International Ocean and Air Freight

Devanning: The unloading of a container or cargo van.
Dock Receipt: A form used to acknowledge receipt of cargo and often serves as basis for preparation of the ocean bill of lading.
Door–to–Door: Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.
Dutiable Value: The amount on which an Ad Valorem or customs duty is calculated.
Entry: Customs documents required to clear an import shipment for entry into the general commerce of a country.
FAK: Abbreviation for “Freight All Kinds.” Usually refers to full container loads of mixed shipments.
FCL: Abbreviation for “Full Container Load.”
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.
Freight: Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
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 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.
Gross Weight: Entire weight of goods, packaging and freight car or container, ready for shipment. Generally, 80,000 pounds maximum container, cargo and tractor for highway transport.
GVW: Abbreviation for “Gross Vehicle Weight.” The combined total weight of a vehicle and its container, inclusive of prime mover.

Inland Carrier: A transportation line that hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
Insurance: All–risk: This type of insurance offers the shipper the broadest coverage available, covering against all losses that may occur in transit.
Invoice: An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.
Jettison: Act of throwing cargo or equipment (jetsam) overboard when a ship is in danger.

KT: Kilo or metric ton. 1,000 Kilos or 2,204.6 pounds.
Kilogram: 1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.
Laden: Loaded aboard a vessel.
Lading: Refers to the freight shipped; the contents of a shipment.
LCL: Abbreviation for “Less than Container Load.” The quantity of freight which is less than that required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.
Less Than Truckload: Also known as LTL or LCL.
Loose: Without packing.
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.
Marking: Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks.
Meter: 39.37 inches (approximately).
Metric Ton: 2,204.6 pounds or 1,000 kilograms.
Non–Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC): A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub–sell it to smaller shippers. The NVOCC issues bills of lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.
Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L): A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in–transit.
On Board: A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary.
Origin: Location where shipment begins its movement.
Original Bill of Lading (OBL): A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as “original” by the issuing carrier.

Packing List: Itemized list of commodities with marks/numbers but no cost values indicated
Pallet: A platform with or without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a lift truck.
Perils of the Sea: Those causes of loss for which the carrier is not legally liable. The elemental risks of ocean transport.
Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate: A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a U.S. shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.
Abbreviation for:
– Port of Discharge.
– Port of Destination.
– Proof of Delivery. A document required from the carrier or driver for proper payment.
Point of Origin:
The place at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.
Port of Entry: Port where cargo is unloaded and enters a country.
“Ro/Ro”: A shortening of the term, “Roll On/Roll Off.” A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps that allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes. Also refers to any specialized vessel designed to carry Ro/Ro cargo.
Roll: To re–book cargo to a later vessel.
Schedule B: The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.
Shipper: The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of commodities shipped. Also called Consignor.
Shrink Wrap: Polyethylene or similar substance heat–treated and shrunk into an envelope around several units, thereby securing them as a single pack for presentation or to secure units on a pallet.
Spotting: Placing a container where required to be loaded or unloaded.
Stripping: Removing cargo from a container (devanning).
Terminal: An assigned area in which containers are prepared for loading into a vessel, train, truck, or airplane or are stacked immediately after discharge from the vessel, train, truck, or airplane.
Terminal Charge: A charge made for a service performed in a carrier’s terminal area.
Vanning: A term for stowing cargo in a container.
Weights and Measures/Measurement ton:
• 40 cubic ft or one cubic meter
• Net ton/short ton – 2,000 lbs
• Gross ton/long ton – 2,240 lbs
• Metric ton/kilo ton – 2,204.6 lbs
• Cubic meter – 35.314 cubic ft

Shipping Terms

Act of God: An act beyond human control, such as lightning, flood or earthquake.

Ad Valorem: A term from Latin meaning, “according to value.” Import duty applied as a percentage of the cargo’s dutiable value.

Agent (Agt.): A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company.

Types of agents are:
(1) Brokers,
(2) Freight Forwarders
(3) Resident Buyers
(4) Sales Agents
(5) Manufacturer’s Representatives
B/L: Abbreviation for “Bill of Lading.”
Bill of Lading (B/L): A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.
Bill of Lading Port of Discharge
: Port where cargo is discharged from means of transport.
Bill of Sale: Confirms the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.
Arrangements with a carrier for the acceptance and carriage of freight; i.e., a space reservation.
Car Seal: Metal strip and lead fastener used for locking freight car or truck doors. Seals are numbered for record purposes.
CBM (CM): Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter.”
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 of Origin: A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
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.
Chassis: A frame with wheels and container locking devices in order to secure the container for movement.
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.
CL: Abbreviation for “Carload” and “Container load”.
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.”
Cleat: A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in place.
Abbreviation for “Cubic Meter” (capital letters).
cm: Abbreviation for “centimeter.”
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.
Common Carrier: A transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.
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.
(1) 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.
Consignor: A person or company shown on the bill of lading as the shipper.
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.
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.
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.
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 Terminal: 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.
Containerizable Cargo: Cargo that will fit into a container and result in an economical shipment.
Containerization: Stowage of general or special cargoes in a container for transport in the various modes.
Container Load: A load sufficient in size to fill a container either by cubic measurement or by weight.
Cu: An abbreviation for “Cubic.” A unit of volume measurement.
Cubic Foot: 1,728 cubic inches. A volume contained in a space measuring one foot high, one foot wide and one foot long
Government agency charged with enforcing the rules passed to protect the country’s import and export revenues.
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.
(Abbreviation for Container Yard)
• The designation for full container receipt/delivery.

Depot, Container: Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.
– The place to which a shipment is consigned.
– The place where carrier actually turns over cargo to consignee or his agent.