Your Ultimate Glossary
For Industry Terms

Easily grasp and understand complex industry language using the "ASF Logistics Glossary" - Your Ultimate Glossary for Industry Terms.

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Ad Valorem Freight

Freight calculated according to the value of the cargo.

Ad Valorem Mention

According to value of the goods declared by the Shipper prior the commencement of the carriage as stated in writing on the Bill of Lading.


A person authorised to do business for and in the name of another person or company.

All Inclusive

Freight rate including all charges.


A group of companies cooperating. Supply chain alliances consist of trading partners that have complimentary goals and objectives and cooperate in areas of planning, forecasting and replenishment.


All-inclusive rates

AMS (Automated Manifest System)

Electronic computer link with U.S. Customs that allows for faster processing and clearance of cargo.

Archimedes of Syracuse

"Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object". That's how shipping became an exact science!

Arrival Notice

A notice given by the delivering carrier to the consignee and the notify party (and the consignee if it is the same) indicating the shipment's arrival date at a specific location (normally the destination).


1) The transfer to another party of a right, interest or title to the goods. 2) The document evidencing such a transfer.

Arbitrary Charge

Feeder vessel charge that pays for moves from smaller ports to a main port before sending to the US.

Arrival Notice

Notice provided by the carrier to the consignee and important parties to inform them of the arrival of cargo.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

As per security amendments (art. 5A) of the European Community Customs Code, Member States can grant the AEO status to any economic operator meeting the following common criteria: customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping, financial solvency and, where relevant, appropriate security and safety standards. The status of authorised economic operator granted by one Member State is recognised by the other Member States. All CMA CGM offices/agencies in the EU are either AEO certified (85%) or in the course of being certified (15%).

Automated Export System (AES)

The Automated Export System (AES) is the automated system for filing U.S. Shipper’s Export Declarations.

Automated Manifest System (AMS)

US: An integral part of the efforts of the United States to clamp down on potential security threats. This freight tracking system is also applicable in the areas of air, rail and road cargo transport.

Air Waybill (AWB)

Air waybills are the freight documents associated with air shipments.

Airline Terminal Fee

Air shipments include an airline terminal fee, which is charged as a fee for handling the cargo.

All-Risk Coverage

All-risk cargo insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for a wide range of risks that may damage or destroy goods in transit.

Anti-dumping duties (AD)

Anti-dumping duties is a type of product duties assessed by U.S. Customs.

Bank Guarantee

Document accepted in lieu of original bill of lading to release cargo. Protected in writing to carrier for performing a deviation from normal business, guaranteed by a bank.


The cargo-carrying vehicle used by Inland water carriers or for discharging of Vessels. Basic barges have open tops, but there are covered barges for both dry and liquid cargoes.


Section of the ship in which containers are stowed.

Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO)

The importer of cargo, who physically takes possession of cargo at the final destination. It does not act as third party in the movement of such goods.

Bill of Lading (B/L)

Document which must be issued by the carrier to the shipper. It is a receipt of the Goods (it describes the cargo, with its weight and the number of packages). It is also a proof of the contract of carriage (the Terms and Conditions are in the recto), and it is a document of title on the goods.


Baltic and International Maritime Council -An independent Shipping Association composed of Ship Owners, Managers, Brokers, Agents and others with vested interest in the Shipping Industry, which promotes higher standards and greater harmony on regulatory matters.


Written document used for a legal transfer of ownership which binds its debtor to make payment to its creditor.


Act of recording arrangements for the transportation of goods by Vessel and other conveyance if any.

Bottom-Air delivery

A type of air circulation in a reefer container. This type of airflow provides the most even temperatures for both chilled and frozen cargo.

Break Bulk

Usually, loose cargo transported not in a container. On a container ship, break bulk will be carried on one or more flat bed(s) or a platform container(s).


An intermediary person who buys and arranges for other some services, as transportation of loads, usually large operations, for a percentage of the revenue from the load

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

Surcharge assessed by carrier which is applied to freight rates to compensate unexpected fuel oil price variations

BTI | Binding Tariff Information

A Binding Tariff Information (BTI) decision is a written tariff classification of your goods issued by the Taxation and Customs Union of the EU.

Binding Origin Information

A BOI allows you to obtain a decision from an individual EU Member State on the origin of your goods.

Blank Sailing

A blank sailing is a sailing that has been canceled by the carrier, which may mean one port is being skipped, or the entire string is canceled. Blank sailings happen for a couple of reasons.

Blind Shipment

A blind shipment is when the consignee of a shipment is unaware of who the shipper is.

Bobtail Fee

A bobtail fee is charged if the trucker drops off an FCL container at a warehouse and picks it up after it has been unloaded.

Bonded Goods

Bonded goods are goods where the customs duty hasn't been paid yet, so they remain in warehouses under customs supervision until the duty is paid.

Bonded Warehouse

A bonded warehouse is a customs-controlled warehouse where goods for which the duty has not been paid can be stored until the duty is paid.

Bulk Cargo

Bulk cargo is a product that is shipped loosely and unpackaged.

CAIN (Customs Assigned Importer Number)

A CAIN is a Customs Assigned Importer Number used for foreign importers.

Cargo Declaration Amendment Fee

A required fee by customs that covers re-submission of necessary information due to an amendment request that is made by the customer after the carrier has submitted the documentation to local customs authorities.

Cargo Manifest

A manifest which lists all cargoes carried on a specific Vessel voyage.

Carriage and Insurance Paid (CIP)

The seller delivers the goods to the carrier or another person nominated by the seller at an agreed place and that the seller must contract for and pay the costs of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named place of destination, and for insurance cover against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage.

Carriage Paid To (CPT)

The seller delivers the goods to the carrier or another person nominated by the seller at an agreed place and that the seller must contract for and pay the costs of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named place of destination.


Any person or entity who in a contract of carriage undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage. The Bill of Lading is delivered in its name.

Carrier Haulage

The Carrier organizes pre and post-transportation prior to and/or after the sea period.

Carrying Temperature

A narrow, prescribed range of temperature in a container during transit that maintains the ideal temperature in the product and protects the product from damages.

CBM (Cubic Meter)

CBM is a measurement volume which you often seen associated with air and LCL shipments.

CBP (Customs and Border Protection)

CBP will examine a shipment's import documents and select shipments for examination.

CDS | Customs Declaration Service

CDS - Customs Declaration Service (CDS) is the UK government’s new electronic system for handling customs declaration processes.

CES (Centralized Examination Station)

A CES is where a shipment will be trucked if CBP has pulled it for inspection.

CFS (Container Freight Station)

A container freight station is a warehouse that specializes in the consolidation and deconsolidation of cargo. A CFS will charge a fee.

CFS (Container Freight Station) Cut-off

A CFS cut-off is the date that an LCL shipment needs to be checked in the CFS for the shipment to make its sailing.

CFS (Container Freight Station) Fee

A container freight station (CFS) is where LCL cargo is taken for consolidation (at origin) and deconsolidation (at destination). The CFS charges a fee for this service, based on the volume of the cargo.

CHED | Common Health Entry Document

CHED - Common Health Entry Document - CHED’s are the common health entry documents for consignments of plants, plant products, foods and animal products.


The UK Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system records the movement of goods by land, air and sea.

CITES | Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.


CTPAT is the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. CTPAT certification confers several benefits for parties along the supply chain, including fewer Customs exams and access to the CTPAT portal.

Cargo Insurance

Cargo insurance is highly recommended, because any number of pitfalls might befall your shipment on its journey.

Cargo Insurance Coverage Limits

Cargo liability limits refer to the maximum amount of insurance coverage (i.e., the amount of money) that an insurer will provide for the loss or damage of goods being transported.

Cargo Owners Liability Coverage

Ocean cargo owners liability coverage is a type of insurance coverage that protects the insured from claims by third-parties that the insured’s cargo caused property damage, personal injury or death while it was in transit.

Cargo Ready Date (CRD)

The cargo ready date is the day the cargo is expected to be available.


Cartage is a type of trucking, usually for LCL shipments.


A chassis is a piece of trucking equipment used for trucking FCL shipments

Chassis Fee

A chassis is attached to a truck, and used to transport a container.

Chassis Pool

Chassis are stored at chassis pools at ocean ports, rail ports, and other locations.

Chassis Split

A chassis split fee is charged if the trucker has to make an additional trip to pick up a chassis, from a separate location.

Charter Party

Charter contract between charterer and owner of a Vessel, with standard terms and additional clauses which specify special conditions. Three types of Charter Parties should be distinguished : Voyage, Time and Bareboat Charter Party.


A wheeled flat bed or a trailer constructed to accommodate containers moved over the road.

Classification Society

Private non-governmental organization to established and maintain technical standards for construction and operation of marine Vessels and offshore structures. They classify Vessels and validate that their design and calculations are in accordance with the published standards. They also carry out periodical survey of ships to ensure that they continue to meet the parameters of set standards.

Clean on Board

A clause inserted in the Bill of Lading stating that they have not noted or are not familiar with any irregularities or discrepancies in the packing or in the general condition of any part of the goods or its description.

Clip-on Generator

"A portable generator that is mounted on the front of a reefer container, can be used on stack trains and on trucks".


Carriage of Goods by Sea: American legislation passed in 1936, as an enforcement of the international Hague Rules, which standardizes and sets limitations on Carrier’s liability under their Bill of Lading for ocean shipments to and from the United States of America.


Article shipped, which can be bought and sold.


A collection of shipping lines who operate along the same trade routes, agreeing on freight rates to charge for the transportation of cargo. Since 2008 these no longer exist for trade lanes covering Europe.


Person whose goods should be delivered and whose name is appearing on the Bill of Lading.


Person who delivers a consignment to a carrier for transport to a consignee named in the transportation documents. Consignor has the ownership of the goods unless title is transferred through endorsement, or until the consignee pays for them in full.


A company that groups together shipments from different companies into a single shipment.


Group of maritime carriers which share their ships to furnish a combined service for a particular service. Members keep their financial independence.


Large box-shaped unit of standard design for the transport of goods, which facilitates the transfer of goods from one form of transport to another. Containers may be dry, ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices

Container Cleaning Fee

Additional costs for extra or special cleaning of containers which are applicable when the container does not meet the standard cleanliness criteria (inside and outside) upon empty return from the customer. This charge is not applicable to shipper-owned containers.

Controlled Atmosphere

Sophisticated, computer-controlled system that controls the mixture of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey.

Container Depot

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

Certificate of Origin (C/O)

A document, required at the destination, issued to certify the origin of cargo and relevant cargo details.

Container Freight Station (CFS)

A consolidation depot where cargo is grouped and loaded into containers. At discharging, containers are discharged in this place prior to delivery of the goods.

Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF)

The seller delivers the goods on board the Vessel or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the Vessel. The seller must contract for and pay the costs and Freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination. The seller also must contract for insurance cover against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage.


Customs- Trade Partnership Against Terrorism: Partnership to develop and adopt measures that add security to safeguard the world's vibrant trade industry from terrorists, maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors.

Cubic Capacity

Volume of goods in a container expressed in cubic meters.

Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)

Unit of measurement for the movement of a volume of gas per unit of time. CMH refers to "Cubic metres per hour".

Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)

"A compensatory cost-sharing charge as a percentage of a base rate to compensate the carrier’s risks associated with currency fluctuations. The charge will apply to all bookings that are taken on these trade lanes".


Official department which is administrating imported and exported goods.


A demand made by a shipper or insurance company upon a carrier for payment of a loss sustained through its negligence.


Collect on Delivery; Carried on Docket (pricing); Change of Destination

Commercial Invoice

A document identifying the seller and buyer of goods or services, identifying numbers such as invoice number, date, shipping date, the mode of transportation, delivery and payment terms, as well as a full listing and description of the goods or services being sold consist of prices, discounts, and quantities.


Receiver of a shipment


A single rigid, sealed, reusable metal box designed to transport cargo of many types in continuous transportation. Most ocean vessels can accommodate 20′ and 40′ length ocean containers for below deck storage and any size above deck.

Credit Agreement

Agreement between carrier and shipper for release of cargo with promise to pay ocean freight within the specified time.


Last possible date cargo may be delivered to vessel or designated point.

Chinese New Year (CNY)

Chinese New Year is the largest Chinese celebration of the year, during which factories are closed or operated at diminished capacity.

Clean Truck Fee

A Clean Truck Fee is assessed by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Closed Area

A closed area can be any part of the yard that is closed for the pickup of containers by external operators, as designated by the terminal. They are more likely to occur in times of terminal congestion and can last for a number of hours or a number of days. Unfortunately there is no way to mitigate this situation and you must simply wait.


A co-loader consolidates LCL shipments.

Commerce Control List (CCL)

The Commerce Control List (CCL) is a list of categories and product groups used to help determine if an export license is needed for U.S. exports.

Commercial Invoice

A Commercial Invoice is a document used for Customs declaration, along with the Packing List

Common Carrier

A common carrier is a company that offers service to the general public.

Compliance Assessment

A compliance assessment is an analysis or audit of a company’s customs transactions.

Concealed Damage Coverage

Concealed damage coverage provides protection for the owner of goods that are being shipped by any mode of transportation in the event that the goods are damaged during transit but the damage is not immediately apparent upon delivery.


The consignee will be named on the bill of lading, and is the party to whom ownership of the goods will transfer at the cargo's destination.


Consolidation is the act of combining LCL shipments into a truck or container.

Continuous Customs Bond

A customs bond is required to import goods into the United States, as a form of insurance to protect the U.S. Treasury. A continuous customs bond will cover all of your import shipments for one year.

Contract of Carriage

A contract of carriage is a negotiated contract between the carrier and shipper for the transportation of cargo.

Control of Damaged Goods

Control of damaged goods refers to the process of managing and disposing of goods that have been damaged during the shipping process.

Countervailing Duties

Countervailing duties are applied to foreign goods in the U.S. that are manufactured with foreign subsidies.

Country of Origin

Country of origin is the determination for trade purposes of where your goods are manufactured or produced.

Country of Origin Marking

Control of damaged goods refers to the process of managing and disposing of goods that have been damaged during the shipping process.

Customs Bond

A customs bond, or import bond, is a legal document verifying all required importing fees, duties, and taxes have been paid.

Customs Broker

A customs broker is an agent who assists importers and exporters in preparing documents for clearing goods through customs.

Customs Business

This is a term that applies to customs brokers to define what activities require responsible supervision and control by a licensed Customs Broker when transacting with CBP on behalf of an Importer under a valid Power of Attorney.

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance is the governmental authorization necessary for a good to enter or exit the borders of a specific country.

Customs Entry

Customs entry is a declaration of the kind, amount, and value of goods being taken in or out of a country, for purposes of customs clearance.

Customs Exam

Your shipment may be selected for a customs exam upon import into the U.S..

Customs Exam Fee

If your products are pulled for a U.S. Customs exam, you are liable for any applicable fees. These can run from $80 to more than $1,000, depending on the type of inspection performed.

Customs Procedure Codes

Customs Procedure Codes - HMRC uses CPCs to identify the reason for the export or import and therefore the relevant customs regime.

Customs Valuation

This is a customs procedure applied to determine the customs value of imported goods. If the rate of duty is ad valorem, the customs value is essential to determine the duty to be paid on an imported good.

CY (Container Yard)

Storage area where full containers are received and picked up.

Deadweight (DWT)

The maximum carrying capacity of a ship expressed in tons, including provisions and fuel. The Vessel’s capacity for cargo is less than its total deadweight tonnage.

Decidee / Deciding Party

The party that decides to transport cargo with the shipping carrier.

Deck Cargo

Cargo carried on the deck of the ship.

Debris Removal

Debris removal coverage is a type of insurance that provides protection for the owner of goods that are being shipped by any mode of transportation in the event that debris is left behind after the goods have been unloaded.

Declared Value Coverage

Declared value coverage is not insurance, it raises the carrier's financial liability. See below for more details, and for the advantages of cargo insurance vs. declared value coverage.


Deconsolidation is the act of separating LCL shipments.


A deductible is the amount of money that the policyholder must absorb before the insurance policy begins to reimburse the policyholder.

Deferment Fee

This is the cost for having your freight forwarder/customs broker pay the Duty and VAT to the customs authorities on your behalf, before billing it to you directly.

Deferment or Postponed VAT Accounting

A foreign entity can appoint a tax representative in the import country to represent their business with the Tax and Customs Administrations.

Delivery Labor Fee

A trucker may charge a delivery labor fee if they have to help unload cargo at the warehouse (or other destination).


Devanning is a logistics term that means "unloading cargo from a container."

Direct or Indirect Customs Representation

There are two forms of representation: direct or indirect. Learn more what the differences are.

Domestic Inland Transit

Domestic inland transit refers to the movement of goods within a single country, typically by land or water, that usually happens before or after the cargo is unloaded from the ship or airplane that performed the international “leg” of the shipment.

Double Blind Shipment

A double blind shipment is when the shipper is unaware of where a shipment will be delivered to and the consignee is unaware of where the shipment is coming from.


A drop is one option for delivery of FCL shipments.

Drop Fee

A drop fee is charged by the trucker to drop off an FCL container at the warehouse and pick it up after it has been unloaded. This is also called a bobtail fee.

Drop and Pick

A drop and pick is a trucking delivery option.

Dry Run

A dry run is a trucking term for when the trucker cannot complete pickup or delivery.

Dry Van Shipping

Dry van shipping is for cargo that doesn't need to be temperature-controlled or transported in a flatbed trailer.


A duty is an indirect tax on the value of an imported or exported product.

Duty Drawback

Duty drawback, or Drawback, is an export incentive program that allows U.S. importers, exporters, and manufacturers to recover, in part or in whole, certain duties, taxes, and fees paid on imported merchandise or domestically produced flavoring extracts, medicinal or toilet preparations, bottled distilled spirits and wines

Delivered at Place (DAP)

The seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. The seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to the named place.

Delivered at Terminal (DAT)

The seller delivers when the goods, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the named port or place of destination. The seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to and unloading them at the terminal at the named port or place of destination.

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

The seller delivers the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer, cleared for import on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. The seller bears all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the place of destination and has an obligation to clear the goods not only for export but also for import, to pay any duty for both export and import and to carry out all customs formalities.

Delivery of Cargo

The physical and legal transfer of a cargo from Carrier or his agent to receiver/consignee/notify party.

Delivery order (DO)

Document issued by agent of the carrier authorizing the named party to take delivery of the cargo at arrival of the ship. The Delivery Order is given against the original Bill of Lading.


A separate charge, in addition to ordinary shipping costs, which is imposed according to the terms of a contract of carriage for a period in which Shipper or consignee's laden container is stored at carrier's terminal facilities before Vessel's departure or after Vessel's arrival.


The Vessel must perform the agreed voyage or successive voyages within a reasonable time. It is an obligation of the Shipowner.

Destination Delivery Charge

A charge, based on container size, 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.

Detention Fee - Export

A separate freight charge, in addition to ordinary shipping costs, which is imposed according to the terms of a contract of carriage for the period in which carrier's container is on hold by the shipper or the consignee. It is counted from the day of empty container pick-up to the day of laden container return (both days inclusive).

Detention Fee - Import

A separate freight charge, in addition to ordinary shipping costs, which is imposed according to the terms of a contract of carriage for the period in which carrier's container is on hold by the shipper or the consignee. It is counted from the day of laden pick-up to the day of empty return (both days inclusive).

Diversion Charge

Fee for diverting cargo from original intended destination port to a new location.

Dock Receipt

US: A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean Bill of Lading.


Shipment placed in a container at origin residence and delivered in the same container to a destinations residence. Also known as House to House.

Double Stack Car

Rail car capable of carrying two containers stacked on top of each other in United States of America.

Draft (US)/ Draught (UK)

The depth to which a vessel’s deepest point is under water.


The service offered by a carrier for pick-up and delivery of ocean containers or rail containers. Drayage agents usually handle full-load containers for ocean and rail carriers.

Dry Container

A freight container, totally enclosed and weatherproof, with a rigid roof, rigid side walls, and floor, having at least one of its end walls equipped with doors and intended to be suitable for the transport of cargo. This is by far the most common type of container. It is suitable for the carriage of most types of “Dry” goods.

Dry Dock

A dock used to lay up Vessels for inspection, reparation and maintenance.

Dry Port

An inland intermodal terminal, which can be "in bond", directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transhipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.


Material used in stowing or bracing cargo (often in wood) to prevent movement of goods inside the container.

E2 | Import Entry Acceptance Advice

Import entry acceptance advice (E2) shows when an import entry is successfully committed and holds the import information from the declaration such as the value, consginee, entry number.

EBS (Emergency Bunker Surcharge)

Carriers implement an EBS once fuel costs have risen so high that they cut into carriers' profits.

EIN (Employer Identification Number)

An EIN is used by the U.S. federal government to identify business entities located in the US.

ELD (Electronic Logging Device)

The ELD electronically records truckers' hours.

EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification)

An EORI number is required to ship to the EU.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

An Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is a five-character alphanumeric key used in the Commerce Control List (CCL) to classify U.S. exports.

Export Declaration

An export declaration is a document submitted at the time of export to the port of export.

Export License

An export license grants someone the right to conduct an export transaction of restricted or controlled commodities.

Express Bill of Lading

An express bill of lading is a type of bill of lading that doesn't require the cargo to be "released."

External Transit (T1)

The external transit procedure allows by default for non-Union goods to be moved from one point to another point within the customs territory of the Union so that customs duties and other charges are suspended. The T1 usually refers to the actual document that facilitates this movement.

Effective TEU Capacity

It is the real carrying capacity of the Vessel in laden boxes and it takes into account a top deck layer of empty boxes and it does not take into account other criteria specific to a trade, such as an high average weight of containers, a high proportion of high cube boxes, draft limitations, or inadequacies between the design of a ship and the mix of boxes of different dimensions on a given trade. The effective TEU capacity must not be confused with the nominal TEU capacity.


An internet-based solution for secure exchange of electronic invoices between the carrier and the customers.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

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

Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR)

Document required when transferring a cargo container from one Vessel to another, or to a shipping terminal. The receipt includes the apparent exterior status of the Container.


Abbreviation for "Estimate Time of Arrival" of the Vessel.


Abbreviation for "Estimate Time of Departure" of the Vessel.

European Committee Shipowners Association (ECSA)

Association which comprises the National Shipowners'Association of the EU and Norway, to promote the interests of European Shipping.

European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration

International Convention, signed in Geneva in 1961, regulating rules about arbitration.

Ex-Works (EXW)

The seller delivers when it places the Goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises or at another named place. The seller does not need to load the goods on any collecting vehicle, nor does it need to clear the goods for export, where such clearance is applicable.


Freight All Kinds

FCA (Free Carrier)

FCA is an incoterm suitable for containerized ocean shipments.

FLEGT | Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade

FLEGT licences are documents issued by timber-producing countries that have ratified a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU. Read more.

FTA (Free Trade Agreement)

An FTA (Free Trade Agreement) is an agreement between two or more countries that reduces barriers to imports and exports among them.

First Sale Valuation

First Sale valuation is a rule that can be used to determine the real value, based on the purchase price between the original vendor and factory, of imported goods that meet certain criteria.


A forklift is used to move shipments in warehouses.

Fuel Surcharge (FSC)

Trucking companies charge a fuel surcharge fee in order to protect themselves from the volatility of fuel prices.


Full Container Load

FDA hold:

When products in your shipment violate or appear to violate FDA laws and regulations, the FDA will hold the shipment.

Feeder Vessel

Vessel used to relay cargo from the mother Vessel to its ultimate destination or from first port of loading to mother Vessel.


Forty Foot Equivalent Unit, A 40′ container equals 2 TEUS.

Final Place of Delivery (FDP)

Delivery of the cargo by the carrier at another than the terminal, as stated on the Bill of Lading. It means the end of carrier’s liability.

Flat Rack Container (or Flat Bed Container)

Compared to fixed-end type, collapsible flat racks have end walls that fold. The flush folding collapsible flat rack, the most sophisticated of its types has end walls which fold flush with the base. Flat racks are dedicated for the carriage of heavy, bulky as well as over height and/ or over width items. They also permit the stacking of several empty containers into one 'bundle' for empty repositioning. Their base is often designed to transport heavy material. Some flats are 45T tested. The flat racks with collapsible ends also permit the transportation of over length cargo


A flexitank is a bulk liquid storage tank that can fit inside a container to ship non-hazardous liquids.

FMC (Federal Maritime Commission):

U.S. Government Agency responsible for overseeing regulatory aspects of all maritime activities.

Free Alongside Ship (FAS)

The seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the Vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are alongside the ship, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards.

Free on Board (FOB)

The seller delivers the goods on board the Vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the Vessel, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards.

Free Time:

Storage time allowed at carriers’ facility without penalties being assessed.


All charges payable to the carrier in accordance with Applicable Tariff of the Bill of Lading of the carrier, including without limitation, storage, demurrage, detention and reefer services.

Freight Bill

Carrier's invoice for payment of transport services rendered.

Freight Collect

The freight and charges to be paid by the consignee.

Freight Forwarder (or Forwarding Agent)

An individual or organisation that specialises in organizing shipments, necessary volumes and customs facilities for other individuals or organization.

Freight Prepaid

The freight and charges to be paid before loading of the goods onboard the Vessel by the shipper against remittance of the original Bill of Lading.

Fresh Air Exchange

"Introduction of fresh air into a reefer container through vents".

Full Container Load (FCL)

A container with a single shipper. A container that is loaded and unloaded entirely under the risk and account of the merchant.

FTZ (Free Trade Zone):

A facility which – under license issued by the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) board – has acquired extra-territorial status. Merchandise entered into a FTZ are considered as having been “exported” and can be subjected to manipulation or manufacturing processes without Customs supervision but will be subject to other applicable federal or state laws and terms of the storage contract.


1 US gallon = 3, 79 liters

Gantry Crane

Port crane which can be positioned by moving along rail tracks and used to load and discharge containers from Vessels and.

Garment On Hanger (GOH)

Method of storing apparel in containers for garments that should not be folded.

Gearless Ship

A Vessel with no lifting (crane) equipment.

General Average

An average consecutive to a sacrifice for which each part of a shipment or cargo contributes to prevent total loss of the whole and for the benefit of all persons concerned.

General Rate Increase

Used to describe an across–the–board tariff rate increase applied to base rates.


Generator used to supply power to a reefer container.

Gross Tonnage

Designate the overall internal volume of a Vessel, calculated based on "the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship".

Groupage Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading covering many goods, loaded in the same container by different shippers.

GRI (General Rate Increase)

A GRI is a general rate increase that carriers can apply to their ocean freight rates.

Gating In

Gating in for containers means checking in at the port of origin.

General Order

General Order is a status given to cargo that is being held up at Customs due to improper documentation or other issues with clearing.

Geographical Scope

The geographical scope of a cargo insurance policy refers to the specific locations and areas in which the policy provides coverage for the loss, damage, or theft of cargo.

Golden Week

Golden Week is a Chinese holiday in October.


House Air Waybill.

Hague Rules

Rules published in 1924, concerning "Certain Rules relating to Bill of Lading", to establish liabilities and rights of carrier and owner of the goods.

Hague-Visby Rules

Rules published in 1968 amending Hague Rules.

Hamburg Rules

Rules published in 1978 and definishing rights and obligations of the carrier and the owner of the goods.


Operations of loading and discharging of the containers and the goods onboard the Vessel.

Handling Costs

The cost involved in moving, transferring, preparing, and otherwise handling inventory.

Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

An international classification system designated to promote a high degree of international uniformity in the presentation of customs tariffs and foreign trade statistics.

Hazardous Goods

Articles or substances which can pose a significant risk to health, safety, or property, and that ordinarily require special attention when transported. Also called Dangerous Goods.


Hazmat means hazardous materials, and need to be carefully shipped.

High Cube (HC)

A container that exceeds 8 feet 6 inches in height.


Compartment located under the deck, delimitated by two transverse bulkheads.


The ratio of the air total water vapour to its total capacity at a given temperature.

HMF (Harbor Maintenance Fee)

Intended to require those who benefit from maintenance of U.S. ports and harbors to share the cost of the maintenance.

HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule)

Controls/sets out the tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States.


Abbreviation "Inland Container Depot".

Importer of Record

The importer of record is responsible for Customs documentation and payment.

Inherent Vice

Inherent vice is an exclusion found in most cargo insurance policies to account for a defect or inherent characteristic in the nature of the product.

Inside Delivery Fee

The trucker may charge this fee if the shipment's delivery requires some form of installation, or if the trucker is required to go inside the delivery location.

Intensive Exam

The Customs Intensive exam is the most thorough Customs exam.

Interest Insured

An “interest insured” (or “insured interest”) means that financial or ownership right that a party (like an insurance purchaser) has in the lost or damaged cargo.

International Roadcheck

International Roadcheck is the world's largest targeted enforcement program for commercial motor vehicles. See below for more details and how the program may affect your shipments.

Interruption of Transit Coverage

Interruption of transit coverage provides protection for the owner of goods that are being shipped by any mode of transportation in the event that the transit of the goods is interrupted or delayed due to risks that are insured under the insurance policy.

Inventory Linked

Inventory Linked - Several UK ports and airports are linked to the customs computer systems. Being inventory-linked enables these ports/airports to handle the presentation, arrival and departure of goods on HMRC’s behalf.

Inbound cargo

Imported cargo.


International terms written by the International Chamber of Commerce for the sale of goods worldwide and provide rules and guidance to importers, exporters, lawyers, transporters, insurers. This essential part of the daily language of trade. The latest applied version is the Incoterms 2020.

Inland Point Intermodal (IPI)

Cargo moving via land from/to an inland point (US)

Insurance Certificate

Document issued to the consignee to certify that insurance is provided to cover loss of or damage to the cargo while in transit.

Intermodal Transport

Transport of goods by using two or more transportation means, such as truck, rail, barge, feeder, and oceangoing ship.

International Freight Forwarders (IFF)

See Freight Forwarder.

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

A uniform international code, adopted by IMO, for the transport of dangerous Goods by sea covering such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from ships. It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.

International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS)

An amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. It prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.”

International Standard Organization (ISO)

The world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, given for the art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective.

ISF (Importer Security Filing)

The capability, which enables a shipment to be transferred from one form of transport to another, such as from airplane to truck, to railway freight car to ocean vessel.

IT (Inland Transit Number)

A number issued by U.S. Customs to track any imported goods moving inland from a discharge port.

Jones Act

In the sense of maritime law, it is the act which controls coastwise trade within the United States and determines which ships may lawfully engage in that trade and the rules under which they must operate. It prohibits any foreign built or foreign flagged Vessel from engaging in coastwise trade within the United States.


The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile (1.852 km) per hour, approximately 1.151 mph. The speeds of vessels relative to the fluids in which they travel (boat speeds and air speeds) are measured in knots

Known Shipper

Known shipper is a preferred status for companies shipping via air, and a necessary status to ship via passenger planes taking off from the US.

Label cargo

Cargo requiring a label according to the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.

Land Bridge (US)

Containers being shipped from a foreign country by ship and subsequently carried to its final destination inland USA by rail or by truck.


Holding cargo into position by the use of securing device such as wire, ropes, lines, chains and straps.

Less than Container Load (LCL)

A container consolidated with cargo from numerous shippers with the same destination, When many shipper's goods occupy a single container, each shipper's shipment is considered to be LCL.

Letter of Credit (LC)

Document issued by a bank per instructions of a buyer of goods, authorising 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 (LOI)

a) Delivered by a Shipper : Document delivered to Carrier in which the former undertakes to the ladder not to make a claim if the goods are damaged. b) Delivered by a Receiver or the entitled Person : Document delivered to the carrier to obtain delivery of the goods without remittance of Bill of Lading.

Limitation of liability

Maximal indemnity per package or per kilo payable by the carrier to the holder of the Bill of Lading, in compensation of damages to goods. This limitation depends on the applicable Cargo Convention.

Line Haul

Maritime portion of a route of a Vessel which covers the greatest distance of a voyage, usually across an ocean.

Liner Terms

Terms indicating if handling at port of loading and/or port of discharge is included in the freight.

LTL (Less than Truckload)

LTL is used for smaller shipments that don't fill up a truck on their own.

Letter of Indemnity (LOI)

A Letter of Indemnity (LOI) is a document provided by the shipper stating that the shipper will take responsibility for any harm or loss caused by a breach of contract.


A liftgate is attached to the back of a truck to help with unloading.

Liftgate Fee

A liftgate is used for delivery destinations that do not have a loading dock. Truckers typically charge a fee for this service.

Live Unload

A live unload is trucking term, meaning that the trucker will wait for the container to be unloaded, instead of doing a drop.

Loading & Unloading Coverage

Loading and unloading coverage provides protection for the owner of goods that are being shipped by any mode of transportation in the event that the goods are damaged during the loading or unloading process.

Liner Terms

Terms indicating if handling at port of loading and/or port of discharge is included in the freight.

Liner Terms

Terms indicating if handling at port of loading and/or port of discharge is included in the freight.

Liner Terms

Terms indicating if handling at port of loading and/or port of discharge is included in the freight.


Abbreviation for "Liquefied Natural Gas".


Abbreviation for "Length Overall of the Vessel".


The process of planning, implementing, and controlling procedures for the efficient and effective storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of delivery for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.

Long Ton (LT)

1 Long Ton = 2,240 pounds.


US term to designate a terminal operator.

LCL (Less Than Container Load)

A shipment of cargo that does not completely fill a container and is merged with cargo for more than one consignee or more than one shipper.


A list of all cargo loaded on board a vessel. An entire listing of all cargo on board a vessel required by the carrier, customs, and the coast guard.


The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

Merchant Haulage

Movement of container organised directly by merchant for per and post-inland transportation.

Metric Ton (MT)

1 Metric Ton = 2,204.62 lbs or 35.314 cft.

Modified Atmosphere

"The ability to adjust the CO2 ratio tailored to a specific load of cargo within a reefer container that replaces the normal atmosphere".

Mother Vessel

Main ocean Vessel used in a maritime service during a specified voyage.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Motor truck cargo insurance is a type of insurance that covers the trucking company (who is the policyholder) against financial losses that it might be obligated to pay due to loss of or damage to cargo it is transporting.

MPF (Merchandise Processing Fee):

Is a fee imposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to offset the cost of salaries and other expenses incurred in the processing of imports and release of merchandise into the United States.

Nautical Mile

The nautical mile (symbol M, NM or nmi) is a unit of length that is approximately one minute of arc measured along any meridian. By international agreement it has been set at 1,852 metres exactly (about 6,076 feet).

NES | The National Export System

The National Export System (NES) is a computer-based system which enables export declarations to be submitted electronically

NVWA | De Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit

The Dutch Government Agency that is responsible for ensuring the safety of food and consumer products, animal welfare and nature.

Negotiated Rate Arrangement (NRA)

A Negotiated Rate Arrangement (NRA) is a document regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). It ensures that all ocean freight rates are documented and accepted before the cargo is loaded onto the vessel.

Non-Reimbursement Statements

This is a statement certifying non-reimbursement of Antidumping and/or Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) when applicable for imported merchandise.

Net Tare weight

Weight of an empty container.

Net Ton (NT)

1 Net Ton = 907.185 kgs.

Net Tonnage

A Vessel's gross tonnage minus deductions of space occupied by accommodations for crew, by machinery, for navigation, by the engine room and fuel. A Vessel's net tonnage expresses the space available for carrying capacity.

Net Weight

Weight of the product unpacked, exclusive of any containers.

Nominal TEU Capacity

The maximal geometric capacity, expressed in 20 Feet Equivalent Units (TEU). It is the contractual capacity agreed upon in charter contracts, or the TEU capacity shown by owner-operators

Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading

"Bill of Lading cannot be endorsed for the transfer of title on the goods. This is not a document of title".

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

A cargo consolidator in ocean trades that will buy space from a carrier and re-sell it to shippers. The NVOCC issues Bills of Lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.

Note protest

1. A legal means of proving presentation and default of a negotiable instrument, as well as providing notice to interested parties that the instrument was not paid. 2. A declaration made by the master of a ship before a Notary Public in the United States and Great Britain or a Tribunal of Commerce on the European Continent, or before the Consul of the country from which the ship hails if in a foreign port, on arrival in port, when, through stress of weather, it has not been practicable to adopt ordinary precaution in the matter of ventilation for perishable cargoes; when the condition of the cargo or any part thereof at the time of shipment is such as to lead to the belief that damage or some further damage has occurred during the voyage; when any serious breach of a charter party by the charterer in a foreign port happens; when a ship experiences bad weather while at sea and when the master has reason to believe that the cargo is damaged or part of the deck load lost overboard. Copies of the protest are frequently demanded underwriter in the event of a claim. Protest are received as evidence in tribunal on the Continent but they cannot be made use of as evidence in Courts of Law in the United Kingdom in favour of the party making the protest except by the consent of both parties concerned.

Notice of Arrival

A notice from the delivering carrier to the notify party indicating the shipment's arrival date at the destination.

Notify Party

The name of a company or individual that should be notified when a shipment reaches its destination.


Acronym for "Off Dock Container Yard".


Entity the US Department of the Treasury which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.

On Deck Stowage

Cargo stowed on the deck of the ship.

One-Way Lease

Lease that covers the outbound voyage only, after which the container is returned to the lessor at or near destination.

On-Time Performance

The proportion of time that a transit system adheres to its published schedule times within stated tolerances.

Open Top Container

"Freight 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. Such containers may have movable or removable top end transverse members above their end doors. These containers are primarily used to carry heavy and/or bulky finished products, which handling and loading can only be performed with a crane or a rolling bridge. Tiltable half-height open top containers are specially designed to carry bulk minerals. The CMA CGM 8’6’’ high open top containers are equipped with: - Removable roof bows and tarpaulin - Hinged doors (on both sides) and/or removable header above doors".

Origin Charge

Origin charges will apply for every shipment, but who pays for them depends on the incoterm.

Origin Engineering

Origin engineering is the relocation of part of a product's manufacturing from one country to another country to avoid unfavorable trade restrictions, such as higher duty rates or quotas.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL)

An original bill of lading is a shipping document that serves as the title of the cargo and a shipment receipt.

Order Cycle

The time and the process involved from the placement of the order to the receipt of the shipment.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL)

Bill of Lading which requires proper signatures for conclusion of contract of carriage.

Out of Gauge (OOG)

"Cargo which exceeds the internal dimensions of the container / flat rack in which it is packed.

Outbound cargo

Exported Cargo.


Destination port, other than a base port, to which rates apply but which may be subject to additional outport arbitraries.


An excess of quantity billed.

Overheight cargo

Cargo which exceeds the height of an open-top container.

Overland Common Point (OCP)

US: A term stated on the Bills of Lading offering a special rate concession made by shipping lines, rail carriers and truckers serving the U.S. West Coast for export and import traffic, intended to benefit midwest shippers and importers by equalising rates to and from other coastal areas, and offering these midwest companies a comparable alternative. It is applied to eastern Canada.


Cargo discharged mistakenly in another port than the previous port of discharge.

P and I Club

Mutual association which provides insurance for third party liability to Shipowners and operators.

PGA (Partner Government Agency)

A PGA is a division of the U.S. government that regulates certain products and oversees their entry into the U.S.

PSS (Peak Season Surcharge)

PSS is a fluctuating surcharge that carriers may apply during times of high demand.

Pallet Exchange Fee

A pallet exchange fee is charged if the trucker does not bring pallets to exchange when they pick up the cargo.

Particular Average

Particular average is a term that is often used in cargo insurance to describe a loss or damage to cargo that is not caused by a general average event.

Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS)

This allows the Importer of Record to combine all shipments released in a single month into one grouped payment to US Customs & Border Protection (CBP).

Pier Pass Fee

The Pier Pass traffic mitigation fee is charged if your shipment is unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach during peak hours. It's part of the port's effort to reduce traffic congestion in the region, by incentivizing pickup during off-peak hours.

Port filings

A port filing is a notification to the port that a certain container will be on board of a certain vessel going to a certain location with corresponding export declaration documents. It is a step after export clearance.

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney, in the context of customs clearance, is the authorization required to be given to the customs broker on behalf of the importer or exporter.


A pre-pull is when an ocean container is picked up from the port and stored at the trucker's yard, instead of being immediately delivered. A pre-pull may be used to help avoid demurrage fees.

Preferential Duties

A Preferential Duty Rate is lower than the normal duty rate applied to the imports from third countries.

Prior Disclosure

This is when an importer identifies that inaccurate entry data has been included in their declarations to US Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and wants to make corrections proactively. Notifying CBP of self-identified errors will reduce the amount of the potential fines administered.

Professional Service Fees

Professional service fees coverage is a type of insurance that provides protection for businesses in the event that they incur additional expenses as a result of hiring professional services to address a problem or issue.

Port filings

A port filing is a notification to the port that a certain container will be on board of a certain vessel going to a certain location with corresponding export declaration documents. It is a step after export clearance.


A standard size wooden platform with or without sides, on which packages or pieces can be loaded to facilitate handling. In Europe, the standard size is 1,200 mm / 1,000 mm.

Paramount Clause

Clause of the Bill of Lading which stipulates that contract of carriage is governed by Hague-Visby Rules even if the Rules do not apply at Port of Loading or Port of Discharge.

Partial loss

Loss affecting only a part of the cargo.

Partial Shipment

Under letters of credit one or more shipments are allowed by the phrase "partial shipments permitted".

Partlow Chart

A chart that indicates the temperature reading in a reefer container.

Payable Elsewhere

Special service to shipper or consignee to receive freight and charges at a location and from a designated party as specified by shipper and/or consignee, i.e. freight and charges are neither received at loading end (prepaid) nor discharging end (collect).


The revenue-producing part of the cargo.

PSS (Peak Season Surcharge)

The additional charge imposed on the base freight rate or regular shipping fees when there is high demand in the supply chain network.

Perils of the Sea

Causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.

Perishable goods

Goods subjected to decay or deterioration.


A structure built away from land and extending some distance over water, used for landing, loading and unloading ships. Also known as a pier or a wharf.


The transportation of motorway trailers or demountable trailer bodies on especially equipped railcars.


Cargo stolen from its place of storage, be it container, warehouse or Terminal.


Person whose job is to steer ships, particularly along a coast or into and out of a Harbour.

Place of Receipt (POR)

Starting point of carrier’s liability where cargo is received from shipper and under carrier’s custody for transportation to final destination.

Plimsoll Mark

Depth to which a vessel may safely load. Identified by a circle on the vessel’s side with a vertical line through and a number of small horizontal lines showing the max depth for summer and winter.


Natural or artificial shelter, receiving ships and allowing them to stay, to load and discharge Goods securely.

Port of Arrival

Place where imported merchandise is off loaded from the importing ship.

Port of Call

Stop in a port where a ship discharges or receives Goods.

Port of Discharge (POD)

Port where cargo is unloaded from ship.

Port of Entry

Port where customs formalities are accomplished.

Port of Loading (POL)

Port where cargo is loaded to ship.


Freight charges for delivery of the goods arising after the principal international carriage.

Power Pack

"An electricity power source for multiple reefer boxes."


Freight charges for port delivery of the goods arising before the principal international carriage.


"A separate operation, prior to storage or transportation that requires special equipment or cooling facilities."


All of the processes involved in requesting, ordering, auditing, and paying for goods and services.

Pro-forma Invoice

A specimen invoice, requested by the buyer for the purpose of applying for such things as an import license, or foreign exchange allocation prior to the sale.

Purchase Order

Common grouping of orders for goods/services to facilitate distribution at the other end.

Quality Control

The systematic planning, measuring and control of a combination of people, materials, metrology and machines, with the objective of producing a product that satisfies the quality and profitability of the enterprise.


A structure built away from land and extending some distance over water, used for landing, loading and unloading Vessels. Also known as a pier or a wharf.


Rail terminal / container yard where containers are either loaded or discharged from train.


On RoRo ships ramps permit to load and discharge cargo.

Rate Agreement

Group of carriers who discuss rates and common problems with options to publish independent tariffs.

Received for Shipment Bill of Lading

Bill of Lading without the mention "Shipped". This kind of Bill of Lading is normally issued to acknowledge receipt of shipment before cargo loading or before official original bill of lading is issued

Reasonable Care

This term, in a US Customs sense, applies to the efforts of an importer working to ensure that all the information about an item being provided to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is as accurate and compliant as possible.

Related Parties

Related parties are relationships that may affect the declared import value to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Residential Delivery Fee

A trucker may charge a residential delivery fee if delivering to a residential fee. Other costs may also be associated with a residential delivery.

Responsible Supervision and Control

This term, in a US Customs sense, applies to the efforts of a licensed customs broker working to ensure that all customs business executed by their employees meet all regulatory requirements, and are transacted with substantially the same level of quality that the broker is required to provide.

Rolled Cargo

Rolled cargo is cargo that could not be loaded onto the vessel it was scheduled to sail on because that vessel ran out of capacity. See below for information on what happens to your rolled cargo and how you can lessen the chances of your cargo being rolled.

Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are legal standards that determine how to treat goods from a tariff standpoint based on their country of origin.

Reconsignment (R/C)

Change of the consignee or destination on a Bill of Lading while the goods are still in transit.

Reefer Container

"Aka" "refrigerated container" Thermal container equipped with an electrical appliance (mechanical compressor) for the purposes of cooling or heating the air within the container. CMA CGM owns one of the largest and youngest fleets of Reefer containers designed for the transport of perishable goods in a temperature-controlled environment (from -35°C to +35°C). The CMA CGM Reefer fleet consists of 20’, 40’High Cube and 45’32/33 Pallet Wide containers.

Refrigerated Cargo

Cargo requiring temperature control.


The removal of heat from one medium to another one by the use of inert gas.

Register Ton

A unit of interior capacity of ships. 1 Register Ton = 100 cubic feet or 2,832 cubic metres. Also known as vessel ton.

Registrar Accreditation Board

A board, governed by a board of directors from industry, academia, and quality management consulting firms, that evaluates the competency and reliability of registrars.

Relative Humidity

"The ratio of the actual amount of water vapour in the air to the maximum it can hold at a given temperature.


To transfer goods from one ship to another within the same ownership/control.

Release note

Receipt signed by customer acknowledging delivery of goods.

Return Cargo

Cargo to be returned to original place of receipt.

Revenue Ton

The greater weight or measurement of goods where 1 ton is either 1,000 kilos or 1 cubic metre . Also known as Bill of Lading ton or freight ton. It is used to calculate freight charge.

Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro)

A specialised vessel designed with a ramp to facilitate driving on and off cargo, as opposed to being loaded with cranes or other lifting equipment.


The manner in which a shipment moves.


External assistance to a ship in danger.

Salvage loss

When referring to goods, a salvage loss is one resulting from shipwreck or from a situation where, by the peril of the sea, the ship is prevented from proceeding on her voyage and the cargo, or the part that is saved is obliged to be sold at a place short of the port of destination. The term is used in marine insurance when at a point short of destination, it can be shown that it would cost more to forward damaged goods to their destination than the goods would realize on the spot. The underwriters usually pay the difference between the total insured value and the net proceeds of the goods, such a settlement being known as a "salvage loss".

Scantling Draft

The maximum draught to which a vessel can be loaded. When classed, this is the draught for which the vessels compliance is evaluated to and is subject to the regulations of the classification society.


Metal strip and lead/plastic fastener used for locking containers doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.


Non-negotiable transport document allowing a quick release to the receiver named on.

Service Agreement

A contract between a shipper (or a shippers' association) and an ocean common carrier (or conference) in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a certain minimum quantity of cargo or freight revenue over a fixed time period, and the ocean common carrier or conference commits to a certain rate or rate schedule as well as a defined service level (such as assured space, transit time, port rotation or similar service features). The contract may also specify provisions in the event of non performance on the part of either party.

Set Point

Specific temperature that a refrigerated container has been set to keep. Ideally, the set point and the actual temperature should be identical throughout the voyage.


A notation on the Bill of Lading stating the temperature at which the cargo must be maintained.

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI)

Index showing the fluctuation of spot freight rates of export container transport market in Shanghai. The freight rates of individual routes of SCFI show the spot ocean freights and related maritime surcharges.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange

The Shanghai based organisation which publishes the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI).

Shipment Date

The date inserted on the Bill of Lading evidencing goods received on board is regarded for documentary credit purposes as being the date of shipment.

Shipped on board Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading issued only after the goods have actually been shipped on board the ship, as distinguished from the received for shipment Bill of Lading.


Person or legal entity for whom the carrier agrees to carry the goods at a specific destination and at a specific price (contract of carriage).

Shipper Load and Count

Shipments loaded and sealed by shippers and not checked or verified by the carriers.

Shipper Owned Container (SOC)

Container used for cargo shipment is owned by shipper.

Shipper Packed

Contents of containers as loaded (stuffed), stowed (packed and braced), weighed and/or tallied by and for the shipper.

Shipping Instruction (SI)

Orders or instructions of the shipper to its agent and/or directly to the international water–carrier, about loading, discharging and conditions of the goods.

Shipping Order

Equivalent of booking and contract of carriage evidencing the agreement to transport goods.

Short Landed

Cargo volume count (at delivery destination) less than originally shipped.

Short Sea Voyage

US term to designate short international voyages.

Short Shipped

Cargo missing a vessel that it was originally intended for.

Short Ton (ST)

1 Short Ton = 2, 000 lbs


Space on board a Vessel occupied by a container.

Slot Charter Agreement (SCA)

Contract between partners who buy and sell a defined allocation (space, weight) in general on a "used or unused" basis at an agreed price and for a minimum defined period of time.

Slow Steaming

The practice of operating transoceanic ships, especially container ships, at significantly less than their maximum speed.


International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), its main objective is to specify minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships, compatible with their safety,

Special Customs Invoice (US)

Document usually prepared by the foreign exporter or its forwarder and used and required by US customs in determining the value of the shipment.


A piece of equipment designed to lift containers by their corner castings.

Special Delivery Fee

A special delivery fee is charged by a trucker for a delivery outside of their normal service parameters, such as an after-hours delivery or delivery to a destination they don't typically service.

Split Shipment

When your air shipment is split, your cargo does not arrive on a single flight, but is instead distributed among two or more flights. This is more likely to happen with a large shipment.

Stop-Off Fee

A stop-off fee may be charged if your shipment is split between two or more delivery locations.


Abbreviation for "Safety, Security and Environment".


To stow containers more than one high and in an orderly way in one place in a container yard, CFS, depot, or on a Vessel.

Standard Export Declaration (US)

Legal document that shippers or freight forwarder have to complete prior to export from USA.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)

A classification of goods of the United Nations used to classify the exports and imports of a country to enable the comparison of different countries and years.

Standard Shipping Note

A shipping document which accompanies the container on its journey to the port of exit and gives details about the contents of a consignment to carriers, receiving authorities and forwarders.


Terminal operator who is designated to facilitate the operation of loading and discharging ships and various terminal activities (US term = Longshoreman).

Storage Charge

Charge for goods held in storage facilities under a fixed agreement for periods of time, and which is not included in other arrangements.


Loading freight into ships' holds.

Stowage Plan

Distribution of goods onboard the ship regarding their nature and destination.


The unloading of cargo into a container.


The loading of cargo into a container.

Supply Air

Cooled or warmed air leaving the evaporator delivered to the interior of the reefer.

Supply Chain

A logistical management system which integrates the sequence of activities from delivery of raw materials to the manufacturer through to delivery of the finished product to the customer into measurable components.

Supply Chain Management

The delivery of enhanced customer and economic value through synchronized management of the flow of physical goods, services and associated information from sourcing through consumption. The management of the process and activities to provide the flow of products, services and information to customers.


An extra or additional charge applicable.


Inspection of goods to establish the extent and cause of damage.


Exchange with another service operator, a defined amount of space from each other's allocation for a pre-defined period of time at a pre defined ratio of exchange.


SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment

TARIC | The Integrated Tariff of the European Union

A TARIC code is a minimum of 10 digits of which the first 6 are based on the international Harmonised System.

TTW | Toestemming Tot Wegvoering

Permission from the customs authorities for the goods to be removed from Customs supervision.

Tail Gate Exam

A Tail Gate Exam is the next step up from an X-ray exam.

Tariff Engineering

Tariff engineering is the modification a new or existing product so as to pay the lowest possible duty rate on the product.

Tariff Quotas | Preferential or Autonomous

Tariff concessions that are provided for a predetermined volume of goods are called "preferential tariff quotas".

Total Insured Value

The total insured value (TIV) of cargo is the total value of the goods that are being insured under a cargo insurance policy.

Trade Remedy

Trade remedies are tactics such as imposing additional duties, quotas, prohibitions on imports or other methods that government organizations use to counteract unfair trade practices.


Transloading is the process of moving a shipment from one mode of transport to another. See below for why your shipment might be transloaded.


A transtainer is a large gantry crane, sometimes called an RTG, used to load, unload, or stack containers.

Trucking Wait Fee

A trucking wait fee is typically charged by a truck driver if they have to wait more than 1-2 hours while cargo is being unloaded. This is a prorated hourly charge.

Tank Container

A freight container which includes two basic elements, the tank and the framework. This type of container is used to carry hazardous or non- hazardous liquids (foodstuff). It is equipped with accessories to facilitate filling and emptying and has safety devices.


A publication setting forth the charges, rates and rules of transportation companies. NVOCCs and VOCCs must publish and maintain tariffs.

Temperature recorder

An electronic device to permanently record the inside temperature of operating reefer containers.


Part of a port with special equipment to berth ships for loading and discharging of goods from them.

Terminal Handling Charge (THC)

A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.

Third Party Logistics (3PL)

A company which provides logistics services to other companies for some or all of their logistics needs. It typically includes warehousing and transportation services. Most 3PL’s also have freight forwarding licenses.

Through Rates

Rate(s) applicable from point of origin to final destination which can be either a joint rate or a combination of two or more rates.

To Order of Shipper

Bill of Lading to be endorsed either in blank by the shipper (bearer document) or in favor of a specific party.


Maximal volume of a ship.

Tonnage Pool

Sharing of the capacity and costs of one or more ships by companies in a service as per pre-defined shares for a minimum pre-defined period.


Transfer of containers between two ships (coupled ships or via the quay).

Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)

The size of a standard container. One TEU generally represents a single container measuring 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet high.


A twistlock and corner casting together form a standardized rotating connector for securing shipping containers. The primary uses are for locking a container into place on container ship, semi-trailer truck or railway container train; and for lifting of the containers by container cranes and side lifters.

UCP 600

A comprehensive and practical set of rules for bankers, lawyers, importers, exporters, transport executives and persons involved in letter of credit transactions worldwide.

ULD (Unit Load Device)

ULDs contain airfreight cargo.

UTB | Uitnodiging Tot Betaling

Is the Dutch term for the actual Duties Bill.

Ultimate Consignee

An ultimate consignee is the party who will be the final recipient of a shipment.

Unit of Measure (UOM)

The unit in which the quantity of an item is managed, e.g., pounds, each, box of 12, package of 20, or case of 144. Various UOMs may exist for a single item. For example, a product may be purchased in cases, stocked in boxes, and issued in single units.

United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)

The worldwide facilitation of international transactions through the simplification and harmonisation of procedures and information flows.

United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT)

The worldwide facilitation of international transactions through the simplification and harmonisation of procedures and information flows.


The unloading of cargo into a container.


US West Coast


US East Coast


US Gulf Coast


Abbreviation for "Value Added Tax".

Valuation Challenge

This is a type of customs inspection conducted by customs authorities when they have grounds to be suspicious about the customs value.


Voluntarily created circulation of air.

Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA)

Contract between two or more ship operators to put up a fleet of ships together to operate a joint service. The number of container positions (slots) equal in space are reserved on particular ships for each of the participants.

Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (VOCC)

A common carrier that operates, for all or part of its common carrier service, a ship in a service between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country.

War Risk Surcharge (WRS)

Charge in case of risks of war in a zone where the ship crosses or calls.


A place for the reception, delivery, consolidation, distribution, and storage of goods/cargo.


A type of Bill of Lading used for port-to-port or combined transport carriage. A "Waybill" is identical to a negotiable Bill of Lading except that it is not a document of title. In the US, a"waybill" is deemed the equivalent of a straight consigned B/L.


A structure built away from land and extending some distance over water, used for landing, loading and unloading ships. Also known as a pier or a quay


A port charge to a ship for use of a quay.

What is Chargeable Weight?

Chargeable weight is what the airline uses to determine the cost of your shipment. It may be either volumetric weight or gross weight, whichever is greater.

What is Fiscal Representation?

A foreign entity can appoint a tax representative in the import country to represent their business with the Tax and Customs Administrations.

World Shipping Council

The World Shipping Council's goal is to provide a coordinated voice for the liner shipping industry in its work with policy makers and other industry groups with an interest in international transportation.

X-Ray Exam

A Customs X-ray exam is the least intensive Customs exams.

Yard Storage

Yard storage is charged by the trucker if a container is stored at the trucker's yard, instead of a terminal.

Zone Rate

A zone rate is a type of freight rate used to determine cost by moving through geographic areas.