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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.


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.

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 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 Document

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


Across the vessel, i.e., from one side to the other.


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

Auto Container

Container equipped for the transportation of vehicles.


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.

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.


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..


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

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.


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.


Collection of products or data which is treated as one entity with respect to certain operations (e.g. processing and production).


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.


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


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

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.

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.

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.

Brussels Tariff Nomenclature

Abbreviation: BTN. Old Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature for the classification of goods. Now replaced by the Harmonized System.


British Standards Institution.


Brussels Tariff Nomenclature


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).

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 Handling

Physical handling of goods.

Cargo IMP

Cargo Interchange Message Procedures.

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


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

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.


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

Cellular Vessel

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

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;

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.

Container Yard (CY)

Expresión inglesa que hace referencia al área designada por el transportista para efectuar la recepción, entrega, almacenaje y reparaciones menores de contenedores vacíos.

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.


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.

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.

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 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.

Container Number

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

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 Prefix

Four-letter code that forms the first part of a container identification number indicating the owner of a container.

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 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 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.

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).


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

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).


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.

Convertible Currency

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

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.


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.

Credit Risk Insurance

Insurance designed to cover risks of nonpayment for delivered goods.

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.


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 Clearance Agent

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

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.

Cut-Off Time

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

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.


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.

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.

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.


Difference between the actual and calculated ship’s draft.

DeadweightAbbreviation: 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.

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.


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.

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.

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”.


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.


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


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

Det Norske Veritas

Norwegian classification society.


Keeping equipment beyond the time allowed.

Detention Charge

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


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.)

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.


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.

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

Distribution Center

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

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.

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.


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

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.


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


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.

Duty Free Zone

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





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)

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


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 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 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.

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.

Exemption Clause

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

Export Commission House

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


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.


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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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. 


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.

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. 


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 

Free on Truck. 


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

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.

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

Costs charged by the carrier for transporting goods. 


Full Truck Load. 


 Free Trade Zone


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. 

General Cargo Rate ùGeneral Commodity Rate.


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. 


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. 


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


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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). 


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


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.


Hague Protocol

Amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (air cargo).

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

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).  


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. 


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. 


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. 


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-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. 


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


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


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.

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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


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

Throwing the cargo or ship’s property overboard to save other property from a common danger.

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

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 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.


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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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..



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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

At or in the middle of a vessel.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Non-Tariff Barriers

No Value Declared

Non Vessel Operating Carrier



Open Cover.

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

Original Equipment Manufacturers

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

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).

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.

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 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.

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).

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.

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).



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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.



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).

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. 

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.

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).

Return Shipment
Goods returned to the place of acceptance.

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

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.

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.

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

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.


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).

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.

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.



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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Part of the work-program of a stevedoring company (a working day can have up to 3 shifts [24 hours]).

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.

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

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.

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”).

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

Space on board a vessel, required by one TEU, mainly used for administrative purposes.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 Locator System
System in which all places within a warehouse are named or numbered.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 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. 

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). 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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.


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.

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