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

FL.
Fl. (2) group flashing (light).

FL. (2+1)
Fl. (2+1) composite group flashing (light).

FL.
flashing (light).

FLAT CAR
a rail car without a roof and walls.

FLAT RACK/FLAT BED CONTAINER
a container with no sides and frame members at the front and rear. Container can be loaded from the sides and top.

FM
frequency modulation.

FM(S)
fm(s) fathom(s).

FOB FREIGHT ALLOWED
The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the buyer pays the transportation charge and the seller reduces the invoice by a like amount.

FIFTH WHEEL
The semi–circular steel coupling device mounted on a tractor which engages and locks with a chassis semi–trailer.

FIO
See Free In and Out.

FIRKIN
A capacity measurement equal to one–fourth of a barrel.

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

F
F Fahrenheit; fast; longitude factor; phase correction (altitude); fixed (light)

F
flattening or ellipticity.

F
latitude factor.

F.D.A.
Food and Drug Administration.

F.FL.
fixed and flashing.

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

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

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

FALSE BILLING
Misrepresenting freight or weight on shipping documents.

FAS
(Free Alongside Ship) (...Named Port of Shipment): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed along­side the vessel on the quay or in lighters 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 mo­ment.

FAS
Abbreviation for “Free Alongside Ship.”

FCL
Abbreviation for “Full Container Load.”

FD
Abbreviation for “Free Discharge.”

FEEDER
Cargo to/from regional ports are transferred to/from a central hub port for a long–haul ocean voy­age.

FEEDER VESSEL
a short–sea vessel which transfers cargo between a central “hub” port and smaller “spoke” ports.

FEU
abbreviation for “Forty–Foot Equivalent Units.” Refers to container size standard of 40 feet. Two 20–foot containers or TEU’s equal one FEU.46

FCA
(Free Carrier) (... Named Place): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she 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 should take the goods into their charge.

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

FOB FREE ON BOARD
(...Named Port of Shipment): An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her 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 to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term re­quires the seller to clear the goods for export. (Note: The U.S. Government sometimes uses a made–up term “FOB Destination” to require the seller to take responsibility for delivering the goods at destination rather than the correct Incoterm of DDP.)

FOB FREIGHT PREPAID
The same as FOB named inland carrier, except the seller pays the freight charges of the inland carrier.

FOB NAMED POINT OF EXPORTATION
Seller is responsible for the cost of placing the goods at a named point of exportation. Some European buyers use this form when they actually mean FOB vessel.

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

FOB VESSEL
Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation until actually placed aboard the vessel.

FOG DET.
fog detector.

FOG SIG.
fog signal.

FOR
Abbreviation for “Free on Rail.”

FORCE MAJEURE
The title of a common clause in contracts, exempting the parties for non–fulfillment of their obliga­tions as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

FORE AND AFT
The direction on a vessel parallel to the center line.47

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

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

FORK LIFT
a machine used to pick up and move goods loaded on pallets or skids.

FORWARDER COMPENSATION
See Brokerage.

FOUL BILL OF LADING
a receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.

FOUR–WAY PALLET
a pallet designed so that the forks of a fork lift truck can be ;INSERTed from all four sides. See Fork lift.

FPPI
Foreign Principal Party of Interest The party to whom final delivery or end use of the exported goods will be made, usually the buyer.

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

FREE ASTRAY
an astray shipment (a lost shipment that is found) sent to its proper destination without additional charge.

FREE CARRIER (FCA)
an Incoterm of sale meaning the seller has delivered when the cargo is given to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place.

FREE IN AND OUT (FIO)
Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer/shipper.

FREE OF PARTICULAR AVERAGE (FPA)
a marine insurance term meaning that the assurer will not allow payment for partial loss or damage to cargo shipments except in certain circumstances, such as stranding, sinking, collision or fire.

FREE ON BOARD (FOB – U.S. DOMESTIC USE)
Shipped under a rate that includes costs of delivery to and the loading onto a carrier at a specified point.

FREE ON BOARD (INT’L USE)
See Terms of Sale.

FREE OUT (FO)
Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.

FREE PORT
a restricted area at a seaport for the handling of duty–exempted import goods. Also called a Foreign Trade Zone

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

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

FREE TRADE ZONE
a port designated by the government of a country for duty–free entry of any non–prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, etc., within the zone and re–exported without duties.

FREIGHT
A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NVOCC); a non–negotiable document.

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

FREIGHT CARRIAGE
… and Insurance paid to This term is the same as “Freight/Carriage Paid to …” but with the addition that the seller has to procure transport insurance against the risk of loss of damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts with the insurer and pays the insurance premium.

FREIGHT CARRIAGE
… paid to Like C & F, “Freight/Carriage paid to …” means that the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. However, the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as of any cost increases, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the first carrier and not at the ship’s rail. The term can be used for all modes of transport including multi-modal operations and container or “roll on-roll off” traffic by trailer and ferries. When the seller has to furnish a bill of lading, waybill or carrier’s receipt, he duly fulfills this obligation by presenting such a document issued by the person with whom he has contracted for carriage to the named destination. (Also see incoterms)

FREIGHT FORWARDER
a person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation. In the United States, freight forwarders are now licensed by the FMC as “Ocean Intermediaries.”

FREIGHT REFERS
to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.

FREIGHTERS
See Ships.

FT.
ft. foot, feet.

FTC
fast time constant.

FULL AND DOWN
an expression to describe a loaded vessel carrying cargoes of such a volume and weight that it fills all the vessel’s spaces and also brings her down to her tonnage loadline. A rare but optimum revenue condition for a vessel operator.

FULL SHIPLOAD LOT
The amount of cargo a vessel carries or is able to carry. Practically, it is the amount of cargo which induces the specific voyage. While the cargo lot may take up the majority of the vessel’s space or ton­nage capacity, it does not require a vessel’s volume and weight capacity to be fully utilized.