 Cubic Feet
Cell  Container slot where container fits into place on vessel.
Certificate of Origin   Document used to assure the buying country precisely which country produced the goods being shipped. Usually completed by a recognized Chamber of Commerce.
CFR  Cost and Freight.
CFS  Container Freight Station
Location designated by the ocean carrier for the receiving and delivering of a shipment, and for assembly and distribution of shipments into or out of steamship line containers. Most LCL cargos are either packed into or devanned at the CFS. The carrier may store empty containers at a CFS but will not receive or deliver containers at a CFS.
Chassis   Trailer or wheeled unit on which a container is placed in order to move container over the road.
CIF  Cost insurance and freight.
CIP  Carriage and Insurrance Paid to.
Claim Tracer   Request for advice concerning the status of a claim.
Clean On Board  A clause inserted in the Bill of Lading by some shipping/transportation companies stating that have not noted or are not familiar with any irregularities or discrepancies in the packing or in the general condition of any part of the goods or its description.
COFC  Container on Flat Car
Rail service on which a container is loaded onto a flat car without chassis, bogies or wheels.
Combined Transport Bill of Lading   Provides a combined transport by at least two different modes of transportation from a place at which the goods are taken to a place designated for delivery.
Commercial Invoice   A document produced by the shipper/seller of goods which contains an accurate description of the merchandise and the country of origin. All items are itemized and with actual price.
Common Point   Point reached by two or more transportation lines.
Common Tariff   Tariff published by or for the account of two or more transportation lines as issuing carriers.
Company Guarantee   A letter of guarantee from a company indemnifying the carrier of responsibility associated with the release of goods in lieu of a bill of lading.
Conference   Defined in the 1984 Shipping Act as: ... an association of ocean common carriers permitted, pursuant to an approved or effective agreement, to engage in concerted activity and to utilize a common tariff; but the term does not include a joint service, consortium, pooling, sailing, or trans-shipment arrangement.
It is basically a group of steamship companies offering equitable freight rates, standardized shipping practices and regularly scheduled services between designated ports. These arrangements are given anti-trust immunity as authorized by the Shipping Act 1984.
Consignee  Person/one to whom something is consigned or shipped and entitled to take delivery.
Consignor  Person/one that consigns something (as the goods of an individual shipment). See also Shipper.
Consolidation  The placing of LCL/LTL cargo from several sources into a container in order to fill the container and obtain a better per-unit cost for shipping.
Consular Invoice   Document required by some foreign countries showing exact information as to consignor, consignee, value description, etc. for a shipment.
Container  Weatherproof box designed for shipment of freight, generally used for overseas shipments. The container is separable from the chassis when loaded onto vessels or rail cars.
Container Depot   Location, other than a container yard, maintained by or on behalf of ocean carrier at which shippers or consignees may pick up or drop off empty equipment. No loaded containers may be received at CDs and such locations may not be owned or controlled by a shipper or his agent.
Container Service Charge   Charge for services performed at loading ports: a) Moving empty containers from CY to CFS; b) Drayage of loaded containers from CFS to CY and/or ship´s tackle; c) Issuing dock receipt/shipper order.
Container Stuffing List (CSL)   List showing how cargo is stowed in each container.
Container Yard (CY)  Area adjacent to the vessel berth where containers are delivered to and received from the vessel or inland carriers.
Continuous Flow Distribution (CFD)   The streamline pull of products in response to customer requirements while minimizing the cost of distribution.
Continuous Replenishment Program (CRP)   A program that triggers the manufacturing and movement of a product through the supply chain when the identical product is purchased by an end user.
Contract Carrier   For-hire interstate operators which offer transportation services to certain shippers under contracts.
Core Competency   A company´s primary function considered essential to its success.
CPT  Carriage Paid To.
Cross-Docking   The process of moving merchandise directly from the receiving dock to the shipping dock, eliminating the need to place the merchandise in storage.
Customs Entries   Consumption Entry Form required by U.S. Customs for importing goods into the United States. The form contains information as to the origin of the cargo, a description of the merchandise, and estimated duties applicable to the particular commodity. Estimated duties must be paid at the time the entry is filled.
Immediate Delivery Entry is used to expedite clearance of cargo. It allows up to ten days for the payment of estimated duty and processing of the consumption entry. In addition, it permits the delivery of the cargo prior to payment of the estimated duty and then allows subsequent filing of the consumption entry and duty. Also known as an ID entry.
Immediate Transportation Entry allows the cargo to be moved from the pier to an inland destination via a bonded carrier without the payment of duties or finalization of the entry at the port of arrival. Known as an IT entry.
Transportation and Exportation Entry allows goods coming from or going to a third country, such as Canada or Mexico, to enter the United States for the purpose of transshipment. Known as a T&E entry.
Vessel Repair Entry is the law known as the "Foreign Vessel Repair Statute". It provides that when any repairs in a foreign country are made on a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, an ad valorem duty of 50% is imposed on the cost of repair, including labor and labor costs, when the vessel arrives in the United States. All equipment, parts, or materials purchased, and repairs made, outside the United States must be declared on Customs Form 226 (CF-226) and filed at the port of first arrival within 5 working days.
Customs House Broker   Independent broker certified by U.S. Bureau of Customs to act for importers and businessmen in handling for them the sequence of custom formalities and other details of importing and exporting goods
Cut Off Time   Last possible time when containers/cargoes may be delivered to a ship or designated point.
Cycle Count   Counting inventory by checking a particular location or set of locations and comparing the physical counts with the system-maintained inventory levels.
Cycle Time   The amount of time it takes to complete a business process. For example, the amount of time from when a service is ordered until it is received by the customer.
Cycle Time Reduction   The process of reducing cycle time, cutting costs and improving customer service.
DDP  Delivered Duty Paid.
DDU  Delivery Duty Unpaid.
Delivery  (1) The physical and legal transfer of a shipment from consignor to carrier and from carrier/ transport agent to consignee.
(2) The act of putting property into the legal possession of another whether involving the actual transfer of the physical control of the object from one to the other or being constructively effected in various other ways.
Delivery Order  Order from the consignee, shipper, or owner of freight to a terminal operator, carrier, or warehouse to deliver freight to another party. On imports, may also be known as a pier release.
A document which is neither a bill of lading or a waybill but contains an undertaking which
(1) is given under or for the purposes of a contact for the carriage by sea of goods to which the document relates, or of goods which include those goods; and
(2) is an undertaking by the carrier to a person identified in the document to deliver those goods to which the document relates to that person.
Delivery orders are likely capable of transfer of contractual rights by way of endorsements, but they are not necessarily documents of title in the sense of being able to pass constructive possession.
Demand Chain   Another name for 'supply chain', with emphasis on the customer or party controlling demand.
Demurrage   (1)Compensation (as liquidated damages) for delay in removing cargo from terminal facilities.
(2) A charge assessed for detaining a container, freight car, truck or other vehicle beyond the free time stipulated for loading or unloading
DEQ  Delivery Ex Quay.
DES  Delivered Ex Ship.
Detention   Costs incurred when a shipper/consignee or his/her agent removes a container from carrier's origin/destination CY to the shipper/consignee's place of business, and does not return the loaded/empty container to the CY or to another location designated by the carrier, within the permitted free time as stipulated in the applicable tariff.
Differential  Amount added or deducted from base rate to create a rate to or from some other point or via another route.
Distribution   The full range of activities and planning required to move a product from the production line to the end user.
Distribution Requirements Planning   A system of determining demand for inventory at distribution centers, consolidating the demand information backwards, and acting as input to the production and material system.
DIT   Destination Interchange Terminal
Facility operated by the ocean carrier or his agent at which containers are interchanged with the delivering motor carrier.
Diversion Charge   Fee for diverting cargo from original intended destination port to a new location.
Dock Receipt   Receipt given for a shipment received or delivered at a pier or dock. When delivery of a foreign shipment is completed the dock receipt is exchanged for a bill of lading with the transportation line.
Draft  Marine : The depth to which a vessel´s deepest point is under water. Rail : A cut of coupled cars Financial : A signed, written order by one party that instructs another party to pay a 3rd party a specific amount. It also may be called a bill of exchange.
Drawback  99% refund of imported or duty paid materials which are to be exported again.
Drayage  Charge for hauling freight, drays, or trucks within a port.
Dry Dock   Used to lay up vessels for repair.
Dunnage  Material used around cargo to prevent breakage or shifting, normally provided by shipper. Its weight is included in the rating.
Duty Drawback   (1) Payment returned for cargo re-exported or trade shows material.
(2) A customs refund on re-exported cargo.
Earnings   Income after a company´s taxes and all other expenses have been paid. Also called profit or net income.
Economic Value Added (EVA)   Measuring Shareholder value as a company´s operating profits after tax, less a charge for the capital used in creating the profits. EVA is a registered trademark of Stern & Co. in the U.S.
EDI  Electronic Data Interchange
The automated exchange of any predefined and structured data for business among information systems of two or more organisations.
EDI message  Is an approved, published, and maintained formal description of how to structure the data required to perform a specific business function, in such a way as to allow for the transfer and handling of this data by electronic means.
Efficient Consumer Response (ECR)   A consumer-driven system of replenishment in which high-quality products and accurate information flow through a paperless (EI) system between all distribution points from manufacturing line to chekout counter.
EIR   Equipment Interchange Receipt
A document used to receive or deliver a full or empty container/chassis at any terminal or inland container pool/depot.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)   Payment for goods or services via exchanges of electronic authorizations against bank accounts. Authorization is sent to an Automated Clearing House (usually a bank), which verifies the source of the transaction as having control over the accounts and performs the fund transfer.
Equalization   (1)Monetary allowance to a customer for picking up or delivering cargo to or from a point which is not the origin/destination shown on the B/L.
(2)Compensation for additional charges incurred by shipper for delivering cargo to port designated by the carrier other than the closest port to the supplier.
ETA   Estimated Time of Arrival
ETD   Estimated Time of Departure
Export Declaration   (1)Government document permitting designated goods to leave the country. Issued by U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Includes complete particulars on the shipment. Although customers can submit their declarations themselves to U.S. Customs, the carrier is still responsible for penalities if the documentation is not available by the time a vessel is "cleared" by Customs for sailing. aka ex-dec, SED (Shipper´s Export Declaration).
(2)Shippers need to obtain a Bureau of Census document which spells out shipment details for entry to goverment statistical system. Documents for export shipping declaring value of cargo to the U.S. Customs.
Extra Loader   Additional vessel brought into schedule to cope with exceptionally strong market
EXW  Ex Works. Buyer receives the cargo directly from the factory and thereafter arranges shipment, insurance and other related services themselves.
FAK   Freight All Kinds
Usually refers to consolidated cargo.
FAS   Free Along Side
FCA  Free Carrier
FCL   Full Container Load
Containers are charged a specific rate for ocean transit regardless of their (lack of) contents. A full container will thus offer a better price per unit shipped than will a LCL.
Feeder   Transportation conveyance utilized to relay cargo from the mother vessel to ultimate destination or from first receipt port to mother vessel.
FFE  Forty-foot Equivalent Unit
The standard measurement unit of containerized cargo.
FIFO  Free In Free Out
See also FIO
FIO  Free In Free Out
Flat Bed   Truck designed to haul heavy or oversized non-containerizable cargo.
Floating Cranes   Heavy duty cranes that are able to handle exceptionally heavy cargo if unable to use conventional gantry cranes.
FMC   Federal Maritime Commission
U.S. Government agency responsible for overseeing regulatory aspects of the Shipping Act.
FOB  Free On Board
For-Hire Carriers   Persons or firms engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers for compensation. Classified into two general categories, specialized and general freight motor carriers.
Force Majeure  A state of emergency or condition that permits a company to depart from the strict terms of contract because of an event or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled. I.e: beyond human control (French superior or irresistible force).
Forwarder´s Cargo Receipt   A non-negotiable document issued by a forwarder which will satisfy legal requirements for a letter-of-credit. Since a forwarder is not an NVOCC it cannot issue actual Bills of Lading. The FCR is legally binding upon the forwarder and is an industry standard.
Free Time  Time allowed for shippers or consignees/receivers to load or unload cargo before demurrage, detention, and other charges accrue.
Freight Bill  Destination (Collect), Freight Bill: Prepaid Freight Bill.
(1) Bill rendered by a transportation line to consignee containing description of freight shipper name, point of origin, weight charges (if not prepaid).
(2) Bill rendered by a transportation line to shipper containing description of freight, consignee, destination, and weight charges.
Freight Cashier   Responsible for collections of freight/charges/release of cargo/release of bills of ladings
Freight Forwarder   (1)Person engaged in assembling, collecting, consolidating shipping and distributing less than trailerload freight.
(2)also, a person acting as an agent in the trans-shipping of freight to or from foreign countries and clearing freight through Federal Customs.
Freight Release   Evidence that the freight charges for the cargo have been paid. If in writing, it may be presented at the pier to obtain release of the cargo. Normally, once the freight is paid freight releases are arranged without additional documentation. aka Freight Bill Receipt.
Full Visible Capacity   The trailer is loaded as full as the character of the freight and other conditions permit, so that no more of the same type of freight can be loaded therein, consistent with safety and damage precautions.
Gantry Crane   Port crane used to load and discharge containers from vessel, able to be positioned by moving along rail tracks.
Garment-on-Hanger (GOH)   Method of storing apparel in containers for garments that should not be folded.
Gateway  Shipping: Point at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.
Computers: Computers Like bridges and routers, a method of connecting two local area networks. Gateways translate between two LAN protocols.
Gateways: are protocol-specific and can only translate between two types of networks, not directly to PCs.
Genset  Generator sets which supply power to refrigerated containers when no external source is available. It is used to regulate temperature in a reefer container; can be on its own power or plugs provided on pier/vessel.
GRI  General Rate Increase
Handling Costs   The cost involved in transferring, preparing, and otherwise contracting inventory.
Hangertainer  Specialized container equipped with hanger beams for the purpose of stowing garments on hangers.
Harmless Chemicals   A cargo description, which is a contradiction of terms. A chemical is a substance and whether it is harmless or not, depends on the context in which the substance appears or is used.
HAWB/MAWB   House Airway Bill/Master Airway Bill
Documents required for air transportation of cargo.
Heavy Lift Charge   Charge for cargo which is too heavy to be lifted by standard cranes or ship´s tackle.
Hitchment  Marrying 2 or more portions of one shipment that originate at different geographical locations, moving under one bill of lading, from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication.
Holds   Section of vessel in which containers are stored.
See also Bays.
Hustler  Tractor that pulls containers around the pier for positioning. Also known as Yard Hustler.
IA   Independent Action.
A carrier can take an independent action in a conference resulting in a unique rate for that carrier within a conference; ability to file a rate independently of other carriers' actions.
IMCO   International Maritime Control Organisation. See IMO.
IMCO Classification   International Maritime Control Organization classification for hazardous cargo.
IMO  International Maritime Organization. Formally IMCO.
Imports   Goods and services one country´s residents purchase and transport from another country into their own country.
Inbound  Import Shipment.
INCO Terms  Incoterms 2000, is the latest version of ICC's standard trade definitions, commonly known as the INCO terms. The terms consist of 13 rules which are fundamental to international trade, defining the most important responsibilities of buyers and sellers in international sales contracts. Incoterms are a basic reference for sales contacts, recognised as the international standard by customs authorities and courts everywhere. Since they were first published in 1936, Incoterms - a trademarked ICC product - have been updated six times.
Independent Action  A separate action taken by an individual member of a conference agreement to change rates or terms of carriage as laid out in the conference agreements.
Independent Carrier   Carrier that is not a member of a shipping conference.
Inland Carrier   Transportation company which hauls imports or exports between ports and inland points.
Insurance Certificate   Document which assures the consignee that insurance is provided to cover loss or damage to the cargo while in transit.
A certificate issued by insurer to a shipper (or other party) as evidence that a shipment of merchandise is covered under a marine policy.
Integrated Carriers   Carriers that have both air and ground fleets; or other combinations, such as sea, rail, and truck. Usually handle thousands of small parcels an hour.
Intermodal  Coordinated transport of freight, especially in connection with relatively long-haul movements, using any combination of freight forwarders, piggy-back, containerization, air-freight, assemblers, rail and road.
Intermodal marketing company (IMC)   Consolidates container loads or piggyback trailers from several shippers and contracts with railroads for volume space.
International Freight Forwarders   Freight Forwarders that handle booking, paperwork, and consolidation of exports.
Inventory Carrying Costs   Generally carrying costs or holding costs are financial measurements that calculate all the costs associated with holding goods in storage. It includes inventory-in-storage, warehousing, obsolescence, deterioration, spoilage, and labor costs, as well as insurance and taxes.
Inventory turnover   The cost of goods sold divided by the average level of inventory on hand. The ratio measures how many times a company´s inventory has been sold during the year.
Inventory Velocity  The speed with which products move from receiving dock to shipping dock
IPI  Inland Point Intermodal
Cargo moving via land from/to an inland point.
See also Micro Bridge.
ISA  Information System Agreement.
Leading organization of ocean carriers that develops, promotes and implements electronic commerce solutions for the maritime industry.
JOC  Journal of Commerce
A trade publication. Trade transportation journal.
Joint Rate  A rate from a point located on one transportation line to a point on another transportation line which is published in a single tariff.
Jones Act   Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requiring that all shipments by water between ports in the United States (including Puerto Rico) be carried by U.S. - flag, U.S. - built, and U.S. - crewed vessels.
Just-In-Time (JIT)  In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non-existent; the container is the moveable warehouse and must arrive "just in time," that is not too early and not too late.
Label Cargo  Cargo, including all commodities, requiring a label according to the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
Land Bridge   Containers moving from a foreign country by vessel, and then sent to an inland point in the U.S. or elsewhere by land transportation (rail or truck). See also MLB.
Less Than Container Load (LCL)  Common term for an amount of goods to be shipped which do not fill an entire container. Ocean rates for LCL are commonly higher on a per-unit basis than for a full container load. Thus, consolidation of several LCL loads from different places or shippers into a full container can save on costs.
Less Than Trailer Load (LTL)   See "Less Than Container Load" (LCL).
Letter of Credit (LC)  (1) Letter of agreement issued by a bank stating a foreign purchaser has established a line of credit in a seller’s favor, and confirming that payment for goods will be made upon presentation of certain documents which are in agreement with terms on the letter-of-credit.
(2) A letter addressed by a banker to a correspondent certifying that a person named therein is entitled to draw on him or his credit up to a certain sum.
(3) A letter addressed by a banker to at person to whom credit is given authorizing him to draw on the issuing bank or on a bank in his country up to a certain sum and guaranteeing to accept the drafts if dully made, called also commercial letter of credit, confirmed credit, confirmed letter of credit.
Letters of credit may take various forms, represent various undertakings for various purposes and be subject to different conditions.
Line Haul   Marine Portion of a vessel´s route covering the greatest distance, usually across an ocean (e.g. Singapore-Los Angeles).
LNG Carrier  Liquified Natural Gas Carrier.
Logistics  The management of freight and information throughout the total supply chain from the original raw material source to the ultimate consumer of finished product, encompasing factories, assembly and packing plants, warehouses, distribution centers and retail outlets.
Longshoreman  Also known as Stevedore.
Worker who loads and unloads a ship. Terminal operator who is designed to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels, as well as other terminal activities.
LT   Long Ton
1 Long Ton = 2.240 lbs
Manifest  Entire listing of all cargo on board a vessel as required by the relevant local authorities, e.g. customs.
Same as Cargo Manifest.
Marks and Numbers   The identifying details on or of a package, or the actual markings that appear on the packages.
Materials Management   The procurement, movement, and management of materials and products from acquisition through production.
Merchant Haulage   Inland transportation performed by an inland carrier contracted by and for the account of the shipper or consignee.
Mixed Shipment   Shipment consisting of articles described in and rated under two or more rate items within a tariff.
MLB  An abbreviation for Mini Land Bridge Containers moving from a foreign country by vessel, and then sent to an inland point in the U.S. or elsewhere by land transportation (rail or truck). See also Land Bridge.
Mother Vessel   Main ocean vessel in a liner service designated to move containers from set origin points to set destination ports/points on a regular basis.
MSI Plessey   This barcode is a variable length barcode that can encode up to 15 numeric digits. Checksum generation is dependent on the value of the checksum parameter. The following table indicates the value of the checksum property and the type of checksum created. Setting, Description, 0, one modulus 10 checksum, 1, two modulus 10 checksums, 2, one modulus 11 checksum/one modulus 10 checksum.
MT  Metric Ton.
1 MT = 2 204.62lbs or 35.314 cft
Negotiable Bill of Lading   That can be negotiated, that can be transferred or assigned from one person to another in return for equivalent value by being delivered either with endorsement (as of an instrument to order) or without endorsement (as of an instrument to bearer) so that the title passes to the transferee who is not prejudiced in his rights by any defect or flaw in the title of prior parties nor by personal defenses available to prior parties among themselves provided in both cases that the transferee is a bona fide holder without notice e.g. bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and checks that are payable to bearer or order are negotiable instruments, as are also, in some jurisdictions, some other instruments (as bonds, some forms of stock) i.e. negotiable paper/negotiable securities “Negotiable” used analogously for “transferable” – see also negotiability/transferability.
Negotiating Bank  Bank where shipper negotiates documents or where documents are first presented, usually at country of origin.
Also often reffered to as advising bank
Nested  Three or more different sizes of the same article or commodity must be enclosed, each smaller piece within the next larger pieces, or three or more of the articles must be placed one within the other so that each upper article will not project above the lower article more than 1/3 of its height.
Nested Solid: Three or more of the articles must be placed on or within the other so that the outer side surfaces of the one above will be in contact with the inner side surfaces of the one below, and each upper article will not project above the next lower article more than 1/2 inch.
Neutral Body   Investigating body designated by conference carriers to insure that all the regulations and rules are adhered to.
NOE   Not Otherwise Enumerated
Non-Asset-Based Third Party Providers   Third party providers who generally do not own assets, such as transportation and/or warehouse equipment.
Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading  A document not made our “to order” being a receipt and evidence of the contract of carriage, but which is not a document of title, e.g. a waybill and some jurisdictions (like USA) a (straight) consigned bill of lading.
NOS  Not Otherwise Stated.
Notify Party   Company/Person who appears on the Bill of Lading or Waybill to be notified when the cargo arrives at destination. Could be different from the consignee, but is often the actual receiver of the goods. A notify party has no particular rights (beyond the notification) under the Bill of Lading or Waybill.
NVOCC   Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier
Carrier offering an international cargo transport service through the use of underlying carriers and under their own rate structure in accordance with tariffs filed with the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington D.C.
OBL  Original Bill of Lading.
See also Negotiable Bill of Lading.
On Deck Stowage   Cargo stowed on the deck of the vessel.
On-Carriage   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.
On-Time Performance   The proportion of time that a transit system adheres to its published schedule times within stated tolerances.
Open Rates   Rates established for each individual carrier. These rates are listed in a tariff list but may differ according to carrier.
Order Cycle  This includes the time and the process involved from the placement of the order to the receipt of the shipment. It includes the following processes: Communicating the order, Order Processing, Transporting the Shipment.
Out of Gauge   Cargo which exceeds the internal dimensions of the container in width, length, or height.
Outbound  Export Shipments.
Outport  Destination port, other than a base port, to which rates apply but which may be subject to additional outport arbitraries.
Outsource   To hire a third-party provider to assume tasks previously performed in-house.
Over Landed   (1) Cargo volume count more that originally shipped.
(2) Cargo taken beyond original port of discharge.
Overland Common Port (OCP)   A special rate concession made by shipping lines, rail carriers, and truckers serving the U.S. West Coast for export and import traffic, intended to benefit Midwest shippers and importers by equalizing rates to and from other coastal areas, and offering these Midwest companies a comparable alternative. The steamship companies lower their rates and the inland carriers pick up the terminal charges, which consist of handling charges, wharfage charges, and car loading or unloading charges. OCP rates apply to cargo shipped from or consigned to the states of: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and all states east thereof OCP rates in Canada apply to the provinces of: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec.
Packing List  List of packages for each shipment showing individual breakdown in weights/measure and quantity.
Pallet  Wooden structure used to support cargo and ease movement by forklifts.
Partlow Chart   A chart that indicates the temperature reading in a reefer container.
Partnerships and Alliances   Shippers and providers who enter into agreements designed to benefit both parties.
Per Diem  On a daily basis.
Physical Distribution   All logistics activities from the production line to the final user, including traffic, packaging, materials handling, warehousing, order entry, customer service, inventory control, etc.
Pier  A structure built out from land and extending some distance over water, that is often used for docking boats
Also known as wharf.
Piggyback   Transportation of highway trailers or demountable trailer bodies on specially equipped rail flat cars.
Pilferage   Cargo stolen from the container, warehouse or terminal.
Plimsoll Mark   Depth to which a vessel may safely load. Identified by a circle on the vessel's side with a vertical line through and a number of small horizontal lines showing the max depth for summer and winter.
Port & Terminal Service Charge [PTSC]   South Europe Conference [SEAC] charge incurred when the shipper is not able to deliver cargo directly alongside the vessel. The carrier may assess its expenses in moving cargo from the shipper´s point of delivery to the vessel.
Positioning   Moving of empty equipment from surplus areas to deficit areas.
Primage  A charge paid by shippers to ship agents for services provided by the agent in Turkish and Greek ports, generally for loading activities conducted by port stevedores. It is not an actual contractual term so the obligation to pay does not depend on its inclusion in the bill of lading.
Turkey: 3% on Total Ocean Freight including all surcharges and intermodal charges.
Greece: 3% Piraeus, 5% Salonika (except on cargo originating in Bulgaria).
PTI   Pre Trip Inspection. (Typically the shipping line's inspection of reefer containers prior to release to the shipper for stuffing/loading).
Purchase Order  Common grouping of orders for goods/services. Several SKU categories may be listed on one purchase order. Most customers group their orders in a particular way to facilitate distribution at the other end. For example, one purchase order for an apparel importer might encompass 2 dozen green sweaters and 2 dozen red sweaters. If those P.O.s originated from the same store, it is simple for the store to put all items under that P.O. onto the right truck.
Quality Control   The systematic planning, measuring, and control of a combination of people, materials, metrology, and machines, with the objective of producing a product that satisfies the quality and profitability of the enterprise.
Quay   A pier, wharf, or other structure built along a shore for landing, loading, and unloading boats or ships.
Quick Response (QR)   A consumer-driven system of replenishment in which high quality products and accurate information flow through a paperless (EDI) system between all distribution points from manufacturing line to retail checkout counter. Distributors, carriers and suppliers act as trading partners and focus on improving the total supply system.
Quitclaim   A legal instrument used to release one person´s right, title, or interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty of title.
Railhead   Location for loading and unloading containers at railroad terminal.
Rate Agreement  Group of carriers who discuss rates and common problems with options to file independent tariffs.
Re-engineering   An approach to improving business operations through reinventing, reevaluating, redesigning, and redoing.
Received for Shipment Bill of Lading  Can be issued on the carrier’s actual receipt or taking custody of goods, if requested goods are not necessarily loaded onboard a vessel or other conveyance yet. This form of Bill of Lading would usually be switched to an Onboard Bill of Lading or added an Onboard Notation upon the actual loading of goods onboard a vessel or other conveyance.
Register Ton   A unit of interior capacity of ships.
1 Register Ton = 100 cubic feet or 2.832 cubic meters
Also known as Vessel ton
Relay  Marine Shipment that is transferred to its ultimate destination port after having been shipped to an intermediate point.
Replenishment   The process of moving the inventory of an item from a reserve storage location to the primary picking location or to another mode of storage in which picking is performed.
Return Cargo   Cargo to be returned to original place of receipt.
Revenue Ton   Number of tons which freight is paid for per ton.
Reverse Logistics   Reverse Logistics is a rather general term. In broadest sense, Reverse Logistics stands for all operations related to the reuse of products and materials. The management of these operations can be referred to as Product Recovery Management (PRM). PRM is concerned with the care for products and materials after they have been used. Some of these activities are, to some extent, similar to those occurring in case of internal returns of defective items due to unreliable production processes. Reverse Logistics though refers to all logistics activities to collect, disassemble and process used products, product parts and /or materials in order to ensure a sustainable (environmentally friendly) recovery.
Ro-Ro  Roll on/Roll off
Vessel used for carrying automobiles and light trucks. Vehicles are driven on and driven off, as opposed to being loaded with cranes or other external equipment.
Sea Waybill  A type of Bill of Lading used for port-to-port or combined transport carriage. A Waybill is identical to a negotiable Bill of Lading except that it is not a document of title. There are no originals issued for this type of document. In some jurisdictions, like USA, a Waybill is deemed The equivalent of a (straight) consigned Bill of Lading.
See also Waybill.
Service Agreement  Private contracts between one or more carriers and one or more shippers to transport cargo between specified points at terms and conditions of carriage agreed and listed in the contract. It often allows for particular rates based on volume over a specified period of time.
Also commonly known as a Service Contract.
Set Point  Specific temperature that a refrigerated container has been set to keep. Ideally the set point and the actual temperature should be identical throughout the voyage.
Ship's Chandlers   Suppliers of various items to the vessel.
Shipper  1)One that consigns something (as the goods of an individual shipment).
2)Group, company, person designated on the Bill of Lading or Waybill who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contact of carriage has been concluded with a carrier.
Same as consignor.
Shipper  Contents of containers as loaded (stuffed), stowed (packed/braced) and counted by shipper, usually a CY load.
Shipping Order  Equivalent of booking and contract of carriage evidencing the agreement to transport goods.
Short Landed   Cargo volume count (at delivery destination) less than originally shipped.
Short Shipped   Cargo missing a vessel that is was originally intended for.
Slot Charter  A Carrier's chartering of slots/-spaces spaces on other carrier's vessels.
SMDG  User Group for Shipping Lines and Container Terminals.
SMDG develops and promotes UN/EDIFACT EDI-messages for the Maritime Industry and is an official Pan European User Group, recognised by the UN/EDIFACT Board.
Special Customs Invoice   An official form usually required by U.S. Customs if the rate of duty is based upon the value and the value of the shipment exceeds $500. This document is usually prepared by the foreign exporter or his forwarder and is used by Customs in determining the value of the shipment. The exporter or his agent must attest to the authenticity of the data furnished.
Special Rate   Rate established for a specified commodity for specific period of time.
SS   Steamship.
ST  1 Short Ton = 2 000 lbs.
STC  Abbreviation for Said To Contain.
Stevedore  Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging vessels and various terminal activities.
Also known as Longshoreman.
Stock Keeping Unit [SKU]   Smallest unit grouping for goods, normally indicating a single retail item. Usually, several SKUs will be under one Purchase Order.
Storage Charge   Charge for goods held in storage facilities (warehouses) under a fixed agreement for periods of time, and which is not included in other arrangement.
Store-Door Delivery   Movement of goods to the consignee´s place of business, customarily applied to movement by truck.
Stripping   Also known as Unstuffing
Physical removal of goods from the (carrier´s) container(s).
Stuffing  Physical loading of goods into the (carrier's) container.
Supply Chain   The movement of materials and information through the logistics process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to end user. The supply chain includes all vendors, service providers and customers.
Supply Chain Management   The management and control of all materials and information in the logistics process from acquisition of raw materials to delivery to end user.
Surcharges  Additional charges above ocean freight.
See also Add Ons.
SWIFT   Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication
A cooperative organized under Belgian law providing the following services to participating financial institutions: Letters of credit (opening and transmission), Money transfer, Payments Security settlements.
Other businesses participating in SWIFT are: Security brokers and delaters, Clearing and depository institutions, Security exchanges and Travelers check issuers.
Switch bill of lading  Often called “the trader’s second set” and intended to replace the first set of bills of lading issued. Usually used where a seller/trader wishes to keep the name of his supplier, named as shipper, secret from the ultimate buyer of goods. Due care and consideration must be exercised when issuing such bills of lading because of inherent exposure to fraud/conversion of factual data.
Tare Weight   Weight of an empty container. Gross weight = net weight + tare weight.
Tariff   List of published rates, rules and regulations applicable for transportation of goods in specified trade lanes or between two areas.
TEU  Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
A measure of container capacity, still used by some institutions
1 FFE = 2 TEU
THC   Terminal Handling Charge
The charge assessed by the terminal for the positioning of cargo within terminal/yard.
Third Party Providers   Companies that can be employed (hired) to assume tasks that were previously performed in-house by the client.
Through Rates   A rate applicable from point of origin to destination. A through rate may be either a joint rate or a combination of two or more rates.
TIR Carnet  A document which can be issued to ease border crossings in Europe. Customs at a European location place a seal on a container and issues the TIR Carnet. The document and seal allow the container to cross borders without inspection to the consignee´s door, where destination customs will then inspect the cargo.
To order of Shipper  Means that the shipper by way of endorsement and passing of the document allows a transfer of the rights to take delivery of the goods in the document e.g. a bill of lading.
TOFC   Trailer on Flat Car Rail
Service in which a container is loaded on a rail car with chassis, bogies, or wheels
TOS   Terms of Sale (i.e. FOB/CIF/FAS).
Total Average Inventory   (1) The sum of average order quantity (one-half of order quantity), plus safety stock. Safety stock is the amount on hand after the arrival of the order.
(2) Also is the average normal use stock, plus the average lead stock, plus safety stock.
Total Cost of Distribution   The sum of purchasing, transportation and storage costs in the movement of finished products through the post production channel.
Total Quality Management   An approach to business management that focuses on quality and typically has: a strong customer orientation, total involvement, measurement systems, systematic support, and continuous improvement.
Transloading  Transfer of containers from one vessel to another vessel. Synonymous with Transshipments.
Transmittal Letter   List of the particulars of the shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted, together with instructions for disposition of documents.
TRC  Terminal Receiving Charge
Charge assessed by the terminal for cargo being delivered for export.
UN/CEFACT  United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. The worldwide facilitation of international transactions, through the simplification and harmonization of procedures and information flows.
UN/EDIFACT  United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport.
Unit Cost   The cost associated with a single unit of product; it is calculated as the total cost of producing a product or service divided by the number of units in the run or lot.
Usufruct   The legal right of using and enjoying the profits of something belonging to another.
Vendor   External supplier of merchandise.
Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA)  A term agreement between two or more carriers in which a number of container positions ("slots") equal to space are reserved on particular vessels for each of the participants. The number of slots (space) on different vessels, on the same route can vary by vessel type and direction but may also be expressed as each party's capacity use of the vessels employed jointly.
Vessel Ton   A unit of interior capacity of ships, equal to 100 cubic feet or 2.832 cubic meters; register ton.
Volume Rate   Rate applicable in connection with a specified volume (weight) of freight.
Waiver   Document used to allow cargo carriage by different flag vessels other than original destination country vessels. Also for government cargo where vessels under certain flags cannot carry the shipments.
War Risk   Surcharge for covering additional insurance premium incurred by a vessel entering a war zone.
WayBill  See also Sea WayBill.
Weights   Gross/Long Ton: 2,240 lbs. (1016 kg.)
Net/Short Ton: 2,000 lbs.(907.19 kg.)
Metric/Kilo Ton: 2,204.6 lbs.(1,000 kg.)
Wharf   A structure built along a shore, and often into the water, at which boats can be docked and loaded, or unloaded;
Also known as pier or quay.
Wharfage  Charge for handling traffic on the wharf, or for docking vessels at the wharf.
YTD   Year To Date.


Copyright 2006 by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Indonesia