Star-Track Quick Form

Quickly track up to 30 shipments below without logging in using a HBL/HAWB. (one per line)


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Additional Premium

→ All Risk

Giving up the proprietary rights in insured property to the underwriter in exchange for payment of a constructive total loss.
Notice of AbandonmentWaiver Clause

Acceptance by the carrier of a portion of a joint rate or charge which is less than the amount which it would receive for the service in the absence of such joint rate or charge (air cargo).

Agreement to pay at some future date – a “time draft” drawn on the accepting party.

Acceptance of Goods
Process of receiving a consignment from a shipper, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and at this place the carrier’s responsibility for the consignment begins.

→ Approved Continuous Examination Program

Acknowledgement of Receipt
Notification relating to the receipt of, for example, goods, messages and documents.

Air Cargo Process. Computer system used at UK airports as an intermediary between airlines, airports authorities, agents and customs declarations.

Act of God
Natural event, such as floods, storms, lightning, earthquakes, etc., not preventable by human agency. Forces of nature that a carrier has no control over, and therefore cannot be held accountable for.
Synonym: → Force Majeure

Actual Total Loss
This occurs when: 1. The insured property is completely destroyed; or 2. The insured is irretrievably deprived of the insured property; or 3. Cargo changes in character so that it is no longer the thing that was insured (e.g., cement becomes concrete) or 4. A ship is posted “missing” at Lloyd’s, in which case both the ship and its cargo are deemed to be an actual total loss.
Notice of Abandonment

Actual Voyage Number
Code for identification purposes of the voyage of a vessel.

Ad Valorem
Mode of freight or customs duties levied on cargo based on its value.
→ Ad Valorem Duty

Ad Valorem Bill of Lading
Same as Valued Bill of Lading.

Ad Valorem Duty
Tax imposed on merchandise based on its value.

Added Value
Value attributed to products, and services as the result of a particular process (e.g. production process, storage, transport).

→ Articles Dangereux de Route

Down payment on account of final invoice amount.

Advance against Documents
Down payment in exchange for original shipping documents.

Advance Freight
Same as Prepaid Freight.

Advanced Interline
Interline carrier that picks up cargo from the shipper and delivers it to another carrier for shipment to the consignee.

Exposure of property to risk.
General Average Act (York-Antwerp Rules)

Advice Note
Written shipment information, for example, about the status of the goods.

Advice of Fate
Notice given by the collecting bank to the remitting bank as to payment, acceptance, non-payment, or non-acceptance of a draft presented at the remitting bank’s request.

Advising Bank
Bank that handles Letters of Credit (L/C) for a foreign bank by notifying the seller that the buyer has opened a L/C in their favor. The advising bank fully informs the seller of the conditions of the Letter of Credit.
Confirmed Letter of Credit

Advisory Capacity
Term indicating that agent or representative is not empowered to make definitive decisions or adjustments without approval of the group or individual represented.
Without Reserve
Aeroquip System
Special accessories in a container consisting of, among other things, the attachment rails on the inside walls to provide facilities for lashing and securing of the cargo.

Contract which sets forth the obligations of both shipper and carrier concerning transportation of the merchandise. The most common forms of affreightment are Bills of Lading and Waybills.

At, near or towards the stern or rear of a vessel or an aircraft.

Agency Fee
Fee payable by shipowner or ship operator to port agent.

A company (or person) which does business on behalf of another company based on a contractual agreement.

Aggregate Inventory
Inventory for any group of items or products, involving multiple stock-keeping units.
Synonym: Aggregate Stock

Air Commuter
Airline operating regional passenger traffic.

Air Consignment Note
→ Air Waybill

Air Waybill
Abbreviation: AWB. Document used for carriage by air, evidencing the conclusion of a contract of carriage. This is a non-negotiable document of air transport that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.
Consignment NoteBill of LadingThrough Bill of Lading

All Risk
Abbreviation: A.R. Broadest form of insurance cover available, providing protection against all risks of physical loss or damage from any external cause. Does not cover loss or damage due to delay, inherent vice, pre-shipment condition, inadequate packaging or loss of market.
ICCNamed Perils Policy

Share of the capacity of a means of transport assigned to a certain party, e.g. a carrier or an agent, for the purpose of booking cargo for a specific voyage.

Phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods to be 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 aboard the ship.
Free Alongside Ship (FAS)

Annual Policy
Designed for clients with a small turnover of Goods in Transit. A deposit premium is paid and this is adjusted at the end of the year based on declarations made.

1. A vessel’s outfit, such as rigging, anchor and life boats. 2. The term used in distribution/transport of clothing for a single piece of clothing – a garment.

Approved Continuous Examination Program
Abbreviation: ACEP. Agreement between the owners of the equipment and the responsible government body to allow continuous examination of the equipment (e.g. containers).

Approved Vessel
Vessel which the underwriters deem adequate to carry the insured cargo, at the agreed rate of premium. Where the vessel is not approved, the risk is still covered but is subject to a reasonable additional premium.


Buying of foreign exchange, securities, or commodities in one market and the simultaneous selling in another market. By this manipulation a profit is made because of the difference in the rates of exchange or in the prices of securities or commodities involved.

Area Code
Code specifying an area.
Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP)
Arrival Notice
Notice sent by a carrier or freight forwarder to notify party advising the arrival of a shipment.

Articles Dangereux de Route
Abbreviation: ADR. European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.

Stage of production in which components are put together into an end product.

Transfer of the rights, duties, responsibilities and/or benefits of an agreement, contract, or financial instrument to a third party.

Assignment of Proceeds
Stipulation within a Letter of Credit in which some or all of the proceeds are assigned from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.

Assured Party
Party that has legal title to the cargo and to whom a claim payment will be paid.

1. Behind a vessel or an aircraft. 2. Backward; in a reverse direction.

Across the vessel, i.e., from one side to the other.
Fore and Aft Stowage

Methodical examination and review of a situation or condition (as within a business enterprise) concluding with a detailed report of findings.

Proof by means of a signature or otherwise that a certain document or certain data is of undisputed origin and is genuine.

Commission to a certain person or body to act on behalf of another person or body.

Auto Container
Container equipped for the transportation of vehicles.

Automated Guided Vehicle System
Unmanned vehicles equipped with automatic guidance equipment which follow a prescribed path.

Automatic Indentification
Means of identifying an item (e.g. a product, parcel or transport unit) by a device entering the data automatically into a computer. The most widely used technology at present is bar code; others include radio frequency, magnetic stripes and optical character recognition.

Any loss or damage due to insured perils that is less than a total loss. Two types of average occur: Particular Average and General Average.
Particular AverageGeneral Average → Average Adjusters

Average Adjusters
In general average adjusters are entrusted with the task of apportioning the loss and expenditure over the parties interested in the maritime venture. They also determine which expenses are to be regarded as average or general average.

Average Clause
Clause in marine policy which sets out the cover provided in the event of partial loss.

Average Irrespective of Percentage
Indicates that partial losses will be paid regardless of any franchise or percentage.

Air Waybill

Both Days Inclusive.

→ Bill of Lading

Back Letter
1. Back letters are drawn up in addition to a contract in order to lay down rights and/or obligations between both contracting parties, which, for various possible reasons, cannot be included in the original contract.
2. This expression is sometimes used for letters of indemnity.

Back Order
Customer order or commitment, which is unfilled due to insufficient stock.

1. The quantity of goods still to be delivered, received, produced, issued, etc., for which the planned or agreed date has expired. 2. The total number of customer orders which have been received but not yet been shipped.
Synonym: → Open Order

→ Bunker Adjustment Factor

Balance of Trade
Difference between a country’s total imports and exports. If exports exceed imports, a favorable balance of trade exists; if not, a trade deficit is said to exist.

The capacity of cargo spaces under the deck of a vessel (including hatchways but excluding void spaces behind cargo battens and beams) expressed in cubic meters or cubic feet.

Materials carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. Vessels usually carry water in tanks as ballast. The tanks are specially designed for this purpose.

Bank Draft
Check issued by a bank.

Bank Guarantee
Undertaking by a bank to effect payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued.

Bank Release
Negotiable time draft drawn on and accepted by a bank that adds its credit to that of an importer of merchandise.

Banker’s Acceptance
“Time draft” drawn on a bank and bearing the bank’s promise to pay at a future date.

Banking System
For marine purposes the practice of always keeping more than one piece of cargo on the quay or in the vessel ready for loading or discharging in order to avoid delays and to obtain optimal use of the loading gear.

Bar Coding
Method of encoding data for fast and accurate electronic readability. Bar codes are a series of alternating bars and spaces printed or stamped on products, labels, or other media, representing encoded information which can be read by electronic readers, used to facilitate timely and accurate input of data to a computer system.

Bareboat Charter
Charter whereby the charterer leases the bare ship and appoints the master and crew itself.

Flat-bottomed cargo transport vessel designed for canals, rivers and shallow waters with or without its own propulsion.
Synonym: → Lighter

Unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty on the part of a master of a ship or of the mariners resulting in the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo.

Trade in which merchandise is exchanged directly for other merchandise without use of money.

Basic Stock
Items of an inventory intended for issue against demand during the re-supply lead time.
Lead Time
Collection of products or data which is treated as one entity with respect to certain operations (e.g. processing and production).

Batch Production
Production process where products/components are produced in batches and where each separate batch consists of a number of the same products/components.

Vertical division of a container vessel from stem to stern, used to indicate stowage places for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20-foot position, even numbers indicate a 40-foot position.
Cell PositionGrid Number

Bay Plan

Stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.

BC Code
→ Bulk Cargo Code → Segregation

Under-floor area of an aircraft.
Hold Space

Measurement and comparison against a standard, of efforts and results in the business process (e.g. input, output, reliability, quality and customer satisfaction).

Entity or person on whom a Letter of Credit has been opened or a draft has been drawn.
Assignment of ProceedsTransferable Letter of Credit

Benefit of Insurance Clause
Clause by which the bailee of goods claims the benefit of any insurance policy effected by the cargo owner on the goods in care of the bailee. Such a clause in a contract of carriage issued in accordance with the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act is void at law.

Location in a port where a vessel can be moored, often indicated by a code or name.

Bilateral Trade
Commerce between two countries, usually in accordance with specific agreements.

Bilateral Transport Agreement

Agreement between two nations concerning transport relations.

Bill of Exchange

Bill of Lading
Abbreviation: B/L. Document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. Usually prepared by the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.
Air WaybillOcean Bill of LadingThrough Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading Clause
Particular article, stipulation or single provision in a Bill of Lading.

Bill of Material
List of all parts, sub-assemblies and raw materials that constitute a particular assembly, showing the quantity of each required item.

Bimodal Trailer
1. Road semi-trailer with retractable running gear to allow mounting on a pair of rail boogies.
Synonym: Road-Rail Trailer 2. Trailer which is able to carry different types of standardized unit loads (e.g. a chassis which is appropriate for the carriage of one FEU or two TEUs).

Block Train
Complete train moving straight from origin station to destination station without marshalling or decoupling of wagons.
Double Stack Train

Member of the vessel’s crew.

Post, fixed on a quay to lash mooring ropes.

Container Bolster

Bona Fide
In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.

Bonded Shipments
Shipments which are permitted to travel to inland destinations before customs clearance.

Bonded Transit Warehouse
Warehouse under customs control holding cargo in transit to further destination.

Bonded Warehouse
Warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of uncleared goods.
In Bond

Space reservation, conclusion of contract of carriage.
Synonym for Air Cargo: Reservation

Booking Reference Number
Number assigned to a certain booking by the carrier or its agent.



Bottom Fittings
Special conical-shaped devices to avoid the container moving during the voyage.

Bottom Lift
Handling of containers with equipment attached to the four bottom corner fittings (castings).

Bottom Limit
Maximum value at risk per shipment/sending/aircraft.

Box Pallet
Pallet with at least three fixed, removable or collapsible, vertical sides.

Break Bulk

1. Physical discharge of unitized cargo. 2. Administration procedure of document splitting at destination.

Break Bulk Cargo
General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitized, containerized and Roll-on/Roll-off cargo.
Synonym: → Conventional Cargo

Break-Even Weight
Weight at which it is cheaper to charge the lower rate for the next higher weight-break multiplied by the minimum weight indicated, than to charge the higher rate for the actual weight of the shipment (air cargo).

Broken Stowage
Cargo space that is unavoidably lost when stowing cargo. The percentage of wasted space depends upon the kind of cargo, the packing and the used spaces.

Person who acts as an agent or intermediary in negotiating contracts.

Brussels Tariff Nomenclature
Abbreviation: BTN. Old Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the Harmonized System.
Harmonized System (HS)

British Standards Institution.

→ Brussels Tariff Nomenclature

Buffer Stock
Quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.

Bulk Cargo
Unpacked cargo loaded directly into the vessel’s holds. Examples of commodities that can be shipped in bulk are ores, coal, scrap iron, grain, rice, vegetable oil, tallow, fuel oil, fertilizers and similar commodities.

Bulk Cargo Code
Abbreviation: BC Code. Safe working practice code for solid bulk cargo.

Bulk Carrier
Single-deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargo such as grain, iron ore and coal.

Bulk Container
Container designed for the carriage of free-flowing dry cargo, which are loaded through hatchways in the roof of the container and discharged through hatchways at one end of the container.

Bulk Shipments
→ Bulk Cargo

Bulk Unitization Charge
Charge which applies to consignments carried from airport of departure to airport of arrival, entirely in Unit Load Devices (air cargo).

1. Upright partition dividing compartments on board a vessel. 2. A vertically mounted board to provide front wall protection against shifting cargo and commonly seen on platform trailers (road cargo). 3. Partition in a container, providing a plenum chamber and/or air passage for either return or supply air. 4. Vertically mounted wall separating the fore respectively aft compartment from the rest of the aircraft (air cargo).

Bull Rings
Rings for lashing the cargo in containers.

Spaces on board a vessel to store fuel.
Synonym: Tank

Bunker Adjustment Factor

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

Bureau veritas

French classification society.

Additional abbreviation for CFR, “Cost and Freight”

→ Cover Note

→ Carriage of Goods by Sea Act

→ Charter Party

Canceling (of policy) Returns Only

→ Constructive Total Loss

→ Country Damage

1. Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country. 2. Transport of cargo in a country other than the country where the vehicle is registered (road cargo). 3. The carriage of a container from a surplus area to an area in which equipment is needed.

→ Cash against Documents

→ Currency Adjustment Factor

Visit of a vessel to a port.

Capacity Control
Process of registering and steering of capacity.

Capacity Optimization
Activities to maximize the amount of freight that is carried in the hold space of an aircraft.

Goods to be transported.

Cargo Accounts Settlement System
Abbreviation: CASS. System for automated account settlement between participating IATA airlines, billing participants and part participants, on the one hand and their appointed IATA cargo agents on the other hand (air cargo).

Cargo Aircraft
Any aircraft other than a passenger aircraft or a combi.

Cargo Assembly

Separate reception of parcels or packages and the holding of them for later dispatch as one consignment.
→ Consolidation

Cargo Disassembly
Break Bulk

Cargo Handling
Physical handling of goods.

Cargo IMP
→ Cargo Interchange Message Procedures

Cargo Interchange Message Procedures
Abbreviation: Cargo IMP. Procedures developed by the member airlines of the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Cargo Manifest
List including all particulars of consignments.

Cargo Restriction Code
Code indicating that the use of a certain container is restricted to particular cargo.

Cargo Tracer
Information sent by the agent or airline to all relevant parties, stating that certain cargo is either missing or arrived in excess.

Carnet ATA
Customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without completing normal customs formalities. With a carnet, the holder avoids paying duties or posting bonds.

Process of transporting (conveying) cargo, from one point to another.
Synonym: Transport

Carriage and Insurance Paid to (... Named Place of Destination)
Abbreviation: CIP. Incoterm

Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
Abbreviation: C.O.G.S.A. 1936 U.S. Statute that governs the acts that a carrier is responsible for and defines the terms used in shipping. The act provides that the shipowner’s liability will be limited to $500 per shipping package, and it stipulates a one-year time limit for filing suit against the carrier. This act automatically applies to international ocean movements but not to domestic ocean transits unless the carrier agrees to be bound by it.

Carriage Paid to (... Named Place of Destination)
Abbreviation: CPT. Incoterm

Company that carries the cargo, e.g. shipping line, airline, trucking company, etc.

Carrier Haulage
Inland transport service performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the relevant transport document.
Merchant Inspired Carrier Haulage

Carriers’ Lien
Right to retain the property as security for the payment of services, material, or money expended on that property. E.g.: When the shipper ships goods “collect”, the carrier has a possessory claim on these goods, which means that the carrier can retain possession of the goods as security for the charges due.

Carrying Temperature
Required cargo temperature during transport and storage.
Setting/Air Delivery Temperature


Cash Against Documents
Abbreviation: CAD. Payment condition which implies transfer of title at time of payment.

Cash in Advance
Abbreviation: CIA. Payment condition which implies up-front payment before transfer of title of goods.

Cash on Delivery
Abbreviation: COD. Payment condition which implies payment of goods at the time of physical transfer.

Cash with Order
Abbreviation: CWO. Payment condition which implies payment when order is placed.

Abbreviation for: → Cargo Accounts Settlement System.
Part-ParticipantSettlement Office

CASS Airline
Airline, fully participating in the CASS.

Closed Circuit Television.

Location on board of a container vessel where one container can be stowed.

Cell Position
Location of a cell on board of a container vessel identified by a code for, respectively, the bay, the row and the tier, indicating the exact position of a container on that vessel.

Steel bars and rails used to steer containers during loading and discharging whilst sliding in the ship.
Fully Cellular Containership

Cellular Vessel
Vessel, specially designed and equipped for the carriage of containers.

→ Council of European and Japanese National Ship-owners’ Associations

Center of Gravity
Point at which the entire weight of a body may be considered as concentrated so that if supported at this point the body would remain in equilibrium in any position.
Meta-Centric Height

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

Certificate of Analysis
Document, often required by an importer or government authorities, attesting to the quality or purity of commodities.

Certificate of Classification
Certificate, issued by the classification society, stating the class under which a vessel or an aircraft is registered.

Certificate of Free Sale
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 Inspection

Document confirming that cargo has been inspected by a competent authority (SGS, Bureau Veritas or any national authority) before dispatch.

Certificate of Insurance
Document presented by the insurance company or insured as evidence that insurance is in effect. The insured may assign their rights under this negotiable document to a third party, usually the consignee, by endorsing the reverse of the certificate.

Certificate of Manufacture

Statement (often notarized) in which a producer of goods certifies that manufacture has been completed and that the goods are now at the disposal of the buyer.

Certificate of Origin
Statement signed by the exporter, or its agent, and attested to by a local Chamber of Commerce, indicating that the goods being shipped, or a major percentage of them, originated and were produced in the exporter’s country.

Incoterm for “Cost and Freight (... named port of destination)”
Synonym: C&F.

→ Container Freight Station

Charge Type

Separate, identifiable element of charges to be used in the pricing/rating of common services rendered to customers.

Charter Contract
→ Charter Party

Charter Party
Written contract, usually on a special form, between the owner of a vessel and a “charterer” who rents use of the vessel or a part of its freight space. The contract generally includes the freight rates and the ports involved in the transportation.
Synonym for Airfreight: Charter Contract;
Bareboat CharterDemise CharterLump-Sum CharterSlot Charter
Space Charter Time Charter

Person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases the same vessel or aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof on a legal basis.

→ Cash in Advance

Incoterm for “Cost, Insurance and Freight (... named port of destination)”

CIF and C
Cost, Insurance, Freight and Commission.

→ Convention Internationale Concernant le Transport des Marchandises par Chemin de Fer

Incoterm for “Carriage and Insurance Paid to
(... named place of destination)”

City Terminal Service
Shuttle service between city and airport.

Class Rate

Rate applicable to a specifically designated class of goods (air cargo).
General Cargo Rate

Arrangement according to a systematic division of a number of objects into groups, based on some likeness or some common traits.

Classification Society
Organization, whose main function is to carry out surveys of vessels, its purpose being to set and maintain standards of construction and upkeep for vessels, their engines and their safety equipment. A classification society also inspects and approves the construction of shipping containers.
Bureau VeritasDet Norske VeritasGermanischer LloydLloyd’s Register of Shipping

Clean Bill of Lading
Receipt for goods issued by a shipping line that indicates that the goods were received in “apparent good order and condition”, without damage or other irregularities.
Foul Bill of LadingLetter of Indemnity

Clean Draft (Bill of Exchange)
Draft with no accompanying documents.

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.

Clearence Terminal
Terminal where customs facilities for the clearance of goods are available.

Cleared without Examination
Abbreviation: CWE. Cleared by customs without inspection.

Clip on Unit
Abbreviation: COU. Detachable aggregate for a temperature controlled container (Conair).

Closed Ventilated Container
Container of a closed type, similar to a general-purpose container, but specially designed for carriage of cargo where ventilation, either natural or mechanical (forced), is necessary.

→ Container Load Plan

→ Convention Relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandises par Route

Where two or more parties share the same risk. A co-insurer is not obliged to follow the decision of another co-insurer, except where they have given authority for the other party to act on their behalf. Each co-insurance is a separate contract with the insured.

Combination of cargo from another shipper or carrier, having the same final destination as the cargo base load.

→ Cash on Delivery

Empty space on board of a vessel between two bulkheads or two decks separating oil tanks from each other and/or the engine room or other compartments.

Collapsible Container
Container which can be easily folded, disassembled and reassembled.

Collect Freight

Freight which is payable to the carrier when the merchandise arrives at the port of discharge named in the Bill of Lading.

Collecting Bank
Bank to which a remitting bank sends draft for collection.
Advice of Fate

Collection Papers
All documents (Commercial invoices, Bills of Lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.

Physical impact between two or more vehicles. In collision liability insurance, the term does not include contact of the insured vessel with anything other than a ship or vessel.
Perils of the Sea

Combi Aircraft
Aircraft, carrying passengers and cargo upper deck.

Combination Chassis

Chassis which can carry either one 40-foot or two
20-foot containers.

Combination Joint Rate
Joint rate which is obtained by combining two or more published rates (air cargo).

Combined Transport

Intermodal transport where the major part of the journey is by one mode and any initial and/or final leg carried out by another mode.
Synonym: → Multimodal Transport
→ Combined Transport Document

Combined Transport Document

Abbreviation: CTD. Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance of combined transport of goods.
Synonym: → Multimodal Transport Document

Combined Transport Operator
Abbreviation: CTO. Party that undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport.
Synonym: → Multimodal Transport Operator

Commercial Invoice
Document issued by the seller to the buyer, which gives detail of merchandise sold, number of units being shipped, per unit cost and the terms of sale.
Declaration of Origin

Commercial Set
Set of four “negotiable” documents that represents and takes the place of the goods themselves in the financing of the cargo sales transaction.


Indication of the type of goods. Commodities are coded according to the harmonized system.
Harmonized System

Commodity Box Rate
Rate classified by commodity and quoted per container.
Harmonized System

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

Commodity Item Number
Specific description number required in air transport to indicate that a specific freight rate applies.

Common Carrier
Transporter that provides its services to the general public for the transportation of goods over a definite route and according to a regular schedule.

Compromised Total Loss

Arranged settlement on a hull policy where there is no claim for actual or constructive total loss, but where it is impractical to repair the vessel.

Conair Container
Thermal container served by an external cooling system (e.g. a vessel’s cooling system or a Clip on Unit), which regulates the temperature of the cargo. Note: Conair is a brand name.
→ Clip on Unit

Conditions of Carriage
General terms and conditions established by a carrier in respect of the carriage.

Conditions of Contract

Terms and conditions of a transportation contract.


Devices for facilitating the loading, positioning and lashing of containers. The cones insert into the bottom castings of the container.
Synonym: → Locating Pin

Liner Conference

Confirmed Letter of Credit
Letter of Credit, issued by a foreign bank, with validity confirmed by a bank of origin. A seller that requires a confirmed Letter of Credit from the buyer is assured of payment by the origin bank even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.

Connecting Carrier
Carrier to whose services the cargo is to be transferred for onward connecting transport.

Connecting Road Haulage


Party, mentioned in the transport document, by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.

Separate identifiable number of goods to be transported from one shipper to one consignee.
Synonym: → Shipment

Consignment Instructions
Shipping Instructions

Consignment Note
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

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.


Consolidated Container
Container filled with several shipments from different shippers for delivery to one or more consignees.


Grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.
→ Cargo Assembly → Consolidation Point

Consolidation Point
Location where consolidation of consignments takes place.

Firm or company which consolidates cargo.

Constructive Total Loss

Position which exists when the cost of repairing or recovering lost or damaged property plus the value of the salvage would exceed the property’s value when repaired or recovered.
Abandonment → Compromised Total Loss → Notice of Abandonment

Consular Declaration
Formal statement, made by the consulate of a foreign country.

Consular Documents
Bills of Lading, certificates of origin or special invoice forms that are officially legalized by the consul of the country of destination.

Consular Invoice
Document, required by some foreign countries, describing a shipment of goods and showing information such as the shipper, consignee, and value of the shipment. Certified by a consular official of the foreign country, it is used by the country’s customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment.

Item of equipment as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for transport purposes. It must be of: a) a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use; b) specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading; c) fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly from one mode of transport to another; d) so designed as to be easy to fill and empty; e) having an internal volume of 1 m3 or more. The term container includes neither vehicles nor conventional packing.
Synonym: Freight Container

Container Bolster
Container floor without sides or end walls which does not have the ISO corner fittings and is generally used for Ro/Ro operations. Note: A bolster cannot be handled either full or empty by a container spreader without special fittings.
Synonym: → Bolster

Container Chassis
Vehicle specially built for the purpose of transporting containers.

Container Check Digit
7th digit of the serial number of a container used to check whether prefix and serial number are correct.

Container Depot
Storage area for empty containers.

Container Freight Station
Abbreviation: CFS. Term CFS at loading ports refers to the location designated by carriers for the receiving of cargo to be packed into containers by the carrier. At discharge ports, the term CFS refers to the location designated by carriers in the port area for unpacking and delivery of cargo.

Container Lease
Contract by which the owner of containers (leasing company, lessor) gives the use of containers to a shipping line or other lessee for a specified period of time.

Container Load Plan
List of items loaded in a specific container and where appropriate, their sequence of loading.
→ Container Manifest

Container Logistics
Controlling and positioning of containers.

Container Manifest
Document specifying the contents of particular freight containers or other transport units, prepared by the party responsible for their loading into the container or unit.
Synonym: Unit Packing List → Container Load Plan

Container Number

Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit (e.g. KNLU 123456-7).
→ Container Serial Number → Container Prefix

Container Platform
Container floor without sides or end walls which can be loaded by spreader directly and is generally used for off-size cargo.

Container Pool
Certain stock of containers which is jointly used by several container carriers and/or leasing companies.

Container Prefix
Four-letter code that forms the first part of a container identification number indicating the owner of a container.
Synonym: → Owner’s Container Code

Container Safety Convention
Abbreviation: CSC. International convention for safe containers.

Container Serial Number

Seven digit serial number (6 plus 1 Check Digit) that forms the second part of a container identification number.

Container Service Charges
Charges to be paid by cargo interests as per local port tariffs.

Container Size Code
Two digit indication of the nominal length and nominal height of a container.

Container Size / Type
Description of the size and type of a freight container or similar unit load device as specified in ISO 6346.

Container Stack
Two or more containers, one placed above the other forming a vertical column.

Container Sublease

Contract by which a carrier gives the use of containers to another carrier for a specified period of time and for a fixed payment.

Container Terminal

Place where loaded and/or empty containers are stored awaiting dispatch or pick up.

Container Type Code
Two digits, the first of which indicates the category and the second of which indicates certain physical characteristics or other attributes of a container.

Container Yard
Abbreviation: CY. Facility at which containers are received from or delivered to the merchant by or on behalf of the carrier.
Synonym: Marshalling Yard


Indication that goods have been stowed in a container.

Contingency Insurance
Secondary insurance coverage which will protect the insured’s financial interest if the primary insurance cover effected by others does not respond for a covered loss (Seller’s Insurance).

Goods forbidden by national law to be imported or exported.

Agreement enforceable by law, between two or more parties stipulating their rights and obligations.

Contract Logistics

Contracting out of all the warehousing, transport and distribution activities or a part thereof by manufacturing companies.

Contract of Affreightment

Contractual Carrier

The contractual carrier (called NVO, Non Vessel Operator or NVOC, Non Vessel Operating Carrier) is a party which contracts carriage of goods for the account of the Merchants and fulfills its commitment by using the services of a carrier (sometimes referred to as the “actual” carrier).

Contractual Port of Loading
Port at which an ocean vessel does not call, but which is equalized with the actual port of call and upon which inland haulage services and inland tariffs are based. Note: Generally speaking it is seen as the port mentioned on the B/L from which cargo is accepted (e.g. delivered by the consignee for sea transport).
Synonym: Commercial POL/POD

This relates to situations where more than one party covers the risk. Each party is deemed to be liable for its portion of the loss. If the insured has recovered in full from one insurer, that insurer is entitled to recover from the other insurer that part of the loss which should have been paid by the latter. The term, as used in marine insurance, also applies to contributions paid by the insured in connection with salvage and/or General Average.
→ Contributory Value → General Average BondGeneral Average StatementProtection and Indemnity ClubValuation Clause

Contributory Value
Value of property saved as a result of a General Average Act which forms the basis for determining each party’s contribution in General Average.

Convention Internationale Concernant le Transport des Marchandises par Chemin de Fer
Abbreviation: CIM. International agreement, applied by 19 European railway companies, setting out conditions for international railway transport of goods and the liabilities of the carrier.

Convention Relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandise par Route
Abbreviation: CMR. Convention for the international carriage of goods by road, setting out the conditions of carriage and the liabilities of the carrier. Note: Adherence to this set of regulations reflects a desire to standardize items such as documentation and rules on the carriers liability.

Conventional Cargo
Break Bulk Cargo

Convertible Currency

Currency that can be bought and sold for other currencies at free-trade.

Convertor Dolly
Auxiliary undercarriage assembly consisting of a chassis, fifth wheel and tow-bar used to convert a semi-trailer or a container chassis to a full trailer.

Transport of goods from one place to another.


Mechanical device in the form of a continuous belt used for transporting cargo.

Core Competence

Combination of individual skills and use of technologies that underlay the various products and/or services of a business.

Corner Fittings
Fittings located at the corners of containers providing means of supporting, stacking, handling and securing the container.
Synonym: Corner Casting

Corner Post
Vertical structural member at either side of an “end frame” of a container joining a top and a bottom corner fitting (and thereby forming a “corner structure”).

Correspondent Bank

Bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.

Cost and Freight
(… Named Port of Destination)
Abbreviation: CFR. Incoterm

Cost, Insurance and Freight (… Named Port of Destination)
Abbreviation: CIF. Incoterm

→ Clip on Unit

Council of European and Japanese National Shipowners’ Associations
Abbreviation: CENSA. Main objectives of this organization are to promote and protect sound shipping policies in all sectors of shipping, to coordinate and present the views of its members and to exchange views with other shipowner groups.

Count Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading which shows the actual number of units being shipped.


Sale of goods or services that are paid for in whole or in part by the transfer of goods or services from a foreign country.

Country Damage
Damage caused by dirt, mud, etc., to commodities before they are shipped.

Country of Departure
Country from which a certain means of transport is scheduled to depart or has departed.

Country of Dispatch
Country from which the goods are shipped.
→ Country of Origin

Country of Origin
Country where the merchandise was grown, mined, or manufactured. In instances where the country of origin cannot be determined, transactions are credited to the country of dispatch.
→ Country of Dispatch

Country of Provenance
Country of origin of goods or cargo being sent to the importing country.

Cover Note
Non-negotiable document evidencing insurance which may or may not indicate the terms of cover.

Incoterm for “Carriage Paid to (... named place of destination)”.

Machine designed for moving and lifting weight by means of a movable projecting arm or a horizontal beam which is able to travel over a certain distance.

Credit Risk Insurance

Insurance designed to cover risks of nonpayment for delivered goods.

Crew Member

Any person actually employed for duties on board during a voyage in the working or service of a ship and included in the crew list (IMO).

1. Used in shipping for the services of a vessel between nations other than the nation in which the vessel is registered. 2. Term used in the freight forwarding industry for the transportation services between nations other than the nation in which the cargo’s principle is domiciled (UNCTAD).

→ Container Safety Convention

→ Combined Transport Document

→ Combined Transport Operator

Medium of exchange of value, defined by reference to the geographic location of the authorities responsible for it (ISO 4217). In general, the monetary unit is represented by a name or a symbol.

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

Customer Pick Up
Cargo picked up by a customer at a warehouse.

Customer Service Level
Performance measure of customer service. Note: Generally this is seen as the degree with which customer orders can be executed, in accordance with the terms which are generally accepted in the market.

Customhouse Broker

Individual or firm licensed to enter and clear goods through customs.

Authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports. The term also applies to the procedures involved in such collection.

Customs Broker
Authorized agent specialized in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/exporters.
→ Customs Clearance Agent

Customs Clearance Agent

Customs broker or other agent of the consignee designated to perform customs clearance services for the consignee.
→ Customs Broker

Customs Entry Form
Form required by customs authorities for merchandise entering the country. It indicates the country of origin, description of merchandise and the amount of estimated duty to be paid before merchandise is released.

Customs Invoice
Document required by customs in an importing country in which the seller states the price (e.g. selling price, price of identical goods), and specifies costs for freight, insurance and packing, etc., terms of delivery and payment. This is for the purpose of determining the customs value in the importing country of goods consigned to that country.

Customs Value

Worth of an item or group of items expressed in a monetary amount, within a consignment declared to customs for duty and statistical reasons.
→ Customs Invoice

Cut-Off Time
Last point before a flight departs at which freight will be accepted to travel on that flight.

→ Cleared without Examination


→ Cash with Order

→ Container Yard

Cycle Stock
That portion of stock available or planned to be available in a given period for normal demand, excluding excess stock and safety stock.

→ Documents against Acceptance

→ Documents against Payment

Incoterm for “Delivered at Frontier (... named place)”.

Damage Report
Form on which physical damage of a consignment or transportation unit (e.g. container) is recorded.

Damaged Cargo Report
Written statement concerning established damages to cargo and/or equipment.

Dangerous Goods
Goods are to be considered dangerous if the transport of such goods might cause harm, risk, peril, or other evil to people, environment, equipment or any property whatsoever.
Articles Dangereux de Route → Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate → International Maritime Dangerous Goods CodeInternational Maritime OrganizationMedical First Aid GuideUnited Nations Dangerous Goods Number

Dangerous Goods Declaration
Document issued by a shipper in accordance with applicable conventions or regulations, describing hazardous goods or materials for transport purposes, and stating that the latter have been packed and labeled in accordance with the provisions of the relevant conventions or regulations.

Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate
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 has been properly secured.

Data Plate
Metal identification plate affixed to a container which displays, among other things, the gross and tare weights and external dimensions.

Date Draft (Bill of Exchange)
Draft that matures in a specified number of days after the date it is issued, without regard to the date of acceptance.
→ Draft → Sight DraftTime Draft

Incoterm for “Delivered Duty Paid (... named place of destination)”.

Incoterm for “Delivered Duty Unpaid (... named place of destination)”.

Difference between the actual and calculated ship’s draft.
→ Draft

Abbreviation: DWT. Total weight of cargo, cargo equipment, bunkers, provisions, water, stores and spare parts which a vessel can lift when loaded to her maximum draft as applicable under the circumstances. The deadweight is expressed in tons.

Any extended horizontal structure in a vessel or an aircraft, serving as a floor and structural support, covering, partially or fully, a portion of the vessel or aircraft.

Deck Cargo
Cargo carried outside on deck of a vessel.

Declaration of Origin
Appropriate statement as to the origin of the goods, made in connection with their exportation by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person on the commercial invoice or any document relating to goods.
Commercial Invoice

Declared Value for Carriage
Value of the goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purpose of determining charges or of establishing the limit of the carrier’s liability for loss, damage or delay. It is also the basis for possible applicable valuation charges (air cargo).

Specific dollar amount, or percentage of the insured value, which will be deducted from all losses recoverable under a policy.

Deep Tank
Tank fitted and equipped for the carriage of vegetable oil (e.g. palm oil and coconut oil) and other liquids in bulk.

Default Charge
Charge applicable for a trade, stretch or location. In the absence of specifics (not otherwise specified/enumerated) a general amount has been set.

Deferred Payment Credit
Type of Letter of Credit providing for payment some time after presentation of shipping documents by seller.

Splitting up shipments into small consignments.

Even under All Risk cover, damage due to delay is not recoverable. Most underwriters have inserted a “Delay Clause” in the Open Cargo Policy, which states specifically that damage caused by delay is not recoverable even if the delay was due to a peril insured against.
All Risk

Delivered at Frontier (… Named Place)
Abbreviation: DAF. Incoterm

Delivered Duty Paid (… Named Place of Destination)
Abbreviation: DDP. Incoterm

Delivered Duty Unpaid (… Named Place of Destination)
Abbreviation: DDU. Incoterm

Delivered Ex Quay (… Named Port of Destination)
Abbreviation: DEQ. Incoterm

Delivered Ex Ship (… Named Port of Destination)
Abbreviation: DES. Incoterm

Delivering Carrier
Carrier that delivers the consignment to the consignee or its agent.

Process of delivering the consignment to the consignee at the agreed place.

Delivery Instruction
Document giving instructions regarding the details of the delivery of the shipment.

Delivery Order

  1. A document issued by or on behalf of the carrier authorizing the release of import cargo identified thereon and manifested under a single Bill of Lading (shipping). 2. The authorization of the entitled party for the shipment to a party other than the consignee shown on the Air Waybill.

Delivery Party
Party to which goods are to be delivered.

Delivery Receipt
Document recording the delivery of shipment to a consignee.

Delivery Time
Time between order and delivery.

Demand Draft (Bill of Exchange)
Sight Draft

Demise Charter
Contract whereby the shipowner leases its vessel to the charterer for a period of time during which the whole use and management of the vessel passes to the charterer. This involves the charterer paying all expenses for the operation and maintenance of the vessel. Officers and crew become servants of the charterer. A demise charter whereby the charterer has the right to place its own master and crew on board of the vessel is also called “bareboat charter”.
Bareboat Charter


  1. A variable fee charged to carriers and/or customers for the use of Unit Load Devices (ULD’s) owned by a carrier beyond the free time of shipment (air cargo). 2. Additional charge imposed for exceeding the free time which is included in the rate and allowed for the use of a certain equipment at the terminal.

Density of Commodity
Mass of a commodity to its volume.

Place designated by the carrier where empty containers are kept in stock and received from or delivered to the container operators or merchants.
Synonym: → Container Depot

Incoterm for “Delivered Ex Quay (... named port of destination)”.

Lifting equipment on board a conventional vessel for loading and discharging cargo, consisting of a post attached to the deck and an inclined spar.
Lift-on/Lift-off Vessel

Incoterm for “Delivered Ex Ship (... named port of destination)”.


→ Dispatch


  1. Place for which goods or a vehicle is bound. 2. The ultimate stopping place according to the contract of carriage.

Destuffing Report
A document reporting the destuffing of a container indicating time and place as well as responsible peron and any damage.

Det Norske Veritas
Norwegian classification society.
Classification Society
Keeping equipment beyond the time allowed.
→ Demurrage

Detention Charge

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

Downgrading of a product due to long storage, damage due to packing or other external influences.
Shelf LifeWear and Tear

Official lowering of the value of one country’s currency in terms of one or more foreign currencies. (E.g., if the U.S. dollar is devalued in relation to the French franc, one dollar will “buy” fewer francs than before.)


Deviation from a Route
Divergence from the agreed or customary route.

Measurements in length, width and height, regarding cargo.

Direct Covered
Condition which requires the insured voyage to be direct from one place to another. If the voyage is delayed en route or if there is a deviation from the direct route, the insurance cover continues subject to payment of an additional premium, but only if the assured gives prompt notice of the delay or deviation immediately on receipt of advice, unless the policy provides otherwise.

Direct Delivery

  1. The conveyance of goods directly from the vendor to the buyer. Frequently used if a third party acts as intermediary agent between vendor and buyer. 2. Direct discharge from vessel onto railroad car, road vehicle or barge with the purpose of immediate transport from the port area.

Direct Route
Shortest operated route between two points.
Indirect Route

Sums paid out by a ship’s agent at a port and recovered from the carrier.


  1. Unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft.
  2. Landing of cargo.

A statement in which a company or individual says that they are not responsible for something.

Duty of the insured and their broker to tell the underwriter every material circumstance before acceptance of the risk.

Difference between the particulars given and the particulars found.

Discrepancy Letter of Credit
When documents presented do not conform to the Letter of Credit, it is referred to as a “discrepancy”.

Process of sending goods.
Synonym: → Despatch; → Dispatch Advice

Dispatch Advice
Information sent by shipper to the consignee informing that specified goods have been sent or are ready to be sent advising the detailed contents of the consignment.
Synonym: → Dispatch Note

Dispatch Note (for Post Parcels)
Document which, according to the agreement concerning postal parcels, is to accompany post parcels.

Weight of the quantity of water displaced by the vessel. The displacement of the vessel on her light draft represents the weight of the vessel ready for use including stores, etc.

Disposable Pallet

Pallet intended to be discarded after a single cycle of use.
One-Way PalletExpendable Pallet

All activities relating to the inland movement of empty and/or full containers.

Set of activities which ensure the availability of goods in the desired quality, quantity, place and time for the customer.
Physical Distribution

Distribution Center
Warehouse for the receipt, the storage and the dispersal of goods among customers.
Synonym: Branch Warehouse

Distribution Channel
Route by which a company distributes goods.

Vertically mounted partition in a compartment on board of an aircraft (air cargo).
Synonym: → Partition

Dock Receipt
Form issued by a carrier or its representative as evidence that merchandise was in fact received by the carrier for shipment. Often referred to as a Received for Shipment Bill of Lading.

Documentary Credit
Commercial Letter of Credit providing for payment by a bank to the name beneficiary, usually the seller of merchandise, against delivery of documents specified in the credit.

Documentary Draft
Draft to which documents are attached.

Documents against Acceptance
Abbreviation: D/A. Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer (or drawee) only upon the buyer’s acceptance of an attached draft.

Documents against Payment
Abbreviation: D/P. Instructions a shipper gives to its bank that the documents attached to a draft for collection are deliverable to the drawee only against their payment of the draft.

Domestic Carriage
Carriage whereby the place of departure and the place of destination are situated within one country (air cargo).

Domestic Rate
Rate applicable within a country, and in most cases subject to special conditions other than those of IATA (air cargo).

Door-to-Door Transport
House-to-House Transport

Double Stack Train
Railway wagons on which containers can be stacked two-high.
Block Train

Double-Deck Pallet

Flat pallet with a top and bottom deck.

Down Time
Period of time when a machine is not available for production due to a functional failure or maintenance.

Draft (or Bill of Exchange)
Unconditional order in writing from one person (the drawer) to another (the drawee), directing the drawee to pay a specified amount to a named drawer at a fixed or determinable future date.
→ Date Draft → Sight DraftTime Draft


Draft of a vessel is the vertical distance between the waterline and the underside of the keel of the vessel. During the construction of a vessel the marks showing the draft are welded on each side of the vessel near the stem, the stern and amidships.
Synonym: → Draught

→ Draft

Repayment of any part of customs or excise duties previously collected on imported goods, when those goods are exported again.

Individual or firm on whom a draft is drawn and who owes the stated amount.
→ Draft → Drawer

Individual or firm that issues or signs a draft and thus stands to receive payment of the stated amount from the drawee.
→ Draft → Drawee


  1. The hauling of a load by a cart with detachable sides (dray). 2. Road transportation between the nearest railway terminal and the stuffing place.
Synonym: → Connecting Road Haulage

Drop-off Charge
Charge made by terminal operators for delivery of a container into depot stock. The drop-off charge may be a combination of actual handling and storage charges with surcharges.

Dry Bulk Container
Container consisting of a cargo-carrying structure, firmly secured within a framework, for the carriage of dry solids in bulk without packaging. Containers of this type have type codes 80 and 81.

Dry Cargo Container
Shipping container which is designed for the carriage of goods other than liquids.

Due Diligence
The care that a prudent person might be expected to exercise in the examination and evaluation of risks affecting a business transaction.

Stowage material, mainly timber or board, used to prevent damage to cargo during carriage.

Pressure that is used to make a company or an individual do something which they do not want to do.


  1. Ad valorem duty means an assessed amount at a certain percentage rate on the monetary value of an import. 2. Specific duty: an assessment on the weight or quantity of an article without preference to its monetary value or market price. 3. Drawback: a recovery in whole or in part of duty paid on imported merchandise at the time of exportation, in the same or different form.
→ Drawback

Duty Free Zone
Area where goods or cargo can be stored without paying import customs duties awaiting further transport or manufacturing.

→ Deadweight

→ European Article Numbering Association

Economic Speed
That speed of a means of transport which produces the best possible financial result for the owner. Such speed should not be in excess of the maximum or minimum output allowed for the engine(s).

Economy of Scale
Phenomenon which encourages the production of larger volumes of a commodity to reduce its unit cost by distributing fixed costs over a greater quantity.

Europe Combined Terminals (Rotterdam).

→ Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport

→ Electronic Data Processing

→ Equipment Damage Report

Eight Freedoms (Air)
Freedom 1: The right to fly and carry traffic over the territory of the grantor state.
Freedom 2: The right to fly and carry traffic over the grantor state and to make one or more stops for non-traffic purposes (e.g. refueling).
Freedom 3: The right to fly into the territory of the grantor state and set down traffic from the state of the carrier.
Freedom 4: The right to fly into the territory of the grantor state and take on traffic for the state of the carrier.
Freedom 5: The right to fly into the territory of the grantor state and take on or set down traffic to or from third states.
Freedom 6: The right to fly into the territory of the grantor state and take on or set down traffic for the carrier’s state. Such traffic being carried to a third state on a different service.
Freedom 7: The right for a flag-carrier operating entirely outside the territory of this own state to take on or set down traffic in the grantor state for carriage to or from a third state.
Freedom 8: The right of a carrier of another state to take (cabotage) on or set down traffic from one point in the territory of the grantor state to another point within the same state.
Five Freedoms (Air)

→ Equipment Interchange Receipt

Electronic Data Interchange
Abbreviation: EDI. 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 Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport
Abbreviation: EDIFACT. ISO application level syntax rules for the structuring of user data and of the associated service data in the interchange of messages in an open environment.

Electronic Data Processing
Abbreviation: EDP. Computerized handling of information (e.g. business data).

Equipment used to discharge some bulk cargoes such as grain which is removed from the hold by a continuous line of buckets or by suction and carried on a conveyor belt to store.

Eligible Acceptance
Draft which meets requirements for discounting at a Federal Reserve Bank.


  1. A government order prohibiting the entry or departure of commercial vessels or goods at its ports. 2. The refusal by a carrier, for a limited period, to accept for transport over any route or segment thereof, and to or from any area or point, of a connecting carrier, any commodity, type of class of cargo duly tendered.

Transfer of the right to obtain delivery of the goods of the carrier by means of the consignee’s signature on the reverse side of a Bill of Lading. If the name of the new consignee (transferee) is not stated, the endorsement is an open one which means that every holder of the document is entitled to obtain delivery of the goods.

Enhanced Remote Transit Shed
Abbreviation: ERTS. Term used in the UK: Warehouse where agents can transfer incoming groupage/consolidations for customs clearance purposes.

Equipment Damage Report
Abbreviation: EDR. Written statement concerning damage to equipment, based on a physical inspection.

Equipment Interchange Receipt
Abbreviation: EIR. Physical inspection and transfer receipt.

ERTS Facility
→ Enhanced Remote Transit Shed

Estimated Time of Arrival
Abbreviation: ETA. Expected date and time of arrival in a certain (air)port.
Synonym: Expected Time of Arrival

Estimated Time of Departure
Abbreviation: ETD. Expected date and time when a certain (air)port is left.
Synonym: Expected Time of Departure

→ Estimated Time of Arrival

→ Estimated Time of Departure

European Article Numbering Association
Abbreviation: EAN. International body responsible for administering the European Article Numbering system. It has affiliates in many countries such as: CCG in Germany, DCC in Japan, ANA in the United Kingdom. Note: The North American body responsible for the Uniform Product Code (UPC) coding is the Uniform Code Council (UPC is considered a subset of EAN).

European Pallet Pool
Pool for the exchange of standard-sized pallets (the so-called Europallets) in European cargo traffic, formed in 1961 by a number of European rail administrators.

European Zone Charge
Abbreviation: EZC. Charge for inland haulage transport in case of carrier haulage in Europe.

Ex “From”
When used in pricing terms such as “Ex Factory” or “Ex Dock”, it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin (e.g., at the seller’s factory or a dock at the import point). In practice, this kind of quotation indicates that the seller agrees to place the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the specified place within a fixed period of time.

Ex Dock
Seller owns goods until they are unloaded on dock at port of discharge; selling price includes all costs so far plus cost of unloading from vessel.
Ex Factory
Seller owns goods until they are picked up at their factory; selling price is the cost of the goods.

Ex Quay
Ex Quay means that the seller makes the goods available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the place named in the sales contract. The seller has to bear the full cost and risk involved in bringing the goods there. There are two “Ex Quay” contracts in use: a) Ex Quay “duty paid” and b) Ex Quay “duties on buyer’s account” in which the liability to clear goods for import is to be met by the buyer instead of by the seller.

Ex Works (... Named Place)
Abbreviation: EXW. Incoterm

Exceptions Clause
→ Exemption Clause

Excess Stock
That portion of stock on hand which is over and above the desired stock level.
Cycle Stock

Exchange Permit
Government permit required to convert local currency into foreign (hard) money for transfer abroad.

Exchange Rate
Price of one currency in terms of another.
Currency Adjustment Factor

Actual act of carrying out a task.

Exemption Clause
Clause in a contract, which relieves the contractor’s responsibility for mentioned events.
Synonym: → Exceptions Clause

Expendable Pallet
Disposable PalletOne-Way Pallet

Termination of a certain period.

Sending goods to another country or countries. The sale of products to clients abroad.

Export Broker
Individual or company that brings together buyers and sellers for a fee but does not take part as principal in actual sales transactions.

Export Commission House
Organization which, for a commission, acts as a purchasing agent for a foreign buyer.

Export Declaration
Form indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.

Export License
Government document that permits the licensee to export designated goods.
General Export LicenseIndividually Validated Export License

Export Packer
Company that packs goods for export.

Party responsible for the export of goods.

Summary or copy of something written, e.g. used in connection with the log book.

Incoterm for “Ex Works“.

→ European Zone Charge

Facilitation Committee of the IMO.

F.C. & S.
Free of Capture & Seizure. Clause excluding war risks from the Marine Policy. War risks can be covered by issuing a separate War Policy with an additional premium being charged.

→ Free in


Full Interest Admitted as between insurer and insured (honor policy).

→ Free out

Free of Claim for Accident Reported.

Free of Damage Absolutely.

Free on Rail.

Free on Train or Truck.

Free of Particular Average.
→ Free of Particular Average, English Conditions → Free of Particular Average, American Conditions

F.P.A. A.C.
→ Free of Particular Average, American Conditions

Free of Particular Average Absolutely.

F.P.A. E.C.
→ Free of Particular Average, English Conditions


Free of Particular Average Unless Caused by (stranding, etc.).

Full Premium If Lost (used in connection with time risks for periods of less than twelve months, the balance of a year’s premium being claimable by insurers before paying a total loss).

Fresh Water Damage.

Navigable channel for vessels, often the regular or prescribed track a vessel will follow in order to avoid dangerous circumstances such as shallow waters.

→ Freight All Kinds

Incoterm for “Free Alongside Ship”.

Fashion Transport
Transport of clothing and/or accessories including shoes, belts and handbags in dedicated means of transport.

Incoterm for “Free Carrier”.

→ Fully Cellular Containership

Foreign Credit Insurance Association.


→ Full Container Load

FIATA Forwarder’s Certificate of Receipt. An official document which proves that the freight has been received by the forwarder.

Feeder Vessel
Vessel used for local or coastal transport to and from ports not scheduled by the main (ocean) vessel.

Appliance made of rubber, timber and/or rope or other materials normally attached to a dock or quay used to prevent damage to the hull of a vessel especially during mooring and un-mooring operations.

→ Forty Foot Equivalent Unit

→ First in/First out

→ Free in Liner out

→ Free in and out

First Carrier
Carrier that actually performs the first part of the air transport (air cargo).

First in/First out
Abbreviation: FIFO. Method whereby the goods which have been longest in stock (first in) are used, delivered (sold) and/or consumed first (first out).

Five Freedoms (Air)

Collective term which depicts the five areas of “rights” for the air transportation of passengers or cargo, viz. (expressed in terms of an airline of country A):
Freedom 1: The right to fly over a foreign country.
Freedom 2: The right to make a technical stop at a country C en route from country A to B.
Freedom 3: The right to set down (off loading) passengers or cargo in a country B from home country A.
Freedom 4: The right to pick up (loading) passengers/cargo from a country B to home country A.
Freedom 5: The right to carry passengers or cargo between two foreign countries.
Eight Freedoms (Air)

Indication of the country in which a means of transport is registered through a reference to the ensign of this country.

Capable of being set on fire under given circumstances (Amendment 25 IMO DGS).
→ Flash Point

Flash Point
Lowest temperature at which a good produces enough vapor to form a flammable mixture with air.
→ Flammable

→ Flat-Rack Container >Flat-Bed Trailer

Flat-Bed Trailer
Wheeled trailer or a semi-trailer with a flat cargo carrying surface or deck and without any superstructure.

Flat Pack
Garments packed in cardboard boxes.

Flat-Rack Container
Container with two end walls, open sides and no roof.
Synonym: → Flat

Any group of means of transport acting together or under one control.

Flight Number
Combination of two letters, indicating the airline, and digits indicating the number of the voyage.
Synonym: → Line Number

Floating Crane
Crane mounted on a barge or pontoon, which can be towed or is self propelled.

Floating Dock
Floating structure which can be partially submerged to enable vessels to enter and to leave and which can be raised for use as a dry dock.

Floating Policy
Open Insurance Policy

Floating Stock
Pipeline Inventory

Flow Chart
Diagram, using symbols and depicting the sequence of events that should take place in a complex set of tasks.

Flow Control
Term often used to describe a specific production control system.

Flow Line
Direction of flow in which, e.g., pallets have been positioned and stowed.

Flow of Materials
Flow of materials and components which goes to and through the factory for the production process.
Procurement Logistics

Federal Maritime Commission (Control of shipping acts USA).

→ Forecastle

Incoterm for “Free on Board”.

FOB Vessel
(Free on board vessel.) Seller owns goods until they are loaded on vessel; selling price includes all costs so far plus cost of loading on vessel.

→ Free on Rail

Force Majeure
Title of a standard clause in marine contracts exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods, or war.
Synonym: → Act of God

Fore and Aft Stowage
Stowage from the bow to the stern (lengthwise), as opposed to stowage athwartships.


  1. An estimation or calculation in advance; a prediction. 2. The amount of cargo expected to be booked for a specific flight or vessel. 3. The number of containers expected to be used in a certain area.

Abbreviation: Fo’c’s’le. Forward part of a vessel where stores, ropes and anchor chains are located.

Foreign Exchange
Currency or credit instruments of a foreign country. Also, transactions involving purchase and/or sale of currencies.

Foreign Trade Zone
→ Free Trade Zone

Fork Lift Pockets
→ Fork Pockets

Fork Lift Truck
Three- or four-wheeled mechanical truck with forks at the front designed for lifting, carrying and stacking cargo.

Fork Pockets
Openings or recesses in a side of a container for the entry of the forks of a fork lift truck.
Synonym: → Fork Lift Pockets

Forty-foot Equivalent Unit
Abbreviation: FEU. Unit of measurement equivalent to one forty-feet shipping container.
Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit

At, near or towards the bow or front of a vessel or an aircraft.

Party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of the cargo principal according to their shipping instructions.
Synonym: → Freight Forwarder

Forwarding Instructions
Shipping Instructions

→ Free on Truck

Foul Bill of Lading
Receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received.
Clean Bill of LadingLetter of Indemnity

Four-way Pallet
Pallet of which the frame permits the entry of forks of e.g. a fork lift truck, on all four sides.

Easily breakable. Term denoting that goods should be handled with care.

Franc Poincaré
Unit of value in which the limitation of the carrier’s liability is sometimes expressed. One franc poincaré consists of 65.5 milligrams of gold with a fineness of nine hundred thousands.

Amount which, in case of damage, will have to be borne by the insured.

The crime of getting money or other benefits by deceit or trickery.

Free Airport
→ Free Trade Zone

Free Alongside Ship (… Named Port of Shipment)
Abbreviation: FAS. Incoterm

Free Carrier (... Named Place)
Abbreviation: FCA. Incoterm

Free House Uncleared
Delivered at a certain destination without payment of certain duties or incurred costs.

Free in
Abbreviation: F.I. Condition indicating that the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of loading goods onto the vessel.

Free in and out
Abbreviation: FIO. Condition denoting that the freight rate excludes the costs of loading and discharging and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

Free in Liner out
Abbreviation: FILO. 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 of Particular Average, American Conditions
Abbreviation: FPAAC. Average clause which limits recovery of partial losses to those caused by fire, stranding, sinking or collision.

Free of Particular Average, English Conditions
Abbreviation: FPAEC. Same as FPAAC except that the partial losses referred to are recoverable if the vessel has stranded, sunk, burned, been on fire or in a collision, regardless of whether such losses were actually caused by any of these perils.

Free on Board (… Named Port of Shipment)
Abbreviation: FOB. Incoterm

Free on Rail
Former Incoterm, today replaced by Free Carrier (FCA).
→ Free Carrier

Free on Truck
Former Incoterm, today replaced by Free Carrier (FCA).
→ Free Carrier

Free out
Abbreviation: F.O. Condition indicating that the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of unloading goods from the vessel.

Free Port
International port or an area within an international port at which crew, passengers, baggage, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may be transshipped, without being subjected to any customs charges or duties. (Examination is possible, e.g. to meet security or narcotics control requirements.)

Free Pratique
Permission granted by local medical authorities, denoting that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health so that people may embark and disembark.

Free Trade Zone
Abbreviation: FTZ. Port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties being paid. Duties are imposed on the merchandise (or items manufactured from the merchandise) only when the goods pass from the zone into an area of the country subject to the Customs Authority.

Freeboard of a Vessel
Vertical distance from the main deck to the surface of the water measured at the middle of the vessel’s length.

Costs charged by the carrier for transporting goods.

Freight All Kinds
Abbreviation: FAK. Tariff structure which is applied irrespective of the commodity.

Freight Collect
Freight and charges are paid by the consignee.

Freight Costs
Costs incurred by the merchant in moving goods, by whatever means, from one place to another under the terms of the contract of carriage.

Freight Forwarder

→ Forwarder

Freight Invoice
Itemized list of costs for freight charges and services rendered.
Freight Manifest
Cargo Manifest

Freight Prepaid
Freight and charges to be paid by the shipper.

Freight Ton
Unit for calculating freight amount according to weight and/or cubic measurement.
Synonyms: Revenue Ton, Bill of Lading Ton

Freight Ton Kilometers
Index of average amount of freight carried per kilometer flown.

Freight Tons Carried
Index of the weight of cargo flown on board the aircraft.

→ Full Truck Load

→ Free Trade Zone

Full Container Load
Abbreviation: FCL. 1. A container stuffed or stripped under risk and for account of the shipper and/or the consignee. 2. A general reference for identifying container loads of cargo loaded and/or discharged at merchants’ premises.
Less than Container Load (LCL)

Full Truck Load
Abbreviation: FTL. Indication for a truck transporting cargo directly from supplier to receiver.
Less than Truck Load (LTL)

Full Value Declared
Abbreviation: FVD. Notation on an Air Waybill which indicates that a specific value has been declared to the carrier for carriage of the merchandise.

Fully Cellular Containership
Abbreviation: FCC. Vessel specially designed to carry containers, with cell-guides under deck and necessary fittings and equipment on deck.

→ Full Value Declared

→ General Average

Group of workmen acting together especially for loading and/or discharging operations of a vessel in combination with the necessary technical equipment.

Bridge laid from an opening in the railing or side of a vessel to the shore or to a platform with the purpose of giving access to and from the vessel.

Gantry Crane
Crane or hoisting machine mounted on a frame or structure spanning an intervening space, which often travels on rails. Used for container movements.
Portal Crane

→ General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade;
Most Favored Nation Status (MFN)

→ General Cargo Rate ùGeneral Commodity Rate

Motor generator set as power source for e.g. thermal containers.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Abbreviation: GATT. GATT is a binding contract among (in early 1992) 103 governments. GATT was established in 1947 as an interim measure pending the establishment of the International Trade Organization, under the Havana Charter. Operating in the absence of an explicit international organization, GATT has provided the legal framework for international trade with its primary mission being the reduction of trade barriers.
Most Favored Nation Status (MFN)

General Average
Abbreviation: G/A. Intentional act or sacrifice which is carried out to safeguard vessel and cargo. 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. Loss or damage sustained by the ship or cargo through delay, whether on the voyage or subsequently, such as demurrage, and any indirect loss whatsoever, such as loss of market, shall not be admitted as general average.
Average AdjustersContributory Value → General Average Act → General Average Security → General Average Statement → Particular AverageSacrificeValuation Clause → York/Antwerp Rules

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 Bond
Document required of cargo owners, after a G/A loss, obtaining their agreement to pay any contribution that may become due.

General Average Contribution
Such losses or expenditures are contributed to by all the interests at risk on the basis of their respective values.

General Average Security
Documents the cargo owner presents to the General Average Adjuster to replace the vessel owner’s maritime lien on cargo for its share of General Average and to obtain release of the goods by the Steamship Company. G/A Security consists of a G/A Bond and either a cash deposit or an underwriter’s guarantee.

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 Cargo
Cargo, consisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletized.
Break Bulk Cargo

General Cargo Rate
Abbreviation: GCR. Rate for the carriage of cargo other than a class rate or specific commodity rate (air cargo).
Synonym: → General Commodity Rate

General Commodity Rate
→ General Cargo Rate

General Export License
General license covering goods for which validated export licenses are not required. No formal application or written authorization is needed to ship exports under a general export license.

General Purpose Container
Container used for the carriage of general cargo without any special requirements for the transport and/or the conditioning of the goods.

Germanischer Lloyd
German classification society.
Classification Society

Ground Handling Agent. Official agent at the airport responsible for moving freight between the terminal and aircraft.

Warehouse or cargo shed. This term is often used in the Far East.

Good Faith
Basic principle of law, also applicable in insurance. A breach of good faith entitles the underwriter to cancel the contract.
Bona Fide

Common term indicating movable property, merchandise or wares.

Goods Control Certificate
Document issued by a competent body evidencing the quality of goods described therein, in accordance with national or international standards, or conforming to legislation in the importing country, or as specified in the contract.

Goods Flow
Direction and path of the movement of goods and sequence of placement of those goods in a supply chain.
Maintenance ChainPipelineSupply Chain

Goods in Transit
Goods which have departed from the initial loading point and not yet arrived at the final unloading point.
Synonyms: Stock in Transit, In Transit Inventory, Transportation Inventory

Goods Receipt

Document issued by a port, warehouse, shed, or terminal operator acknowledging receipt of goods specified therein on conditions stated or referred to in the document.

Grid Number
Indication of the position of a container in a bay plan by means of a combination of page number, column and line.

Gross Manifest
Manifest containing freight details without any appropriate disbursements.

Gross Register Ton
Abbreviation: GRT. Volumetric measure of the overall size of a vessel determined in accordance with the provisions of the international convention on measurement of vessels.
Register Ton

Gross Weight

  1. Weight (mass) of goods including packing, but excluding the carrier’s equipment expressed in whole kilograms. 2. The weight of a shipment including materials necessary for blocking, etc. (air cargo).

Gross Weight of Container
Total weight of container including cargo (in kilograms).

Collection of several small consignments and the formation of one large shipment thereof (road cargo).

→ Gross Register Ton

Ground Security Agent.

Guaranteed Freight
Freight payable whether the goods are delivered or not, provided the failure to deliver the goods resulted from causes beyond the carrier’s control.

Held covered at a premium to be arranged.

Hague Protocol
Amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (air cargo).
Warsaw Convention
Hague Rules
International convention for the unification of certain rules, relating to Bills of Lading (1924). These Rules include the description of responsibilities of ocean carriers.
→ Hague-Visby Rules

Hague-Visby Rules
Set of rules, published in 1968, amending the Hague Rules.

Half Height Container
Container, fitted with or without soft or hard cover, 4\'3" in height (used for very dense cargo such as metals).

Hamburg Rules
United Nations Convention on the carriage of goods by sea of 1978 adopted in 1992.

Handling Instructions
Indication of how cargo is to be handled.

Hard Currency
Term used to describe a currency whose value is sound and steady and is generally acceptable at face value internationally.

Harmonized System
Abbreviation: HS. Numeric multipurpose system, developed by the Customs Cooperation Council, for the classification of goods. With its six digits it covers 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.
Brussels Tariff NomenclatureCommodity

Hatch Cover
Watertight means of closing the hatchway of a vessel.
→ Hatchway

Opening in the deck of a vessel through which cargo is loaded into, or discharged from the hold and which is closed by means of a hatch cover.

Overland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points.
Synonym: → Cartage

Road carrier.

Heated Container
Thermal container served by a heat-producing appliance.

Heavy Lift
Cargo piece exceeding the capacity of normal loading equipment and requiring special equipment and rigging methods for handling.

Heavy-Lift Vessel
Vessel specially designed and equipped for the carriage of heavy cargo.

Held Covered
Abbreviation: H/C. Provisional acceptance of risk, subject to confirmation that cover is needed at a later date. Where applicable to an existing insurance, cover is conditional, in practice, on prompt advice to the underwriter as soon as the insured is aware of the circumstances to be held covered coming into effect, and a reasonable additional premium is payable if the risk held covered comes into effect.
Direct Covered

Loading condition of a vessel in such a way that the center of the vessel is slightly raised (archwise in the center).

Space below the deck of a vessel.

Hold Harmless
Of, relating to, or being an agreement between parties in which one assumes the potential liability for injury that may arise from a situation and thus relieves the other of liability (e.g.: a hold harmless agreement/a hold harmless clause).

Hold Space
Storage space within the bottom (i.e. belly) of an aircraft that can be used to carry cargo.

Home Port
Port of registration of a vessel.

Honor (a Draft)
To pay or accept a draft on presentation.

House Address
Place of receipt or delivery (name and address) in case of carrier haulage.

House Air Waybill

Air Waybill issued by a freight forwarder.
Master Air Waybill

House-to House Transport
Transport of cargo from the premises of the shipper 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.
Synonym: → Door-to-Door TransportPoint-to-Point TransportAir Waybill

→ Harmonized System

Central transshipment point in a transport structure, serving a number of consignees and/or shippers by means of spokes.

Huckepack Carriage

Outer shell of a vessel, made of steel plates or other suitable material to keep water outside the vessel.

Taking care of a vessel’s non-cargo-related operations as instructed by the master or owner of such vessel.

Increased Value.

→ International Association of Classification Societies

→ International Air Transport Association

IATA Cargo Agent
Agent approved by IATA and registered in the IATA Cargo Agency List. This enables the agent, upon authorization of the IATA carrier, to receive shipments, to execute Air Waybills and to collect charges (air cargo).

IATA Member
Airline which is a member of IATA (air cargo).

→ International Civil Aviation Organization

Institute Cargo Clauses. There are three basic sets of these clauses (A, B and C). The “A” clauses cover all risks, subject to specified exclusions. The “B” and “C” clauses cover specified risks, subject to specified exclusions.

→ Inland Clearance Depot

International Cargo Handling Coordinating Association.

→ International Chamber of Shipping

Unique data, e.g. name, number or code, determining a certain object or person.

Idle Time
Amount of ineffective time whereby the available resources are not used, e.g. a container in a yard.

Setting on fire or catching fire.

→ International Labor Organization

→ International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

→ International Medical Guide for Ships

→ International Maritime Organization

Import License
Document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.

Party responsible for the import of goods. For customs purposes it is the party that makes, or on whose behalf an agent makes, an import declaration.

In Bond
Term applied to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally to a country without payment of duties either for storage in a bonded warehouse or for transshipment to another point, where duties will eventually be imposed.

In Transit
Status of goods or persons between the outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.
Goods in TransitBonded Transit Warehouse

In 1936, the International Chamber of Commerce first published a set of international rules for the interpretation of trade terms. These rules became known as Incoterms. Amendments and additions have occurred in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, 1990 and 2000.

Incremental Cost to Export
Additional costs incurred while manufacturing and preparing a product for export (e.g., product modifications, special export packaging and export administration costs). This does not include the costs to manufacture a standard domestic product, export crating and transportation to the foreign market.

Compensation of lading for a loss and/or the expenses incurred.

Indirect Route
Any route other than the direct route.
Direct Route

Individually Validated Export License
A required document issued by the Government authorizing the export of specific commodities. This license is for a specific transaction or time period in which the exporting is to take place.
General Export License

Inherent Vice
Characteristic of cargo which causes, or is liable to cause, loss or damage to the cargo, without any accident occurring (e.g. spontaneous combustion). It is always excluded by the insurers of the cargo because of its inevitable nature.

Inland Bill of Lading
Synonym for Consignment Note, used in USA and Canada.
Consignment Note

Inland Clearance Depot
Abbreviation: ICD. Inland location where cargo, particularly containerized, may be cleared by customs.

Inland Waterways Bill of Lading

Transport document made out to a named person, to order or to bearer, signed by the carrier and handed to the sender after receipt of the goods.

Inspection Company
Company providing inspection of goods and packing to meet special requirements and specifications called for by buyer and seller.

Insulated Container
Thermal container without devices for cooling and/or heating.

Insulated Tank Container
Container frame holding one or more thermal insulated tanks for liquids.

Insurable Interest
It is illegal for anyone to insure without an insurable interest or, in the case of marine insurance, a reasonable expectation of acquiring such interest. In general, a party has such interest when its relationship to property at risk may result in the exposure to loss or liability and where it stands to gain by the safety of the property.

Protection against loss or damage for which a party agrees to pay a certain sum (premiums) for a guarantee that they will be compensated under certain conditions for loss or damage.

Insurance Certificate
Proof of an insurance contract.

Insurance Company
Party covering the risks of the insured goods and/or services.

Insured Party
Assured Party

Integrated Hardfreight
SwissGlobalCargo’s time definite door-to-door airfreight service without weight limits.

Integrated Logistics Support
Systematic approach applied to simultaneous management of equipment and related logistics support, in order to provide the customer with a desired level of goods available.

As opposed to coastal water operations, intercoastal refers to water transport carried out between coasts (e.g. between Pacific and Atlantic coasts).

Cooperative formed by 19 European railways, for the management of international rail container traffic in Europe.

Interim Receipt
Receipt given by a carrier pending execution of an Air Waybill.

Interline Agreement
Cooperation between two or more airlines for the carriage over particular routes.

Interline Carriage

Carriage over the routes of two or more parties of an interline agreement.

Interline Carrier
Carrier with whom another carrier has an interline agreement.

Intermodal Transport
Movement of goods (containers) in one and the same loading unit or vehicle which successively uses several modes of transport without handling the goods themselves in changing modes.
Combined Transport

International Air Transport Association
Abbreviation: IATA. International organization of airlines, founded in 1945, with the aim of promoting commercial air traffic. It encourages cooperation between parties concerned and ensures that these interested parties follow certain rules, procedures and tariffs, regarding both cargo and passengers.

International Association of Classification Societies
Abbreviation: IACS. Organization in which the major classification societies, among others American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping and Germanischer Lloyd, are joined. Its principal aim is the improvement of standards concerning safety at sea.

International Carriage
Carriage whereby the place of departure and any place of landing are situated in more than one country.

International Chamber of Shipping
Abbreviation: ICS. Voluntary organization of national shipowners’ associations with the objective of promoting the interests of its members, primarily in the technical and legal fields of shipping operations.

International Civil Aviation Organization
Abbreviation: ICAO. International organization of governments, dealing with search and rescue in distress, weather information, telecommunications and navigational requirements.

International Labor Organization
Abbreviation: ILO. United Nations agency, dealing with employment rights and working conditions, covering work at sea and in ports.

International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code
Abbreviation: IMDG Code. Code, representing the classification of dangerous goods as defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in compliance with international legal requirements.

International Maritime Organization
Abbreviation: IMO. United Nations agency concerned with safety at sea. Its work includes codes and rules relating to tonnage measurement of vessels, load lines, pollution and the carriage of dangerous goods. Its previous name was the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO).

International Medical Guide for Ships
Abbreviation: IMGS. “The doctor at sea.”

International Organization for Standardization
Abbreviation: ISO. International Standards Organization also referred to as the International Organization for Standardization. This is a worldwide federation of national standards member bodies. It consists of technical committees made up of governmental and non-governmental international organizations. Draft international standards adopted by the technical committees are circulated to member bodies for voting. Adoption of standards requires approval of at least 75% of member bodies that cast a vote.

International Safety Management Code
This international standard for the safe management and operation of ships prescribes rules for the organization of a shipping company management in the context of safety and pollution prevention and requires the development and implementation of a safety management system.

International Transport and Information System
Abbreviation: INTIS. Organization with the aim to improve the position of the port of Rotterdam by the development, realization and exploitation of a communication and information network through computers.

→ International Transport and Information System

Panalpina’s invoice tracking system.

A detailed list of goods located in a certain place or belonging to a specified object.
Synonym: Stock List

Irrevocable Letter of Credit
Letter of Credit with a fixed expiry date that carries the irrevocable obligation of the issuing bank to pay the exporter when all of the terms and conditions of the Letter of Credit have been met.

→ International Organization for Standardization

Issuing Carrier
Carrier whose Air Waybill is issued.

Separate article or unit.


Route of a means of transport, indicated by the names of the ports of call or other locations, often including estimated arrival and departure dates.

J. and W.O.
Jettison and Washing Overboard.

Throwing the cargo or ship’s property overboard to save other property from a common danger.
General Average (G/A)

Mole or breakwater, running out into the sea to protect harbor or coast. It is sometimes used as a landing-pier.

→ Just-in-Time

Joint Charge

Charge which applies to the carriage over the lines of two or more carriers and which is published as a single amount (air cargo).

Joint Rate
Rate which applies for carriage over the lines of two or more carriers and which is published as single amount (air cargo).

Joint Venture
Business undertaking in which more than one firm share ownership and control of production and/or marketing.

The power that a court of law or an official person has to carry out legal judgements or enforce law.

Juridical decisions used for explanation and meaning of law.

Abbreviation: JIT. 1. The movement of material/goods to the required place at the required time. Each operation is closely synchronized with the subsequent ones to make this possible. 2. A method of inventory control that brings stock into the production process, warehouse or to the customer just-in-time to be used, thus reducing stockpiling.


  1. A method which, during storage, uses standard units or lot sizes with a single card attached to each. 2. A pull system used at a stock point in which a supply batch is ordered only when a previous batch is withdrawn.

Note: Kanban in Japanese means loosely translated “card or sign”.

Longitudinal girder at the lowest point of a vessel from which the framework is built.

Unit of measurement for the speed (of a vessel) equal to a nautical mile (= 1852 meters) per hour.

Kyoto Convention
Convention for the International Customs Cooperation Council held in Kyoto in 1973 for the simplification and harmonization of national customs procedures.

→ Letter of Credit

Slip of e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.
Bar CodingDangerous Goods DeclarationOverpackShipping Label

Laden Vessel
→ Loaden Vessel

Land Bridge
Movement of goods from one port to another partially by land and partially by water, as a substitute for all-water transport.

To hold goods in position by the use of e.g. wires, ropes, chains and straps.
→ Lighter Aboard Ship

Lashing Point
Point on a means of transport to which wires, chains, ropes or straps, which are used to hold goods in position, are attached.

Last Carrier
Participating airline over which air routes the last section of carriage under the Air Waybill is undertaken or performed.

Last in/First out
Abbreviation: LIFO. Method of which the assumption is that the most recently received (last in) is the first to be used or sold (first out).

Angular distance of a position on its meridian north or south from the equator, measured in degrees.

Lay Days
Number of days allowed in a charter party for the loading and discharging of cargo. Lay days may be indicated in different ways, e.g. consecutive days, working days, weather working days.

Lay up a Vessel
Temporary cessation of trading of a vessel by the shipowner.

Layout Key
United Nations Layout Key

→ Less than Container Load

Lead Time

  1. The amount of time between the request of a service and the actual provision of this service. 2. A span of time required to perform an activity. 3. In a logistics context, the time between the initiation of a process and its completion.

Contract by which one party gives to another party the use of property or equipment, e.g. containers, for a specified time against fixed payments.
→ Leasing Company

Leasing Company
Company from which property or equipment is taken on lease.

Leasing Contract
Contract for the leasing of property or equipment.

Less than Container Load
Abbreviation: LCL. 1. A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container. 2. 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. Term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.

Party to whom the possession of specified property has been conveyed for a period of time in return for rental payments.

Party who conveys specified property to another for a period of time in return for the receipt of rent.

Letter of Credit
Abbreviation: L/C. Method of payment between buyer and seller. The buyer opens a Letter of Credit in favor of the seller at their local bank by depositing the amount of the purchase price and dictating certain documents which the seller must present in order to obtain a payment. The Letter of Credit will be sent to a bank in the vicinity of the seller and upon presentation of the documents called for, the local bank will release payment.
Confirmed Letter of CreditDeferred Payment CreditDiscrepancy Letter of CreditDocumentary CreditIrrevocable Letter of CreditRed Clause Letter of CreditRevocable Letter of CreditTransferable Letter of CreditUniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits

Letter of Credit, Payment by Sight Draft
Document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents, within a given time.

Letter of Indemnity
Written confirmation of holding a specified party harmless. E.g.: When a bank refuses to accept a foul Bill of Lading, the shipper may obtain a clean Bill of Lading. To acquire this, the shipper signs a letter of indemnity, which is an inducement to obtain the clean Bill of Lading through the dock or mate’s receipt, given on delivery of the goods to dock or ship, showing that the shipment was damaged or in bad condition. This acts as a form of guarantee whereby the shipper accords a claim settlement against a steamship by a Bill of Lading holder resulting from a clean bill being issued.

Letter of Instruction
Written directions to be followed.
Shipping Instructions

Legal responsibility for the consequences of certain acts or omissions.

Business arrangement in which the manufacturer of a product (with proprietary rights over certain technology or trademarks) grants permission to some other group or individual to manufacture that product (or make use of that proprietary material) in return for specified royalties or other payment.

Legal claim on assets (personal or commercial) to pay a debt or duty.

Life Cycle Cost
Encompasses all costs associated with the product’s life cycle. These include all costs involved in acquisition (research & development, design, production & construction and phase-in), operation, support and disposal of the product.

→ Last in First out >Liner in Free out

Lift-on/Lift-off Vessel
Abbreviation: LOLO. Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks.

Open or covered barge towed by a tugboat and used mainly in harbors and inland waterways.

Lighter Aboard Ship
Abbreviation: LASH
Vessel which carries barges.


Carriage of goods within a port area by a barge, e.g. from a vessel to a quay.

Weight of an empty vessel including equipment and outfit, spare parts required by the regulatory bodies, machinery in working condition and liquids in the systems, but excluding liquids in the storage tanks, stores and crew.

Line Item
Order Line

Line Number
Flight Number

Liner Conference
Group of two or more shipping lines, which provides international liner services for the carriage of cargo on a particular trade route and which has an agreement or arrangement to operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions (e.g. FEFC = Far Eastern Freight Conference).

Liner in Free out
Abbreviation: LIFO. Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of loading, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of discharging.

Liner Service
Connection through vessels between ports within a trade.

Liner Shipping Company

Company transporting cargo in a regular service by ocean vessels.

Liner Terms
Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject to the custom of the port concerned.
Free inFree in Liner outFree in and outLiner in Free out

Live Stock
Cargo consisting of live animals, such as horses, cows, sheep and chickens.

Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
British classification society.
Classification Society

Quantity or nature of what is being carried. This term normally refers to transport by truck.

Load Factor Management
Process of maximizing the utilization of the (slot) capacity of vessels and/or other means of transport.
→ Yield Management

Load Master
Person supervising process of loading and unloading.

Loaden Vessel
Vessel where cargo has been put on board.
Synonym: → Laden Vessel

Physical process of bringing cargo into a means of transport.

Loading Platform
Flat surface to facilitate loading usually alongside a warehouse.


Load calculator designed for a vessel approved by a classification bureau for the calculation of the vessel’s stability.

Loan Collection

Method of financing by which an exporter borrows on the basis of drafts turned over to a bank for collection.

Loan Receipt
Document signed by the assured where they acknowledge receipt of money advanced by the insurance company as an interest-free loan (instead of payment of a loss) repayable to the insurance company only if the loss is recovered from a third party and then only to the extent of the recovery.

Local Charge
On-line Charge

Local Rate
On-line Rate

Locating Pin

For marine purposes: A space, enclosed at the sides by walls and at each end by gates, by which a vessel can be floated up or down to a different level.

Compartment, in a shed or on board of a vessel, used as a safekeeping place to stow valuable goods, and which can be secured by means of a lock.

Log Book
Daily report of all events and other relevant particulars of a vessel and attested by the proper authorities as a true record.

Logistics Chain
All successive links involved in the logistic process.

→ Lift-on/Lift-off Vessel

Long Haul
Transportation of cargo by truck over long distances.

Angular distance of a position on the equator east or west of the standard Greenwich meridian, up to 180 degrees east or west.

Motor truck used for transport of goods. Note: Motor truck is an American term.
British synonym for motor truck is heavy goods vehicle. This British term means any vehicle exceeding 7.5 metric tons maximum laden weight.

Loss of Market
Situation in which, for one reason or another, sound cargo is no longer wanted by the consignee when it arrives. This is a “business loss” not recoverable under a Marine Cargo Policy; e.g., Christmas trees arriving in January undamaged.
All Risk


→ Less than Truck Load


Luffing Crane
Crane with which the load can be moved to or from the vessel horizontally.

Travelers’ baggage, suitcases, boxes, etc., normally accompanied by a passenger.
Unaccompanied Baggage

Agreed sum of money, which is paid in full settlement at one time. This term is often used in connection with charter parties.

Lump-Sum Charter
Voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place the whole or a part of the vessel’s capacity at the charterer’s disposal for which a lump-sum freight is paid.

Motor Vessel.

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

Maiden Trip
First voyage of a vessel or aircraft after delivery to its owner(s).

Main-Line Operator
Abbreviation: MLO. Carrier employing vessel(s) in the main or principal routes in a trade but not participating within a consortium.

Maintenance Chain
Sequence of events in a goods flow which preserves and/or restores the value of a specific good. E.g. repair.

Document which lists the specifications of goods loaded in a means of transport or equipment for transportation purposes. As a rule cargo manifests are drawn up by the agents in the place of loading. Note: For shipping, a manifest represents an accumulation of Bills of Lading for official and administrative purposes.

Marine Insurance Policy

Insurance policy protecting the insured against loss or damage to goods which occurred during transportation.

Marking (or Marks)

Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification.

Shipping Marks

Master Air Waybill
Abbreviation: MAWB. Air Waybill issued by the originating airline when more than one airline is involved with a shipment, or when a freight forwarder issues a House Air Waybill.
Air WaybillHouse Air Waybill

Mate’s Receipt
Document signed by the chief officer of a vessel acknowledging the receipt of a certain consignment on board of that vessel. On this document, remarks can be made as to the order and condition of the consignment.

Material Circumstance
Any circumstances which would influence the judgment of a prudent underwriter in determining whether to accept a risk and the amount of premium to charge.

Material Representation
Statement made to the underwriter before acceptance of risk which is material to the decision in accepting and rating the risk.

Materials Handling
Activities of loading, unloading, placing and manipulating material and of in-process movement.

Means of Transport
Type of vehicle used for the transport of goods (e.g. aircraft, barge, truck, ship or train).

Measurement Ton
Ton of one cubic meter water.

Mechanics Lien
Legal enforceable claim that a person who has performed work or provided materials is permitted to make against title to the property or as a preferential person in the event the estate or business is liquidated.

Medical First Aid Guide
Abbreviation: MFAG. Instructions to be consulted in case of accidents involving dangerous goods.
Dangerous Goods

For cargo carried under the terms and conditions of the carrier’s Bill of Lading and of a tariff, it means any trader or persons (e.g. shipper, consignee) and including anyone acting on their behalf, owning or entitled to possession of the goods.

Merchant Haulage
Inland transport of cargo in shipping containers arranged by the merchant. It includes empty container-moves to and from hand-over points with respect to 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.

Merchant Inspired Carrier Haulage
Carrier haulage by a carrier, which is nominated by the shipper or receiver of the goods, but paid by the carrier.

Meta-Centric Height
Distance between the center of gravity of a vessel and a fictitious point. If the meta-centric height is zero or negative, the vessel will heel or capsize.

→ Medical First Aid Guide

→ Most Favored Nation Status

Marine Gas Oil. Fuel used for operating the vessel.

At or in the middle of a vessel.

Minimum Charge
Lowest amount which applies to the transport of a consignment, irrespective of weight or volume (air cargo, shipping).

Minimum Connection Time
Shortest amount of time needed to move transshipments successfully from an arriving flight to the next departing flight.

Minimum Inventory
Planned minimum allowable inventory for an independent demand item.

Mixed Consignment
Consignment of different commodities, articles or goods, packed or tied together or contained in separate packages.

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

Most Favored Nation Status
Abbreviation: MFN. Provision of certain international agreements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which affords countries the right to have their goods treated no less favorably than the goods of any other country. For example, the GATT MFN clause gives each member the right to have customs duties levied upon its products at the lowest rate offered to any other member nation.

MPC Multi Purpose Carrier
→ Multi-Purpose Vessel

→ Multi-Transport Operator/Carrier

Multi-Purpose Carrier

→ Multi-Purpose Vessel

Multi-Purpose Vessel
Vessel designed for the carriage of different types of cargo: general, bulk, heavy and/or containerized cargo.
Synonym: → Multi-Purpose Carrier (MPC)

Multimodal Transport
Carriage of goods (containers) by at least two different modes of transport.

Multimodal Transport Document

Combined Transport Document

Multimodal Transport Operator/Carrier
Abbreviation: MTO/Carrier. Entity on whose behalf the transport document or any document evidencing a contract of multimodal carriage of goods is issued and which is responsible for the carriage of goods pursuant to the contract of carriage.

Multiple Sourcing
Selecting of and working with more than two equivalent suppliers for a certain product.

Net Absolutely; no deductions from gross premium for brokerage or discount.


No Risk After Discharge or No Risk After Landing (N.R.L.D.) especially in use for merchandise consigned to an area where political or other conditions are unsettled.

No Risk After Shipment.

No Risk to Attach till on Rail.

No Risk to Attach till Water Borne; particularly used where congestion (conflagration hazard) exists.

Named Perils Policy
Any marine policy limiting cover to perils specifically listed in the policy; opposed to All Risks policy.
All Risk

Narrow Body Aircraft
Aircraft with one corridor, such as a DC-9 and a Boeing 737.

Act of determining position, location and course to the destination of an aircraft or a vessel.

Imprudent action or omission which may cause injury, damage or loss.

In terms of documents, “negotiable” means that e.g. a Bill of Lading is handed over/transferred in the right manner (viz. proper endorsement) to another person. It is either endorsed in blank or endorsed to a person, and that person acquires by this transfer certain rights vis-a-vis the goods (i.e. is entitled to take possession of the goods).

Net Manifest
Manifest containing all freight details including negotiated disbursements.

Net Register Ton
Volumetric measure of the useful capacity of a vessel determined in accordance with the provisions of the international convention on tonnage measurement of vessels.

Net Weight
Weight of the goods, excluding all packing.

No Value Declared
Abbreviation: NVD. Notation on Air Waybill which indicates that no specific value has been declared to the carrier for carriage of the merchandise. Liability of the carrier would therefore be as defined by statute or as incorporated in the Waybill.
Released Bill

Non Vessel Operating Carrier
Abbreviation: NVOC. Party that undertakes to carry goods and issues in its own name a Bill of Lading for such carriage, without having own means of transport.


Abbreviation: N.D. Disappearance of an entire shipping package rather than the contents themselves or a portion of the contents.

Failure of the insured or their broker to disclose a material circumstance to the underwriter before acceptance of the risk. A breach of good faith.

Non-IATA Member

Airline company which is not a member of IATA but which may work on terms of IATA as an interline partner.

Non-Tariff Barriers
Abbreviation: NTB. Economic, political, administrative or legal impediments to trade other than duties, taxes, and import quotas.

→ Notice of Readiness

Normal Charge
Specified general cargo rate without any quantity discount (air cargo).

Normal Course of Transit
Orderly transit of merchandise from the point of origin to the final destination without interruptions or delays resulting from the action or inaction of any party at interest.

Normal General Cargo Rate
Under 45 kg rate or, if no under 45 kg rate exists, the under 100 kg rate (air cargo).
Synonym: → Normal Rate

Normal Rate
→ Normal General Cargo Rate

Notice of Abandonment
Condition which must precede a constructive total loss. If the insured fails to give notice to the underwriter, the loss can be treated only as a partial loss unless an actual total loss is proven. An underwriter who accepts notice admits liability for the loss. Notice is not necessary where it would not benefit the underwriter, where the underwriter waives the obligation or in the case of a reinsurance provided the policy incorporates the “waiver” clause. Action taken by an underwriter to prevent or reduce the loss is not deemed to be an acceptance of abandonment.
Waiver ClauseConstructive Total Loss

Notice of Readiness
Abbreviation: NOR. 1. Written document or telex issued by the master of a vessel to the charterers advising them the moment when a vessel is ready to load or discharge. 2. Document advising a consignee or their agent that cargo has arrived and is ready for delivery.

Notify Address
Address of the party other than the consignee to be advised of the arrival of the goods.

Notify Party
Party to be notified of arrival of goods.
Arrival Notice

→ Non-Tariff Barriers

→ No Value Declared

→ Non Vessel Operating Carrier

Open Cover.

OBO Vessel
→ Oil Bulk Ore Vessel

Obsolete Stock
Products or materials that cannot be or are unlikely to be used in future processes and which are to be sold or disposed of through the usual outlets.

Ocean Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading (B/L) issued by the actual shipping line.
Air WaybillConsignment NoteThrough Bill of Lading

→ Original Equipment Manufacturers

Offshore Logistics
The organization of logistics contract work carried out at sea (e.g. logistics in drilling for oil).

Oil Bulk Ore Vessel
Abbreviation: OBO Vessel. Vessel, designed for the carriage of either dry or liquid bulk cargo.

On Board Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading confirming the receipt of merchandise and the fact that it was loaded on board the ocean vessel.

On Deck Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading which states that the cargo has been stowed on deck.

On-Line Charge
Charge which applies to carriage over the lines of a single carrier (air cargo).
Synonym: → Local ChargeLocal Rate → On-Line Rate

On-Line Rate
→ On-Line Charge

Carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport to the place of delivery after discharge from the ocean vessel (main means of transport) at the port (place) of discharge.

One-Way Pallet
Disposable Pallet, only used once. Note: The addition “One Way” has nothing to do with the number of pallet sides in which the forks of e.g. a fork lift can enter, as opposed to the two- and four-way pallets.
Disposable Pallet

Onshore Logistics
The organization of logistics contract work carried out on land.

Open Account
Abbreviation: O/A. Trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment. The obvious risk this method poses to the supplier makes it essential that the buyer’s integrity be unquestionable. The transaction is payable when specified (i.e., R/M return mail; E.O.M. end of month; 30 days – 30 days from date of invoice; 2/10/60 – 2% discount for payment in 10 days, net if paid 60 days from date of invoice). If no term is specified O/A usually implies payment by return mail.

Open Insurance Policy
Marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.

Open Order

Open Position

Exposure to a foreign-exchange risk not covered by an offsetting transaction.

Open-Sided Container
Shipping container with frames of wire mesh at the sides covered by means of a tarpaulin which can be dropped down to give unrestricted access to the sides of the container for loading or discharging.

Open-Top Container
Shipping container similar in all respects to a general purpose container except that it has no rigid roof but may have a flexible and movable or removable cover, for example one made of canvas or plastic or reinforced plastic material normally supported on movable or removable roof bows.

Operating Efficiency
Ratio of the actual output of a piece of equipment, department, or plant as compared to the planned or standard output.

Party responsible for the day-to-day operational management of certain premises such as warehouses, terminals and vessels.

Optimal Trim
Best calculated trim related to speed engine capacity, fuel consumption for a specific sailing condition.

Achieving the best possible solution to a problem in terms of a specified objective function.

Optional Cargo
Cargo of which the final destination is not defined at the moment of departure of the vessel, but will be indicated during the voyage.

Optional Port
Port of which it is not known whether or not it will be called by a vessel during a voyage.

Optional Stowage Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading which gives the carrier the right to stow cargo wherever they see fit, especially with respect to the stowage of containers on deck.

Request to deliver specified quantities of goods or to render specific services.

Order Bill of Lading
Negotiable Bill of Lading made out to the order of a named party.

Order Line
Each line on a customer’s purchase order. An order line always contains one Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) only, but the number may vary.

Original Equipment Manufacturers
Abbreviation: OEM. Customers who incorporate the exporter’s product into their own merchandise for resale under their own brand names.

Out of Gauge Cargo
Cargo of which dimensions exceed the normal dimensions of a 20- or 40-feet container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.

Shipping line, which operates on a route served by a liner conference but which is not a member of that conference.

Outturn Report
Written statement by a stevedoring company in which the condition of cargo discharged from a vessel is noted along with any discrepancies in the quantity compared with the vessel’s manifest.

Outward Handling
Operations to be performed on outgoing goods from a production unit, both administrative and physical, starting at the moment forwarding orders can be executed to the moment of actual departure of the goods.

Over Pivot Rate
Rate per kilogram to be charged for the over pivot weight (air cargo).
Pivot Weight

Over Pivot Weight
Weight in excess of the pivot weight (air cargo).
Pivot Weight

Overage Additional Premium
All additional premiums charged on an open cover declaration where the carrying vessel is outside the scope of the classification clause. It may be applied, also, to additional premium charged for breach of navigational warranties (e.g. institute warranties) where the ship is more than 15 years old.

Carrier within a consortium which carries cargo beyond the allotment distributed to them.

Overheight Cargo
Cargo exceeding the standard height.

Overlength Cargo
Cargo exceeding the standard length.

Unit used by a single shipper to contain one or more package(s) and to form one handling unit for convenience of handling and stowage. Dangerous goods packages contained in the overpack must be properly packed, marked, labeled and in proper condition as required by the regulations regarding dangerous goods (air cargo).

Work beyond normal established working hours.

Overwidth Cargo
Cargo exceeding the standard width.

Legal owner of cargo, equipment or means of transport.

Owner’s Container Code
Container Prefix

P&I Club
→ Protection and Indemnity Club

Particular Average.

Policy Proof of Interest (honor policy).


  1. Any physical piece of cargo in relation to transport consisting of the contents and its packing for the purpose of ease of handling by manual or mechanical means. 2. The final product of the packing operation consisting of the packing and its contents to facilitate manual or mechanical handling.

Materials used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods and the activities of placing and securing goods in those materials.

Any container or other covering in which goods are packed.

Packing Instruction
Document issued within an enterprise giving instructions on how goods are to be packed.

Packing List
Document specifying the contents of each individual package.
Container Manifest

Packing Unit
Type of package where a standard quantity of products of a specific product type can be packed and that requires no additional packaging for storage and shipment.

Panalpina’s inhouse communications system. Stands for Panalpina Communication.

Low portable platform, usually wooden, on which cargo is stacked for storage or transportation; a skid.

Pallet Convertor
Superstructure which can be applied to a pallet to convert it into either a box or post pallet.

Pallet Rack
Skeleton framework, of fixed or adjustable design, to support a number of individual pallet loads.

Pallet Truck
Pedestrian- or rider-controlled non-stacking lift truck fitted with forks.

Panamax Size

Maximum measurements and dimensions of a vessel capable of passing the Panama Canal.

Panalpina’s global track and trace system which enables both Panalpina employees and customers to check the status of consignments.

→ Package

Neither a CASS Airline nor a billing participant, which advises the Settlement Office of amounts due to it from agents (air cargo).
CASS Airline

Participating Carrier

  1. A carrier participating in a tariff and which therefore applies the rates, charges, routing and regulations of the tariff (air cargo). 2. A carrier over whose air routes one or more sections of carriage under the Air Waybill is undertaken or performed (air cargo).

Particular Average
Abbreviation: P.A. 1. Partial loss or damage to the goods. 2. Fortuitous partial loss to the subject matter insured, proximately caused by an insured peril but which is not a general average. Particular average only relates to damage, loss and/or expenses which are exclusively borne by the owners of a vessel which has sustained damage as a result of e.g. heavy weather or by the owners of the cargo, which has been damaged in transit.
AverageGeneral AverageFree Particular Average


Party to whom a payment is made or owed.

Party who pays or is to pay.

Maximum amount of cargo weight which can be loaded on a particular means of transport.

Payment against Documents
Instructions given by a seller to a bank that the buyer may collect the documents only upon payment of the invoice.

Performance Indicator
Variable indicating the effectiveness and/or efficiency of a process.

Performance Measurement
Comparison of the results of business processes with certain standards in order to know the effectiveness of these processes and/or the supportive actions.

Perils of the Sea
Fortuitous accidents or casualties, peculiar to transportation on a navigable water, such as stranding, sinking, collision of the vessel, striking a submerged object or encountering heavy weather or other unusual forces of nature.

Fresh produce that can spoil in a short amount of time (such as fruits, fish, meat, flowers).

Physical Distribution
Those activities related to the flow of goods from the end of conversion to the customer.

Physical Distribution Management

Planning execution and control of those activities which are related to the flow of goods from the end of conversion to the customer.

→ Pilot in Command

Pick and Pack
Taking goods out of a stock and packing them according to customer conditions.

Pick Order
Order to pick certain quantities of goods out of a stock.

Pick-up and Delivery

Service concerning the collection of cargo from the premises of the shipper and the delivery to the premises of the consignee.

Pick up Service
Carriage of outbound consignments from the shipper’s place to the place of departure.

Taking products or components out of a stock.

Picking List
List used to collect items from stores to fulfil an order.
Synonym: Material Issue List, Kitting List


Carriage of road vehicles and trailers on railway wagons.
Synonym: → Huckepack Carriage

Theft of part of the contents of a shipping package.

Pilot in Command
Abbreviation: PIC. Pilot responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time (air cargo).


  1. A method for conveying liquids and gasses. 2. The physical goods flow from a supplying organization to a receiving organization.

Pipeline Inventory
Amount of goods in a pipeline: the sum of loading stock, goods in transit and receiving stock.
Synonym: → Floating Stock

Pivot Weight
Minimum chargeable weight of a Unit Load Device (air cargo).
Over Pivot RateOver Pivot Weight

Place of Acceptance
→ Place of Receipt

Place of Delivery
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 Receipt
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.
Synonym: → Place of Acceptance

Activity of positioning an object or goods in a chosen location or position.

Setting of goals over a certain time and determining the methods for achieving these goals as well as the resources used.

Area on an airport where aircraft are parked for embarkation and/or loading and discharging purposes.
Synonym: → ApronRamp

Platform Body
Truck or trailer with a floor but no ends, sides or top.

Platform Handling
All activities connected with an aircraft during the time it is on the platform.
Synonym: → Ramp Handling

Plimsoll Mark
Mark, welded on both sides of the vessel, which gives the limit to which a vessel may be loaded, depending on the specific gravity of the water in which the vessel is situated.

Point-to-Point Transport
House-to-House Transport

Point Value
Point value is the relative value of an empty container of a certain size and type in a depot location. The system serves to quantify the imbalance costs resulting from a full container move and are the result of empty optimization calculations. Point values are created on forecasted container flows between depot locations. They are calculated taking into account the forecasted imbalances plus repositioning, storage and container costs for empty moves and expressed in USD. Note: In the various computer systems point values are used to calculate the imbalance charge or credit for a particular container flow. This charge or credit is the difference in point values between start and end depot location.

Political Risk
In export financing, the risk of loss due to currency inconvertibility, government action preventing entry of goods, expropriation or confiscation, and war.

Vessel with flat deck and a shallow draft.
Floating Crane

Shared use of e.g. equipment by a number of companies that also share the investment required.
European Pallet Pool

Aft part of a vessel where the steering engine is located.


  1. Harbor with facilities for vessels to moor and load or discharge. 2. Left side of a vessel when facing towards the front or forward end.

Port of Discharge
Port where the cargo is discharged from the ocean- going vessel.

Port of Loading
Port where the cargo is loaded on board the ocean -going vessel.

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

Record of a vessel’s actual arrival and departure time, used tugs, draft, deadweight, quantity of discharged and loaded goods/containers and any other important particulars.
Log Book

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.

Postal Code
National code maintained by the Postal Authorities designed to indicate areas and accumulated addresses to facilitate sorting and the delivery of mail and other goods.
Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP)

Act of placing goods in slings which are left in position and are used for loading into and discharging from a conventional vessel.

Pre-Trip Inspection
Abbreviation: PTI. Technical inspection of Reefer containers prior to positioning for stuffing.

Carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport from the place of receipt to the port of loading.

Carrier by which the goods are moved prior to the main transport.

Prepaid Charge
Charges entered on the Air Waybill for payment in advance by the shipper (air cargo).

Prepaid Freight
Freight paid by the shipper to the carrier when merchandise is accepted for shipment. Not refundable even if the merchandise does not arrive at the intended destination.

Pre-Shipment Inspection
Abbreviation: PSI. Checking of goods before shipment for the purpose of determining the quantity and/or quality of said goods by an independent surveyor (inspection company). The inspection can also be for the purpose of determining whether the price charged for certain goods is correct, a practice used by some countries.

Price Quotation/Pro Forma Invoice
Invoice prepared by the seller in advance of shipment that documents the cost of goods sold, freight, insurance and other related charges. It is often used by the buyer to secure a Letter of Credit, an import licence or a foreign currency allocation.

Person or entity for whom another acts as agent.

Principal Carrier
Responsible Carrier

Priority Order
Order which is identified as taking precedence over other orders to ensure its completion in the minimum time.
Synonym: Urgent Order, Rush Order

Pro-Forma Invoice
Draft invoice sent to an importer by the exporter prior to order confirmation and shipment to assist in matters relating to obtaining import licenses or foreign exchange allocations, or to advise the value of a consignment so that Letters of Credit can be opened.

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.

Relative measure of output of labor hour or machine hour.

Profit Center
Organizational unit which is held accountable for its own profits and losses.

Project Cargo

Goods connected to the same project and often carried at different times and from various places.

Proof of Delivery
Receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.

Proportional Rate
Rate which is used in combination with other rates to establish a through rate.

Portion of a joint rate or charge obtained by proration.

Division of a joint rate or charge between the carriers concerned on an agreed basis.
→ Prorate → Rate Proration

Protection and Indemnity Club
Abbreviation: P&I Club. Mutual association of shipowners which provides protection against liabilities by means of contributions.

Sworn statement made by a ship’s captain following an accident.

Statement drawn up to attest certain events.

Proximate Cause
Most direct cause of loss, that is, the most effective, but not necessarily the last, in a series of events.

→ Pre-Shipment Inspection

Pre-Trip Inspection

Public Authorities
Agencies or officials in a country responsible for the application and enforcement of the laws and regulations of that state.

Public Warehouse
Warehouse which is available to all companies and individuals who wish to make use of the services offered.

Published Charge
Charge, the amount of which is specifically set forth in the carrier’s rates tariff.
Synonym: → Published Rate

Published Rate
→ Published Charge

Pull Distribution System
System to provide warehouses with new stock on request of the warehouse management.

Purchase Order
Definite order for one or more deliveries by the supplier to the customer of a specific quantity of goods, materials, services or products under agreed terms of delivery and prices.

Purchasing Agent
Agent that purchases goods in their own country on behalf of foreign importers such as government agencies and private companies.

Push Distribution System
System to provide warehouses with new stock upon decision of the supplier of the goods.

Data element whose value is expressed as a code that gives specific meaning to the function of another data element or a segment.

Quality (ISO 8402)
Totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. Note: The ISO 9000 standards on quality management and quality assurance consist of 4 standards: 9000 guidelines for selection and use, 9001 model for quality assurance in design/development, 9002 model for quality assurance in production and installation, 9003 model for quality assurance in final inspection and test, and 9004 guidelines for quality management and quality system elements.

Quality Assurance (ISO 8402)

All those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service satisfies given requirements for quality.

Quality Control (ISO 8402)

Operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfil requirements for quality.

Quantity Charge
Unit rate which is lower than the normal rate and applies to shipments meeting specific weight requirements (air cargo).

Quantity Discount
Proportional reduction of a rate based on quantity (air cargo).
Normal Charge

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.

That part of a wharf which is intended for the mooring of vessels.
Synonym: → PierWharf

Queue Time
Waiting Time

System of controlling imports, exports or production by specifying a certain limitation.

Free offer to sell goods at a stated price and under specified conditions.

Quotation Expiration Date

Date from which a quotation price is no longer valid.

Return Premium.

Rail Consignment Note
Document evidencing a contract for the transport of goods by rail.


Artificially 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).
Platform (air cargo)

Ramp Handling

Platform Handling

Charge per unit of freight for a specific service.

Rate of Calculation
Factor for the calculation of an amount.

Rate of Turn
Figure indicating the speed of a change of course of a means of transport expressed in degrees per minute.

Rate Proration
Proration on the basis of the applicable local rates (air cargo).


Procedure whereby goods are invoiced in two stages: at first by the supplier to an intermediary and subsequently by the intermediary to the customer.


Written acknowledgement confirming receipt of goods, cash or documents.

Received for Shipment Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading issued by the carrier evidencing actual receipt of merchandise for shipment. Also referred to as a Dock Receipt.
Dock ReceiptMate’s Receipt

Receiving Carrier
Carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport.

Receiving Stock
Stock comprising all the goods that have arrived at the door of the receiving organization and which is not yet available in the stock of that organization.

All activities connected with restoring and/or adjusting the packaging of a product so that it is presented to the customer in the requested form.

Amount recovered from a third party responsible for a loss on which a claim has been paid.

Red Clause Letter of Credit
Letter of Credit that allows the exporter to receive a percentage of the face value of the Letter of Credit in advance of shipment. This enables the exporter to purchase inventory and any other costs associated with producing and preparing the export order.

Return of a charter vessel to the owners.

Reefer Cargo
Cargo requiring temperature control.

Reefer Container
Thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit, etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.

Rerforwarding Charge
Charges paid or to be paid for subsequent surface or air transport from the airport of destination by a forwarder, but not by a carrier under the Air Waybill (air cargo).

Repayment to the purchaser of the total charge or a portion of that charge for unused carriage.

Register Ton

  1. The unit of measurement for the capacity of a vessel whereby one register ton equals 100 cubic feet (2.83 cubic meters). 2. The gross (brutto) tonnage comprises all spaces below the main (tonnage) deck and the enclosed spaces above the main (tonnage) deck less exempted spaces. 3. The net tonnage consists of the gross tonnage less exemptions like ballast tanks, engine room, living quarters, etc. Register tonnage is mentioned on the tonnage certificate.

Process of splitting up shipments into various consignments (degroupage) and combining these small consignments into other shipments (groupage).

Non-acceptance of e.g. cargo.

Released Bill
Type of affreightment where no specific value has been declared for carriage (No Value Declared).

Remitting Bank
Bank that sends the draft to the overseas bank for collection.
Collecting Bank

Completion of stock.

Route to be followed as altered from the one originally specified in the Air Waybill (air cargo).

Allotment in advance of space or weight capacity. Also referred to as “booking” (air cargo).

Reserve Inventory
Safety Stock

Responsible Carrier

  1. The carrier liable under the terms of a Bill of Lading.
  2. Carrier responsible for the transport of goods as indicated in the transport document (air cargo).

Synonym: → Principal Carrier
Return Shipment
Goods returned to the place of acceptance.

Reverse Distribution
Collection of used, damaged, or outdated products and/or packaging from end-users.
Waste Logistics

Revocable Letter of Credit
Letter of Credit that can be cancelled or altered by the drawee (buyer) after it has been issued by the drawee’s bank.
Irrevocable Letter of Credit

Road Carrier
Synonym: Haulier, Trucker

Roll Trailer
Special trailer for terminal haulage and stowage on board of Roll-on/Roll-off vessels.
Also referred to as Mafi Trailer.

Abbreviation: RoRo. System of loading and discharging a vessel whereby the cargo is driven on and off by means of a ramp.

→ Roll-on/Roll-off

Sequence in which a vessel calls at the ports on her itinerary.

Round Trip
Voyage, a journey, etc. to a certain place, port or country and back again.

Track along which goods are (to be) transported.


  1. The determination of the most efficient route(s) to follow. 2. The process of determining how a shipment will be moved between shipper and consignee or between place of acceptance by the carrier and place of delivery to the consignee. 3. The process of aiding a vessel’s navigation by supplying long-range weather forecasts and indicating the most economic and safe sailing route.

Routing Orders
Abbreviation: R/O. The routing order is a specific written Shipping Instruction issued by the buyer. It is usually issued in the case of “ex-works” or “delivered at frontier”/“free on board” deals, thereby ensuring that the supplier organizes the transport according to the wishes of the buyer.

Vertical division of a vessel from starboard to portside, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from midships to both sides.

Subject to Approval.

Subject to Approval, No Risk; i.e., temporary cover; no risk attached until insurance is confirmed.

→ Shipper’s Load and Count

→ Said to Contain

→ Sight Draft (Bill of Exchange)

Deliberate casting away or destruction of property to prevent greater loss.

→ Single Administrative Document

Safe Working Load
Abbreviation: SWL. Maximum load any lifting appliance may handle.

Safety Stock

  1. A quantity of stock planned to be in inventory to protect against fluctuations in demand and/or supply. 2. In the context of master production scheduling, safety stock can refer to additional inventory and/or capacity planned as protection against forecast errors and/or short term changes in the backlog. Also referred to as “over-planning” or a “market hedge”.
Synonym: → Reserve InventoryCycle Stock

Said to Contain
Abbreviation: S.T.C. Term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the master and the carrier are unaware of the nature or quantity of the contents of e.g. a carton, crate, container or bundle and are relying on the description furnished by the shipper.

Saving or rescue of a vessel and/or the cargo from loss and/or damage at sea.

Salvage Charges
Payable to salvors for saving life and property at sea.

Sanitary and Health Certificate
Statement signed by a health organization official certifying the degree of purity, cleanliness or spoilage of goods, and the health of live animals.

Scale Ton
Freighting measurement used in certain trades for various commodities.

Timetable including arrival/departure times.

→ Special Commodity Rate

→ Special Drawing Rights

Sea Waybill
Non negotiable document, which can only be made out to a named consignee. No surrender of the document by the consignee is required.
Bill of Lading

Device used for containers, lockers, trucks, etc. to ensure that they have remained closed during transport.

Seal Log
Document used to record seal numbers.

Seasonal Inventory
Inventory built up in anticipation of a seasonal peak of demand in order to smooth production.

There is an implied warranty in every voyage policy that the ship must be seaworthy at the commencement of the insured voyage or, if the voyage is carried out in stages, at the commencement of each stage of the voyage. To be seaworthy, the ship must be reasonably fit in all respects to encounter the ordinary perils of the contemplated voyage. It must be properly crewed, fueled and provisioned, with all equipment in proper working order. Cargo policies waive breach of the warranty except where the insured or their employees are privy to the unseaworthiness. Breach of the warranty is not excused in a hull voyage policy, literal compliance therewith being required. Although there is no warranty of seaworthiness in a hull time policy, claims arising from unseaworthiness may be prejudiced if the ship sails in an unseaworthy condition with the knowledge of the insured.

Sectional Rate
Rate established by scheduled air carrier(s) for a section of a through route (air cargo).

→ Shipper’s Export Declaration

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

Vehicle without motive power and with one or more axles designed to be drawn by a truck tractor.

→ Shipper

Service Level

Measure for the extent to which the customer orders can be executed at delivery conditions normally accepted in the market.

Setting/Air Delivery Temperature
Indication in the documents (B/L) stating the air supply temperature to the container.

Settlement Office
Institution to which billing is issued and which receives remittances from agents. It also distributes the monies to CASS airlines, Billing Participants and Part-Participants (air cargo).
CASS AirlinesPart-Participants

Settling Agent

Underwriter’s representative who is authorized to settle claims.


Shelf Life
Specified length of time for which items which are inherently subject to deterioration are deemed to remain fit for use under prescribed conditions.
Synonym: Storage Life

Part of the work-program of a stevedoring company (a working day can have up to 3 shifts [24 hours]).


Ship Broker
Acts as intermediary between shipowners or carriers on one hand and cargo interests on the other.

Ship Operator
The shipowner or the (legal) person responsible for the actual management of the vessel and its crew.

Ship’s Manifest
Detailed list, signed by the captain of a ship, that contents the individual shipments constituting the ship’s cargo.

Ship’s Protest
Statement of the master of a vessel before authorities, concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.

Goods to be carried. Note: In the United States of America the word shipment is used instead of the word consignment.

Legal entity officially registered as such in the certificate of registry where the following particulars are contained: name of vessel and port of registry, details contained in surveyors certificate, particulars with respect to the origin stated in the declaration of ownership, the name and description of the registered owner (if more than one owner the proportionate share of each).

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.
Synonym: → Consignor → Sender

Shipper’s Export Declaration
Abbreviation: SED. → Export Declaration

Shipper’s Letter of Instruction

→ Shipping Instructions

Shipper’s Load and Count
Abbreviation: S.L.C.. Note on Bill of Lading or affreightment, indicating that the contents of a container were loaded and counted by the shipper and not checked or verified by the carrier.

Shipping Documents
Documents required for the carriage of goods.
Synonym: Transport Documents

Shipping Instructions
Instructions from either the seller/shipper or the buyer/consignee to a freight forwarder, carrier or their 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).
Synonym: → Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI);
Consignment Instructions

Shipping Label
Label attached to a shipping unit, containing data for identification purposes.

Shipping Marks
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.
Synonym: → Marks

Short Form Bill of Lading
Summary type Bill of Lading which does not incorporate all obligations and responsibilities of both parties. Unless a shipper is familiar with the carrier’s tariff, they should request a full Bill of Lading.

Negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the required quantity.

Shrink Wrapping
Heat treatment that shrinks an envelope of polyethylene or similar substance around several units, thus forming one unit. It is used, for example, to secure packages on a pallet.

Shuttle Service
Carriage back and forth over an often short route between two points.

→ Standard Industrial Classification

Sight Draft (Bill of Exchange)
Abbreviation: S/D. Draft payable on presentation to the drawee.

Imitation of the reality in order to study the effect of changing parameters in a model as a means of preparing a decision.

Single Administrative Document

Abbreviation: SAD. 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.

Single Transit Policy
“One Off” insurance for those clients who require transit cover on an infrequent basis.

→ Standard International Trade Classification

National organization for the Simplification of International Trade Procedures in the United Kingdom (e.g. in The Netherlands SITPRO is called “Sitproneth”, in France “Simprofrance” and in Japan “Jastpro”).

Skeleton Trailer
Road trailer consisting of a frame and wheels, specially designed to carry containers.

Battens fitted underneath frames, boxes or packages to raise them off the floor and allow easy access for fork lift trucks, slings or other handling equipment.

Slave Pallet
Airfreight pallet with rollers.

Abbreviation for Shipper’s Letter of Instruction.
→ Shipping Instructions

Special chain, wire rope, synthetic fiber strap or ropes used for cargo handling purposes.

Space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.
→ Slot Charter

Slot Charter
Voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place a certain number of container slots (TEU and/or FEU) at the charterer’s disposal.

Space Charter
Voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place part of the vessels capacity at the charterer’s disposal.

Special Drawing Rights
Abbreviation: SDR. Unit of account from the International Monetary Fund, used to express the amount of the limitations of a carrier’s liability.

Special Policy of Insurance
Document issued on behalf of the Underwriter stating the terms and conditions of the marine insurance. Issued when evidence of insurance is required, as by the bank issuing the Letter of Credit.

Special Rate
Rate other than a normal tariff/rate.

Special Commodity Rate

Abbreviation: SCR. Rate applicable to carriage of specifically designated commodities (air cargo).

Specified Rate
Rate specified in an IATA Cargo Tariff Coordination Conference resolution (air cargo).

Stretch between a hub and one of the group of consignees and/or shippers being served by the hub.

Spontaneous Ignition Temperature

Lowest temperature at which a substance will start burning spontaneously without an external source of ignition.
FlammableFlash Point

Spot Exchange
Purchase or sale of foreign exchange for immediate delivery.


  1. Device used for lifting containers, and unitized cargo.
  2. Beam or frame that holds the slings vertical when hoisting a load, to prevent damage to cargo.
Container BolsterContainer Platform

Capacity of a vessel to return to its original position after having been displaced by external forces. The stability of a vessel depends on the meta-centric height.

Identifiable amount of containers stowed in a orderly way in one specified place on an terminal, container freight station, container yard or depot.
Container Stack

To pile boxes, bags, containers, etc. on top of each other.

Total weight of the containers and cargo in a certain row.

Standard Industrial Classification
Abbreviation: SIC. Method, used in the United States, to categorize companies into different industrial groupings.

Standard International Trade Classification
Abbreviation: SITC. Standard numerical code system developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade.

Right side of a vessel when facing towards the front or forward end.

State of Origin
State in the country in which the cargo was first loaded on board of an aircraft (air cargo).

State of the Operator
State in which the operator has its principal place of business or, if it has no such place of business, its permanent residence (air cargo).

Steamship Agency
Agency representing a steamship company that does not have an office in the particular port. Performs services to maintain operations on behalf of vessel owners.

Steamship Conference
Group of steamship operators that operate under mutually agreed-upon freight rates and other conditions.

Steering of Containers
Function, with the aid of specific software, for tracking and forecasting (IRMA, MINKA), to direct empty containers to areas of demand at minimum cost.

Foremost part of a vessel.

Aftermost part of a vessel.

Company which executes the loading, stowing and discharging of vessels.

Materials in a supply chain or in a segment of a supply chain, expressed in quantities, locations and/or values.
Synonym: Inventory when used as a generic term, common in the USA and extensive in the UK

Stock Control
Systematic administration of stock quantity levels.

Stock Keeping Unit
Description of the unit of measurement by which the stock items are recorded on the stock record.

Stock List

Stock Locator System
System in which all places within a warehouse are named or numbered.

Stock Point
Point in the supply chain meant to keep materials available.

Stock Record

Record of the quantity of stock of a single item, often containing a history of recent transactions and information for controlling the replenishment of stock.

Placing goods into a warehouse.

Storage Charge
Fee for keeping goods in a warehouse.

Provisions and supplies on board required for running a vessel.

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 meters to the tonne, used in order to determine the total quantity of cargo which can be loaded in a certain space.

Stowage Instructions
Details about the way certain cargo is to be stowed.

Stowage Plan
Plan indicating the locations on the vessel of all the consignments.
Bay Plan

Unwanted person who hides on board of a vessel or an aircraft to get free passage, to evade port officials, etc.

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

Straddle Crane
Crane usually running on rails and spanning an open area such as rail-tracks or roadways.

Straight Bill of Lading
Non-negotiable Bill of Lading in which the goods are consigned directly to a named consignee.

Band of metal, plastic or other flexible material used to hold cargo or cases together.

Leg between two points.

Strikes Cover
Limited to damage caused to insured property by strikers, locked-out workers and persons involved in a labor dispute. Does not include loss or expense incurred as a result of strikes.


Unloading of cargo out of a container.
Synonym: Devanning, Unstuffing, Unpacking

Loading of cargo into a container.
Synonym: Vanning, Packing


Right of the underwriter to step into the shoes of the insured, following payment of a claim, to recover the payment from a third party responsible for the loss. Subrogation is limited to the amount paid on the policy.

Part of a stretch. This term is used if it is necessary to distinguish between a stretch and a part thereof.

Sue and Labor Charges
Charges incurred by an insured in averting or diminishing a loss. They are recoverable in addition to the full sum insured.

Supply Chain
Sequence of events in a goods flow which adds to the value of a specific good. These events may include:
a) conversion; b) assembling and/or disassembling;
c) movements and placements.

Supply Vessel
Vessel which carries stock and stores to offshore drilling rigs/platforms.

Additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.

Inspection of a certain item or object by a recognized specialist.

Marine specialist who examines damaged property and determines the cause, nature, and extent of damage and methods of repair and/or replacement. This person is not an adjuster, and all their actions are without prejudice to policy terms and conditions.

→ Safe Working Load

Swop Body
Separate unit without wheels to carry cargo via road. Sometimes equipped with legs to perform an intermodal transport within Europe. It can be left behind to load or discharge whilst the driver and truck/chassis change to another unit. These units are not used for sea transport.

Simultaneous joint action of separate parties which, together, have greater total effect than the sum of their individual effects.

Whole body of connected elements which influence each other and have a specific relationship with their environment.

Person who records the number of cargo items
together with the condition thereof at the time it is loaded into or discharged from a vessel or container.

Tank Container
Tank, surrounded by a framework with the overall dimensions of a container for the transport of liquids or gasses in bulk.

Vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk.

Tare Mass of Container
→ Tare Weight of Container

Tare Weight
Weight of a container or packing materials without the weight of the goods it contains.
Gross Weight

Tare Weight of Container
Weight of an empty container including all fittings and appliances associated with that particular type of container in its normal operating condition.
Synonym: Tare Mass of Container

Schedule of rates, charges and related transport conditions.

Tariff Quotas
Application of a higher tariff rate to imported goods after a specified quantity of the item has entered the country at a lower prevailing rate.

Waterproof material, e.g. canvas, to spread over cargo to protect it from weather.
Open-Sided Container

Terms of Delivery
The conditions agreed upon between trading partners regarding the delivery of goods and the related services. Note: Under normal circumstances the Incoterms 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 Incoterms distinguish what the seller pays in terms of the freight and related costs and what the buyer pays. In the UN recommendation 23, a coding system is recommended to recognize the various items.

Terms of Sale
Invoice is the sales contract between buyer and seller and indicates the Terms of Sale.

→ Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit

Thermal Container
Container built with insulating walls, doors, floor and roof by which heat exchange with the environment is minimized thus limiting temperature variations of the cargo.

Third Party Logistics
Supply of logistics-related operations between traders by an independent organization.

Through Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading that provides transshipment.
Air WaybillConsignment NoteOcean Bill of Lading

Through Charge
Total rate from point of departure to point of destination. It may be a joint rate or a combination of rates (air cargo).
Synonym: → Through Rate

Through Pallet
A pallet that goes straight through from origin to destination without being broken up (depalletized) during the voyage.

Through Rate
→ Through Charge

Through Route
Total route from point of departure to point of destination.

Time Charter
Contract whereby a vessel is let to a charterer for a stipulated period of time or voyage, for a remuneration known as hire (generally a monthly rate per ton deadweight or a daily rate). The charterer is free to employ the vessel as they think fit within the terms as agreed, but the shipowner continues to manage their own vessel through the master and crew who remain the shipowner’s employees.

Time Draft (Bill of Exchange)
Draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.
Date DraftSight Draft

Time Sheet
Statement, drawn-up by the ship’s agent at the loading and discharging ports, which details the time worked in loading and discharging the cargo together with the amount of lay-time used.

Abbreviation for Transport International des Mar-chandises par la Route.
→ Transport International by Road

Abbreviation for Trailer on Flat Car.


  1. Unit of weight measurement: 1000 kilograms (metric ton) or 2240 lbs (long ton). 2. Unit of cubic measurement, mainly used to express the cubic capacity of a vessel. 3. Unit of weight or measurement used as a basis for the calculation of freights (freight ton).

Gross Tonnage – total internal carrying capacity of a vessel expressed in measurement tons (one measurement ton = 100 cu. ft.).

Action of retrieving information concerning the whereabouts of cargo, cargo items, consignments or equipment.

Function of maintaining status information, including current location, of cargo, cargo items, consignments or containers either full or empty.

Power to grip or hold on to a surface while moving without slipping.

Powered vehicle designed and used for towing other vehicles.

Number of passengers, quantity of cargo, etc. carried over a certain route.

Vehicle without motored power, designed for the carriage of cargo and to be towed by a motor vehicle.

Tramp Vessel
Vessel not operating under a regular schedule.

Trans Siberian Landbridge
Overland route from Europe to the Far East via the Trans Siberian Railway (TSR).

Transaction Statement
Document that delineates the terms and conditions agreed upon between the importer and exporter.

Transfer Cargo
Cargo arriving at a point by one flight and continuing with another flight.

Transferable Letter of Credit
Letter of Credit that allows all or a portion of the proceeds to be transferred from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.

Transferring Carrier
Participating carrier who delivers the consignment to another carrier at a transfer point.

Transit Cargo

  1. Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance. 2. Cargo arriving and departing at a point via the same through flight.

Transmittal Letter
List of the particulars of the shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted together with instructions for disposition of documents.

Device (chip) used for identification, which automatically transmits certain coded data when actuated by a special signal from an interrogator.

Transport Documents
Shipping Documents

Transport International by Road
Abbreviation: TIR. Set of rules following a customs convention to facilitate the international, European transport of goods by road with minimal interference under cover of TIR-carnets.

The transfer from one vessel or conveyance to another for further transit.


Class of automotive vehicles of various sizes and designs for transporting goods.

Trust Receipt
Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer in which the bank retains title of the merchandise. The buyer, who obtains the goods for manufacturing or sales purposes, is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sale) distinct from the remainder of his or her assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.

→ Trans Siberian Landbridge

Turnkey Project
Capital construction projects in which the supplier (contractor) designs and builds the physical plant, trains the local personnel on how to manage and operate the facility and presents the buyer with a self-sustaining project (all the buyer has to do is “turn the key”).

Cargo-carrying surface below the main deck dividing a hold horizontally in an upper and a lower compartment.
20-foot Equivalent Unit
Abbreviation: TEU. Unit of measurement equivalent to one 20-foot shipping container.

Device which has to be inserted into the corner fittings of a shipping container and is turned or twisted, thus locking the container for the purpose of securing or lifting.

Two-Way Pallet
Pallet into which the frame permits the entry of forks (e.g. a fork lift at two opposite sides).

Type of Cargo
Indication of the sort of cargo to be transported (e.g. Break Bulk, Containerized, RoRo).

Type of Equipment
Type of material used, e.g. 40-foot container, four-way pallet or mafi trailer.

Type of Movement
Description of the service for movement of containers.

Type of Packing
Description of the packaging material used to wrap, contain and protect goods to be transported.
Synonym: Kind of Packing, Package Type

Type of Transport

Indication whether the carrier or the merchant effects and bears the responsibility for inland transport of cargo in containers, i.e. a differentiation between the logistical and legal responsibility.

Type of Vessel
Sort of vessel used in the transport process, e.g. Container, RoRo, or Multi Purpose.

UCP 500
→ Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits

→ Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer

→ Ultra Large Crude Carrier

→ Unit Load Device

Ultimate Consignee
The person located abroad that receives the export for the designated end-use.

Ultra Large Crude Carrier
Abbreviation: ULCC. Vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 250 000 to 500 000 DWT.

→ United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Unaccompanied Baggage
Luggage not accompanied by a passenger.


→ United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Carrier in a conference or consortium who carries less cargo than the allotment distributed to it.

UNDG Number
→ United Nations Dangerous Goods Number

→ United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits
The 1993 revised rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) governing a Letter of Credit issued with respect to goods shipped applicable as from January 1, 1994.

Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer
Abbreviation: UIC. International railway union, in which most of the European national railway companies are united.

Unit Load Device
Abbreviation: ULD. 1. Any type of container or pallet, in which a consignment can be transported by air whether or not such a container is considered aircraft equipment. 2. Any type of air freight container, aircraft container, aircraft pallet with a net or aircraft pallet with a net over an igloo.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Abbreviation: UNCTAD. United Nations agency whose work in shipping includes the liner code involving the sharing of cargo between the shipping lines of the importing and exporting countries and third countries in the ratio 40:40:20.

United Nations Dangerous Goods Number
Abbreviation: UNDG Number. Four-digit number assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to classify a substance or a particular groups of substances. Note: The prefix “UN” must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Abbreviation: UN/ECE. UN/ECE is one of a number of Economic and Social Commissions established by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Despite its name it embraces both Europe and North America. The UN/ECE comprises 29 core member states, as well as any country which is a member of the United Nations and which applies under Article 11 of the United Nations constitution for delegate status. The aim is to advance the economic development of Europe and associated countries through trade facilitation and common agreements.

United Nations Layout Key
Abbreviation: UNLK. Standard (ISO 6422) which lays down the basic image principles for the design of documents used in international trade.
Synonym: → Layout Key

United Nations Standard Message
Abbreviation: UNSM. Collection of structured data that is exchanged to convey information related to a specific transaction between partners engaged in electronic data interchange. Messages are composed of logically grouped segments required for the type of message transaction covered.

→ United Nations Layout Key

→ United Nations Standard Message

Utilization Rate
Quotient of used capacity and available capacity.

Valuable Cargo
Consignment which contains one or more valuable articles (air cargo).

Valuation Charge
Transport charges for certain goods, based on the value declared for the carriage of such goods (air cargo).
Declared Value for Carriage

Valuation Clause
Clause in the Marine Policy that contains a fixed basis of valuation agreed upon by the assured and the underwriter and which establishes the insured value of the merchandise. The clause determines the amount payable under any recoverable loss or General Average contribution.

Value-Added Tax
Abbreviation: VAT. Form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the final customer.

Value-Added Services
These are services offered by a company as an extension of its core services. These services give customers added value for their investment.

Value Surcharge
Surcharge for the carriage of cargo having a value in excess of a specified amount per kilogram (air cargo).

Valued Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading issued by the carrier which indicates the amount which the shipper has declared as the value of the merchandise. The carrier will be liable for this amount in the event it is found responsible for loss or damage to the merchandise.


→ Value-Added Tax



Very Large Crude Carrier
Abbreviation: VLCC. Vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from
50 000 to 250 000 DWT.

Every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.
Synonym: → Ship

Visa Waiver
Program of selected countries to eliminate the visa requirement on a test basis.

→ Very Large Crude Carrier

Voidable Policy

Where the underwriter has the right to avoid a policy (e.g., in the event of a breach of good faith), the policy is termed “voidable”.

Size or measure of anything in three dimensions.

Volume Charge
Charge for carriage of goods based on their volume (air cargo).

Volumetric Weight
Volumetric weight measurement is based on the volume of a package and is used when the space a package takes on an aircraft costs more than the package’s actual weight.

Receipt, entry or other document which generates the accounts.

Journey by sea from one port or country to another or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.
Synonym: → Trip

Voyage Charter
Contract under which the shipowner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lump-sum freight.

Voyage Number
Reference number assigned by the carrier or its agent to the voyage of the vessel.

Waiting Time
Period of time between the moment at which one is ready for an activity to start and the moment at which this activity can actually begin.
Synonym: → Queue Time

Waiver Clause
Clause regarding the abandonment or forsaking of a right.

War Risks
Those risks related to two (or more) belligerents engaging in hostilities, whether or not there has been a formal declaration of war. Such risks are excluded by the F.C.&S. (Free of Capture and Seizure) Warranty, but may be covered by a separate War Risk Policy, at an additional premium.

Building specially designed for receipt, storage and handling of goods.
Synonyms: Shed, Store

Warehouse Keeper
Party that takes responsibility for goods entered into a warehouse.

Warehouse Receipt
Receipt issued by a warehouse listing goods received for storage.

Warehouse-to-Warehouse Clause
Clause in the Cargo Policy that defines when cover commences and terminates. The policy begins at the time the goods leave the warehouse of origin named in the policy, continues during the transit period until goods are delivered to the warehouse of destination named in the policy, where it terminates.

Those activities of holding and handling goods in a warehouse (store).

Warsaw Convention
Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, signed at Warsaw, October 12, 1929, or that Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol, 1955.
Hague Protocol

Waste Disposal
Processing and/or removal to final resting place or transfer to a place for reuse or recovering of waste.

Waste Logistics
Collection of used, damaged, or outdated products and/or packaging from designated users.
Synonym: → Reverse Distribution

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

Wear and Tear
Loss or deterioration resulting from ordinary use.

Weight Charge
Charge for carriage of goods based on their weight.

Weight Ton
Ton of 1000 kilograms.

Place for berthing vessels to facilitate loading and discharging of cargo.

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

→ World Health Organization

Intermediary between manufacturers and retailers in various activities such as promotion, warehousing, and the arranging of transport and/or distribution.

Wide-Body Aircraft
Aircraft with two corridors, such as a Boeing 747, 767, 777 and DC-10, MD11.

Without Prejudice

Claim is paid on this occasion, although the underwriter feels it does not attach to the policy. The action must not be treated as a precedent for similar future claims.

Without Reserve
Term indicating that a shipper’s agent or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without approval of the group or individual represented.
Advisory capacity

World Health Organization
Abbreviation: WHO. Global agency linked to the United Nations cooperating with other technical agencies relating to health matters at sea and on land.

High-frequency electromagnetic ray of short wave-length, capable of penetrating most solid substances.

International standard of the CCITT for packet switching.

CCITT recommendation designed to facilitate international message and information exchange between subscribers of computer-based store-and-forward services and office information systems in association with public and private data networks.

CCITT now ITU recommendations (ISO 9594) for the structure of directories for the maintenance of addresses used in electronic mail.

Fenced off, outdoor storage and repair area.

Yield Management
Process of maximizing the contribution of every slot, vessel, trade and network.

York / Antwerp Rules

International rules governing General Average.
General Average

→ Zone Improvement Plan

Area, belt or district extending about a certain point defined for transport and/or charge purpose.

Zone Haulage Rate
Rate for which the carrier will undertake the haulage of goods or containers between the place of delivery and the carrier’s appropriate terminal. Such haulage will be undertaken only subject to the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the carrier’s Combined Transport Bill of Lading.

Zone Improvement Plan
Abbreviation: ZIP. System to simplify sorting and delivery of mail, consisting of a number of five digits (the so-called ZIP-code) for identification of the state, city or district, and the postal zone in the USA delivery areas.