Glossary of Shipping Terms

- A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

C
Celsius (centigrade); chronometer time; compass (direction); correction; course, course angle; can; cylindrical; cove.

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

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

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

CALM
catenary anchor leg mooring.

CANCELED
B/L: B/L status; used to cancel a processed B/L; usually per shipper’s request; different from voided B/L.

CAPESIZE VESSEL
a dry bulk vessel above 80,000dwt or whose beam precludes passage via the Panama Canal and thus forces them to pass around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.

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

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

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

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

CARGO FREIGHT
loaded into a ship.

CARGO MANIFEST
A manifest that lists all cargo carried on a specific vessel voyage.

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

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

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

CARLOAD RATE
A rate applicable to a carload of goods.

CARNET
A customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries for display, demonstration or other purposes without paying import duties or posting bonds.

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

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

CARRIER’S CERTIFICATE
A certificate required by U.S. Customs to release cargo properly to the correct party.

CARTAGE
Usually refers to intra–city hauling on drays or trucks. Same as drayage.

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

CIF&C
Price includes commission as well as CIF.

CIF&E
Abbreviation for “Cost, Insurance, Freight and Exchange.”27

CIFCI
Abbreviation for “Cost, Insurance, Freight, Collection and Interest.”

CIFI&E
Abbreviation for “Cost, Insurance, Freight, Interest and Exchange.”

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

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

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

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

CB
compass bearing.

CBDR
constant bearing, decreasing range.

CBM (CM)
Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter.”

CC
chronometer correction.

CCC MARK
a mark or label indicating the cargo conforms to standards required by China for certain products.

CCIR
International Radio Consultative Committee.

CCU
Consultative Committee for Units of the International Committee of Weights and Measures (CIPM).

CCZ
Coastal Confluence Zone.

CD
candela, candelas.

CD
chart datum.

CD-ROM
compact disk-read only memory.

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

CE
chronometer error- compass error.

CE MARK
a mark or label indicating the cargo conforms to standards required by the European Union for cer­tain products.

CEC
centicycle.

CEL
centilane.

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

CENTER OF GRAVITY
The point of equilibrium of the total weight of a containership, truck, train or a piece of cargo.

CEP
circular probable error.

CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION
A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.– The document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard certifying an American– Flag vessel’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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

CES
coast earth station.

CFR
(Cost and Freight) (...Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destina­tion, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) 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.

CFR
Code of Federal Regulations.

CFR
Code of Federal Regulations.

CFS
Abbreviation for “Container Freight Station.” A shipping dock where cargo is loaded (“stuffed”) into or unloaded (“stripped”) from containers. Generally, this involves less than container load shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity. These facilities can be located in container yards, or off dock.

CG
Coast Guard.

CGPM
General Conference of Weights and Measures.

CH
compass heading.

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

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

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

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

CIF
(Cost, Insurance and Freight) (...Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

CIP
(Carriage and Insurance Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means 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 required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

CIPM
International Committee of Weights and Measures.

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

CL
Abbreviation for “Carload” and “Container load”.

CL
clearance.

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

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

CLASSIFICATION RATING
The designation provided in a classification by which a class rate is determined.

CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY
An organization maintained for the surveying and classing of ships so that insurance underwriters and others may know the quality and condition of the vessels offered for insurance or employment. See also ABS, BV, DNV, LR and NK.

CLASSIFICATION YARD
a railroad yard with many tracks used for assembling freight trains.

CLAYTON ACT
an anti–trust act of the U.S. Congress making price discrimination unlawful.28

CLEAN B/L
A B/L which bears no superimposed clause or notation which declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging.

CLEAN BILL OF LADING
a receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in “appar­ent good order and condition,” without damage or other irregularities. If no notation or exception is made, the B/L is assumed to be “cleaned.”

CLEAN
A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.

CLEANING IN TRANSIT
the stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., for cleaning at a point between the point of origin and destination.

CLEARANCE LIMITS
The size beyond which cars or loads cannot use bridges, tunnels, etc.

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

CLIP–ON
Refrigeration equipment attachable to an insulated container that does not have its own refrigeration unit.

CM
Abbreviation for “centimeter.”

CM
Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter” (capital letters).

CM
centimeter(s).

CMG
course made good.

CN
course (as distinguished from course angle).

CO
coral.

CO-
the complement of (90° minus).

COA
course of advance.

COASTWISE
Water transportation along the coast.

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

COE
Committee on ECDIS (IHO).

COFC
Abbreviation for the Railway Service “Container On Flat Car.”

COG
course over ground.

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

COL
colatitude.

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

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

COLOG
cologarithm.

COMBI AIRCRAFT
An aircraft configured to carry both passengers and cargo on the Main Deck.

COMBINATION EXPORT MGR.
A firm that acts as an export sales agent for more than one non–competing manufacturer.

COMBINATION RATE
A rate made up of two or more factors, separately published.

COMBINED B/L
that covers cargo moving over various transports.

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

COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT VESSEL
any ship which is used primarily in commerce (1) For transporting persons or goods to or from any harbor(s) or port(s) or between places within a harbor area;(2) In connection with the construction, change in construction, servicing, mainte­nance, repair, loading, unloading, movement, piloting, or salvaging of any other ship or vessel.

COMMODITY ARTICLE SHIPPED.
For dangerous and hazardous cargo, the correct commodity identification is critical.

COMMODITY RATE
a rate published to apply to a specific article or articles.

COMMON CARRIER
a transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.30

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

COMPANY SECURITY OFFICER
the person designated by the company for ensuring that a ship security assessment is carried out and that a ship security plan is developed, submitted for approval and thereafter implemented and maintained for liaison with port facility security officers and the ship security officer.

COMPULSORY SHIP
any ship which is required to be equipped with radio telecommunication equipment in order to com­ply with the radio or radio-navigation provisions of a treaty or statute to which the vessel is subject.

CONCEALED DAMAGE
Damage that is not evident from viewing the unopened package.

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

CONFIRMED LETTER OF CREDIT
a letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by a domestic bank. An exporter with a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults

CONNECTING CARRIER
a carrier which has a direct physical connection with, or forms a link between two or more carriers.

CONSIGNEE
a person or company to whom commodities are shipped.

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

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

CONFIRMED:
An L/C guaranteed by both the issuing and advising banks of payment so long as seller’s documents are in order, and the L/C terms are met. Only applied to irrevo­cable L/C’s. The confirming bank assumes the credit risk of the issuing bank.

CONFIRMING BANK
the bank that adds its confirmation to another bank’s (the issuing bank’s) letter of credit and promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of documents specified in the letter of credit.

CONNECTING CARRIER
Agreement a connecting carrier agreement is a contract between the originating carrier and a second party, where the second party agrees to carry goods to a final destination on a through Billof Lading.

CONSIGNMENT DELIVERY OF MERCHANDISE FROM AN EXPORTER
(the consignor) to an agent (the consignee) under agreement that the agent sell the merchandise for the account of the exporter. The consignor retains title to the goods until sold. The consignee sells the goods for commission and remits the net proceeds to the consignor.

CONSIGNOR
a person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.

CONSOLIDATED B/L
B/L combined or consolidated from two or more B/L’s.

CONSOLIDATION CARGO
containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Container load shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees, often in Container load quantities.

CONSOLIDATION
In order to handle small lot of consignment efficiently and competitively, freight forwarder usually put many consignments into one lot then tender to carrier for forwarding. In this case, each consignment will be shipped with one HAWB respectively and all of them will be under one master AWB.

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

CONSTRUCTION DIFFERENTIAL SUBSIDY
a program whereby the U.S. government attempted to offset the higher shipbuilding cost in the U.S. by paying up to 50% of the difference between cost of U.S. and non–U.S. construction. The differ­ence went to the U.S. shipyard. It is unfunded since 1982.

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

CONSULAR DECLARATION
a formal statement describing goods to be shipped; filed with and approved by the consul of the country of destination prior to shipment.

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

CONSULAR VISA
an official signature or seal affixed to certain documents by the consul of the country of destina­tion.

CONSUMPTION ENTRY (CE)
The process of declaring the importation of foreign–made goods into the United States for use in the United States.

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

CONTAINER BOOKING
Arrangements with a steamship line to transport containerized cargo.

CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION
See CFS.

CONTAINER LOAD
a load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.

CRS
course.

CRT
cathode-ray tube.

CSC
cosecant.

CONTAINER MANIFEST
Document showing contents and loading sequence, point of origin, and point of destination for a container. Vessels are required by law to carry such a document for each container carried.

CONTAINER POOL
an agreement between parties that allows the efficient use and supply of containers. A common sup­ply of containers available to the shipper as required.

CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE (CSI)
a U.S. cargo security program whereby containerized cargoes destined for the United States may be inspected on a selective basis at many foreign ports before loading on a vessel. As of October 2007, there were 51 approved ports. A multinational program, aligned with the President’s “Strategy for Homeland Security”, that extends the United States’ zone of security by pre–screening containers that pose a potential security risk before they leave foreign ports for U.S. seaports.

CONTAINER SIZABLE CARGO
Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.

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

CONTAINER YARD (CY)
a materials–handling/storage facility used for completely unitized loads in containers and/or empty containers. Commonly referred to as CY.

CONTAINERIZATION STOWAGE
of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.

CONTRABAND
Cargo that is prohibited.

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

CONTRACT CARRIER
any person not a common carrier who, under special and individual contracts or agreements, trans­ports passengers or property for compensation.

CONTROLLED ATMOSPHERE SOPHISTICATED
computer–controlled systems that manage the mixtures of gases within a container throughout an intermodal journey reducing decay.

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

CORR.
correction.

CORRECTED B/L
B/L requiring any update which results in money –or other financially related changes.

CORRESPONDENT BANK
a bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.

COS
cosine.

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

COT
cotangent.

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

COV
coversine.

CP STG C
course per steering compass.

CPA
closest point of approach.

CPE
circular probable error.

CPGC
course per gyrocompass.

CPS
cycles per second.

CPSC
course per standard compass.

CPT
(Carriage Paid To) (...Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale which means 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. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon 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.

CPU
central processing unit.

CROSS MEMBER TRANSVERSE
members fitted to the bottom side rails of a container, which support the floor.

C–TPAT
(Customs–Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) a voluntary supply chain security partnership established by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in November 2001. Meeting the C–TPAT standards allows cargo owners faster processing through cus­toms formalities and inspections.

CU.
an abbreviation for “Cubic.” A unit of volume measurement.

CUBE OUT
When a container or vessel has reached its volumetric capacity before its permitted weight limit.

CUBIC FOOT1
728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long

CUP
cupola.

CUS HO
customs house.

CUSTOM HOUSE
a government office where duties are paid, import documents filed, etc., on foreign shipments.

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

CUSTOMS BONDED WAREHOUSE
a warehouse authorized by Customs to receive duty–free merchandise.

CUSTOMS BROKER
An individual or company licensed by the government to enter and clear goods through Customs. The U.S. Customs Service defines a Customs Broker, as any person who is licensed in accordance with Part III of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Customs regulations) to transact Customs business on behalf of others. Customs business is limited to those activities involving transactions with Customs concerning the entry and admissibility of merchandise; its classification and valuation; the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected by Customs upon merchandise by reason of its importation, or the refund, rebate, or drawback thereof.

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
The procedures involved in getting cargo released by Customs through designated formalities such as presenting import license/permit, payment of import duties and other required documentations by the nature of the cargo such as FCC or FDA approval.

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

CUSTOMS GOVERNMENT
agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and ex­port revenues.

CUSTOMS INVOICE
A document, required by some foreign countries’ customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment, describing the shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment.

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

CUSTOMS OF THE PORT (COP)
a phrase often included in charter parties and freight contracts referring to local rules and practices which may impact upon the costs borne by the various parties.

CUSTOMS
The government authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports.

CUT–OFF TIME
The latest time cargo may be delivered to a terminal for loading to a scheduled train or ship.

CW
continuous wave.

CWT.
Hundred weight (United States, 100 pounds; U.K., 112)

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

CZN
compass azimuth.

CUSTOMS–TRADE PARTNERSHIP AGAINST TERRORISM (C–TPAT)
it is a voluntary supply chain security program, launched in November 2001 and led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) which focuses on improving the security of private companies’ supply chains with respect to terrorism. In exchange for companies participation CBP will provide reduced inspections at the port of arrival, expedited processing at the border and penalty mitigation.

COMBINATION PASSENGER AND CARGO VESSELS
Ships with a capacity for 13 or more pas­sengers.