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CARGO CONTROL INQUIRY

NEWS

Update: June 1 2018
G.E. Forwarders Inc (Los Angeles) is opening with a 20,000sq.ft 4docks + 1 Drive-in warehouse.

Update: May 23 2018
We're Hiring!  Position in both our office and warehouse teams avaiable; check our our Careers section for more informaiton

Update: May 16th 2016
We're moving on May 24th 2016 - 53,000sq.ft 10docks + 2 Drive-in CBSA Bonded Sufferance Warehouse.
For more information, click here

Update: March 1st 2012
G.E. adds two 53' trailers to our fleet.

Update: Jan 1st 2011
G.E. opens it's operations in Vietnam with two new locations.

Read more

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M

A

AA

Always Afloat (In some ports the ship aground when approaching, or at berth.)

AAR
Abbreviation for:
- Against All Risks (insurance clause).
- Association of American Railroads.

Abaft
A point beyond the midpoint of a ships length, towards the rear or stern.

Abandon
A proceeding wherein a shipper/consignee seeks authority to abandon all or parts of their cargo.

Abatement
A discount allowed for damage or overcharge in the payment of a bill.

Aboard
Referring to cargo being put, or laden, onto a means of conveyance.

Absorption
One carrier assumes the charges of another without any increase in charges to the shipper.

Acceptance
- A time draft (or bill of exchange) that the drawee (payer) has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity.
- Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.

Accessorial Charges
Charges that are applied to the base tariff rate or base contract rate, e.g., bunkers, container, currency, destination/delivery.

Acquiescence
When a bill of lading is accepted or signed by a shipper or shipper's agent without protest, the shipper is said to acquiesce to the terms, giving a silent form of consent.

Acquittance
A written receipt in full, in discharge from all claims.

ACS (A.C.S.)
U.S. Customs' master computer system, "Automated Commercial Systems."

Act of God
An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Ad Valorem
A term from Latin meaning, "according to value."

Administrative Law Judge
A representative of a government commission or agency vested with power to administer oaths, examine witnesses, take testimony, and conduct hearings of cases submitted to, or initiated by, that agency. Also called Hearing Examiner.

Admiralty (Adm.)
Refers to marine matters such as an Admiralty Court.

Advance
To move cargo up line to a vessel leaving sooner than the one booked. (See "Roll.")

Advanced Charge
Transportation charge advanced by one carrier to another to be collected by the later carrier from the consignor or consignee.

Adventure
Shipment of goods on shipper's own account. A bill of adventure is a document signed by the master of the ship that carries goods at owner' risk.

Advice of Shipment
A notice sent to a local or foreign buyer advising that shipment has gone forward and containing details of packing, routing, etc. A copy of the invoice is often enclosed and, if desired, a copy of the bill of lading.

Advising Bank
A bank operating in the seller's country, that handles letters of credit in behalf of a foreign bank.

Affreightment, Contract of
An agreement by an ocean carrier to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer.

Aft
Movement toward the stern (back end) of a ship.

Agency Tariff
A tariff published by an agent on behalf of several carriers.

Agent (Agt.)
A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent are:
(1) brokers,
(2) commission merchants,
(3) resident buyers,
(4) sales agents,
5) manufacturer's representatives.

Aggregate Shipment
Numerous shipments from different shippers to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.

Agreed valuation
The value of a shipment agreed upon in order to secure a specific freight rate.

Agreed Weight
The weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain number.

A.I.D.
Agency for International Development.

Air Waybill
The forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between shipper and air carrier and is issued only in nonnegotiable form.

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

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

Alternative Rates
Privilege to use the rate producing the lowest charge.

Ambient Temperature
The temperature of a surrounding body. The ambient temperature of a container is the atmospheric temperature to which it is exposed.

AMS
The U.S. Customs' "Automated Manifest System."

Anti-Dumping Duty
A tariff imposed to discourage sale of foreign goods, subsidized to sell at low prices detrimental to local manufacturers.

Any Quantity (A.Q.)
Usually refers to a rating that applies to an article regardless of size or quantity.

Apparent Good Order
When freight appears to be free of damage so far as a general survey can determine.

Appraisement
Determination of the dutiable value of imported merchandise by a Customs official who follows procedures outlined in their country's tariff, such as the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930.

Appraiser's Stores
The warehouse or public stores to which samples of imported goods are taken to be inspected, analyzed, weighed, etc. by examiners or appraisers.

Arbitrary
A stated amount over a fixed rate to one point to make a rate to another point.

Arrival Notice
A notification by carrier of ship's arrival to the consignee, the "Notify Party," and - when applicable - the "Also Notify Party." These parties in interest are listed in blocks 3, 4 and 10, respectively, of the Bill of Lading.

ASC X12

American Standards Committee X12 responsible for developing EDI standards for the United States.

Assignment
A term commonly used in connection with a bill of lading. It involves the transfer of rights, title and interest in order to assign goods by endorsing the bill of lading.

Astern
- Behind a vessel
- Move in a reverse direction.

A.T.A.
American Trucking Association.

ATDNSHINC
Any time Day or Night Sundays & Holidays Included.

Athwartships
A direction across the width of a vessel.

Avoirdupois Pound
Same as 0.4535924277 kilograms.

AWWL
Always within Institute Warranties Limits (Insurance purpose).

B

BB
Ballast Bonus (Special payment above the Chartering price when the ship has to sail a long way on ballast to reach the loading port.)

BB
Bareboat (Method of chartering of the ship leaving the charterer with almost all the responsibilities of the owner.)

B/L
Abbreviation for "Bill of Lading."

Backhaul
To haul a shipment back over part of a route it has traveled.

BAF
Abbreviation for "Bunker Adjustment Factor." Used to compensate steamship lines for fluctuating fuel costs. Sometimes called "Fuel Adjustment Factor" or FAF.

Balloon Freight
Light, bulky articles.

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

Barratry
An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud.

Barrel (BBL)
A term of measure referring to 42 gallons of liquid at 60o F.

Base Rate
A tariff term referring to ocean rate less accessorial charges, or simply the base tariff rate.

BCO
Abbreviation for "Beneficial Cargo Owner." Refers to the importer of record, who physically takes possession of cargo at destination and does not act as a third party in the movement of such goods.

Beam
The width of a ship.

Belt Line
A switching railroad operating within a commercial area.

Beneficiary
- Entity to whom money is payable.
- The entity for whom a letter of credit is issued.
- The seller and the drawer of a draft.

Berth Terms
Shipped under rate that includes cost from end of ship's tackle at load port to end of ship's tackle at discharge port.

Beyond
Used with reference to charges assessed for cargo movement past a line-haul terminating point.

Bilateral
A contract term meaning both parties agree to provide something for the other.

Bill of Exchange
In the United States, commonly known as a "Draft." However, bill of exchange is the correct term.

Bill of Lading (B/L)
A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.

  • Amended B/L: B/L requiring updates that do not change financial status; this is slightly different from corrected B/L.
  • B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier's liabilities and contractual agreements.
  • B/L's Status: represents whether the bill of lading has been input, rated, reconciled, printed, or released to the customer.
  • B/L's Type: refers to the type of B/L being issued. Some examples are: a Memo (ME), Original (OBL), Non negotiable, Corrected (CBL) or Amended (AM) B/L.
  • Canceled B/L: B/L status; used to cancel a processed B/L; usually per shipper's request; different from voided B/L.
  • Clean B/L: A B/L which bears no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.
  • Combined B/L: B/L that covers cargo moving over various transports.
  • Consolidated B/L: B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L's.
  • Corrected B/L: B/L requiring any update which results in money or other financially related changes.
  • Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable B/L primarily containing routing details; usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.
  • Duplicate B/L: Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. also known as reissued B/L.
  • Express B/L: Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.
  • Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC); a non-negotiable document.
  • Government B/L (GBL): A bill of lading issued by the U.S. government.
  • Hitchment B/L: B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more than one location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts, hitchment and hitchment memo. The hitchment portion usually covers the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.
  • House B/L: B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.
  • Intermodal B/L: B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined Transport B/L, or Multimodal B/L.
  • Long Form B/L: B/L form with all Terms & Conditions written on it. Most B/L's are short form which incorporate the long form clauses by reference.
  • Memo B/L: Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.
  • Military B/L: B/L issued by the U.S. military; also known as GBL, or Form DD1252.
  • B/L Numbers: U.S. Customs' standardized B/L numbering format to facilitate electronic communications and to make each B/L number unique.
  • Negotiable B/L: The B/L is a title document to the goods, issued "to the order of" a party, usually the shipper, whose endorsement is required to effect is negotiation. Thus, a shipper's order (negotiable) B/L can be bought, sold, or traded while goods are in transit and is commonly used for letter-of-credit transactions. The buyer must submit the original B/L to the carrier in order to take possession of the goods.
  • Non-Negotiable B/L: See Straight B/L. Sometimes means a file copy of a B/L.
  • "Onboard" B/L: B/L validated at the time of loading to transport. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.
  • Optional Discharge B/L: B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.
  • "Order" B/L: See Negotiable B/L.
  • Original B/L: The part of the B/L set that has value, especially when negotiable; rest of set are only informational file copies. Abbreviated as OBL.
  • Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at time cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as "Onboard".
  • Reconciled B/L: B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shippers instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.
  • Short Term B/L: Opposite of Long Form B/L, a B/L without the Terms & Conditions written on it. Also known as a Short Form B/L. The terms are incorporated by reference to the long form B/L.
  • Split B/L: One of two or more B/L's which have been split from a single B/L.
  • Stale B/L: A late B/L; in banking, a B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
  • Straight (Consignment) B/L: Indicates the shipper will deliver the goods to the consignee. It does not convey title (non-negotiable). Most often used when the goods have been pre-paid.
  • "To Order" B/L: See Negotiable B/L.
  • Unique B/L Identifier: U.S. Customs' standardization: four-alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine digit B/L number; APL's unique B/L Identifier is "APLU". Sea-land uses "SEAU". These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
  • Voided B/L: Related to Consolidated B/L; those B/L's absorbed in the combining process. Different from Canceled B/L.

Bill of Lading Port of Discharge
Port where cargo is discharged from means of transport.

Bill of Sale
Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.

Bill to Party
Customer designated as party paying for services.

Billed Weight
The weight shown in a waybill and freight bill, i.e, the invoiced weight.

Blanket Bond
A bond covering a group of persons, articles or properties.

Blanket Rate
- A rate applicable to or from a group of points.
- A special rate applicable to several different articles in a single shipment.

Blanket Waybill
A waybill covering two or more consignments of freight.

Blind Shipment
A B/L wherein the paying customer has contracted with the carrier that shipper or consignee information is not given.

Block Stowage
Stowing cargo destined for a specific location close together to avoid unnecessary cargo movement.

Blocked Trains
Railcars grouped in a train by destination so that segments (blocks) can be uncoupled and routed to different destinations as the train moves through various junctions. Eliminates the need to break up a train and sort individual railcars at each junction.

Blocking or Bracing
Wood or metal supports (Dunnage) to keep shipments in place to prevent cargo shifting.

Bls.
Abbreviation for "Bales."

Board
To gain access to a vessel.

Board Feet
The basic unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equal to a one inch board, 12 inches wide and one foot long. Thus, a board ten feet long, 12 inches wide, and one inch thick contains ten board feet.

Bobtail
Movement of a tractor, without trailer, over the highway.

Bogie
A set of wheels built specifically as rear wheels under the container.

Bolster
A device fitted on a chassis or railcar to hold and secure the container.

Bond Port
Port of initial Customs entry of a vessel to any country. Also known as First Port of Call.

Bonded Freight
Freight moving under a bond to U.S. Customs or to the Internal Revenue Service, and to be delivered only under stated conditions.

Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.

Booking
Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.

Booking Number
Reservation number used to secure equipment and act as a control number prior to completion of a B/L.

Bottom Side Rails
Structural members on the longitudinal sides of the base of the container.

Bottom-Air Delivery
A type of air circulation in a temperature control container. Air is pulled by a fan from the top of the container, passed through the evaporator coil for cooling, and then forced through the space under the load and up through the cargo. This type of airflow provides even temperatures.

Bow
The front of a vessel.

Boxcar
A closed rail freight car.

Break Bulk
- To unload and distribute a portion or all of the contents of a rail car, container, or trailer.
- Loose, non-containerized cargo.

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

Broker
A person who arranges for transportation of loads for a percentage of the revenue from the load.

Brokerage
Freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.

Bulk Cargo
Not in packages or containers; shipped loose in the hold of a ship without mark and count." Grain, coal and sulfur are usually bulk freight.

Bulk-Freight Container
A container with a discharge hatch in the front wall; allows bulk commodities to be carried.

Bulkhead
- A partition separating one part of a ship, freight car, aircraft or truck from another part.

Bull Rings
Cargo-securing devices mounted in the floor of containers; allow lashing and securing of cargo.

Bunker Charge
An extra charge sometimes added to steamship freight rates; justified by higher fuel costs. (Also known as Fuel Adjustment Factor or FAF.)

Bunkers
A Maritime term referring to Fuel used aboard the ship. Coal stowage areas aboard a vessel in the past were in bins or bunkers.

Bridge Point
An inland location where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and then moved to a coastal port for loading.

Bridge Port
A port where cargo is received by the ocean carrier and stuffed into containers but then moved to another coastal port to be waded on a vessel.

C

C&F Terms of Sale, or INCOTERMS.
Obsolete, albeit heavily used, term of sale meaning "cargo and freight" whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR.

Cabotage
Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service.

CAF
Abbreviation for "Currency Adjustment Factor." A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations.

Carnet
A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds. Any of various Customs documents required for crossing some international borders.

Captain's Protest
A document prepared by the captain of a vessel on arriving at port; shows conditions encountered during voyage, generally for the purpose of relieving ship owner of any loss to cargo and shifting responsibility for reimbursement to the insurance company.

Carfloat
A barge equipped with tracks on which up to about 12 railroad cars are moved in harbors or inland waterways.

Car Pooling
Use of individual carrier/rail equipment through a central agency for the benefit of carriers and shippers.

Car Seal
Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.

Cargo
Freight loaded into a ship.

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

Cargo NOS
Cargo Not Otherwise Specified. Usually the rate entry in a tariff that can apply to commodities not covered under a specific item or sub item in the applicable tariff.

Cargo Preference
Cargo reserved by a Nation's laws for transportation only on vessels registered in that Nation. Typically the cargo is moving due to a direct or indirect support or activity of the Government.

Cargo Tonnage
Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)

Carload Rate
A rate applicable to a carload of goods.

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

Carrier's Certificate
A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party.

Cartage
Usually refers to intra city hauling on drays or trucks.

Cartment
Customs form permitting in bond cargo to be moved from one location to another under Customs control, within the same Customs district. Usually in motor carrier's possession while draying cargo.

Cash Against Documents (CAD)
Method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.

Cash in Advance (CIA)
A method of payment for goods in which the buyer pays the seller in advance of the shipment of goods. Usually employed when the goods, such as specialized machinery, are built to order.

Cash With Order (CWO)
A method of payment for goods in which cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.

CBM (CM)
Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter."

CE
Abbreviation for "Consumption Entry." The process of declaring the importation of foreign made goods for use in the United States.

Cells
The construction system employed in container vessels; permits ship containers to be stowed in a vertical line with each container supporting the one above it.

Center of Gravity
The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo.

Certificate
- A document certifying that merchandise (such as of Inspection perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.
- The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American flag vessel's compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Certificate of Origin
A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.

CFS
Abbreviation for "Container Freight Station." A shipping dock where cargo is loaded ("stuffed") into or unloaded ("stripped") from containers. Generally, this involves less than containerload shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.

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

Chassis
A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.

Chock
A piece of wood or other material placed at the side of cargo to prevent rolling or moving sideways.

CI
Abbreviation for "Cost and Insurance." A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.

CIF
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight." (Named Port) Same as C&F or CFR except seller also provides insurance to named destination.

CIF&C
Price includes commission as well as CIF.

CIF&E
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight And Exchange."

CIFCI
Abbreviation for "Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection And Interest."

CIFI&E
Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.

CKD
Abbreviation for "Completely Knocked Down." Parts and subassemblies being transported to an assembly plant.

CL
Abbreviation for "Carload" and "Containerload".

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

Classification
A publication,such as Uniform Freight Classification (railroad) or the National Motor Freight Classification (motor carrier), that assigns ratings to various articles and provides bill of lading descriptions and rules.

Classification Rating
The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.

Classification Yard
A railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

Clayton Act
An anti trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.

Clean Bill of Lading
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in "apparent good order and condition," without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be "cleaned."

Cleaning in Transit
The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.

Clearance
The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use Limits bridges, tunnels, etc.

Cleat
A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.

Clip-On
Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.

CM
Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter" (capital letters).

cm
Abbreviation for "centimeter."

Coastwise
Water transportation along the coast.

COD
Abbreviation for:
- Collect (cash) on Delivery.
- Carried on Docket (pricing).

COFC
Abbreviation for the Railway Service "Container On Flat Car."

COGSA
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. U.S. federal codification passed in 1936 which standardizes carrier's liability under carrier's bill of lading. U.S. enactment of The Hague Rules.

Collecting
A bank that acts as an agent to the seller's bank (the presenting bank). The collecting bank assumes no responsibility for either the documents or the merchandise.

Collection
A draft drawn on the buyer, usually accompanied by documents, with complete instructions concerning processing for payment or acceptance.

Combination Export Mgr.
A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one noncompeting manufacturer.

Combination Rate
A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.

Commercial Invoice
Represents a complete record of the transaction between exporter and importer with regard to the goods sold. Also reports the content of the shipment and serves as the basis for all other documents about the shipment.

Commodity
Article shipped. For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.

Commodity Rate
A rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

Common Carrier
A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.

Common Law
Law that derives its force and authority from precedent, custom and usage rather than from statutes, particularly with reference to the laws of England and the United States.

Concealed Damage
Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

Conference
An association of ship owners operating in the same trade route who operate under collective conditions and agree on tariff rates.

Confirmed Letter of Credit
A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.

Confirming Bank
The bank that adds its confirmation to another bank's (the issuing bank's) letter of credit and promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of documents specified in the letter of credit.

Connecting Carrier
A carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.

Consignee
A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.

Consignee Mark
A symbol placed on packages for identification purposes; generally a triangle,square, circle, etc. with letters and/or numbers and port of discharge.

Consignment
(1) A stock of merchandise advanced to a dealer and located at his place of business, but with title remaining in the source of supply.
(2) A shipment of goods to a consignee.

Consignor
A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

Consolidation
Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Containerload shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.

Consolidator
A person or firm performing a consolidation service for others. The consolidator takes advantage of lower full carload (FCL) rates, and savings are passed on to shippers.

Construction Differential Subsidy
A program whereby the U.S. government attempted to offset the higher shipbuilding cost in the U.S. by paying up to 50% of the difference between cost of U.S. and non U.S. construction. The difference went to the U.S. shipyard. It is unfunded since 1982.

Consul
A government official residing in a foreign country who represents the interests of her or his country and its nationals.

Consular Declaration
A formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.

Consular Invoice
A document, certified by a consular official, is required by some countries to describe a shipment. Used by Customs of the foreign country, to verify the value, quantity and nature of the cargo.

Consular Visa
An official signature or seal affixed to certain documents by the consul of the country of destination.

Consumption Entry (CE)
The process of declaring the importation of foreign-made goods into the United States for use in the United States.

Container
A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8'0" or 8'6" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height.

Container Booking
Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.

Container Freight Station
See CFS.

Container Manifest
Document showing contents and loading sequence of a container.

Container Pool
An agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common supply of containers available to the shipper as required.

Container Terminal
An area designated for the stowage of cargoes in container; usually accessible by truck, railroad and marine transportation. Here containers are picked up, dropped off, maintained and housed.

Container Yard (CY)
A materials handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.

Containerizable Cargo
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.

Containerization
Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.

Container Load
A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

Contraband
Cargo that is prohibited.

Contract
A legally binding agreement between two or more persons/organizations to carry out reciprocal obligations or value.

Contract Carrier
Any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, transports passengers or property for compensation.

Controlled Atmosphere
Sophisticated, computer controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.

Corner Posts
Vertical frame components fitted at the corners of the container, integral to the corner fittings and connecting the roof and floor structures. Containers are lifted and secured in a stack using the castings at the ends.

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

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)
Cost of goods, marine insurance and all transportation (freight) charges are paid to the foreign point of delivery by the seller.

Countervailing Duty
An additional duty imposed to offset export grants, bounties or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the government of that country for the purpose of promoting export.

Cross Member
Transverse members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.

Cu.
An abbreviation for "Cubic." A unit of volume measurement.

Cube Out
When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

Cubic Foot
1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long.

Customhouse
A government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.

Customhouse Broker
A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).

Customs
Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country's import and export revenues.

Customs Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty-free merchandise.

Customs Entry
All countries require that the importer make a declaration on incoming foreign goods. The importer then normally pays a duty on the imported merchandise. The importer's statement is compared against the carrier's vessel manifest to ensure that all foreign goods are properly declared.

Customs Invoice
A form requiring all data in a commercial invoice along with a certificate of value and/or a certificate of origin. Required in a few countries (usually former British territories) and usually serves as a seller's commercial invoice.

Customs of the Port
A phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by the various parties.

Cut-Off Time
The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.

Cwt.
Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds: U.K.,112)

CY
- Abbreviation for Container Yard.
- The designation for full container receipt/delivery.

D

D&H
Abbreviation for "Dangerous and Hazardous" cargo.

D.B.A.
Abbreviation for "Doing Business As." A legal term for conducting business under a registered name.

DDC
Abbreviation for "Destination Delivery Charge." A charge, based on container size, that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.

Deadhead
One leg of a move without a paying cargo load. Usually refers to repositioning an empty piece of equipment.

Deadweight Cargo
A long ton of cargo that can be stowed in less than 40 cubic feet.

Deadweight
The number of tons of 2,240 pounds that a vessel can transport of cargo, stores and bunker fuel. It is the difference between the number of tons of water a vessel displaces "light" and the number of tons it displaces when submerged to the "load line."

Deconsolidation Point
Place where loose or other non-containerized cargo is ungrouped for delivery.

Deficit Weight
The weight by which a shipment is less than the minimum weight.

Delivery Instructions
Order to pick up goods at a named place and deliver them to a pier. Usually issued by exporter to trucker but may apply to a railroad, which completes delivery by land. Use is limited to a few major U.S. ports. Also known as shipping delivery order.

DEMDES
Demurrage/Despatch money. (Under vessel chartering terms, the amount to be paid if the ship is loading/discharging slower/faster than foreseen.)

Demurrage
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier's equipment beyond the allowed free time. The free time and demurrage charges are set forth in the charter party or freight tariff.
- See also Detention and Per Diem.

Density
The weight of cargo per cubic foot or other unit.

Depot, Container
Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.

Despatch
An incentive payment paid to a carrier to loading and unloading the cargo faster than agreed. Usually negotiated only in charter parties.

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

Destination Control Statements
Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments. The statements specify the authorized destinations.

Detention
A penalty charge against shippers or consignees for delaying carrier's equipment beyond allowed time. Demurrage applies to cargo; detention applies to equipment. See Per Diem.

Devanning
The unloading of a container or cargo van.

DF Car
Damage Free Car. Boxcars equipped with special bracing material.

Differential
An amount added or deducted from base rate to make a rate to or from some other point or via another route.

Discrepancy Letter of Credit
When documents presented do not conform to the requirements of the letter of credit (L/C), it is referred to as a "discrepancy." Banks will not process L/C's which have discrepancies. They will refer the situation back to the buyer and/or seller and await further instructions.

Displacement
The weight, in tons of 2,240 pounds, of the vessel and its contents. Calculated by dividing the volume of water displaced in cubic feet by 35, the average density of sea water.

Diversion
A change made either in the route of a shipment in transit (see Reconsignment) or of the entire ship.

Division
Carriers' practice of dividing revenue received from through rates where joint hauls are involved. This is usually according to agreed formulae.

Dock
- For ships, a cargo handling area parallel to the shoreline where a vessel normally ties up.
- For land transportation, a loading or unloading platform at an industrial location or carrier terminal.

Dock Receipt
A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.

Docket
Present a rate proposal to a conference meeting for adoption as a conference group rate.

Documents Against Acceptance (D/A)
Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer only upon the buyer's acceptance of the attached draft.

Documents Against Payment (D/P)
An indication on a draft that the documents attached are to be released to the drawee only on payment.

Dolly
A set of wheels that support the front of a container; used when the automotive unit is disconnected.

Door-to-Door
Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.

D.O.T.
Department of Transportation.

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

Draft, Bank
An order issued by a seller against a purchaser; directs payment, usually through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to checks on checking accounts in a bank.

Draft, Clean
A draft to which no documents are attached.

Draft, Date
A draft that matures on a fixed date, regardless of the time of acceptance.

Draft, Discounted
A time draft under a letter of credit that has been accepted and purchased by a bank at a discount.

Draft, Sight
A draft payable on demand upon presentation.

Draft, Time
A draft that matures at a fixed or determinable time after presentation or acceptance.

Drawback
A partial refund of an import fee. Refund usually results because goods are re-exported from the country that collected the fee.

Drawee
The individual or firm that issues a draft and thus stands to receive payment.

Drayage
Charge made for local hauling by dray or truck. Same as Cartage.

DRFS
Abbreviation for "Destination Rail Freight Station." Same as CFS at destination, except a DRFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment.

DSU
Delay in Startup Insurance is a policy to protect the seller of a construction project from penalties if the project is not completed on time. See "Liquidated Damages."

Dry Cargo
Cargo that is not liquid and normally does not require temperature control.

Dry-Bulk Container
A container constructed to carry grain, powder and other free-flowing solids in bulk. Used in conjunction with a tilt chassis or platform.

Dumping
Attempting to import merchandise into a country at a price less than the fair market value, usually through subsidy by exporting country.

E

E.C.M.C.A.
Eastern Central Motor Carriers Association.

Edge Protector
An angle piece fitted over the edge of boxes, crates, bundles and other packages to prevent the pressure from metal bands or other types from cutting into the package.

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

EDIFACT
International data interchange standards sponsored by the United Nations. See UN/EDIFACT.

Elevating
- A charge for services performed in connection with floating elevators.
- Charges assessed for the handling of grain through grain elevators.

Elkins Act
An act of Congress (1903) prohibiting rebates, concession, misbilling, etc. and providing specific penalties for such violations.

Embargo
Order to restrict the hauling of freight.

Eminent Domain
The sovereign power to take property for a necessary public use, with reasonable compensation.

Empty Repo
Contraction for Empty Repositioning. The movement of empty containers.

Endorsement
A legal signature usually placed on the reverse of a draft; signifies transfer of rights from the holder to another party.

Entry
Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.

Equalization
A monetary allowance to the customer for picking up or delivering at a point other than the destination shown on the bill of lading. This provision is covered by tariff publication.

Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)
A document transferring a container from one carrier to another, or to/from a terminal.

ETA
- Estimated Time of Availability. That time when a tractor/partner carrier is available for dispatch.
- Estimated time of arrival.

Ethylene
A gas produced by many fruits and vegetables that accelerates the ripening and aging processes.

E.W.I.B.
Eastern Weighing and Inspection Bureau.

"Ex Dec"
Contraction for "Shipper's Export Declaration."

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 indicated.

Exception
Notations made when the cargo is received at the carrier's terminal or loaded aboard a vessel. They show any irregularities in packaging or actual or suspected damage to the cargo. Exceptions are then noted on the bill of lading.

EXIM Bank
Abbreviation for Export-Import Bank of the United States. An independent U.S. Government Agency which facilitates exports of U.S. goods by providing loan guarantees and insurance for repayment of bank-provided export credit.

Expiry Date
Issued in connection with documents such as letters of credit, tariffs etc. to advise that stated provisions will expire at a certain time.

Export
Shipment of goods to a foreign country.

Export Declaration
A government document declaring designated goods to be shipped out of the country. To be completed by the exporter and filed with the U.S. Government.

Export License
A government document which permits the "Licensee" to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.

Export Rate
A rate published on traffic moving from an interior point to a port for transshipment to a foreign country

F

Factor
A factor is an agent who will, at a discount (usually five to 8% of the gross), buy receivables.

FAK
Abbreviation for "Freight All Kinds." Usually refers to full container loads of mixed shipments.

False Billing
Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.

FAS
Abbreviation for "Free Alongside Ship."

FCL
Abbreviation for "Full Container Load."

FD
Abbreviation for "Free Discharge."

F.D.A.
Food and Drug Administration.

Feeder Service
Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long-haul ocean voyage.

Feeder Vessel
A short-sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central "hub" port and smaller "spoke" ports.

FEU
Abbreviation for "Forty-Foot Equivalent Units." Refers to container size standard of forty feet. Two twenty-foot containers or TEU's equal one FEU.

Fifth Wheel
The semi-circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi-trailer.

FIO
See Free In and Out.

Firkin
A capacity measurement equal to one-fourth of a barrel.

Fixed Costs
Costs that do not vary with the level of activity. Some fixed costs continue even if no cargo is carried. Terminal leases, rent and property taxes are fixed costs.

Flat Car
A rail car without a roof and walls.

Flat Rack/Flat Bed Container
A container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.

FMC (F.M.C.)
Federal Maritime Commission. The U.S. Governmental regulatory body responsible for administering maritime affairs including the tariff system, Freight Forwarder Licensing, enforcing the conditions of the Shipping Act and approving conference or other carrier agreements.

FOB
See Free On Board. See also Terms of Sale, FOB.

FOR
Abbreviation for "Free on Rail."

Force Majeure
The title of a common clause in 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
The direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.

Foreign Sales Corporation
Under U.S. tax law, a corporation created to obtain tax exemption on part of the earnings of U.S. products in foreign markets. Must be set-up as a foreign corporation with an office outside the USA.

Foreign Trade Zone
A free port in a country divorced from Customs authority but under government control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subject to import duty regulations.

Fork Lift
A machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.

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

Four-Way Pallet
A pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be inserted from all four sides. See Fork lift.

Forwarder Compensation
See Brokerage.

F.P.A.
See "Free of Particular Average."

Free Alongside (FAS)
The seller must deliver the goods to a pier and place them within reach of the ship's loading equipment. See Terms of Sale.

Free Astray
An astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.

Free In and Out (FIO)
Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.

Free of Particular Average (FPA)
A marine insurance term meaning that the assurer will not allow payment for partial loss or damage to cargo shipments except in certain circumstances, such as stranding, sinking, collision or fire.

Free on Board (FOB - U.S. Domestic Use)
Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.

  • FOB Freight Allowed: The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the buyer pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by a like amount.
  • FOB Freight Prepaid: The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the freight charges of the inland carrier.
  • FOB Named Point of Exportation: Seller is responsible for the cost of placing the goods at a named point of exportation. Some European buyers use this form when they actually mean FOB vessel.
  • FOB Vessel: Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.

Free on Board (Int'l Use)
See Terms of Sale.

Free Out (FO)
Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.
Free Port
A restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty-exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone.

Free Sale Certificate
The U.S. government does not issue certificates of free sale. However, the Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, will issue, upon request, a letter of comment to the U.S. manufacturers whose products are subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or other acts administered by the agency. The letter can take the place of the certificate.

Free Time
That amount of time that a carrier's equipment may be used without incurring additional charges. (See Storage, Demurrage or Per Diem.)

Free Trade Zone
A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re-exported without duties.

Freight
Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.

Freight Bill
A document issued by the carrier based on the bill of lading and other information; used to account for a shipment operationally, statistically, and financially. An Invoice.

Freight Forwarder
A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation.

Freighters
See Ships.

G

Gateway
Industry-related: A point at which freight moving from one territory to another is interchanged between transportation lines.

GATT
Abbreviation for "General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade." A multilateral treaty to help reduce trade barriers between the signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions. The World Trade Organization (WTO) superseded GATT in 1994.

GBL
Abbreviation for "Government Bill of Lading."

GDSM
Abbreviation for "General Department Store Merchandise." A classification of commodities that includes goods generally shipped by mass-merchandise companies. This commodity structure occurs only in service contracts.

General Order (G.O.)
When U.S. Customs orders shipments without entries to be kept in their custody in a bonded warehouse.

Generator Set (Gen Set)
A portable generator which can be attached to a refrigerated container to power the refrigeration unit during transit.

Go-Down
In the Far East, a warehouse where goods are stored and delivered.

Gooseneck
The front rails of the chassis that raise above the plane of the chassis and engage in the tunnel of a container leading to the connection to tractor.

GRI
Abbreviation for "General Rate Increase." Used to describe an across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by conference members and applied to base rates.

Gross Tonnage (GT)
Applies to vessels, not to cargo, (0.2+0.02 log10V) where V is the volume in cubic meters of all enclosed spaces on the vessel.

Gross Weight
Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.

Groupage
A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment.

GVW
Abbreviation for "Gross Vehicle Weight." The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.

H

Hague Rules, The
A multilateral maritime treaty adopted in 1921 (at The Hague, Netherlands). Standardizes liability of an international carrier under the Ocean B/L. Establishes a legal "floor" for B/L. See COGSA

Harbor Master
An officer who attends to the berthing, etc., of ships in a harbor.

Harmonized System of Codes (HS)
An international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity-coding scheme. Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international Customs organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g., Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibers; Chapter 57, Carpets). The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes. In the United States, duty rates will be the eight-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the ten-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) for imports and is the basis for the ten-digit Schedule B export code.

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

HAZ MAT
An industry abbreviation for "Hazardous Material."

Heavy-Lift Charge
A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship's normal tackle.

High-Density Compression
Compression of a flat or standard bale of cotton to approximately 32 pounds per cubic foot. Usually applies to cotton exported or shipped coastwise.

Hitchment
The marrying of two or more portions of one shipment that originate at different locations, moving under one bill of lading, from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication. See Bill of Lading.

Hopper Barge
A barge which loads material dumped into it by a dredger and discharges the cargo through the bottom.

House-to-House
See Door-to-Door.

House-to-Pier
Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipper's supervision. When the cargo is exported, it is unloaded at the foreign pier destination.

Humping
The process of connecting a moving rail car with a motionless rail car within a rail classification yard in order to make up a train. The cars move by gravity from an incline or "hump" onto the appropriate track.

I

I/A
Abbreviation for "Independent Action." The right of a conference member to publish a rate of tariff rule that departs from the Agreement's common rate or rule.

ICC
Abbreviation for (1) "Interstate Commerce Commission,"
(2) "International Chamber of Commerce."

IE
Stands for "Immediate Exit." In the U.S., Customs IE Form is used when goods are brought into the U.S. and are to be immediately re-exported without being transported within the U.S.

I.M.C.O.
International Maritime Consultative Organization. A forum in which most major maritime nations participate and through which recommendations for the carriage of dangerous goods, bulk commodities, and maritime regulations become internationally acceptable.

I.M.D.G. Code
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. The regulations published by the IMO for transporting hazardous materials internationally.

Immediate Exportation
An entry that allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be exported from the same port without the payment of duty.

In-Transit Entry (I.T.)
Allows foreign merchandise arriving at one port to be transported in bond to another port, where a superseding entry is filed.

Import
To receive goods from a foreign country.

Import License
A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.

In Bond
Cargo moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.

In Gate
The transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container is received by a rail terminal or water port from another carrier.

In Transit
In transit, or in passage.

Incentive Rate
A lower-than-usual tariff rate assessed because a shipper offers a greater volume than specified in the tariff. The incentive rate is assessed for that portion exceeding the normal volume.

INCOTERMS
The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale. These terms were last amended, effective July 1, 1990.

Indemnity Bond
An agreement to hold a carrier harmless with regard to a liability.

Independent Action
Setting rate within a conference tariff that is different from the rate(s) for the same items established by other conference members.

Independent Tariff
Any body of rate tariffs that are not part of an agreement or conference system.

Inducement
Placing a port on a vessel's itinerary because the volume of cargo offered at that port justifies the cost of routing the vessel.

Inherent Vice
An insurance term referring to any defect or other characteristic of a product that could result in damage to the product without external cause (for example, instability in a chemical that could cause it to explode spontaneously). Insurance policies may exclude inherent vice losses.

Inland Carrier
A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.

Inspection Certificate
A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.

Installment Shipments
Successive shipments are permitted under letters of credit. Usually they must take place within a given period of time.

Insulated Container
A container insulated on the walls, roof, floor, and doors, to reduce the effect of external temperatures on the cargo.

Insulated Container Tank
The frame of a container constructed to hold one or more thermally insulated tanks for liquids.

Insurance with Average-clause
This type of clause covers merchandise if the damage amounts to three percent or more of the insured value of the package or cargo. If the vessel burns, sinks, collides, or sinks, all losses are fully covered. In marine insurance, the word average describes partial damage or partial loss.

Insurance, All-risk
This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.

Insurance, General-Average
In water transportation, the deliberate sacrifice of cargo to make the vessel safe for the remaining cargo. Those sharing in the spared cargo proportionately cover the loss.

Insurance, Particular Average
A Marine insurance term to refer to partial loss on an individual shipment from one of the perils insured against, regardless of the balance of the cargo. Particular average insurance can usually be obtained, but the loss must be in excess of a certain percentage of the insured value of the shipment, usually three to five percent, before a claim will be allowed by the company.

Interchange Point
A location where one carrier delivers freight to another carrier.

Intercoastal
Water service between two coasts; in the U.S., this usually refers to water service between the Atlantic and Pacific or Gulf Coasts.

Interline Freight
Freight moving from origin to destination over the Freight lines of two or more transportation carriers.

Intermediate Point
A point located en route between two other points.

Intermodal
Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.

Invoice
An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.

Inward Foreign Manifest (IFM)
A complete listing of all cargo entering the country of discharge. Required at all world ports and is the primary source of cargo control, against which duty is assessed by the receiving country.

IPI
Abbreviation for "Inland Point Intermodal." Refers to inland points (non-ports) that can be served by carriers on a through bill of lading.

Irrevocable Letter of Credit
Letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee and which cannot be revoked without joint agreement of both the buyer and the seller.

I.S.O.
International Standards Organization which deals in standards of all sorts, ranging from documentation to equipment packaging and labeling.

Issuing Bank
Bank that opens a straight or negotiable letter of credit and assumes the obligation to pay the bank or beneficiary if the documents presented are in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit.

Issuing Carrier
The carrier issuing transportation documents or publishing a tariff.

I.T.
Abbreviation for "Immediate Transport." The document (prepared by the carrier) allows shipment to proceed from the port of entry in the U.S. to Customs clearing at the destination. The shipment clears Customs at its final destination. Also called an "In-Transit" Entry.

J

Jacket
A wood or fiber cover placed around such containers as cans and bottles.

Jacob's Ladder
A rope ladder suspended from the side of a vessel and used for boarding.

Jettison
Act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger.

JIT
Abbreviation for "Just In Time." In this method of inventory control, warehousing is minimal or non existent; the container is the movable warehouse and must arrive "just in time;" not too early nor too late.

Joint Rate
A rate applicable from a point on one transportation line to a point on another line, made by agreement and published in a single tariff by all transportation lines over which the rate applies.

K

KT
Kilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.

Kilogram
1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.

King Pin
A coupling pin centered on the front underside of a chassis; couples to the tractor.

Knocked Down (KD)
Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage displaced or to make a better shipping unit and are to be re-assembled.

Knot
One nautical mile (6,076 feet or 1852 meters) per hour. In the days of sail, speed was measured by tossing overboard a log which was secured by a line. Knots were tied into the line at intervals of approximately six feet. The number of knots measured was then compared against time required to travel the distance of 1000 knots in the line.

Known Loss
A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.

L

L/C
Abbreviation for "Letter of Credit."

Laden
Loaded aboard a vessel.

Lading
Refers to the freight shipped; the contents of a shipment.

Landbridge
Movement of cargo by water from one country through the port of another country, thence, using rail or truck, to an inland point in that country or to a third country. As example, a through movement of Asian cargo to Europe across North America.

Landed Cost
The total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.

Landing Certificate
Certificate issued by consular officials of some importing countries at the point or place of export when the subject goods are exported under bond.

Landing Gear
A support fixed on the front part of a chassis (which is retractable); used to support the front end of a chassis when the tractor has been removed.

LASH
A maritime industry abbreviation for "Lighter Aboard Ship." A specially constructed vessel equipped with an overhead crane for lifting specially designed barges and stowing them into cellular slots in an athwartship position.

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

LCL
Abbreviation for "Less than Container Load." The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.

Less Than Truckload
Also known as LTL or LCL.

Letter of Credit (LC)
A 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. Some of the specific descriptions are:

  • Back-to-Back: A new letter of credit issued to another beneficiary on the strength of a primary credit. The second L/C uses the first L/C as collateral for the bank. Used in a three-party transaction.
  • Clean: A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.
  • Confirmed: An L/C guaranteed by both the issuing and advising banks of payment so long as seller's documents are in order, and the L/C terms are met. Only applied to irrevocable L/C's. The confirming bank assumes the credit risk of the issuing bank.
  • Deferred Payment: A letter of credit issued for the purchase and financing of merchandise, similar to acceptance-type letter of credit, except that it requires presentation of sight drafts payable on an installment basis.
  • Irrevocable: An instrument that, once established, cannot be modified or cancelled without the agreement of all parties concerned.
  • Non cumulative: A revolving letter of credit that prohibits the amount not used during the specific period from being available afterwards.
  • Restricted: A condition within the letter of credit which restricts its negotiation to a named bank.
  • Revocable: An instrument that can be modified or cancelled at any moment without notice to and agreement of the beneficiary, but customarily includes a clause in the credit to the effect that any draft negotiated by a bank prior to the receipt of a notice of revocation or amendment will be honored by the issuing bank. Rarely used since there is no protection for the seller.
  • Revolving: An irrevocable letter issued for a specific amount; renews itself for the same amount over a given period.
  • Straight: A letter of credit that contains a limited engagement clause which states that the issuing bank promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the required documents at its counters or the counters of the named bank.
  • Transferable: A letter of credit that allows the beneficiary to transfer in whole or in part to another beneficiary any amount which, in aggregate, of such transfers does not exceed the amount of the credit. Used by middlemen.
  • Unconfirmed: A letter of credit forwarded to the beneficiary by the advising bank without engagement on the part of the advising bank.

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

Licenses
- Some governments require certain commodities to be licensed prior to exportation or importation. Clauses attesting to compliance are often required on the B/L.

- Various types issued for export (general, validated) and import as mandated by government(s).

Lien
A legal claim upon goods for the satisfaction of some debt or duty.

Lightening
A vessel discharges part of its cargo at anchor into a lighter to reduce the vessel's draft so it can then get alongside a pier.

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

Lighterage
Refers to carriage of goods by lighter and the charge assessed therefrom.

Liner
A vessel sailing between specified ports on a regular basis.

Line-Haul
Transportation from one city to another as differentiated from local switching service.

List
The amount in degrees that a vessel tilts from the vertical.

Liter
1.06 liquid U.S. quarts or 33.9 fluid ounces.

Liquidated Damages
The penalty a seller must pay if the construction project does not meet contractual standards or deadlines.

Lloyds' Registry
An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment.

Load Ratio
The ratio of loaded miles to empty miles.

Local Cargo
Cargo delivered to/from the carrier where origin/destination of the cargo is in the local area.

Long Ton
2,240 pounds

Longshoreman
Individual employed in a port to load and unload ships.

Loose
Without packing.

Low-Boy
A trailer or semi-trailer with no sides and with the floor of the unit close to the ground.

M

Malpractice
A carrier giving a customer illegal preference to attract cargo. This can take the form of a money refund (rebate); using lower figures than actual for the assessment of freight charges (undercubing); misdeclaration of the commodity shipped to allow the assessment of a lower tariff rate; waiving published tariff charges for demurrage, CFS handling or equalization; providing specialized equipment to a shipper to the detriment of other shippers, etc.

Mandamus
A writ issued by a court; requires that specific things be done.

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

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

Maritime
Business pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.

Marking
Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.

Marlinespike
A pointed metal spike, used to separate strands of rope in splicing.

Master Inbond
U.S. Customs' automated program under AMS. It allows for electronic reporting of inbound (foreign) cargoes in the U.S.

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

MBM
1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 C.M.

MCFS
Abbreviation for "Master Container Freight Station." See CFS.

Measurement Cargo
Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.

Measurement Ton
40 cubic feet.

Mechanically Ventilated Container
A container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.

Memorandum Bill of Lading
An in-house bill of lading. A duplicate copy.

Memorandum Freight Bill
See Multiple Containerload Shipment.

Meter
39.37 inches (approximately).

Metric Ton
2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.

Microbridge
A cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destination. Also known as IPI or Through Service.

Mile
A unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.

Mini Landbridge
An intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previously served as an all water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).

Minimum Bill of Lading
A clause in a Bill of lading which specifies the least charge that the carrier will make for issuing a lading. The charge may be a definite sum or the current charge per ton for any specified quantity.

Minimum Charge
The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

Mixed Container Load
A containerload of different articles in a single consignment.

MLB
Abbreviation for "Mini Landbridge."

M.M.F.B.
Middlewest Motor Freight Bureau.

Modified Atmosphere
A blend of gases tailored to replace the normal atmosphere within a container.

MT
Abbreviation for "Metric Ton."

Multimodal
Synonymous for all practical purposes with "Intermodal."

MultiTank Container
A container frame fitted to accommodate two or more separate tanks for liquids.