Glossary » A-C

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Act of God An extraordinary and unexpected natural event, accidents of a nature beyond human control and without the possibility of prevention such as flood, lightning or hurricane usually quoted as ‘force majeure’.
Ad Valorem In proportion to the value: A phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied on goods, property, etc. set as a percentage of their value.
Allotment A 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 the booking of cargo for a specific voyage.
Arrival Notice written notice sent by a carrier to a nominated party advising of the arrival of the vessel and/or a certain shipment.
Ballast Materials, solely carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. In vessels usually water is carried as ballast in tanks especially designed for that purpose.
Bank Guarantee An undertaking by a bank to be answerable for payment of a sum of money in the event of non performance by the party on whose behalf the guarantee is issued
Bare Boat Charter A charter whereby the charterer leases the bare ship and appoints the master and crew himself. Charterer take over all responsibility for the operation of the vessel and expenses for the duration.
Barge Flat bottomed inland cargo vessel for canals and rivers with or without own propulsion for the purpose of transporting goods. Synonym: Lighter.
Bay A vertical division of a vessel, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers.
Bay Plan A stowage plan which shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.
Bill of lading A document issued on behalf of the carrier which evidences a contract of carriage by sea. The document has the following functions: 1. A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorized person on behalf of the carriers. 2. A document of title to the goods described therein 3. Evidence of the terms and condition of carriage agreed upon between the two parties.
Break Bulk Cargo General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitized, containerized and Roll on-Roll off cargo. Synonym: Conventional Cargo.
Bulk Carrier Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.
Bunker tank Spaces on board a vessel to store fuel.
Bunker Adjustment Factor Abbreviation: BAF. Adjustment applied by shipping lines or liner conferences to offset the effect of fluctuation in the cost of bunkers.
Bunkers Quantity of fuel on board a vessel.
Cabotage Transport of goods between two ports or places located in the same country.
Cargo Goods transported or to be transported, all goods carried on a ship covered by a B/L. As per IMO definition: any goods, wares, merchandise, and articles of every kind whatsoever carried on a ship, other than mail, ship’s stores, ship’s spare parts, ship’s equipment, stowage material, crew’s effects and passengers’ accompanied baggage.
Cargo Manifest Document which lists all bills of lading particulars of the goods loaded on a vessel, for official and administrative purposes.
Carrier Haulage An inland transport service which is performed by the Carrier and/or a subcontractor for the account and on behalf of the Merchant, in accordance with the conditions and charges of the relevant bill of lading or transport document.
Certificate of Origin A certificate, showing the country of original production of goods. Frequently used by customs in ascertaining duties under preferential tariff programs or in connection with regulation imports from specific sources.
Charter Party A contract in which the shipowner agrees to place his vessel or a part of it at the disposal of a third party, the charterer, for the carriage of goods for which he receives a freight per ton cargo, or to let his vessel for a definite period or trip for which a hire is paid.
Charterer The legal person who has signed a charter party with the owner of a vessel or an aircraft and thus hires or leases a vessel or a part of the capacity thereof.
CIF See Cost, Insurance and Freight (…named port of destination).
Clean Bill of Lading A Bill of Lading which does not contain any qualification about the apparent order and condition of the goods to be transported (it bears no stamped clauses on the front of the B/L). It bears no superimposed clauses expressly declaring a defective condition of the goods or packaging (resolution of the ICS 1951).
Clean on Board When goods are loaded on board and the document issued on respect to these goods is clean. Note: Through the usage of the UCP 500 rules the term has now become superfluous.
Consignee The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.
Consortium Consortium is a form of cooperation between two or more carriers to operate in a particular trade.
Container An item of equipment as defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for transport purposes.
Container Freight Station Abbreviation: CFS. A facility at which (export) LCL (Less than Container Load) cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from container and delivered to merchants.
Container Lease The contract by which the owner of containers (lessor) gives the use of container to a lessee for a specified period of time and for fixed payments.
Container Number Identification number of a container consisting of prefix and serial number and check digit. (e.g. ECMU 123456-7, see also container serial number and container prefix.)
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 fluctuation in exchange rates of tariff currencies.
Customs Broker An authorised agent specialised in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/exporters.
Container Yard (CY) A facility at which FCL traffic and empty containers are received from or delivered to the Merchant by or on behalf of the Carrier.

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