Glossary of Shipping Terms

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M
meridian (lower branch); meridional difference; meter,(s); U.S. survey mile, miles; end of other ship’s true vector; minutes.

M
celestial body; meridian (upper branch); magnetic (direction); meridional parts; nautical mile, miles; other ship.

M.M.F.B.
Middlewest Motor Freight Bureau.

MAG.
magnetic; magnitude.

MAIN
The deck on which the major portion of payload is carried, normally known as Upper Deck of an airplane. The full cargo freighter aircraft has it entire upper deck equipped for main deck type of containers/pallets while Combi aircraft uses it rear part of the upper deck for cargo loading. There is no upper deck or main deck type of container/pallet at passenger aircraft.

MALPRACTICE
a carrier giving a customer illegal preference to attract cargo. This can take the form of a money refund (rebate); using lower figures than actual for the assessment of freight charges (undercubing); misdeclaration of the commodity shipped to allow the assessment of a lower tariff rate; waiving pub­lished tariff charges for demurrage, CFS handling or equalization; providing specialized equipment to a shipper to the detriment of other shippers, etc.

MANDAMU
a writ issued by a court; requires that specific things be done.

MANIFEST DOCUMENT
that lists in detail all the bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent or master for a specific voyage. A detailed summary of the total cargo of a vessel. Used principally for Customs purposes.

MAR VIEW
It is an integrated, data–driven environment providing essential information to support the strategic requirements of the United States Marine Transportation System and its contribution to economic viability of the nation.

MARAD
United States Maritime Administration.

MARINE INSURANCE BROADLY
insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.

MARITIME BUSINESS
pertaining to commerce or navigation transacted upon the sea or in seaports in such matters as the court of admiralty has jurisdiction.

MARITIME COMMERCE SECURITY
Plan establishes a comprehensive plan to secure the mar­itime supply chain.

MARITIME DOMAIN AWARENESS (MDA)
It is the effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States.

MARITIME DOMAIN
it is all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, including all maritime related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances.

MARITIME INFRASTRUCTURE RECOVERY
Plan recommends procedures and standards for the recovery of the maritime infrastructure following attack or similar disruption.

MARITIME SECURITY AND SAFETY INFORMATION SYSTEM (MSSIS)
It shares and displays vessel Automated Identification System (AIS) data real–time with multiple inter­national users through a web–based, password–protected system.

MARITIME TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM SECURITY
Plan responds to the President’s call for rec­ommendations to improve the national and international regulatory framework regarding the maritime domain.

MARKING
Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.

MARLINESPIKE
a pointed metal spike, used to separate strands of rope in splicing.

MASTER INBOUND U.S. CUSTOMS’
automated program under AMS. It allows for electronic reporting of inbound (foreign) cargoes in the U.S.

MATE’S RECEIPT
an archaic practice. An acknowledgement of cargo receipt signed by a mate of the vessel. The pos­sessor of the mate’s receipt is entitled to the bill of lading, in exchange for that receipt.

MB
magnetic bearing.

MB
millibar(s).

MBM
1,000 board feet. One MBM equals 2,265 C.M.

MC
magnetic course.

MC
megacycle, megacycles; megacycles per second.

MC&G
mapping, charting and geodesy.

MCFS
Abbreviation for “Master Container Freight Station.” See CFS.

MCPA
minutes to closest point of approach.

MEASUREMENT CARGO
Freight on which transportation charges are calculated on the basis of volume measurement.

MEASUREMENT TON40
cubic feet.

MECHANICALLY
Mechanically Ventilated Container a container fitted with a means of forced air ventilation.

MEGAPORTS INITIATIVE
It is a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) initiative, started in 2003. It teams up with other countries to enhance their ability to screen cargo at major international seaports. The Initiative provides radiation detection equipment and trains their personnel to specifically check for nuclear or other radioactive materials. In return, NNSA requires that data be shared on detections and seizures of nuclear or radiological material that resulted from the use of the equipment provided.

MEMO B/L
Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.

MEMORANDUM
Bill of Lading an in–house bill of lading. A duplicate copy.

MEMORANDUM FREIGHT BILL
Multiple Container load Shipment.

MER. PASS.
meridian passage.

METER
39.37 inches (approximately).

METRIC
2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.

MF
medium frequency.

MGRS
military grid reference system.

MH
magnetic heading.

MHHW
mean higher high water

MHHWL
mean higher high water line.

MHW
mean high water.

MHWI
mean high water lunitidal interval.

MHWL
mean high water line.

MHWN
neap high water or high water neaps.

MHWS
mean high water springs

MHZ
megahertz.

MI.
mile, miles.

MICROBRIDGE
a cargo movement in which the water carrier provides a through service between an inland point and the port of load/discharge. The carrier is responsible for cargo and costs from origin on to destina­tion. Also known as IPI or Through Service.

MID
middle.

MILE
a unit equal to 5,280 feet on land. A nautical mile is 6076.115.

MILITARY B/L
B/L issued by the U.S. military; also known as GBL, or Form DD1252.

MIN.
minute(s).

MINI LANDBRIDGE
an intermodal system for transporting containers by ocean and then by rail or motor to a port previ­ously served as an all–water move (e.g., Hong Kong to New York over Seattle).

MINIMUM BILL OF LADING
a clause in a bill of lading which specifies the least charge that the carrier will make for issuing a lading. The charge may be a definite sum or the current charge per ton for any specified quantity.

MINIMUM CHARGE
The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

MIXED CONTAINER LOAD
a container load of different articles in a single consignment.

MLB
Abbreviation for “Mini Landbridge.”

MLLW
mean lower low water.

MLLWL
mean lower low water line.

MLW
mean low water.

MLWI
mean low water lunitidal interval.

MLWL
mean low water line.

MLWN
neap low water or low water neaps.

MLWS
mean low water springs.

MM
millimeters.

MN
mean range of tide.

MO(S)
month(s).

MO.(U)
Morse Uniform (light).

MODIFIED ATMOSPHERE
a blend of gases tailored to replace the normal atmosphere within a container.

MODU
mobile offshore drilling unit.

MON
monument.

MPH
miles per hour.

MPP
most probable position.

MRI
mean rise interval.

MRM
miles of relative movement.

MS
millisecond(s).

MSA
Maritime Security Act.

MSC
Military Sealift Command.

MSI
maritime safety information.

MSL
mean sea level.

MSPA
U.S. Department of Transportation program that helps to assure sufficient sealift to support the United States Armed Forces and U.S. emergency sealift needs, using commercial ships.

MT
Abbreviation for “Metric Ton.”

MTI
moving target indication.

MTL
mean tide level.

MTSA
The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, is designed to protect ports and waterways from terrorists attacks. The law is the U.S. equivalent of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), and was fully implemented on July 1, 2004. It requires vessels and port facilities to con­duct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans that may include passenger, vehicle, and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

MULTI TANK CONTAINER
a container frame fitted to accommodate two or more separate tanks for liquids.

MULTIMODAL SYNONYMOUS
for all practical purposes with “Intermodal.”

MWL
mean water level.

MWLL
mean water level line.

MZN
magnetic azimuth.