Maritime Dictionary




























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

Acceptance of Goods

The process of receiving a consignment from a consignor, usually against the issue of a receipt. As from this moment and on this place the carrier's responsibility for the consignment begins.

Acknowledgement of receipt

A notification relating to the receipt of e.g. goods, messages and documents.

Active Inventory

Covers raw material, work in progress, finished products that will be used or sold within a given period without extra cost or loss. This term does not cover the so-called reserve inventory.

Actual Demand

Customers’ orders and often also the allocation of items, ingredients and/or raw materials to production or distribution.

Actual Voyage Number

A code for identification purposes of the voyage and vessel which actually transports the container/ cargo.

Added Value

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

Advance Arrangement

An agreement between the shipper and the carrier, concerning contacts between those parties prior to tendering the consignment. 

Advanced Amount

Cash or cash equivalents expressed in a monetary amount given to a driver to cover expenses during a trip.

Advanced Charge

A charge paid by a carrier to an agent or to another carrier, which the delivering carrier then collects from the consignee. Such charges are usually for agents' forwarding fees and incidental expenses paid out of pocket for account of the shipment by an agent or other carrier (aircargo).

Advanced Interline

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

Advice Note

A written piece of information e.g. about the status of the goods.

Advisory Committee for Innovation and Technology Transfer

See Strategic Programme for Innovation and Technology Transfer


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

Agency Fee

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


Intelligent software that can be used in an exchange or auction to monitor prices and conditions on behalf of buyer and supplier, and in some cases to automatically execute trades.

Aggregate Inventory

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


See Automatic Identification Manufacturers.


The process of assigning activities, costs or facilities e.g. space to a certain organizational units.


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.


At or in the middle of a vessel


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

Application service provider

An online outsourcer or hosting service for applications, letting Net market makers rent instead of buying applications and services such as auctions, exchanges and catalog aggregation. Many application vendors are moving to a hosting model, but ASPs are often application-agnostic, plugging a feature of one application into a marketplace when appropriate and using another feature from another vendor elsewhere.

Approved Continuous Examination Program

Abbreviation: ACEP
An agreement between the owners of the equipment and the responsible governmental body to allow continuous examination of the equipment (e.g. containers).


See Platform


A network of national information centres of information technologies.

Area Code

A code for the area where a container is situated.

Area of Repair

Geographical area where a container is under repair.

Area Off Hire Lease

Geographical area where a leased container becomes off hire.

Area Off Hire Sublease

Geographical area where a subleased container becomes off hire.

Area On Hire Lease

Geographical area where a leased container becomes on hire.

Area On Hire Sublease

Geographical area where a subleased container becomes on hire.

Arrival Notice

A notice sent by a carrier to a nominated notify party advising of the arrival of a certain shipment.

Articles Dangereux de Route

Abbreviation: ADR
An European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road.


The stage of production in which components are put together into an end product appropriate to the process concerned.


The transfer of certain rights from one party to another.


Let multiple buyers bid competitively for products from individual suppliers. Suitable for hard-to-move goods such as used capital equipment (forklifts) and surplus or excess inventory. Prices only move up, but buyers can buy below list prices while sellers sell for more than a liquidator pays. Auctions are becoming a feature of many Net markets, but some use auctions as their primary market mechanism. Examples: AdAuction, (used equipment).


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


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


The commission to a certain person or body to act on behalf of another person or body. The person or body can be authorized e.g. to issue Bills of Lading or to collect freight.

Auto Container

Container equipped for the transportation of vehicles.

Automatic Identification

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

Automatic Identification Manufacturers

Abbreviation: AIM
International organization of companies and/or associations involved or interested in automatic identification.


In marine insurance: a loss or damage to or in respect of goods or equipment. The numerical result obtained by dividing the sum of two or more quantities by the number of quantities.

Average Adjusters

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


A central high speed network that connects smaller, independent networks, the NSFnet is an example.

Back-end systems

Legacy enterprise systems that handle order processing, inventory, and receivables management for both buyers and suppliers. To deploy a digital trading platform, companies must often integrate new technologies with these older systems, which can include mainframe or ERP applications.

Back Haul

The return movement of a means of transport which has provided a transport service in one direction.

Back Letter

Back letters are drawn up in addition to a contract in order to lay down rights and/or obligations between both contracting parties, which, for some reason cannot be included in the original contract. This expression is sometimes used for letters of indemnity which are drawn up if the condition of the goods loaded gives rise to remarks and, nevertheless, the shipper insists upon receiving clean Bills of Lading. Letters of indemnity are only allowed in very exceptional circumstances.

Back Order

A customer’s order or commitment that is unfilled due to insufficient stock.

Back Scheduling

A method of obtaining a production schedule by working backwards from the required due date, in order to predict the latest start date in consistent with meeting that due date.


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


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


Materials, solely carried to improve the trim and the stability of the vessel. In vessels usually water is carried as ballast in tanks, specially designed for that purpose.

Banking System

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

Bar Coding

A method of encoding data for fast and accurate electronic readability. Bar codes are a series of alternating bars and spaces printed or stamped on products, labels, or other media, representing encoded information which can be read by electronic readers, used to facilitate timely and accurate input of data to a computer system. Bar codes represent letters and/or numbers and special characters like +, /, -, ., etc.

Bare Boat Charter

A charter whereby the charterer leases the bare ship and appoints the master and crew himself.


Flat bottomed inland cargo vessel for canals and rivers with or without own propulsion for the purpose of transporting goods.
Synonym: Lighter.


Special devices mounted on container doors to provide a watertight locking.
Synonym: Door lock bars.


Home depot of container or trailer.

Basic Stock

Items of an inventory intended for issue against demand during the resupply lead-time.


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

Batch Lot

A definite quantity of some product manufactured or produced under conditions that are presumed uniform and for production control purposes passing as a unit through the same series of operations.

Batch Production

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


Members protruding from the inside walls of a vessel's hold or a (thermal) container to keep away the cargo from the walls to provide an air passage. They may be integral with the walls, fastened to the walls or added during cargo handling.


A vertical division of a vessel from stem to stern, used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers. The numbers run from stem to stern; odd numbers indicate a 20 foot position, even numbers indicate a 40 foot position.

Bay Plan

A stowage plan that shows the locations of all the containers on the vessel.

BC Code

Safe working practice code for solid bulk cargo.


It is the result of vertical forces acting on a ship as a result of local differences between weight and buoyancy.
The total of these forces should be zero, otherwise change of draft will occur. At sea the bending moment will change as a result of wave impact which than periodically changes the buoyancy distribution.
Note: The maximum allowed bending moment of a vessel is restricted by the class bureau to certain limits which are different under port and sea conditions.


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

Bilateral Transport Agreement

Agreement between two nations concerning their transport relation.

Bill of Health

The Bill of Health is the certificate issued by local medical authorities indicating the general health conditions in the port of departure or in the ports of call. The Bill of Health must have visa before departure by the Consul of the country of destination.
When a vessel has free pratique, this means that the vessel has a clean Bill of Health certifying that there are no questions of contagious disease and that all quarantine regulations have been complied with, so that people may embark and disembark.

Bill of Lading

Abbreviation: B/L, plural Bs/L.
A document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea. The document has the following functions:
- A receipt for goods, signed duly by a authorized person on behalf of the carriers.
- A document of title to the goods described therein.
- Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties.

B/L R 302

A modern document for either Combined Transport or Port to Port shipments depending whether the relevant spaces for place of receipt and/or place of delivery are indicated on the face of the document.
Synonyms: Combined Transport Bill of Lading or Multimodal Transport document.

B/L R 300

A classic marine Bill of Lading in which the carrier is also responsible for the part of the transport actually performed by himself.

Bill of Lading Clause

A particular article, stipulation or single proviso in a Bill of Lading. A clause can be standard and can be preprinted on the B/L.

Bill of Material

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

Bill of materials function

Ability to present predefined lists of items routinely required by buyers for a specific purpose. Can greatly reduce the planning process. In vertical markets, the challenge is developing a complete list of items that need to be purchased for specific products or projects. PartMiner (electronic components) uses this function to create a complete view of buyer activity, both purchases that go to contract suppliers and purchases made on itsanonymous spot market. Enables a market to combine a channel enabler approach with an exchange.

Bimodal Trailer

A road semi-trailer with retractable running gear to allow mounting on a pair of rail boogies.
Synonym: Road-Rail trailer
A trailer which is able to carry different types of standardized unit loads, (e.g. a chassis which is appropriate for the carriage of one FEU or two TEU's).


Person who attends to the mooring and unmooring of vessels.


Post, fixed to a quay or a vessel, for securing mooring ropes.

Bona Fide

In good faith; without dishonesty, fraud or deceit.


The storage of certain goods under charge of customs viz. customs seal until the import duties are paid or until the goods are taken out of the country. Bonded warehouse (place where goods can be placed under bond). Bonded store (place on a vessel where goods are placed behind seal until the time that the vessel leaves the port/country again). Bonded goods (dutiable goods upon which duties have not been paid, i.e. goods in transit or warehoused pending customs clearance).


The offering by a shipper of cargo for transport and the acceptance of the offering by the carrier or his agent.

Booking Reference Number

The number assigned to a certain booking by the carrier or his agent.


A stage in a process that limits performance.
Note: Generally this is interpreted as a facility, function, department etc. that impedes performance, for example a warehouse or distribution centre where goods arrive at a faster rate than they can be transported or stored, thus causing stock-piling at improper moments or in unwanted areas.

Bottom Fittings

Special conical shaped devices inserted between a container and the permanent floor on the deck of a vessel in order to avoid shifting of the container during the voyage of this vessel.

Bottom Lift

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

Box Pallet

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

Break Bulk

To commence discharge.

Break Bulk Cargo

General cargo conventionally stowed as opposed to unitized, containerized and Roll On-Roll Off cargo.
Synonym: Conventional Cargo.

Broken Stowage

The cargo space which is unavoidably lost when stowing cargo. The percentage of wasted space depends upon
e.g. the kind of cargo, the packing and the used spaces.


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

Brussels Tariff Nomenclature

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

BSI Specification

British Standards Institution Specification for freight containers.

B2B (business-to-business)

Describes online transactions between one business, institution, or government agency and another. Differentiated from b2c (business-to-consumer) plays such as, eBay, and Yahoo.

Buffer Stock

A quantity of goods or articles kept in store to safeguard against unforeseen shortages or demands.

Bulk Bags

A large polythene liner that can be fitted to a 20'GP as an alternative to bulk containers.

Bulk Cargo

Unpacked homogeneous cargo poured loose in a certain space of a vessel or container. 
e.g. oil and grain

Bulk Carrier

Single deck vessel designed to carry homogeneous unpacked dry cargoes such as grain, iron ore and coal.

Bulk Container

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

Bull rings

Rings for lashing the cargo in containers.


(Tank) spaces on board a vessel to store fuel.


Upright partition dividing compartments on board a vessel. The functions of bulkheads are:
- To increase the safety of a vessel by dividing it into watertight compartments
- To separate the engine room from the cargo holds
- To increase the transverse strength of a vessel
- To reduce the risk of spreading fire to other compartments
- A vertically mounted board to provide front wall protection against shifting cargo and commonly seen on platform trailers (road cargo)
Synonym: Header Board.

Bunker Adjustment Factor

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


Quantity of fuel on board a vessel

Bureau Veritas

French classification society

Business Logistics

Logistics within a business system.
The coordinating function of material management and physical distribution, which executes the integral control of the goods flow.

Business Process Re-engineering

The fundamental analysis and radical redesign of everything: business processes and management systems, job definitions, organizational structures and beliefs and behaviors to achieve dramatic performance improvements to meet contemporary requirements. Information technology (IT) is a key enabler in this process.
Acronym: BPR

Buyer's Market

A "buyer's market" is considered to exist when goods can easily be secured and when the economic forces of business tend to cause goods to be priced at the purchaser's estimate of value. In other words, a state of trade favourable to the buyer, with relatively large supply and low prices.


The visit of a vessel to a port.

Call Sign

A code published by the International Telecommunication Union in its annual List of Ships' Stations to be used for the information interchange between vessels, port authorities and other relevant participants in international trade.

CALS Test Network

The CALS Test Network (CTN) is a confederation of hundreds of industry and government organizations that have agreed to evaluate and demonstrate the interchange and functional use of digital technical information using CALS standards. This is accomplished through a collaborative multi-service effort.
Acronym: CTN


The ability, in a given time, of a resource measured in quality and quantity. The quantity of goods which can be stored in or loaded into a warehouse, store and/or loaded into a means of transport at a particular time.

Capacity Control

Process of registering and steering of capacity.


Goods transported or to be transported, all goods carried on a ship covered by a B/L.
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 (IMO).
Any property carried on an aircraft, other than mail, stores and accompanied or mishandled baggage Also referred to as 'goods' (ICAO).

Cargo Handling

All procedures necessary to enable the physical handling of goods.

Cargo Restriction Code

A code indicating that the use of a certain container is restricted to particular cargo.

Cargo Tracer

A document sent by the agent to all relevant parties, stating that certain cargo is either missing or overlanded.

Cargo Unit

A vehicle, container, pallet, flat, portable tank or any other entity or any part thereof which belongs to the ship but is not permanently attached to that ship.


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

CIP: Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination)

"Carriage and insurance paid to..." means that the seller has the same obligations as under CPT but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer's risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium.
The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is only required to obtain insurance on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. This term may be used for any mode of transport including multimodal transport.

CPT: Carriage Paid To (...named place of destination)

"Carriage paid to... " means that the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier.
"Carrier" means any person 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.
If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier.
The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
This term may be used for any mode of transport including multimodal transport.


The party undertaking transport of goods from one point to another.

Carrier Haulage

The inland transport service which is performed by the sea-carrier under the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the relevant transport document.

Carriers Bill of Lading Ports

Terminal, Pre-terminal port or Post-terminal Port as per tariff, indicated on the Bill of Lading and which is not the port physically called at by Carriers' ocean vessels.
Note: Under normal circumstances in the B/L only ports should be mentioned which are actually called at.

Carriers' Lien

When the shipper ships goods 'collect', the carrier has a possessory claim on these goods, which means that the carrier can retain possession of the goods as security for the charges due.

Carrying Temperature

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

Cash Against Documents

Abbreviation: CAD
Terms of payment: if the buyer of goods pays for the goods against transfer of the documents, entitling him to obtain delivery of the goods from the carrier.

Cash On Delivery

Abbreviation: COD
Terms of payment: if the carrier collects a payment from the consignee and remits the amount to the shipper.

Catalog aggregation

Normalizing product data from multiple vendors so it can be easily compared. Virtual distributors and content aggregators often provide this service to buyers. Most valuable when products are complex and have many attributes. Prices are set, sometimes on contract.

Catalog aggregators

Make sense of buying options by aggregating catalogs from multiple vendors with relatively static prices. Act as a neutral intermediary but help buyers make sense of multiple vendors. Also normalize information coming from diverse sources to enable comparisons of similar products and services.Typically function as virtual distributors but don't take possession of goods themselves. Collect transaction fees on purchases but can generate additional revenue via credit checks, logistics, fulfillment, insurance, or other parts of the transaction process. Must satisfy suppliers' needs for differentiation while making comparisons possible for buyers.
Examples: Chemdex, PlasticsNet, Sciquest (scientific equipment), Testmart (test equipment).
Synonym: Virtual distributor.


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


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

Cell Position

The location of a cell on board of a container vessel identified by a code for successively the bay, the row and the tier, indicating the position of a container on that vessel.

Cellular Vessel

A vessel, specially designed and equipped for the carriage of containers.

Central Warehouse

A warehouse which performs central functions for a number of warehouses. (e.g. keeping capacity stock).

Centre of Gravity

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


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

Certificate of Analysis

A document, often required by an importer or governmental authorities, attesting to the quality or purity of commodities.
The origin of the certification may be a chemist or any other authorized body such as an inspection firm retained by the exporter or importer. In some cases the document may be drawn up by the manufacturer certifying that the merchandise shipped has been tested in his facility and found conform to the specifications.

Certificate of Classification

A certificate, issued by the classification society and stating the class under which a vessel is registered.

Certificate of Delivery

A certificate indicating the condition of a vessel upon delivery for a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.

Certificate of Free Sale

A certificate, required by some countries as evidence that the goods are normally sold on the open market and approved by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin.

Certificate of 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 regulating imports from specific sources.

Certificate of Redelivery

A certificate, indicating the condition of a vessel upon redelivery from a charter including ballast, available bunkers and fresh water.

Chain Conveyor

A conveyor consisting of two or more strands of chain running in parallel tracks with the loads carried directly on the chains.


An amount to be paid for carriage of goods based on the applicable rate of such carriage, or an amount to be paid for a special or incidental service in connection with the carriage of goods.

Charter Party

A contract in which the ship owner 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.


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 an aircraft or a part of the capacity thereof.


A wheeled carriage onto which an ocean container is mounted for inland conveyance
The part of a motor vehicle that includes the engine, the frame, suspension system, wheels, steering mechanism etc., but not the body. 


"Cost, Insurance and Freight" means that the seller has the same obligations as under CFR but with the addition that he has to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium.
The buyer should note that under the CIF term the seller is only required to obtain insurance on minimum coverage. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. This term can only be used for sea and inland waterway transport. When the ship's rail serves no practical purposes such as in the case of roll-on/ roll-off or container traffic, the CIP term is more appropriate to use.


A charge made against a carrier for loss, damage or delay.

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).

Clearance Terminal

Terminal where Customs facilities for the clearance of goods are available.


A party with which a company has a commercial relationship concerning the transport of e.g. cargo or concerning certain services of the company concerned, either directly or through an agent.
Synonym: Customer.


Coalitions are either buy-side or sell-side and are generally groups of buyers or sellers who agree to channel procurement through a single marketplace. They operate a marketplace without having a third party, neutral Net market as the hub. Many claim to be neutral--that anyone can join--but, by the nature of their partnership their first audience is either buyers or sellers. The advantage of coalitions, particularly buy-side coalitions, is they can do a lot of transactions, which creates marketplace liquidity. However, the problem with coalitions is they have several challenges to overcome--political challenges, both from regulators and relationships between powerful companies, as well as technology challenges of integrating legacy systems. Due to the complexity of these issues, none are operational yet. If they do in fact successfully overcome these obstacles and operationalize, we expect they will conduct a large number of transactions because they can force their suppliers to go through this marketplace to conduct the transactions.

Combined Transport Document

Abbreviation: CTD
Negotiable or non-negotiable document evidencing a contract for the performance and/or procurement of performance of combined transport of goods.
Synonym: Multi modal transport document.

Combined Transport Operator

Abbreviation: CTO
A party who undertakes to carry goods with different modes of transport.
Synonym: Multimodal Transport Operator.

Commercial Invoice

A document showing commercial values of the transaction between the buyer and seller.


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


A uniquely identifiable product that is considered indivisible for a particular planning or control purpose, and/or which cannot be decomposed without destroying it.
Note: A component for one organizational group may be the final assembly of another group (e.g. electric motor).


The party such as mentioned in the transport document by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received.


A separate identifiable number of goods (available to be) transported from one consignor to one consignee via one or more than one modes of transport and specified in one single transport document.
Synonym for the USA : Shipment.


The grouping together of smaller consignments of goods into a large consignment for carriage as a larger unit in order to obtain a reduced rate.


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

Container Freight Station

Abbreviation: CFS
A facility at which (export) LCL cargo is received from merchants for loading (stuffing) into containers or at which (import) LCL cargo is unloaded (stripped) from containers and delivered to merchants.

Container Manifest

The document specifying the contents of particular freight containers or other transport units, prepared by the party responsible for their loading into the container or unit.
Synonym: Unit packing list, Container Load Plan.

Container Number

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

Container Platform

A container floor without sides or end walls which can be loaded by spreader directly and is generally used for Lo-Lo operations.

Container Serial Number

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

Container Terminal

Place where loaded and/or empty containers are loaded or discharged into or from a means of transport.

Container Yard

Abbreviation: 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.
Note: Often this yard is used to receive goods on behalf of the merchant and pack these in containers for FCL traffic.
Synonym: Marshalling Yard.


An agreement enforceable by law between two or more parties stipulating their rights and obligations which are required by one or both parties to acts or forbearance by the other or both.


A mechanical device in the form of a continuous belt for transporting cargo.

CFR: Cost and Freight (...named port of destination)

"Cost and Freight" means that the seller must pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment.
The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
This term can only be used for sea and inland waterway transport. When the ship's rail serves no practical purpose, such as in the case of roll-on/roll-off or container traffic, the CPT term is more appropriate to use.

Country of Origin

Country in which the goods have been produced or manufactured, according to criteria laid down for the purpose of application of the customs tariff, of quantitative restrictions, or of any other measure related to trade.


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


A medium of exchange of value, defined by reference to the geographical location of the authorities responsible for it ISO4217.
In general, the monetary unit, involved in a transaction and represented by a name or a symbol.

Currency Adjustment Factor

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

Customer Service

The way in which during a commercial relationship the wishes and demands of the (prospective) client are catered for.
Supporting activities at the customer interface adding value to a product (CEN273).


The department of the Civil Service that deals with the levying of duties and taxes on imported goods from foreign countries and the control over the export and import of goods e.g. allowed quota, prohibited goods.

Customs Broker

An authorized agent specialized in customs clearance procedures on account of importers/ exporters.

Customs Invoice

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

Customs Value

The worth of an item or group of items expressed in a monetary amount, within a consignment declared to Customs for duty and statistical reasons.


Container Yard Charges - Charges at destination

Cycle Stock

That portion of stock available or planned to be available in a give period for normal demand, excluding excess stock and safety stock.
Form on which physical damage is recorded (e.g.containers).

Damaged Cargo Report

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

Dangerous Goods

Goods are to be considered dangerous if the transport of such goods might cause harm, risk, peril, or other evil to people, environment, equipment or any property whatsoever.

Dangerous Goods Declaration

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

Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate

A document as part of the dangerous goods declaration in which the responsible party declares that the cargo has been stowed in accordance with the rules in a clean container in compliance with the IMDG regulations and properly secured.

DDP - Delivered duty paid

The seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, cleared for importation.
If the parties wish to exclude from the seller's obligations some of the costs payable upon importation of the goods (such as value added tax (VAT)), this should be made clear by adding words to this effect: "Delivered duty paid, VAT unpaid (...named place of destination)".
This term may be used irrespective of the mode of transport.


Delivered Duty Unpaid (...named place of destination). 


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

Decision Support System

Abbreviation: DSS
An interactive computer-based system which generates a number of alternatives to solve an unstructured problem. These alternatives are being interpreted by the manager (decision-maker), whereafter he decides which alternative is to be used to solve the problem.


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

Declaration of Origin

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

Declared Value for Carriage

The value of the goods declared to the carrier by the shipper for the purpose of determining charges or of establishing the limit of the carrier's liability for loss, damage or delay. It is also the basis for possible applicable valuation charges.

Deep Tank

Tank fitted and equipped for the carriage of vegetable oil (e.g. palm oil and coconut oil) and other liquids in bulk. By means of oil-tight bulkheads and/or decks it is possible to carry different kinds of liquid in adjacent tanks. Deep tanks may be equipped with heating facilities in order to carry and discharge oil at the required temperature (shipping).

Default Charge

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

Delivering Carrier

The carrier who delivers the consignment to the consignee or his agent (aircargo).


The process of delivering the consignment to the consignee at the agreed place.

Delivery Order

A document issued by or on behalf of the carrier authorizing the release of import cargo identified thereon and manifested under a single Bill of Lading (shipping).

Delivery Schedule

The required and/or agreed time of delivery of goods or services, purchased for a future period.

Delivery Time

The time between order and delivery.

Demise Charter

A contract whereby the ship owner leases his vessel to the charterer for a period of time during which the whole use and management of the vessel passes to the charterer, which involves that the charterer is to pay all expenses for the operation and maintenance of the vessel. Officers and crew will become servants of the charterer.
A demise charter whereby the charterer has the right to place his own master and crew on board of the vessel is also called "bareboat charter".


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

Despatch Advice

Information send by shippers to the recipient of goods informing that specified goods are sent or ready to be sent advising the detailed contents of the consignment.
Synonym: Despatch note.


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


The downgrading of a product due to long storage, damage to packing or other external influences.


Measurements in length, width and height, regarding cargo.

Direct Delivery

The conveyance of goods directly from the vendor to the buyer. Frequently used if a third party acts as intermediary agent between vendor and buyer.
Direct discharge from vessel onto railroad car, road vehicle or barge with the purpose of immediate transport from the port area (usually occurs when ports lack adequate storage space or when ports are not equipped to handle a specific cargo).


The unloading of a vehicle, a vessel or an aircraft.
The landing of cargo.

Discrete Code

A bar code in which the spaces between characters (intercharacter gaps) are not part of the code as each character begins and ends with a bar. The spaces can therefore vary in width, specified tolerances.
An example is Code 39.


When a Net market bypasses a traditional channel, more directly linking buyers with suppliers


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

Disposal Chain

A sequence of events in a goods-flow which gets rid of a specific good. This may include removal, recycling, waste dumping etc.


The set of activities which ensure the availability of goods in the desired quality, quantity, place and time for the customer.

Distribution Centre

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

Distribution Channel

The route by which a company distributes goods.

Distribution Requirements Planning

Abbreviation: DRP-I
The function of determining the need to replenish stock at branch warehouses.
Distribution Resource Planning
Abbreviation: DRP-II
The set of concepts, procedures and techniques, being an extension of DRP-I, for the effective planning and control of the physical distribution.

Dock Receipt

Document issued by a shipping line acknowledging that goods are received for shipment.


Anything printed, written, relied upon to record or prove something.

Document of Title

A term to mean that possession of the specified document entitles the holder to control of the goods listed in that document.

Documentary Credit

The basis of international trade by means of which payment is made against surrender of the specified documents.

Double Banking

Two vessels moored alongside each other on a certain berth.


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


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


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

Drop off Charge

Charge made by container owner and/or terminal operators for delivery of a leased, or pool container into depot stock. The dropoff charge may be a combination of actual handling and storage charges with surcharges.

Dry Bulk Container

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

Dry Cargo Container

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


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

Duty Free Zone

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

Econometric Models

A system of simultaneous equations for forecasting, based on mutual dependency among the variables used.

Economic Speed

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

Economy of Scale

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


Export Cargo Shipping Instruction/Preadvice
Instructions from shipper with details of all parties involved and description of goods.

Electronic Data Interchange

Abbreviation: EDI
The transfer of structured data, by agreed standards from applications on the computer of one party to the applications on the computer of another party by electronic means.

EDI For Administration, Commerce and Transport

United Nations rules for Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport. They comprise a set of internationally agreed upon standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data related to trade in goods and services between independent computerized information systems.


European Free Trade Association
Comprising Iceland , Norway and Switzerland.


(Equipment Handover Agreement), Interchange (Fr)
An agreement acknowledging the condition of the carrier's equipment when handed over and returned, which includes the terms of contract under which the equipment was taken over.

Electronic Commerce

The end-to-end digital exchange of all information needed to conduct business. Examples include EDI transactions, electronic mail, archives, audit trails, and all forms of records, including graphical images.

Electronic Data Processing

Abbreviation: EDP
The computerized handling of information (e.g. business data).


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


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

Emergency Medical Service

Abbreviation: EMS
Medical procedures in case of emergencies on board of vessels.


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


Document issued by a party interested in the purchase of goods specified therein and indicating particular, desirable conditions regarding delivery terms, etc., addressed to a prospective supplier with a view to obtaining an offer.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Abbreviation: ERP
Complex applications used by large enterprises to manage inventory and integrate business processes across multiple divisions and organizational boundaries, frequently the application backbone in many large enterprises.

Equipment Interchange Receipt

Abbreviation: EIR
Physical inspection and transfer receipt.

Estimated Delivery Date

The date and time a package or shipment is expected to be delivered to a given destination.
Acronym: EDD

Estimated Time of Arrival

Abbreviation: ETA
The expected date and time of arrival in a certain port.
Synonym: Expected time of arrival.

Estimated Time of Departure

Abbreviation: ETD
The expected date and time when a certain port is left.
Synonym: Expected time of departure.

European Article Numbering Association

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

Ex Works (...named place)

"Ex works" means that the seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when he has made the goods available at his premises (i.e. works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, he is not responsible for loading the goods on the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller. This term should not be used when the buyer cannot carry out directly or indirectly the export formalities. In such circumstances, the FCA term should be used.


Two-sided marketplaces where buyers and suppliers negotiate prices, usually with a bid and ask system, and where prices move both up and down. Work best with easily definable products without complicated attributes--commodities, perishable items such as food, or intangibles such as electric power. Produce fluctuating, sometimes volatile prices. Particularly appropriate if a true market price is difficult to discover. Also work where brokers make high margins by buying low and selling high to purchasers who don't know the original sellers. Examples: Altra (energy), Paper Exchange (paper products), (frozen fish), Arbinet (telecommunications bandwidth). Synonyms: digital exchange, online exchange, dynamic exchange, dynamic trading exchange.

Exchange Rate

The rate at which one currency can be exchanged for another, usually expressed as the value of the one in terms of the other.

Exemption Clause

A clause in a contract, which relieves the carrier's responsibility for certain events.
Synonym: Exceptions Clause.


Costs paid out in connection with booking of cargo and arranging transport (e.g. commission).
Termination of a certain period.

Export Declaration

A document required by the U.S. Treasury Department and completed by a shipper indicating the contents, value, and destination of an export shipment.

Export Licence

Document granting permission to export as detailed within a specified time.


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


A term used to distinguish manufacturing operations for components as opposed to assembly operations.

Factory Delivery

The delivery of goods by a factory whereby the goods are put at the disposal of another (internal) party such as a commercial department.


A navigable channel for vessels, often the regular or prescribed track a vessel will follow in order to avoid dangerous circumstances.


Identical to a GP but is fitted with an electric extraction fan for carriage of cargoes prone to condensation. 20' only

Fashion Transport

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

Feed Back

The flow of information back into the control system so that actual performance can be compared with planned performance.


A vessel normally used for local or coastal transport (for carriage of cargo and/or containers) to and from ports not scheduled to be called by the main (ocean) vessel, directly connecting these ports to the main (ocean) vessel.


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

Fifth Wheel

Circular or wheel-shaped bearing mechanism, secured on the rear of the chassis of a truck-tractorm that engages the semi-trailer king pin with a spring lock device and supports the weight of the front end of the semi-trailer.

First In First Out

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

Fixed Crane

A crane of which the principal structure is mounted on permanent or semi permanent foundations.

Fixed Height Load-carrying Truck

Truck carrying its load on a non-elevating platform.
Synonym: Fixed platform truck.


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


Capable to be set on fire under given circumstances.
(Amendment 25 IMO DGS).

Flash Point

The lowest temperature at which a good produces enough vapour to form a flammable mixture with air.

Flat Bed Trailer

A wheeled trailer or a semi-trailer with a flat cargo carrying surface or deck and without any superstructure.

Flat Rack

A flat bed with fixed ends suitable for the carriage of cargo of excessive width and plated for carriage of heavy loads. 20' and 40'

Flat Pack

Garments packed in cardboard boxes.


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

Flexible Computer Integrated Manufacturing

FCIM is the integration of equipment, software, communication, human resources, and business practices within an enterprise to rapidly manufacture, repair, and deliver items on demand with continuous improvements in the processes. The FCIM initiative is a Joint Service and Agency effort to establish and implement the procedures and processes needed.
Acronym: FCIM


A large polythene liner which can be fitted inside a 20'GP for the transportation of non-hazardous liquids.


Freely suspending in water of an object.

Floating Crane

A crane mounted on a barge or pontoon, which can be towed or is self propelled.

Floating Dock

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

Flow Chart

A diagram, using symbols and depicting the sequence of events that should take place in a complex set of tasks.

Force Majeure

Circumstance which is beyond the control of one of the parties to a contract and which may, according to the terms and conditions, relieve that party of liability for failing to execute the contract.
Synonym: Act of God.

Fore and Aft Stowage

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


An estimation or calculation in advance; a prediction.
The amount of cargo expected to be booked for a certain sailing of a vessel.
The number of containers expected to be used in a certain area, for steering purposes.

Fork Lift Truck

A three or four wheeled mechanical truck with forks at the front designed for lifting, carrying and stowing cargo.

Fork Pockets

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

Forty Foot Equivalent Unit

Abbreviation: FEU
Unit of measurement equivalent to one forty feet shipping container.


The party arranging the carriage of goods including connected services and/or associated formalities on behalf of a shipper or consignee.
Synonym: Freight Forwarder.

Forwarding Instruction

Document issued to a freight forwarder, giving instructions to the forwarder for the forwarding of goods described therein.

Four Way Pallet

A pallet of which the frame permits the entry of forks of e.g. a fork lift truck at all four sides.


Market condition when there is no dominant group of buyers or suppliers, but where many buyers are chasing many suppliers, often inefficiently.

Free Circulation, Libre Circulation

The movement of goods within the European Community without the need to pay any duty.

Free House Unclear

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

Free Carrier (...named place)

Free Carrier" means that the seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when he has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose within the place or range stipulated where the carrier shall take the goods into his charge. When, according to commercial practice, the seller's assistance is required in making the contract with the carrier (such as in rail or air transport) the seller may act at the buyer's risk and expense.
This term may be used for any mode of transport, including multimodal transport.
"Carrier" means any person 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. If the buyer instructs the seller to deliver the cargo to a person, e.g. a freight forwarder who is not a "carrier", the seller is deemed to have fulfilled his obligation to deliver the goods when they are in the custody of that person.

Free In Liner Out

Abbreviation: FILO
Transport condition denoting that the freight rate is inclusive of the sea carriage and the cost of discharging, the latter as per the custom of the port. It excludes the cost of loading and, if appropriate, stowage and lashing.

Free On Board (...named port of shipment)

"Free on Board" means that the seller fulfils his obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that point.
The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
This term can only be used for sea or inland waterway transport. When the ship's rail serves no practical purpose, such as in the case of roll-on/roll-off transport, the FCA term is more appropriate to use

Free Port

An international port or an area within an international port at which, crew, passengers, baggage, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may be transhipped, without being subjected to any customs charges or duties. (Examination is possible for instance to meet security or narcotics control requirements.) Source: IMO.

Free Trade Zone

Abbreviation: FTZ
A part of the territory of a state where any goods introduced are generally regarded, in so far as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being exempted (Kyoto Convention).
Synonym: Free Port, Free Airport.

Freeboard of a Vessel

Vertical distance from the main deck to the surface of the water measured at the middle of the vessel's length.

Freight Costs

Costs incurred by the merchant in moving goods, by whatever means, from one place to another under the terms of the contract of carriage. In addition to transport costs this may include such elements as packing, documentation, loading, unloading and transport insurance.

Freight Invoice

An itemized list of goods shipped and services rendered stating fees and charges.

Freight Manifest

A (cargo) manifest including all freight particulars.

Freight Prepaid

Freight and charges to be paid by the consignor.

Freight Ton

A unit for freighting cargo according to weight and/or cubic measurement.
Synonyms: Revenue ton, Bill of Lading ton.


A vessel or an aircraft used for the carriage of cargo.

Full Container Load

Abbreviation: FCL
A container stuffed or stripped under risk and for account of the shipper and/or the consignee.
A general reference for identifying container loads of cargo loaded and/or discharged at merchants' premises.

Full Trailer

A truck trailer constructed in such way that its own weight and that of the cargo rest upon its own wheels, instead of being supported by e.g. a tractor.

Fully Cellular Containership

Abbreviation: FCC
A vessel specially designed to carry containers, with cell-guides under deck and necessary fittings and equipment on deck.


Treating of cargoes with gases to exterminate unwanted life forms.

Gantry Crane

A crane or hoisting machine mounted on a frame or structure spanning an intervening space, which often travels on rails.


A point at which cargo is interchanged between carriers or modes of transport.
A means of access, an entry.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Abbreviation: GATT
Major international agreement on trade and tariffs between many nations all over the world.

General Average

Abbreviation: G/A
Intentional act or sacrifice that is carried out to safeguard vessel and cargo. When a vessel is in danger, the master has the right to sacrifice property and/or to incur reasonable expenditure. Measures taken for the sole benefit of any particular interest are not considered general average.

General Average Act (York-Antwerp Rules)

There is a general average act when, and only when any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving from peril the property involved in a common maritime adventure.

General Average Statement

This shows in detail all general average costs and expenses and the contribution of each interest in the general average in proportion to its value.

General Cargo

Cargo, cosisting of goods, unpacked or packed, for example in cartons, crates, bags or bales, often palletized. General cargo can be shipped either in breakbulk or containerized.
Any consignment other than a consignment containing valuable cargo and charged for transport at general cargo rates (aircargo).

General Cargo Rate

Abbreviation: GCR
Synonym: General Commodity Rate.
The rate for the carriage of cargo other than a class rate or specific commodity rate.

General Purpose Container

A container used for the carriage of general cargo without any special requirements for the transport and or the conditioning of the goods.


Common term indicating movable property, merchandise or wares.
All materials which can be used to satisfy demands.
Whole or part of the cargo received from the shipper, including any equipment supplied by the shipper.

Goods Flow

The direction and path of the movement of goods and sequence of placement of those goods in a supply chain.

Goods in Transit

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

Goods Receipt

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


Gooseneck shaped front end of a trailer or chassis.
Recess front bottom of a container to reduce the total height of the chassis plus container.

Grid Number

An indication of the position of a container in a bay plan by means of a combination of page number, column and line. The page number often represents the bay number.

Gross Manifest

A manifest containing freight details without any appropriate disbursements.

Gross Tonnage

Abbreviation: GRT
The measure of the overall size of a vessel determined in accordance with the provisions of the international convention on measurement of vessels usually expressed in register ton.

Gross Weight

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

Gross Weight of Container

Total weight of container including cargo (in kilograms).


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

Groupage Agent, Groupeur (Fr)

One who consolidates LCL consignments to offer to a carrier as an FCL

Groupage Centre

A location where groupage takes place (roadcargo).

Hague Rules

International convention for the unification of certain rules, relating to Bills of Lading (1924). These Rules include the description of responsibilities of ocean carriers.

Hague-Visby Rules

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

Half Height

Identical to the open top, but with 4'3" ends and not the standard 8'6". Suitable for the carriage of heavy cargo as the box weight is considerably less. 20' only

Hamburg Rules

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

Handling Instructions

Indication how cargo is to be handled.

Handling Service

Service concerning the physical handling of cargo.


Place of shelter for vessels. Most of the time used as an indication for the geographical location.

Harmonized System

Abbreviation: HS
A numeric multi purpose system, developed by the Customs Cooperation Council, for the classification of goods with its six digits it covers about 5000 descriptions of the products or groups of products most commonly produced and traded. It is designed for customs services, but can also be used for statistics, transport purposes, export, import and manufacturing.


Road carrier.
H/C-High Cube
Identical to the GP, but with 9'6" sides and not the standard 8'6". 40' only

Heated Container

Thermal container served by a heat producing appliance.

Heavy Lift

Single commodity exceeding the capacity of normal loading equipment and requiring special equipment and rigging methods for handling.

Heavy Lift Vessel

A vessel specially designed and equipped for the carriage of heavy cargo.


Buying or selling earlier and more than really needed in order to protect the company against price increases or shortages of commodities or components to realize profits when prices fluctuate.


The process of solving problems by evaluating each step in the progress, searching for satisfactory solutions rather than optimal solutions. It comprises a form of problem solving where the results are determined by experience or intuition instead of by optimization.


The inland area served by a certain port.

Hitchment Cargo

An amount of goods which is added to an original consignment as the owner and the destination are the same as those of the original consignment.


Loading condition of a vessel in such a way that the centre of the vessel is slightly raised (arch-wise in the centre).


The space below the deck of a vessel, used to carry cargo.

Horizontal market

Sell materials or services that any company needs, not those used for manufacturing or production. Services include MRO, benefits management, and procurement process management. Examples: Ariba Network, CommerceOne's, EmployEase. Synonyms: functional market, hub. (See MRO.)

House Address

Place of receipt respectively delivery (name and address) in case of carrier haulage.


The central transhipment point in a transport structure, serving a number of consignees and/or consignors by means of spokes. The stretches between hubs mutually are referred to as trunks.
Huckepack Carriage


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


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

International Air Transport Association

Abbreviation: IATA
An international organization of airlines, founded in 1945, with the aim of promoting the commercial air traffic. This should be achieved by cooperation between parties concerned and by performance of certain rules, procedures and tariffs, regarding both cargo and passengers, by those parties.

International Association of Classification Societies

Abbreviation: IACS
An organization in which the major classification societies, among others American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd's Register of Shipping and Germanischer Lloyd, are joined, whose principal aim is the improvement of standards concerning safety at sea.

IATA Cargo Agent

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

IATA Member

An airline which is a member of IATA (aircargo).


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

Idle Time

The amount of ineffective time whereby the available resources are not used e.g. a container in a yard.


Setting on fire or catching fire.
The point at which a market gains momentum, liquidity is achieved, and the Net market becomes a more efficient means of buying and selling than the traditional physical market or channel. (Related term: Critical mass, liquidity, network effect.)


The party responsible for the import of goods.
For customs purposes it is the party who makes, or on whose behalf an agent makes, an import declaration. This party may be the party who has possession of the goods or to whom the goods are consigned.

In Transit

The status of goods or persons between the outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.


Trade terms in coded form as established by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1953, whereafter they have been regularly updated. (Last update 1990).
The terms represent a set of international rules for the interpretation of the principal terms of delivery used in trade contracts.


Compensation for a loss and/or the expenses incurred.

Independent Demand

A demand which is unrelated to demand for other products. Demand for finished goods, parts required for destructive testing and service parts requirements are examples of independent demand.

Indirect Route

Any route other than the direct route.

Infomediary (consumer)

Trusted third parties that act as custodian, agent, or broker of customer information, marketing it to businesses on the consumer's behalf while protecting consumer privacy.

Infomediary (business)

Third party that provides research, competitive information, and advice on products or services to help buyers make informed buying decisions. TestMart, for example, tells engineers whether a test and measurement device is Y2K compliant, whether manuals are in stock, warranties available on secondary equipment, etc. Synonyms: lead generator, vertical portal.

Information portal

Create, install. and host personalized Yahoo-like information portals for enterprises and their employees. Suppliers: Aeneid, Moreover. Synonym: vertical portal.


System of roads, waterways, airfields, ports and/or telecommunication networks in a certain area.

Inland Clearance Depot

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

Inland Waterways Bill of Lading

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

Insulated Container

Thermal container without the use of devices for cooling and/or heating.

Insulated Tank Container

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


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

Insurance Certificate

Proof of an insurance contract.

Insurance Company

The party covering the risks of the issued goods and/or services that are insured.

Integrated Logistics Support

The systematic approach applied to simultaneous management and acquisition of equipment and related logistics support, in order to provide the customer with a desired level of availability. Resulting in an optimum life cycle cost and to maintain this level through the entire life cycle.


Reciprocal exchange of e.g. information between two or more parties.


As opposite to coastal water operations, intercoastal refers to water transport carried out between coasts (e.g. between pacific and atlantic coasts).


A co-operative formed by 19 European Railways, for the management of international rail container traffic in Europe.


Two or more road transport companies joining operations to bring cargo to a certain destination.


Aggregates data and facilitates transactions by bringing buyers and sellers together. Internet-based intermediaries create multivendor, multiproduct marketplaces.

Intermodal Transport

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

International Carriage

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

International Chamber of Shipping

Abbreviation: ICS
A voluntary organization of national shipowner' associations with the objective to promote interests of its members, primarily in the technical and legal fields of shipping operations.

International Civil Aviation Organization

Abbreviation: ICAO
An international organization of governments, dealing with search and rescue in distress, weather information, telecommunications and navigational requirements.

International Labour Organization

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

International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

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

International Maritime Organization

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

International Medical Guide for Ships

Abbreviation: IMGS
'The doctor at sea'.

International Organization for Standardization

Abbreviation: ISO
A worldwide federation of national standards institutes (ISO member bodies).

International Safety Management code

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

International Transport and Information System

Abbreviation: INTIS
An organization with the aim to improve the position of the port of Rotterdam by the development, realization and exploitation of a communication- and information network for computers.


A detailed list of goods located in a certain space or belonging to a specified object.
Goods available for satisfying certain demands. Inventories may consist of finished goods ready for sale, they may be parts or intermediate items, they may be work in process, or they may be raw materials.
Synonym: Stock.


An account from the supplier, for goods and/or services supplied by him.


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


The act of intentionally throwing cargo overboard e.g. with the objective of lightening a vessel, which has run aground, such for the common good of all interests: vessel, crew and remaining cargo (see GA).


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


Projecting arm of a crane.
Attachment connected to the top of a crane boom.


That work which is undertaken to meet a customer or production order and, for production control purposes, has a unique identification.

Joint Venture

A joint activity of two or more companies, usually performed under a common name.


Juridical decisions used for explanation and meaning of law.

Just In Time

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


A method which during storage uses standard units or lot sizes with a single card attached to each.
A pull system used at a stock point in which a supply batch is ordered only when a previous batch is withdrawn.
Note: Kanban in Japanese means loosely translated 'card or sign'.


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

Kind of Packing

Description of the packaging material used for goods to be transported.

King pin

The coupling pin, welded or bolted in the centre of the front underside of a semi-trailer chassis, which couples to the fifth wheel of the towing tractor or dolly convertor.


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

Kyoto Convention

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


A slip of e.g. paper or metal attached to an object to indicate the nature, ownership, destination, contents and/or other particulars of the object.

Land Bridge

Overland transport between following and/or preceding sea transport of goods and/or containers.


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

Lashing Point

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

Last In First Out

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

Lateral and Front Stacking Truck

High-lift stacking truck capable of stacking and retrieving loads ahead and on either or both sides of the driving direction.


The angular distance of a position on its meridian north or south from the equator, measured in degrees ('a vessel at 25 degrees north latitude').

Lattice vortex network

Term coined by Mohanbir Sawhney and Steven Kaplan to describe how vertical and functional markets intersect and partner.

Lay Days

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

Lay Up a Vessel

Temporary cessation of trading of a vessel by the shipowner.

Lead generation

Typically seller-driven, they derive revenue from ads, commissions on sales, or fees for delivering qualified leads to suppliers. Also may generate RFPs (requests for proposals) and RFQs (requests for quotes) for buyers. Provide value by understanding information needs of their users and integrating and aggregating content, information and transactions for buyers and sellers. Most lead generation markets seek to migrate to transaction-oriented catalog aggregation model. Examples: (lasers), (sewage treatment systems),, (electronic components).

Lead Time

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


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

Leasing Company

The company from which property or equipment is taken on lease.

Leasing Contract

A contract for the leasing of property or equipment.

Less than Container Load

Abbreviation: LCL
A general reference for identifying cargo in any quantity intended for carriage in a container, where the Carrier is responsible for packing and/or unpacking the container.
For operational purposes a LCL (Less than full container load) container is considered a container in which multiple consignments or parts thereof are shipped.

Less than Truck Load

Abbreviation: LTL
A term used if the quantity or volume of one or more consignment(s) does not fill a standard truck.


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


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

Letter of Credit

Abbreviation: L/C
A written undertaking by a bank (issuing bank) given to the seller (beneficiary) at the request, and on the instructions of the buyer (applicant) to pay at sight or at a determinable future date up to a stated sum of money, within a prescribed time limit and against stipulated documents.

Life Cycle Cost

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

Lifetime value of the customer

The amount a customer spends over time with a supplier minus the cost of acquiring the customer. Both vertical and horizontal Net markets have promised investors they will "own" the b2b customer, become the default buying option, and thus have customers with a higher lifetime value than consumer e-commerce businesses. That promise has slowed development of partnerships between vertical and horizontal markets.

Lift-On Lift-Off Vessel

Abbreviation: LOLO
Vessel of which the loading and discharging operations are carried out by cranes and derricks.

Lighter Aboard Ship

Abbreviation: Lash
A vessel which carries barges.


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


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

Linear Programming

A mathematical procedure for minimizing or maximizing a linear function of several variables, subject to a finite number of linear restrictions on these variables.

Liner Conference

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

Liner In Free Out

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

Liner Shipping Company

A company transporting goods over sea in a regular service.

Liner Terms

Condition of carriage denoting that costs for loading and unloading are borne by the carrier subject the custom of the port concerned.

Liner Service

The connection through vessels between ports within a trade.

Linear market

When products move from one end of the supply chain to the other, typical of traditional markets and manufactured goods. Adding a seller primarily benefits buyers, and adding a buyer mainly benefits sellers. Antonym: exponential market.


Volume of transactions. With enough buyers and sellers, a market has continuous bidding, offers, and consummated transactions, and market liquidity is achieved. (See critical mass, network effect.)

Live Stock

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


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

Load Factor Management

The process of maximising the utilization of the (slot) capacity of vessels and or other means of transport.

Loaden Vessel

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


The process of bringing cargo into a means of transport or equipment.

Loading Platform

A flat surface to facilitate loading usually alongside a warehouse.


A loadcalculator designed for a vessel approved by a classification bureau for the calculation of the vessels stability.


Any named geographical place, recognized by a competent national body, with permanent facilities used for goods movements associated with international trade, and used frequently for these purposes.
Geographical place such as a port, an airport, an inland freight terminal, a container freight station, a container yard, a container depot, a terminal or any other place where customs clearance and/or regular receipt or delivery of goods can take place.
An area ( a warehouse) marked off or designated for a specific purpose.


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


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

Log Book

The daily report of all events and other relevant particulars of a vessel and attested by the proper authorities as a true record.

Logistics (CEN)

The planning, execution and control of the movement and placement of people and/or goods and of the supporting activities related to such movement and placement within a system organized to achieve specific objectives

Logistics chain

All successive links involved in the logistic process.


The angular distance of a position on the equator east or west of the standard Greenwich meridian up to 180o east or west.


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

Luffing Crane

A crane with which the load can be moved to or from the crane horizontally.


Travellers' baggage, suitcases, boxes etc., normally accompanied by a passenger.


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

Lump-sum Charter

A voyage charter whereby the shipowner agrees to place the whole or a part of the vessel's capacity at the charterer's disposal for which a lump-sum freight is being paid.

Mafi Trailer

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

Maiden Trip

First voyage of a vessel or aircraft after delivery from new-building to her owner(s).

Maintenance Chain

A sequence of events in a goods flow which preserves and/or restores the value of a specific good. This may include: Repair.

Main-line Operator

Abbreviation: MLO
A carrier employing vessel(s) in the main or principal routes in a trade but not participating within a consortium.


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

Manufacturers Plate

A plate indicating the name and address of the container manufacturer and particulars of the container.

Manufacturing Process

The producing of goods or wares by manual labour or machinery, often on a large scale and with division of labour.

Manufacturing Resource Planning

Abbreviation: MRP-II
A method for the effective planning of a manufacturing company, being a direct out-growth and extension of MRP-I.

Marine Insurance Policy

An insurance policy protecting the insured against loss or damage to his goods occurred during ocean transport.

Market Analysis

Systematic investigation of the growth and the composition of a market.

Market maker

In a stock exchange, market makers take ownership of shares, allowing people to buy and sell those goods from them. They also can make or lose money from price movements. Outside the financial community, market makers help match buyers and sellers, regardless of whether or not they take possession or own goods. (See Net market maker.)


The process of organizing and directing all the company activities which relate to determining the market demand and converting the customers buying power into an effective demand for a service and bringing that service to the customer.

Mate's Receipt

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

Master Production Schedule

Abbreviation: MPS
A realistic, detailed, manufacturing plan for which all possible demands upon the manufacturing facilities (such as available personnel, working hours, (management) policy and goals) have been considered and are visualized. The MPS is a statement of what the company expects to produce and purchase expressed in selected items, specific quantities and dates.

Material Requirements Planning

Abbreviation: MRP-I
An inventory and purchasing planning system that integrates product components, lead times and deadlines.

Materials Handling

The activities of loading, unloading, placing and manipulating material and of in-process movement.

Materials Management

The planning and control of the activities related to the materials flow from the suppliers up to the end of the conversion/production process.

Means of Transport

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

Measurement Ton

A ton of one cubic meter water.

Mechanics Lien

The legal enforceable claim which a person who has performed work or provided materials is permitted to make against title to the property or as a preferential person in the event the estate or business is liquidated.

Medical First Aid Guide

Abbreviation: MFAG
Instructions to be consulted in case of accidents involving dangerous goods.


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

Merchant Haulage

Inland transport of cargo in shipping containers arranged by the Merchant.
It includes empty container-moves to and from hand-over points in respect of containers released by the Carrier to Merchants.
Note: Carrier's responsibility under the Bill of Lading does not include the inland transport stretch under Merchant Haulage.

Merchant Inspired Carrier Haulage

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

Meta-centric Height

The distance between the centre of gravity of a vessel and a fictitious point. If the metra-centric height is zero or negative, the vessel will heel or capsize.


Besides providing a multi-vendor, multi-product marketplace, the metamediary provides additional services for market participants. These services can be offered directly by the metamediary, or the metamediary can invite third party service providers into its marketplace. Services provided could include quality assurance, procurement management, fulfillment, or payment settlement.

Minimum Charge

The lowest amount which applies to the transport of a consignment, irrespective of weight or volume (aircargo, shipping).

Minimum Inventory

The planned minimum allowable inventory for an independent demand item.

Minor Unit

Unit of recorded value (i.e. as recorded by banks) which is a division of the respective unit of currency.
Examples are the cent being a one hundredth part of the US Dollar.
Note: Some countries have minor units that are used in low-value coinage within a country or locality, but which are not used by the international banking system in making formal records of value. Examples: Belgium , Greece and Spain .

Miscellaneous Charge Order

Abbreviation: MCO
A document issued by a carrier or his agent requesting the issue of an appropriate passenger ticket and baggage cheque or revision of services to the person named in such document.

Mixed Consignment

A consignment of different commodities, articles or goods, packed or tied together or contained in separate packages (aircargo).

Mode of Transport

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


A representation of a process or system that attempts to relate the most important variables in the system in such a way that analysis of the model leads to insights into the system.


A separate and distinct unit of hardware or software that may be used as a component in a system.


The act or process of changing the position of an object and or people.

Movement Inventory

The inventory during a production process caused by the time required to move goods from one place to another.

MRO (Maintenance, repair, and operating equipment)

Routine purchases such as office supplies, travel services, or computers needed to run a business but not central to the business's output. Ariba and CommerceOne sell buy-side procurement software for MRO. (See horizontal market.)

Multiple Sourcing

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

Multi Purpose Vessel

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

Multimodal Transport

The carriage of goods (containers) by at least two different modes of transport.

Multimodal Transport Operator/Carrier

Abbreviation: MTO/Carrier
The person on whose behalf the transport document or any document evidencing a contract of multimodal carriage of goods is issued and who is responsible for the carriage of goods pursuant to the contract of carriage.


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


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


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

Net Manifest

A manifest containing all freight details including negotiated disbursements.

Net Market

An online intermediary that connects fragmented buyers and sellers. Net markets eliminate inefficiencies by aggregating offerings from many sellers or by matching buyers and sellers in an exchange or auction. For buyers, they lower purchasing costs while reaching new suppliers. For suppliers, they lower sales cost and reach new customers. A central hub where a trusted intermediary integrates both procedures and technology can save costs. Synonyms: infomediary, metamediary, electronic markets, e-markets, Internet markets, I-markets, vertical hubs, e-hubs, butterfly markets, vortex businesses, digital exchanges, online exchanges, fat butterfly.

Net market maker

A company creating an Internet market to match buyers and sellers. Doesn't necessarily own goods.

Net Tonnage

The measure of the useful capacity of a vessel determined in accordance with the provisions of the international convention on tonnage measurement of vessels.

Net Weight

The weight of the goods, excluding all packing.

Network effect

Describes how all buyers and sellers benefit when a new market participant is added. The network effect produces a cycle with more buyers attracting more sellers and more sellers attracting more buyers. Robert Metcalfe created the notion that the value of a network grows by the square of the number of participants.
Synonym: Metcalfe's Law.

Network Planning System

A technique for making a time schedule for the implementation of a project.

Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier

Abbreviation: NVOCC
A party who undertakes to carry goods and issues in his own name a Bill of Lading for such carriage, without having the availability of any own means of transport.

Normal Charge

The specified general cargo rate without any quantity discount (aircargo).
Normal General Cargo Rate
The under 45 kgs rate or, if no under 45 kgs rate exists, the under 100 kgs rate (aircargo).
Synonym: Normal Rate.


To create a consistent set of terms and product descriptions, often using industry-specific translation software. Primarily used by catalog aggregators, normalization technology requires translating schema or structures in product databases. (See ontology.)

Notice of Readiness

Written document or telex issued by the master of a vessel to the charterers advising them the moment when a vessel is ready to load or discharge.
Document advising a consignee or his agent that cargo has arrived and is ready for delivery.

Notify Address

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

Notify Party

The party to be notified of arrival of goods.

Nouvelles Frontiéres

A 1986 ruling by the Court of Justice which ruled that air transport was not exempt from EC competition policy.

Obsolete Stock

The products or materials that cannot be or is unlikely to be used in future processes and which is to be sold or disposed of through the usual outlets.


Contracting work carried out at sea (e.g. drilling for oil).

Oil Bulk Ore Vessel

Abbreviation: OBO-Vessel
A vessel, designed for the carriage of either dry or liquid bulk cargo.

On-Board Computer

Cab-mounted device which electronically or mechanically records data such as truck speed, engine rpm, idle time and other information useful to trucking management.


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


A Yahoo-like hierarchy of relationships and a glossary used as a standardization device to describe goods and services and to facilitate commerce in a Net market.

One Way Pallet

See disposable pallet.
Note: The addition 'One Way' has nothing to do with the number of pallet sides in which the forks of e.g. a fork lift can enter, as opposed to the two and four way pallets.

Open Sided Container

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

Open Top Container

A 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, for example one made of canvas or plastic or reinforced plastic material normally supported on movable or removable roof bows.

Operating Efficiency

A ratio of the actual output of a piece of equipment, department, or plant as compared to the planned or standard output.

Operations Research

The development and application of quantitative techniques to the solution of problems. More specifically, theory and methodology in mathematics, statistics, and computing are adapted and applied to the identification, formulation, solution, validation, implementation, and control of decision making problems.


The party responsible for the day to day operational management of certain premises such as ware-houses, terminals and vessels.

Optimal Trim

The best calculated TRIM related to speed engine capacity, fuel consumption for a specific sailing condition.


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


One of a limited range of choices or features that is offered to a customer when purchasing an otherwise basic standard product and that has to be an integral part of the product (used in commercial trading).

Optional Cargo

Cargo of which the final destination is not known at the moment of booking but will be indicated during the transport.

Optional Port

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


A request to deliver specified quantities of goods or to render specific services. Order line
Each line on a customer's purchase order. An order line always contains one Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) only, but the number may vary.


An identifiable social unit with a particular responsibility which endeavour to achieve multiple goals by coordinated activities and relationships between members and objects.

Out of Gauge Cargo

Cargo which dimensions are exceeding the normal dimensions of a 20 or 40 feet container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.


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

Outward Handling

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


A carrier within a consortium who carries cargo beyond the allotment distributed to him.


To extensively inspect and repair a system or component.

Overheight Cargo

Cargo, exceeding the standard height.

Overlength Cargo

Cargo, exceeding the standard length.


A unit used by a single shipper to contain one or more packages and to form one handling unit for convenience of handling and stowage. Dangerous goods packages contained in the overpack must be properly packed, marked, labelled and in proper condition as required by the Regulations regarding dangerous goods (aircargo).


Work beyond normal established working hours that usually requires a premium to be paid to the employees concerned.

Overwidth Cargo

Cargo, exceeding the standard width.


The legal owner of cargo, equipment or means of transport.


Trucker who owns and operates his own truck(s).


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


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


Any container or other covering in which goods are packed.
Packing Instruction
Document issued within an enterprise giving instructions on how goods are to be packed.

Packing List

Document specifying the contents of each individual package.

Packing Unit

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


A platform on which goods can be stacked in order to facilitate the movement by a fork lift or sling.

Pallet Convertor

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

Pallet Rack

A skeleton framework, of fixed or adjustable design, to support a number of individual pallet loads.

Pallet Truck

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

Panamax Size

The maximum measurements and dimensions of a vessel capable to pass the Panama Canal.

Particular Average

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


A party to whom a payment is made or owed.


A party who pays or is to pay.


The revenue-producing load carried by a means of transport.


That which discharges a debt.

Payment Against Documents

Instructions given by a seller to a bank to the effect that the buyer may collect the documents necessary to obtain delivery of the goods only upon actual payment of the invoice.

Performance Indicator

A variable indicating the effectiveness and/or efficiency of a process.

Performance Measurement

The comparison of the results of business processes with each other or with standards in order to know the effectiveness of these processes and/or the supportive actions.

Physical Distribution

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

Physical Distribution Management

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

Pick and Pack

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

Pick Order

An order to pick certain quantities of goods out of a stock.

Pick Up and Delivery

A service concerning the collection of cargo from the premises of the consignor and the delivery to the premises of the consignee.


Taking products or components out of a stock.

Picking List

A list used to collect items from stores needed to fulfil an order.
Synonym: Material issue list, Kitting list.


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


Petty stealing of goods from a ship's hold, cargo shed or warehouse.


A line of pipes for conveying liquids and gasses.
The physical goods flow from a supplying organization to a receiving organization.

Pipeline Inventory

The amount of goods in a pipeline: the sum of loading stock, goods in transit and receiving stock.
Synonym: Floating Stock.

Place of Delivery

The location where a consignment (shipment) is delivered to the consignee viz. the place where the carrier's liability ends for the transport venture.

Place of Receipt

The location where a consignment (shipment) is received by the carrier from the shipper viz. the place where the carrier's liability for transport venture commences.
Synonym: Place of Acceptance.


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


The setting of goals over a certain time and the determination of how to achieve these goals and with what resource.

Planning Horizon

The period of time to which a certain particular plan relates.


The bare floor of a container, suitable for the carriage of uncontainerable cargo, as several platforms can be placed together to provide a larger base. Plated for the carriage of heavy goods. 20' and 40'.

Platform Body

A truck or trailer without ends, sides or top but with only a floor.

Plimsoll Mark

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


The shared use of e.g. equipment by a number of companies, which make together the investments in the equipment mentioned.

Point Value

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


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


Harbour having facilities for vessels to moor and load or discharge.
Left side of a vessel when facing towards the front or forward end.

Port of Call

Place where a vessel actually drops anchor or moors during a certain voyage.

Port of Discharge

The port where the cargo is actually discharged (unloaded) from the sea (ocean) going vessel.

Port of Loading

The port where the cargo is actually loaded on board the sea (ocean) going vessel.

Portal Crane

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


A statement concerning a vessel containing the actual arrival and departure time used tugs, draft, deadweight, quantity of discharged and loaded goods/containers and any other important particulars.


The transport of empty equipment from a depot to shipper's premises or from consignee's premises back to a depot as the empty leg of a carrier haulage transport.

Postal Code

A national code maintained by the Postal Authorities designed to indicate areas and accumulated addresses to facilitate sorting and the delivery of mail and other goods.
Note: The coding system is different in the various countries throughout the world. In the Netherlands the code consists of 4 figures and 2 characters.


The carriage of goods (containers) by any mode of transport from the place of receipt to the port (place) of loading into the ocean vessel (main means of transport).

Preshipment Inspection

Abbreviation: PSI
The checking of goods before shipment for the purpose of determining the quantity and/or quality of said goods by an independent surveyor (inspection company) for phytosanitary, sanitary and veterinary controls.
Presently there is a tendency by developing countries to use the inspection also for the purpose of determining whether the price charged for certain goods is correct.


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

Pre-trip Inspection

Abbreviation: PTI
A technical inspection of Reefer containers prior to positioning for stuffing.

Price transparency

When both buyer and seller know pricing. Net markets can eliminate arbitrage situations when only a broker knows the price. Net markets can result in sellers making more money and buyers paying a lower price, since broker margins are reduced.

Principal Corporate Body

The company that owns the various subsidiary companies or branches acting as customers on their own and is registered as the corporate customer for statistical purposes.

Priority Order

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

Private Carrier

Business which operates trucks primarily for the purpose of transporting its own products and raw materials. The principle business activity of a private carrier is not transportation.

Private Warehouse

A warehouse operated by the owner of the goods stored there.

Pro Forma Invoice

Draft invoice sent to an importer by the exporter prior to order confirmation and shipment to assist in matters relating to obtaining import licences or foreign exchange allocations, or simply to advise the value of a consignment so that letters of credit can be opened.


The activities which ensure the availability of the material and or services in the desired quantity, quality, place and time from the supplier.

Procurement hub

An MRO procurement marketplace for routine purchases such as office supplies, travel services, or computers needed to run a business but not central to the business's output. A type of horizontal or functional market. Examples: Ariba, Commerce One. (Related terms: MRO, horizontal market)

Procurement Logistics

Control of the flow of materials up to the manufacturing process.

Product Chain

All phases in the transformation- or production process of one product.

Product Life Cycle

The period of time between the introduction date and end date of a product in the market.
Note: Phases are introduction, growth, maturity, saturation, decline & end.


The conversion of materials and or assembly of components to manufacture goods, products or services.
The total quantity of goods manufactured or to be manufactured in a particular period of time expressed in quantitative or financial terms. (The term manufacturing is often used specifically for physical operations resulting in a product).


Relative measure of output of labour hour or machine hour.


A result, end item or output from a certain process.

Project Cargo

Quantity of goods connected to the same project and often carried on different moments and from various places.

Proof of Delivery

The receipt signed by the consignee upon delivery.

Propriety Standard

A standard which has been endorsed by industry or government as the accepted international standard, but not officially approved by an accredited standards body such as ISO.

Public Authorities

The agencies or officials in a state responsible for the application and enforcement of the laws and regulations of that state. Source: IMO.

Public Warehouse

A warehouse which is available to all companies and persons who wish to make use of the services offered.

Pull Distribution System

A system to provide warehouses with new stock on request of the warehouse management.

Purchase Order

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

Purchasing hub

Buyer-centric mediators that aggregate demand from small buyers to negotiate better terms with large sellers. Can be horizontal (operating supplies) or vertical manufacturing. Used for spot purchasing (using exchange or auction) or systematic purchasing (catalog mechanism). The horizontal purchasing hubs use horizontal logistics (UPS, for example), while the vertical purchasing hubs generally need vertical logistics (for hazardous chemicals, for example) work with existing distributors.

Push Distribution System

A system to provide warehouses with new stock upon decision of the supplier of the goods.


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

Quality (ISO8402)

The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.
Note: The ISO9000 standards on quality management and quality assurance consists of 4 standards: 9000 guidelines for selection and use, 9001 model for quality assurance in design/development 9002 model for quality assurance in production and installation, 9003 model for quality assurance in final inspection and test, and 9004 guidelines for quality management and quality system elements, part 2 are guidelines for services.

Quality Assurance (ISO8402)

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

Quality Control (ISO8402)

The operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfill requirements for quality.

Quantity Charge

The unit rate which is lower than the normal rate and applies to shipments meeting specific weight requirements (aircargo).

Quantity Discount

A proportional reduction of a rate based on quantity (aircargo).


The period during which an arriving vessel, including its equipment, cargo, crew or passengers, suspected to carry or carrying a contagious disease is detained in strict isolation to prevent the spread of such a disease.


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


A stored arrangement of computer data, programs or messages, waiting to be processed in the order in which they were submitted.


Timber wedge used to secure drums against movement.


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


Amount stated as the price according to tariff for certain services to be provided or issued to a customer with specification on conditions for carriage.

Quotation expiration date

The date as from which a quotation price is no longer valid.

Quota Restrictions

Restraints upon trade which limit the volume of exports into a country, abolished within the EC by 1968, and removed in many of the international agreements to which the EC is party.

Rail Car

A wheeled wagon used for the carriage of cargo by rail.

Rail Consignment Note

A document evidencing a contract for the transport of goods by rail.


An artificial inclined path, road or track along which wheeled vehicles, cargo and trailers may pass for the purpose of changing their elevation and facilitating the loading and unloading operation (e.g. an entrance way into a Roll-on Roll-off vessel).
For aircargo see Platform.


The price of a transport service.
Quantity, amount or degree measured or applied.

Rate of Calculation

A factor for the calculation of an amount.

Rate of Turn

The figure indicating the speed of a change of course of a means of transport expressed in degrees per minute.


The description for an operating system that responds to an external event within a short and predictable time frame. Unlike a batch or time-sharing operating system, a real-time operating system provides services or control to independent ongoing physical processes.


That part of a transport charge which the carrier agrees to return.


A written acknowledgement, that something has been received.

Receiving Carrier

The carrier receiving a consignment on behalf of a carrier, agent or shipper for onward transport (aircargo).

Receiving Stock

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


All activities connected with restoring and or adjusting the packaging of a product. In such manner that it can be presented to the customer in the requested form.


Return of a shipment to the party who originally delivered it to the carrier (aircargo).
Return of a charter vessel to the owners.


Refrigerated trailer with insulated walls and a self-powered refrigeration unit. Most commonly used for transporting food.

Reefer Container

A thermal container with refrigerating appliances (mechanical compressor unit, absorption unit etc.) to control the temperature of cargo.

Reforwarding Charge

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


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

Register Ton

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


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


The procedure whereby goods shipped directly from a supplier to the customer are invoiced in two stages: at first by the supplier to an intermediary and subsequently by the intermediary to the customer.


Common practice in the less-than-truckload industry, in which one driver takes a truck for 8 to 10 hours, then turns the truck over to another driver, pony express style.

Reliability of Delivery

The reliability of a supplier concerning the agreed terms of delivery with regard to the quality, quantity, delivery time, conditions and price.


Indicating that a subject is interchangeable with another subject, but which differs physically from the original subject in that the installation of the replacement subject requires extra machining or provisions in addition to the normal application and methods of attachment.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Invitation to suppliers to bid on supplying products or services that are difficult to describe for a company or public agency.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

Invitation to suppliers to bid on supplying easily described products or services needed by a company or public agency.


Allotment in advance of space or weight capacity. Also referred to as 'booking'.

Responsible Carrier

The carrier liable under the terms of a consortium Bill of Lading.
Carrier responsible for the transport of goods as indicated in the transport document (aircargo).
Synonym: Principal Carrier.


Goods returned to their place of acceptance.


Amounts of income stemming from the provision of transport services.

Reverse auctions

Buyers post their need for a product or service, then suppliers bid to fulfill that need. Unlike an auction, prices only move down. FreeMarkets (industrial parts, raw materials) uses reverse auctions as its primary market mechanism, serving large buyers. Since buyer power is key to reverse auctions, they work either for large enterprises or when practiced by intermediaries like KillerBiz andBizBuyer, which aggregate demand of many small buyers. Reverse auctions also are becoming common features of many Net markets.

Safe Working Load

Abbreviation: SWL
The maximum load any lifting appliance may handle.

Safety Stock

In general, a quantity of stock planned to be in inventory to protect against fluctuations in demand and/or supply.
In the context of master production scheduling, safety stock can refer to additional inventory and/or capacity planned as protection against forecast errors and/or short terms changes in the backlog. Also referred to as 'overplanning' or a 'market hedge'.
Synonym: Reserve Inventory.

Said to Contain

Abbreviation: STC
Term in a Bill of Lading signifying that the master and the carrier are unaware of the nature or quantity of the contents of e.g. a carton, crate, container or bundle and are relying on the description furnished by the shipper.


The saving or rescue of a vessel and/or the cargo from loss and/or damage at sea.


A timetable including arrival/departure times of ocean- and feeder vessels and also inland transportation.
It refers to named ports in a specific voyage (journey) within a certain trade indicating the voyage number(s).
In general: The plan of times for starting and/or finishing activities.

SCP Simplified Clearance Procedure

A procedure covering non-restricted goods which enables approved exporters or agents to export goods on presentation of minimum information. The full statistical information is supplied within 14 days of shipment.


A device used for containers, lockers, trucks or lorries to proof relevant parties that they have remained closed during transport.

Seal Log

A document used to record seal numbers.

Seasonal Inventory

Inventory built up in anticipation of a seasonal peak of demand in order to smooth production.


Fitness of a vessel to travel in open sea mostly related to a particular voyage with a particular cargo.

Sectional Rate

The rate established by scheduled air carrier(s) for a section of a through route (aircargo).


Distance required by the rules of IMDG or BC codes between the various commodities of dangerous and or bulk cargoes.

Seller's Market

A 'seller's market' is considered to exist when goods cannot easily be secured and when the economic forces of business tend to be priced at the vendor's estimate of value. In other words, a state of trade favourable to the seller, with relatively great demand and high prices of something for sale.

Semi Trailer

A vehicle without motive power and with one or more axles designed to be drawn by a truck tractor and constructed in such way that a portion of its weight and that of its load rest upon e.g. the fifth wheel of the towing vehicle.

Service Level

A measure for the extent to which the customer orders can be executed at delivery conditions normally accepted in the market.

Setting/Air Delivery Temperature

An indication in the documents (B/L) stating the air supply temperature to the container.
Note: No other details than this temperature shall be included in the Bill of Lading.

Service Bill

A service Bill (of Lading) is a contract of carriage issued by one carrier to another for documentary and internal control purposes. For internal documentary and control purposes a so-called participating agent in a consortium uses some kind of document which, depending on the trade, is referred to as 'Memo Bill' which will among others state:
Name of Carrier on whose behalf the original document (Way Bill, Bill of Lading, etc.) was issued
The original document number
The agent who issued the original document and his opponent at the discharging side
The number of packages, weight and measurement, marks and numbers and goods description
Further mandatory details in case of special cargo
No freight details will be mentioned and the Memo Bill is not a contract of carriage

Shelf Life

The specified length of time prior to use for which items which are inherently subject to deterioration are deemed to remain fit for use under prescribed conditions.
Synonym: Storage life.


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

Ship Broker

Acts as intermediary between shipowners or carriers by sea on the one hand and cargo interests on the other. The functions are to act as forwarding agent or custom broker, fixing of charters, and acting as chartering agent.

Ship's Protest

Statement of the master of a vessel before (in the presence of) competent authorities, concerning exceptional events which occurred during a voyage.


A separately identifiable collection of goods to be carried.
See Consignment.
Note: In the United States of America the word shipment is used instead of the word consignment.


A ship operator is either the shipowner or the (legal) person responsible for the actual management of the vessel and its crew.


The (legal) person officially registered as such in the certificate of registry where the following particulars are contained.
Name of vessel and port of registry.
Details contained in surveyors certificate.
The particulars respecting the origin stated in the declaration of ownership.
The name and description of the registered owner, if more than one owner the proportionate share of each.


The merchant (person) by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf a contract of carriage of goods has been concluded with a carrier or any party by whom, in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to the contract of carriage.
Synonym: Consignor, Sender.

Shipper's Export Declaration

Abbreviation: SED
A United States customs form to be completed for all exports to assist the government in compiling export statistics.

Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Abbreviation: SLI
A document containing instructions given by the shipper or the shipper's agent for preparing documents and forwarding (aircargo).

Shipping Container

Standard-sized rectangular box used to transport freight by ship, rail and highway. International shipping containers are 20 or 40 feet long, conform to International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and are designed to fit in ships' holds. Containers are transported on public roads atop a container chassis towed by a tractor.

Shipping Weight

"Dry" weight of a truck including all standard equipment, but excluding fuel and coolant.

Shipping Documents

Documents required for the carriage of goods.
Synonym: Transport Documents.

Shipping Note

Document provided by the shipper or his agent to the carrier, multimodal transport operator, terminal or other receiving authority, giving information about export consignments offered for transport, and providing for the necessary receipts and declarations of liability.


The negative difference between actual available or delivered quantity and the required quantity.

Single Administrative Document

Abbreviation: SAD
A set of documents, replacing the various (national) forms for customs declaration within European Community, implemented on January 1st, 1988 . The introduction of the SAD constitutes an intermediate stage in the abolition of all administrative documentation in intra European Community trade in goods between member states.

Single Market

In which the twelve member states of the European Community form a Single Market in which there is free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. Came into being 01 01 1993, when export and import Custom entries were abolished for intra-community trade.

Special Drawing Rights

Abbreviation: SDR
Unit of account from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), i.a. used to express the amount of the limitations of a carrier's liability.

Specific Commodity Rate

Abbreviation: SCR
A rate applicable to carriage of specifically designated commodities (aircargo).


Efforts to create wide use of specific protocols so software from different vendors can interoperate more easily, particularly within a vertical industry. Standards bodies or efforts often work more slowly than entrepreneurial companies in setting up interoperable terms of trade. Many e-commerce standards today are based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which provides a flexible way to describe product specifications or business terms. Relevant b2b e-commerce standards efforts include BizTalk, promoted by Microsoft so different industries can communicate online with each other; Open Buying on the Internet (OBI), overseen by trade group CommerceNet; and RosettaNet, an effort within the computer manufacturing industry.

Standard Costs

A carefully prepared estimate of the cost of performing a given operation under specified conditions.
Note: A standard work order describes a standard operation for which a standard cost is to be established.

Standard Industrial Classification

Abbreviation: SIC
A method, used in the United States , to categorize companies into different industrial groupings.

Standard Product Module

Abbreviation: SPM
The building blocks used by business management to define services (shipment products) which can be offered to customers. They describe a more or less isolated set of activities with a standard cost attached to it. For operations management each module defines a combination of standard operations that needs to be carried out for a customer.
Note: SPM's can be regarded as the interface between business and operations management.


The materials in a supply chain or in a segment of a supply chain, expressed in quantities, locations and or values.
Synonym: Inventory when used as a generic term, common in the USA and extensive in the UK.


The activity of placing goods into a store or the state of being in store (e.g. a warehouse).


The placing and securing of cargo or containers on board a vessel or an aircraft or of cargo in a container.

Straddle Carrier

Wheeled vehicle designed to lift and carry shipping containers within its own framework. It is used for moving, and sometimes stacking, shipping containers at a container terminal.

Straddle Crane

A crane usually running on rails and spanning an open area such as rail-tracks or roadways.

Strange attractor

A key feature that causes buyers and sellers to use a Net market, often eliminating a transaction cost in a specific industry. Examples: CarStation (locating, then obtaining auto body parts), e-Chemical (distributing industrial chemicals), Chemdex (comparing chemical reagents from different vendors), Floraplex (paying sellers in seven days, not 45).


The loading of cargo into a container.
Synonym: Vanning, Packing.

Supply Chain

A sequence of events in a goods flow which adds to the value of a specific good. These events may include:
-assembling and/or disassembling
-movements and placements

Supply chain management

An attempt to coordinate processes involved in producing, shipping and distributing products, generally with large suppliers. Net markets can extend supply chain management to all trading partners regardless of size because they provide a central hub to integrate information from buyers and sellers.

Supply Vessel

Vessel which carries stock and stores to offshore drilling rigs, platforms.


An additional charge added to the usual or customary freight.


A specialist who carries out surveys.
Note: A surveyor is quite representing a classification bureau or a governmental body.

Switching costs

Costs incurred in changing suppliers or marketplaces. Net markets often seek to re-architect procurement, search, and other processes so buyers stay put, a key reason switching costs are higher in business-to-business than consumer e-commerce. (See lifetime value of the customer, churn).

Swop Body

Separate unit without wheels to carry cargo via road sometimes equipped with legs to be used to carry cargo intermodal within Europe . The advantage being that this unit can be left behind to load or discharge whilst the driver with the truck/chassis can change to another unit.
These units are not used for sea transport.


The simultaneous joint action of separate parties which, together, have greater total effect than the sum of their individual effects.


Goods that are not in free circulation are assigned the EC Customs code T1.


Goods that are in free circulation are assigned the EC Customs code T2.


A person who records the number of cargo items together with the condition thereof at the time it is loaded into or discharged from a vessel.

Tank Container

A tank, surrounded by a framework with the overall dimensions of a container for the transport of liquids or gasses in bulk.


A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk.

Tare Weight of Container

Mass of an empty container including all fittings and appliances associated with that particular type of container on its normal operating condition.
Synonym: Tare Mass of Container.


The schedule of rates, charges and related transport conditions.


Waterproof material, e.g. canvas, to spread over cargo to protect it from getting wet.


A classification system for items based on their relationship to one another. Related terms: ontology, normalize.


A location on either end of a transportation line including servicing and handling facilities.

Thermal Container

A container built with insulating walls, doors, floor and roof by which heat exchange with the environment is minimized thus limiting temperature variations of the cargo.

Third Party Logistics

Supply of logistics related operations between traders by an independent organization.

Through Charge

The total rate from point of departure to point of destination. It may be a joint rate or a combination of rates (aircargo).
Synonym: Through Rate.

Terms of Delivery

All the conditions agreed upon between trading partners regarding the delivery of goods and the related services.
Note: Under normal circumstances the INCO terms are used to prevent any misunderstandings.

Terms of Freight

All the conditions agreed upon between a carrier and a merchant about the type of freight and charges due to the carrier and whether these are prepaid or are to be collected.
Note: The so-called Combi terms based on the INCO terms do make a distinction what of the freight and related costs is to be paid by the seller and what by the buyer. In the UN recommendation 23 a coding system is recommended to recognize the various items.


A horizontal division of a vessel from bottom to top. The numbers run from bottom to deck and from deck upwards and are used as a part of the indication of a stowage place for containers.

Tilt Transport

Roadtransport whereby the cargo area is protected against the elements by means of a tilt made of canvas or other pliable material.

Time Charter

A contract whereby a vessel is let to a charterer for a stipulated period of time or voyage, for a remuneration known as hire, generally a monthly rate per ton deadweight or a daily rate. The charterer is free to employ the vessel as he thinks fit within the terms as agreed, but the shipowner continues to manage his own vessel through the master and crew who remain his servants.

Time Sheet

Statement, drawn-up by the ship's agent at the loading and discharging ports, which details the time worked in loading and discharging the cargo together with the amount of laytime used.

Transport International by Road

Abbreviation: TIR
A set of rules following a customs convention to facilitate the international, European transport of goods by road with minimal interference under cover of TIR-carnets.


Unit of weight measurement: 1000 kilograms (metric ton) or 2,240 lbs (long ton).
Unit of cubic measurement, mainly used to express the cubic capacity of a vessel.
Unit of weight or measurement used as a basis for the calculation of freights (freight ton).


Cubic capacity of a merchant vessel.
Total weight or amount of cargo expressed in tons.
The displacement of a vessel in tons of water; or a duty charged per ton of cargo at a port, pier, dock or canal.


The action of retrieving information concerning the whereabouts of cargo, cargo items, consignments or equipment.


The function of maintaining status information, including current location, of cargo, cargo items, consignments or containers either full or empty.


a)The exchange of goods, funds, services or information with value to the parties involved. This value is either previously agreed or established during business.
b)A commercial connection between two or more individual markets.


The number of passengers, quantity of cargo etc. carried over a certain route.


A vehicle without motive power, designed for the carriage of cargo and to be towed by a motor vehicle.

Trailer on Flat Car

Abbreviation: TOFC
Carriage of piggyback highway trailers on specially equipped railway wagons.

Tramp Vessel

A vessel not operating under a regular schedule.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

A compilation of network and transport level protocols that allow a PC to speak the same language as other PCs on the Internet or other networks.
Acronym: TCP/IP

Transit Shipment

A shipment passing between one port and another, or between a port and a final destination.

Transfer Cargo

Cargo arriving at a point by one flight and continuing there-from by another flight (aircargo).

Transferring Carrier

A participating carrier who delivers the consignment to another carrier at a transfer point (aircargo).

Transit Cargo

Cargo between outwards customs clearance and inwards customs clearance.
Cargo arriving at a point and departing there-from by the same through flight (aircargo).


The assisted movement of people and or goods.
Synonym: Carriage.
Note: Transport is often used as a generic term for various means of transport, and is distinguished from 'movement' in that it requires such means.

Transport Policy

The subject of several legislative decisions since 1983, but while regulations apply to several different transport sectors, there is as yet no common transport policy.

Trip Leasing

Leasing a company's vehicle to another transportation provider for a single trip.

Trip Recorder

Cab-mounted device which electronically or mechanically records data such as truck speed, engine rpm, idle time and other information useful to trucking management.


Class of automotive vehicles of various sizes and designs for transporting goods.


The stretch between two hubs mutually.


Movement of containers between terminal and carrier's inland facilities.


The quantity of freight required to fill a trailer; usually more than 10,000 pounds.
Acronym: TL


Brand name of tractor unit used in ports to pull trailers. They are equipped with a fifth wheel or a gooseneck type of coupling.

Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit

Abbreviation: TEU
Unit of measurement equivalent to one twenty foot shipping container.


Device which has to be inserted into the corner fittings of a shipping container and is turned or twisted, thus locking the container for the purpose of securing or lifting.

Type of Cargo

An indication of the sort of cargo to be transported, (e.g. Break Bulk, Containerized, RoRo).

Type of Equipment

The type of material used, e.g. 40 feet container, four way pallet or mafi trailer.

Type of Load indicator

A general reference or a classification of loads of cargo like 'FCL', 'LCL', 'unpacked' and even ship's convenience container, though this is rarely used nowadays.

Type of Means of Transport

The type of vehicle used in the transport process, e.g. wide-body aircraft, tank truck or passenger vessel.

Type of Movement

Description of the service for movement of containers.
Note: The following type of movement can be indicated on B/L and Manifest all combinations of FCL and LCL and break bulk and RoRo. Whilst only on the manifest combinations of House, Yard and CFS can be mentioned.

Type of Packing

Description of the packaging material used to wrap, contain and protect goods to be transported.
Synonym: Kind of Packing, Package Type.

Type of Transport

The indication whether the carrier or the merchant effects and bears the responsibility for inland transport of cargo in containers i.e. a differentiation between the logistical and legal responsibility.
Note: Values are Carrier haulage and Merchant haulage, whilst in this context special cases are carrier-nominated merchant haulage, and merchant nominated carrier haulage.

Type of Vessel

The sort of vessel used in the transport process e.g. Container, RoRo, or Multi Purpose.


Free space above a liquid contained in a tank, drum or tank-container, expressed as a percentage of the total capacity. Ullage is often used to leave room for possible expansion of the liquid.

Ultra Large Crude Carrier

Abbreviation: ULCC
A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 250.000 till 500.000 DWT.


A supporting frame or structure of a wheeled vehicle.
The landing gear of an aircraft.


A carrier in a conference or consortium who carries less cargo than the allotment distributed to him.

Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP 500)

The in 1993 revized rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) governing a letter of credit issued in respect of goods shipped applicable as from 1-1-1994.

Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer

Abbreviation: UIC
International railway union, in which most of the European national railway companies are united.

Unit Load

A number of individual packages bonded, palletized or strapped together to form a single unit for more efficient handling by mechanical equipment.

Unit Load Device

Abbreviation: ULD
Any type of container or pallet, in which a consignment can be transported by air whether or not such a container is considered aircraft equipment.
Any type of air freight container, aircraft container, aircraft pallet with a net, or aircraft pallet with a net over an igloo.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Abbreviation: UNCTAD
A United Nations agency whose work in shipping includes the liner code involving the sharing of cargoes between the shipping lines of the importing and exporting countries and third countries in the ratio 40:40:20.

United Nations Dangerous Goods Number

Abbreviation: UNDG Number
The four-digit number assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods to classify a substance or a particular groups of substances.
Note: The prefix 'UN' must always be used in conjunction with these numbers.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Abbreviation: UN/ECE
The UN/ECE is one of a number of Economic and Social Commissions established by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Despite its name it embraces both Europe and North America . The UN/ECE comprises twenty nine core member states, as well as any country which is a member of the United Nations and which applies under Article 11 of the United Nations constitution for delegate status.
The aim is to advance the economic development of Europe and associated countries through trade facilitation and common agreements.

United Nations Layout Key

Abbreviation: UNLK
A standard (ISO6422) which lays down the basic principles for the design of the image area on documents for use in international trade.
Synonym: Layout Key.

United Nations Standard Message

Abbreviation: UNSM
A collection of structured data that is exchanged to convey information related to a specific transaction between partners engaged in electronic data interchange. Messages are composed of logically grouped segments required for the type of message transaction covered.
Note: A set of segments in the order specified in a message directory starting with the message header and ending with the message trailer (ISO9735).

User Network

A public network made up of thousands of newsgroups and organized by topic.
Acronym: USENET

Utilization Rate

The quotient of used capacity and available capacity.

Valuable Cargo

A consignment which contains one or more valuable articles (aircargo).

Valuation Charge

Transport charges for certain goods, based on the value declared for the carriage of such goods (aircargo).


A clause in a marine policy that fixes the insured value.

Value Added Tax

Abbreviation: VAT
A form of indirect sales tax paid on products and services at each stage of production or distribution, based on the value added at that stage and included in the cost to the ultimate customer.

Value Surcharge

A surcharge for the carriage of cargo having a value in excess of a specified amount per kilogram (aircargo).


Identical to the GP, except for the inclusion of full length ventilation galleries sited along the top and bottom side rails, and thus ideal for the carriage of coffee, as condesation is prevented from accumulating. 20' only

Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives

A search tool (like archie) that searches text that appears in Gopher menus.

Very Large Crude Carrier

Abbreviation: VLCC
A vessel designed for the carriage of liquid cargo in bulk with a loading capacity from 50.000 till 250.000 DWT.


A floating structure designed for the transport of cargo and/or passengers.
Synonym: Ship


A self-propagating practice or pattern of Internet use that moves from person to person. Works best in consumer e-commerce because of easy adoption. Longer sales cycle for b2b e-commerce makes viral practices less important. Example: HotMail's explosive growth.

Virtual private marketplace

A private market to enable approved suppliers to bid on a large buyer's business or to enable more cost-effective transactions under negotiated terms. Can be a hosted extranet or a feature a larger Net market. For example, National Transportation Exchange sets VPMs for large shippers to schedule and obtain bids from approved carriers, in addition to NTE's main spot market. FreeMarkets sets up VPMs for large buyers to interact with their suppliers through reverse auctions.

Volatility Allowance

The largest difference in container availability taking into account past peaks in net demand after having removed the trend in container demand during the repositioning trade-off period.


Size or measure of anything in three dimensions.

Volume Charge

A charge for carriage of goods based on their volume (aircargo).


A receipt, entry or other document which establish the accounts.


A journey by sea from one port or country to another one or, in case of a round trip, to the same port.
Synonym: Trip

Voyage Charter

A contract under which the shipowner agrees to carry an agreed quantity of cargo from a specified port or ports to another port or ports for a remuneration called freight, which is calculated according to the quantity of cargo loaded, or sometimes at a lumpsum freight.

Voyage Number

Reference number assigned by the carrier or his agent to the voyage of the vessel.

Waiting Time

The period of time between the moment at which one is ready for an activity to start and the moment at which this activity can actually begin. See also queue time.

Waiver Clause

Clause in a marine insurance policy stating that no acts of the insurer or insured in recovering, saving or preserving the property insured, shall be considered a dismissal from or acceptance of abandonment.


A building specially designed for receipt, storage and handling of goods.
Synonyms: Shed, Store.

Warehouse Keeper

Party who takes responsibility for goods entered into a warehouse.

Warehouse Receipt

Receipt for products deposited in a warehouse.


Those activities of holding and handling goods in a warehouse (store).

Warsaw Convention

The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, signed at Warsaw, 12 October 1929, or that Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol, 1955, stipulating obligations or parties and limitations and/or exonerations of carriers (aircargo).

Waste Disposal

Processing and or removal to final resting place or transfer to a place for re-use or recovering of waste.

Waste Logistics

The collection of used, damaged, or outdated products and or packaging from designated users.
Synonym: Reverse Distribution.


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

Wear and Tear

Loss or deterioration resulting from ordinary use.

Weight Ton

A ton of 1000 kilos.


A place for berthing vessels to facilitate loading and discharging of cargo.


The fee charged for the use of a wharf for mooring, loading or discharging a vessel or for storing goods.


An intermediary between manufacturers and retailers in various activities such as promotion, warehousing, and the arranging of transport and or distribution.

Workflow Marketplace

Provides project tracking or collaboration services for complex, iterative, multi-party projects in construction, syndicated bank debt, or licensed trademarks. Charge subscriptions but add transaction fees, such as charging a contractor to print project blueprints. Create an information-sharing network that gives all parties an appropriate view of the project. Examples: Bidcom (construction), Hurricane (intellectual property). Also, many Net markets incorporate workflow to hold onto users. Once a Net market becomes part of everyday business processes, the switching to another Net market becomes much harder.

Work Load

The quantity of work ahead assigned to a certain facility such as a work station, capacity group or a department respectively staff-member.

World Health Organization

Abbreviation: WHO
The global agency linked with the United Nations and cooperating with other technical agencies relating to health matters at sea and on land.


International standard of the CCITT for packet switching.


A CCITT recommendation designed to facilitate international message and information exchange between subscribers of computer based store-and-forward services and office information systems in association with public and private data networks.


The CCITT now ITU recommendations (ISO9594) for the structure of directories for the maintenance of addresses used in electronic mail.


High frequency electromagnetic ray of short wave-length, capable of penetrating most solid substances.


Fenced off, outdoor storage and repair area.


A vessel's small boat moved by one oar.
Synonym: a jolly-boat.
A small sailboat rigged fore-and-aft, with a short mizzenmast astern of the cockpit; distinguished from ketch.

Yield Bucket

The remaining slot capacity for a trade/voyage in a certain port of loading after deduction of the allowance for specific contracts.

Yield Management

The process of maximising the contribution of every slot, vessel, trade and network. Basically it should be seen as the process of allocating the right type of capacity to the right kind of customer at the right price as to maximise revenue or yield.
The concept should be used in combination with load factor management.


A rubber dinghy. An inflatable craft for the transport of people.


Area, belt or district extending about a certain point defined for transport and/or charge purpose.

Zone Haulage Rate

The rate for which the carrier will undertake the haulage of goods or containers between either the place of delivery and the carrier's appropriate terminal. Such haulage will be undertaken only subject to the terms and conditions of the tariff and of the carrier's Combined Transport Bill of Lading.

Zone Improvement Plan

Abbreviation: ZIP
System to simplify sorting and delivery of mail, consisting of a number of five digits (the so-called ZIP-code) for identification of the state, city or district, and the postal zone in the U.S.A. delivery areas.